Dropped out In Godzone
eBook (PDF), 95 Pages
A new immigrant's impressions of life in provincial New Zealand (after coming from a large city in South Africa) ... and there were one or two rather funny adventures, nay escapades in "Sleepy Hollow" from time to time.
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Mar 24, 2010Craig Lock's humorous travel book about his adventures in provincial New Zealand... One man and his family - and their experiences "Down Under". A new immigrant's impressions of life in provincial New Zealand (after coming from a large city in South Africa) ... and there were one or two rather funny adventures, nay escapades in "Sleepy Hollow" from time to time. The author and his wife contrast life in colourful, vibrant South Africa with calm and kindly New Zealand - and with large dashes of humour offer much understanding of, and sympathy with the social attitudes of the two worlds. REVIEW: "DROPPED OUT IN GODZONE is an original and agreeable piece of work. The picture it gives of New Zealand- to one who has never been there- has a ring of complete authenticity. The feeling of the country is relaxed, and perhaps rather unstimulating, but we get an overall impression from the writer that he views his time there with some affection, and above all with... More > tolerance." This book breathes a natural humour and kindliness, which is what gives it the individual character that is so appealing. Autobiography has a particular value as a literary form. It is a shared kind of writing and I'll continue to bang the drum. It is unusual to encounter two such different manuscripts from the same author. Both (THE END OF THE LINE is the other book) have quality and share an easy and assured writing style that is a pleasure to read. These short books are of first rate quality." An extract… CHAPTER TWO: EARLY DAYS Now came the Herculean task of getting a job in "S.H", where jobs were all arranged by word of mouth to people who had been living here for "yonks". It wasn't what you knew, but who you knew. Even more so, I find six years on as the local economy has drastically worsened in the intervening years. Wonder why! We were very badly connected, as my wife knew very few people and her family were very quiet and retiring. (In addition, my wife's brain is connected/wired up to wrong terminals). That's why she shorts out occasionally. People said that they knew everybody in town, but none knew of my "outlaws" ...at least in my small "circle" of vague acquaintances, that I soon got to know. So I never had to do a triple somersault, when someone with whom I came into contact knew them. My bet you bet! In addition there was a very high unemployment rate. How was a big "city slicker" like me (but not too smooth) from an industrialized country going to make it in pastoral N.Z.? I didn't know what I was in for; however, I was prepared to do anything that fate had in store for me. I cleared sections (plots) until I overloaded the trailer that I had bought and the tyre caught alight on the way to the rubbish dump. We put up a notice and hired out the trailer until someone demolished our front gate when returning it. These two episodes did all our profits. Time to try a new venture. I then sold centenary flags and fish-bait at the local market, as well as fruit from Gill's sisters farm. They are quite "normal" people. There was a big carnival on the wharf on New Year's day with old sailing ships in the harbour. I think it was to celebrate 150 years of colonisation ("civilisation" - no couldn't be that!) or so. My NZ history is pathetic. Anyway, it was quite a change from traditional New Year's day in Cape Town, where everybody who was anybody was seen at the cricket at Newlands. Very colonial with sandwiches and 'G and T's' in the member's stand. "Hooray, Humphrey". But here I, a top business executive was selling plastic flags in "Hicksville" near the bottom of the world in the decade of the "naughty nineties". What had befallen my "high flying brilliant insurance career"? Obviously, the bottom had fallen out of it and not out of my bottom! Time to get back on the rails. We looked at buying a dairy (cafe), but wisely decided that it looked too much like hard work and long hours for us spoilt 'sutheefrikuns' (Gill had been in affluent, comfortable SA too long). I arranged a job doing market surveys for a very fussy, fastidious (means the same thing doesn't it? - but I'm just showing off my knowledge of long words) old lady, but she soon drove me 'potty' (if I wasn't already). In addition, I soon got sick of knocking on doors and asking inane questions to householders, like how many sanitary towels they used. Very embarrassing for a macho man. Six years later I'm still doing that job to fund my writing. Please please buy my books! That nice lady has just retired. I must have driven her 'dilly' with my untidy scrawl! I got up at "sparrows fart" to attend the local market every week...as a seller. I sold junk for ourselves and the "rellies" .Did very well for the gentleman farmer "rellies" selling mandarins and all of them were impressed. You've never ever seen a market like that with all "the down-and-outers", waddling about with food in their mouths. The sights you can't imagine. No blue blood for thousands and thousands of miles! Barely 'spikee da inglees'. Culture shock! The boys came along too... or were rather dragged. Heartless parents! They are very entrepreneurial (nice long word that) and sold their toys to upgrade. We did alright, but I was always in a very bad mood when I got home ... so we stopped going. Thank goodness. I had always enjoyed markets but not that one! I had better things to do with my valuable time. * One of my more memorable job experiences was my job as a trainee manager at McDonalds, the fast food chain which I helped to slow down. When I started our twin boys were very impressed and had visions of living happily ever after in burger land and consuming endless milkshakes. Unfortunately for them this wonderful job only lasted for one day. As anyone who knows me would realise, food ...the preparation and serving thereof is not one of my strongest points! Not even eating, because the plate looks like a helicopter has landed on it. No wonder I never became a member of the exclusive Country Club. Anyway, the day degenerated into a muddle of burger buns coming at me endlessly, while the team members in the chain waited expectantly. Very stressful! They started screaming for the next heel of a bun... or was it the middle...or the club? Then it got busier as lunch time approached. Queues of people waiting expectantly. I stood there in a daze wondering what was I, an insurance executive doing there. I had forgotten where (in which compartments in the oven) I had put the heels, buns, tops, middles and clubs. In my panic, they all meant the same to me. I'm not much good with ovens...but I keep the fire service on their toes! Harassed staff were shouting out excitedly for McChickens, McFeasts, Double Deckers, Big Macs, etc.; but it was all a foreign language to totally confused me as the queue of agitated customers built up more and more. Pickled gherkins and tomatoes were hurriedly placed anywhere on buns and ended up sliding all over the counter...and on to the spotless floor. I stuffed them back onto the burgers as the staff's eyes were nearly popping out. Sorry hygienic McDonald's. After this disaster I was moved to something "safer". Could anything be worse than the burger production line? Then horror of all horrors ... I had to start learning to make milkshakes and desserts ...complete with whipped cream and sticky maple syrup, 'et al' (just showing off my French with no kissing). This seemed to end up all over me and not on the said dessert! I wondered how I had got into such a strange situation. After all, I thought this was a "management job". You know where managers just watch and supervise and don't actually DO anything. A job that suited me perfectly! No, my attempted foray into the delights of the catering world were a complete disaster. The staff were so relieved at the end of the day...especially when I said I wasn't coming back. Saved them the trouble of firing me... and the high hygienic standards of the "Sleepy Hollow" McDonalds were maintained once more. It was now time to get a "proper" job!< Less
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- Craig Lock (Standard Copyright License)
- First Editition
- Craig Lock
- September 30, 2011
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