1. Internet. By far the worst in the developed world, your connectivity the world wide web sends you back to the paleozoic era. For the most part, speed is not an issue. Instead you’re left with a cruel “pay as you go” system which monitors data usage and time. This poses no problem if you want only want to check your e-mail but terrible for wasting your afternoons watching stupid cat videos on Youtube. Thankfully, most public libraries offer unlimited access to free wi-fi. But be warned, walking to the library just to check Facebook updates really puts your priorities into perspective.
2. Beer. I hope I can complain about the lack of good beer without my parents thinking of me as some inebriate. One thing New Zealand seriously lacks are abundant and creative microbreweries. Of course American bars all have the lackluster Bud and Coors, but it’s easy to get past the kiddie game and find the good stuff. Here, not so much. Those creative and sometimes daring libations are virtually non-existent. The few that do exist offer only mild variations on the same redundant pilsner theme. Never again will I take a Stoudts, Troegs or Yeungling for granted.
3. Kiwi lifestyle. I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with the Kiwi “sweet as” attitude. That same relaxed atmosphere can sometimes get, well, too relaxed. There I days when I want answers. Now. Don’t tell me that the internet is down and then proceed to smile and say, “and we don’t know when it will be fixed.” This a big deal. Tell me that someone is working on it, will be fixed shortly, and that I’ll be the first to know when it’s working. Because that’s what we do in America. Or we sue you.
4. Gas. Maybe it’s the taxes or the logistics of shipping oil to some lonely island in the South Pacific, but buying gas in New Zealand hurts. Taxes and fees make up 40% of petrol prices giving you real sticker shock at the pump. Converting from liters to US gallons and NZ dollars to US dollars, the current price of gas hovers somewhere around….wait for it….$6.50 per gallon.
5. Condiments. Okay, maybe I’m just being picky but making me pay for ketchup with my fries qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment, tantamount to paying to use the sun. Ketchup is an inalienable culinary right. End of discussion.