Dunedin Notes

Jimmy Mac in Queenstown?While we have been here for just under four months, my mind has already begun to think about making plans for our return to Hawai‘i in late-June or early-July. With the turmoil in the airline industry I don’t want to wait too long before making arrangements. I also need to talk to M?lia’s school here and make sure that everything is in place so that her classes will transfer properly to her school back home, though we know already some classes won’t. Time has certainly flown by here, but I still do have a lot of work to do on my Ph.d. proposal as well as my teaching duties here.

Scott’s posted a few short notes on the differences between food, drink and behavior in Cornwall. Here are a few from Dunedin, and there are some striking similarities:

  • Eggs are also brown with bright orange yolks. Haven’t seen white eggs at all.
  • I tweeted earlier that one of the things I miss here is Monterey Jack cheese – they’ve never heard of it down here. They have three prominent cheese varieties – “Tasty” (yeah, right), Cheddar, and Edam. They do have other specialty cheeses in the gourmet section but priced out of our league.
  • Chicken is more expensive than good beef or lamb.
  • Sausage is big here, too, particularly lamb sausage. M?lia tried and hated it – called it “lamb boto”.
  • Pies of all meat varieties are big, too, and M?lia hates them as well.
  • I don’t drink coffee so don’t care what it’s like down here.
  • Haven’t found any great local beers, some not bad ones and a few in the Bud and Coors lite league. NZ is well known for its wines but we’re not really wine people.
  • No Mexican restaurants in Dunedin, either. We found one in Queenstown but, dang, dinner for three was $85, including a 15% surcharge because it was a holiday (most restaurants do that here). The burrito and taco sauces that the stores sell doesn’t taste anything like the ones back home. I think M?lia’s first request when we get home will be to go to Taco Bell. I prefer Maui Taco.
  • Haven’t found any good Italian restaurants in Dunedin, but several in Queenstown. Unfortunately we went to one that didn’t know how to do an alfredo sauce! The stores don’t stock much alfredo either. Fortunately I can cook Italian.
  • There are tons of Asian and Middle Eastern food restaurants everywhere – Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Indian, Pakistani – you name it, Dunedin probably has it.
  • Spam is almost $6 a can. Damn.
  • They don’t use preservatives in breads, so you eat them in 4 days or they turn into home penicillin kits.
  • They don’t put much if any sugar in peanut butter, or anything else for that matter. You want it – add it yourself.
  • There are “creameries” on every corner and some in between. Don’t know how they survive selling ice-cream in the winter but apparently they do.
  • everything labeled “Hawaiian” has ham and pineapple in it – pizza, breads, sandwiches, pies. Glad I haven’t come across any “Hawaiian ice-cream”.

Finally, one little non-food or drink related quirk – people say “cheers” instead of “thank you”.

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