Sometimes you just can’t take the culture out of someone.

photo of red paper lanterns

Here I am sitting on a bus heading for Hamilton, New Zealand, with a group of about 30 Japanese students. For all of them I imagine it’s their first time to this country, and yet they’re all asleep! Look outside at the beautiful scenery, Huntly’s pretty nice at this time of year. But I guess they’re all tired from a long flight. I’m not going to lie, I had a snooze too.

Well, now I’m reminiscing on my time in Japan, but also long road trips in NZ, like those we took every year in summer to Christchurch to Nana and Poppa’s house to spend Christmas at Greenpark at Uncle Colin and Aunty Carol’s house, then off to Timaru to Chris and Tine’s for New Years. This was basically every year until I was 12. I remember New Years’ when I was 12 because we were in Wyndrum Ave, and Liam had his Pokemon cards that he got for Christmas, I think.

Or the times I travelled up to Auckland for waterpolo. Too many times to count.

Right now, it’s hot. The green grass-covered hills with their customary sheep and cows, and the shrill sound of the cicadas, New Zealand sure knows how to do a summer.

This is the culture I love.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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