Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Sunburned Scots


I heard somewhere that Dunedin was colonized by (to paraphrase) “a bunch of Scots on their way home who thought they had found heaven.”  I’m guessing this is fairly accurate.  It certainly looks a lot like Scotland, but from what I’ve seen so far it’s a wild mashup of Hawaii, Scotland, southeast Alaska, Norway, and Marin County – where pretty much everything grows and their sheep are wildly happy (too happy, and the resulting ecological disaster).

I’m enjoying their twisted take on Scottish-ness.  There’s that gruff accent, thriftiness, sense of tradition, and drinking culture.  But this is the South Pacific, and there’s no denying the beach/surf culture, desire to escape to the mountains, slower pace of island time, etc.  I started calling them “Scots on Acid,” but that’s not fair (except to the guy at the Arrowtown campground, who was relating to a mate about some bad acid that he took).  A better term I think is the “Sunburned Scots.”  I am enjoying getting to know the Sunburned Scots.  There’s Maori culture, too, but I haven’t gotten a glimpse of that yet.

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