New Zealand, beautiful though it unquestionably is, suffers from a particularly ugly blight; every single person there is English. Sort of. Actually they are mostly from New Zealand. However as an English person it is impossible not to notice the proliferation of your fellow countryman/woman in every coffee shop, bar and youth hostel all over the land. While travelling abroad it is discomfiting and more than that, disappointing to hear a Home Counties accent. One hopes to encounter and indulge in foreign culture and rituals while telling interested locals about how you are from St. Albans which is a “really historic city, just outside London. Yeah I live next to the queen, yeah…” and perhaps you might pine a little for home because maybe it wasn’t as bad as you thought when you were booking your flights. When you get to the other side of the world and realise everyone there is also getting the hell away from St. Albans, your heart sinks as you realise you have nothing to share with these people because you’ve already spent 27 years hanging out with middle class wankers from the suburbs.

And so your journey takes you onward if you are lucky, to a strange and tropical island full of eastern promise, spiritual awakenings, otherworldly ceremony and tropical foods. Or you might, as Lovisa and I did, take a plane to Sydney and spend two weeks in the company of the fucking English.

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