Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stuff about New Zealand 1 (podcasts, shoes, and real estate agents

About that Fulbright thing (here) - we head to New Zealand in four weeks.

-The iTunes Top 10 podcasts charts are fascinating.  How does dry-as-old-toast Economist "all audio" crack the top 10 in...Finland?  Apparently all the Dutch care about is vocal trance, with big-time dance DJ's locking down all ten spots.  In Italy they're trying to learn English (two out of the top ten).  Here in the U.S. we're under the siren, but sleepy, sway of NPR shows, and somehow the overwrought and overproduced (but still occasionally interesting) Radiolab all the way up at number three.  Is there Radiolab parody?  There is.

I wanted to listen to what New Zealand podcast listeners are listening to, and was surprised to see "This American Life" in the top 10.  It's gone now.  Hamish and Andy are still number one (but are actually Australian) - I listened in just in time for their caravan trip around New Zealand.  Funny stuff, and after a few hours of listening I've learned that I'm heading to a place with strangely-named stores and slow internet.  

What else?  Four BBC podcasts (the NPR of the Commonwealth), a rock station that runs strange contests, an epic dance podcast (drum and bass and dubstep!!!), and..., um, this guy.  I'll pass.

-One of Catherine's students told her that Kiwis make fun of people who wear running shoes with jeans - people like me - and that there's even a word for such people.  However, Catherine can't find evidence of this online, and thus I feel justified in going ahead and looking as unfashionable as possible.  Which reminds me of when I spent a semester in Nepal years ago.  They told us that is was verboten to wear shorts, and so we all bought these really thin slacks to wear in the heat.  Which in turn made us look like idiots, so not only did we still look out of place, but were also uncomfortable.  

-I contacted 20+ property managers and real estate agents in Dunedin for a place to rent.  Most of them didn't respond, and those who did felt comfortable lecturing me on not living within the "blast zone"/"riot zone" of the University.  However, none responded with what might be a "suitable family property."  I feel like this was my very first NZ cultural experience, but I don't know what it means.

No comments: