I’ve been in this country for just under a fortnight, and I can already say with definite truth, that I love Kiwis.
Not a single person has been rude to me, insulting, or even given me a dirty look. Not one shopkeeper or bystander on a corner has said one thing crosswise to me, or been anything but endearingly helpful.
To my very limited access of people and my small interactions with them, I can gladly say that I am happy to be here in this country, and I doubt I could have found a more pleasant place to move to.
Even with the earthquake this week and all the horrible devastation that has brought and the national sorrow that is palpable and felt even by myself, the Kiwis I’ve interacted with have had nothing but this undercurrent of good humor.
There is an overall attitude of inevitability that seems to be innate in Kiwis. Yes, this tragedy happened. Yes, it was a tragedy. But we’ll move on, we’ll fix it, we’ll make it better. I was watching the new reports yesterday when one of the Australian Urban Rescue teams showed up, and the Kiwi reporter seemed to be so amazingly overwhelmed at the kindness of the Aussies for being here, so astounded that they responded so quickly, it was catching in his throat that this realization that everything would be alright, that the Kiwis had friends.
There’s a bit of, self deprecation that seems inherent in nearly all communications with Kiwis. There’s an underlying current in the tone and diction that says “Yes, we know we’re not from Australia, but we’re really just a likable”. It’s a black humor, dark and sometimes misleading, but it’s there. This feeling of being not quite the best, but the best at what they do.
I love it. That sense of humor, the sense of knowing that they might not be considered top notch by the world, or even be remembered by the world farther than Australasia, but they know what they are good at, they know what they have to offer, and they’re more than happy to offer it.
I hope I’m being clear. I’m not trying to poke fun at the Kiwis, especially not now. But their ability to poke fun at themselves, even if they don’t know that they’re doing it, even if they don’t see the little tendencies of appearing as the younger children that I seem to be picking up on, it’s there.
And it makes this place even more delightful than before. Especially for me. I seem to have found a nation full of people with the same self-deprecating humor that I have found in myself.
I love it here. And the I love the Kiwis.