In the heart of Waikato.

Recently we challenged our Inklings Bookshop Facebook friends to tell us about their favorite interesting sounding Pacific Northwest place names. I was thinking of places like Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Sequim, etc.

Here in New Zealand, many of the place names are Maoeri while others are straight from Great Britain like Thames, Firth and Cotswald. The language sounds much like Hawaiian with a lot of syllables. I’m sure we sound odd trying to pronounce Whangareai and Orewa.

Just to mix up ethnicities a bit more, we dined tonight at an excellent Thai restaurant in Hamilton called Thai Baan. Excellent curry! New Zealand fare, other than the fish, is fairly unremarkable. Kind of British, you know what I mean? Jim pointed out to me that you see very few British or Scottish restaurants for good reason perhaps. We do like Kumara, or sweet potatoes which you can ask for with your fish and chips.

Food, names and even everyday terms are just a bit odd to us. Overpasses are called flyovers, courgettes are zucchinis, and peppers are capsicums. I saw one sign for “Cheap and cheerful bunches” and another for “Twinkle Tow and Tyre”. The strangest thing for us is to realize with a shake of the head a few times a day that it is February. New Zealand is having one of their hottest February’s on record. Soaking it up.

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Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 8:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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