Thursday, February 24, 2005

What is it with us expats?

I'm going to make a big confession. Since coming to live in New Zealand (it's 3 years now) I have become a regular follower of Coronation Street. The Kiwis have the audacity to call the program 'Coro'. They have their own Street - Shortland Street a daily soap set in an A&E clinic that follows the lives of staff and friends. I never watched Coronation Street in the four years I spent in UK just before coming here. On analysing my motives I have come up with an answer - nostalgia.

In my office there are a small number of expat Brits. It's not unusual to find us clustered round the coffee machine of a morning exchanging notes. Take this morning for example, we had a good old laugh at poor old Charlie's expense over the news of the balls up with the wedding plans. Poor boy! One of us expats is a good old yorkshire boy. He went exploring in a UK Foods Shop and just had to buy Walker crisps, weetabix and Iron Bru. Now that should tell you something about the quality of NZ crisps (they call them chips) and breakfast serials. It probably tells you something about the yorkshire man's taste in soft drinks too - but we won't go down that track.

I'm hoping that this Alan Walker who made the news for taking offence when his local supermarket used it's public address system to make announcements in both English and Maori (an official language in this country) is not an expat. I have to agree with Tapu Misa who concludes that what he and others like him are promoting is a form of cultural imperialism.


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