Almost all Americans ask me, “Why did you leave?” And almost all Kiwis ask me, “Why did you choose New Zealand?” It’s as if they see an apple pie in a field of pavlovas and say, what’s that doing here?

My family wonders too. My parents and brother flew to Wellington to celebrate my birthday, and to dip their toes in the idea of New Zealand. Their visit was a blur of eating, sleeping and drinking. I introduced Mike (the brother) to Riesling.

“Try this wine, you’ll like it.” He took a sip. His face lit up with glee. He gulped. I poured him another glass. He poured himself another glass. I said, “Mike! Riesling is not meant to be sucked up like a child’s milkshake! Twirl the glass, savour!”

He drank more. His eyes sagged. His head gained weight. He vomited at the dinner table, on the dinner table. I thought this was endearing, the wait staff (at Logan Brown) cursed the day they served him beef and gravy.

For my parents, this was the Cool Whip on the apple pie. But one night, while eating and drinking, I realized our roles in life changed. When I was young I would say, “I don’t want to eat that. It’s green.” My parents would say, “Eat it. Vegetables make you strong.”

Now my parents say, “I don’t want to eat that. It’s foreign.” And I say, “Eat it. It will keep your bowel movements regular.”

Ah, the joys of life. It was a sobering moment. I miss them. I hope they’ll come back!


7 Responses to Un-American activities

  1. Mom says:

    HEY – I love pavlova – tell Catherine I expect her to whip some up and send it along! Since when do you eat whatever is put in front of you? Although the chicken, cranberry and brie pizza from Hell was really good. And yes, we will be back – but not anytime soon – the jet lag is positively gruesome. The next time you set out for some foreign country, pick one that’s closer.

  2. emily says:

    Atta girl, Bonnster!

    I think I would eat pavlova. Even though I have consistency issues with meringue, sometimes. However, I love bubble tea. I wouldn’t think I would love a shake made with black, slimy balls of tapioca that vaguely resemble fish eggs, but I do. Oh, I do.

  3. Jeff says:

    Mom – I forwarded this entry to Catherine and I suggested that pavlova wouldn’t keep in the post. It’s too airy! The package hasn’t arrived yet, either!

    Emily, pavlova is so good it’s ridiculous, by far my favorite food from New Zealand (although some argue it was first made in Australia, but screw them)!

  4. Craig says:

    Just thought I would point out that in fact it was I that made the pavs – had to get up at 5.30am (yes – that was am – as in “morning”) to do it.

    Not that I’m being petty or anything … Catherine did boil the beans …

  5. Mom says:

    My apologies to Craig – I do recall that fact now that you mention it. Your pavlova was absolutely superb!!

    Jeff – your package should arrive in the next day or two at the very latest. Your Dad took it to the post office a week ago Saturday. If you didn’t live at the end of the earth, you probably would have it by now (something to keep in mind the next time you move).

  6. Jeff says:

    Yesterday it arrived :) Thanks for the cookies! My Samoan friends call them ‘racist’ but they think they taste good, regardless.

  7. Shannon says:

    Jeff, your mom sounds like my Mom!

    Mrs. Wegesin, Turkey’s closer. You can always come visit me!

    Jeff, are you trying to imply that you’re not a picky eater?

    Mrs. Wegesin, cheers to you for flying to the end of the earth for Jeff. That’s love.