Chance Kiwi encounters

Baby shoes

Baby shoes

Sandwich board, Salzburg

Sandwich board, Salzburg

Seddon?

Seddon?

Globe theatre memorial

Globe theatre memorial

Anchor billboard

Anchor billboard

Tangaroa Sailing

Tangaroa Sailing

Speights sign

Speights sign

I’ve just gotten back from my first trip to Europe, and being a resources researcher, I found it a bit hard to turn off my camera. Three thousand digital photos later, I’ve trawled through them all in order to show you some of the Kiwi connections we encountered while we were away. I wasn’t away for very long, but it was fun to spot places and things that reminded me of home.

Most of my Kiwi encounters were in the UK, but strangely it was Salzburg where I stumbled upon two quite different New Zealand connections. The first was this display of Bobux shoes in a children’s shop near my hotel. These soft babies and infants shoes are exported all over the world - including to Austria.

This Inligua sandwich board was found in the maze-like streets of the Salzburg Old Town. My rusty German translates the sign as ‘Some things you’ll just never understand/With language you’ll have it much easier’.

Once I got to London, I was spoilt for choice New Zealand associations. At the end of the Mall, just outside of Buckingham Palace, stands the Victoria Memorial, which was completed in 1911. Next to Victory are two figures donated by the ‘people of New Zealand’. Two figures, a man and a woman, represent New Zealand’s role in the Empire. I think that the chap in the photo looks suspiciously like Premier Richard Seddon. But maybe it’s just the beard?

Next, when wandering around Globe, I came across a stone donated by New Plymouth Boys’ High School. It sat alongside those paid for by Sir Patrick Stewart and other theatrical luminaries. This New Zealand connection didn’t surprise me - after all a group of New Zealand embroiderers created the fantastic New Zealand hangings inside the Globe. Sir Raymond Boyce’s cartoons or preliminary drawings for the hangings now reside in Te Papa.

Anchor billboards like this one appeared all over East London. Apparently New Zealand cows are very clever, with skills including tractor driving and cheese-making. Of course, Anchor has been a household name in New Zealand since 1886.

My dad comes from Bristol, and while the family were showing me around the rejuvenated Bristol dock area I found this sign for Tangaroa charters. The ship wasn’t in dock, so I didn’t get to see the beautiful oak ketch which was made in Denmark. I still have no idea why a ship in the Bristol floating harbour is called the Tangaroa, but it seemed appropriate.

This Southerner Speights pub was closed the Sunday afternoon I wandered around Fleet Street and Brideswell. A closer inspection of the menu didn’t find any New Zealand-themed food - but according to their website they do sell Speights and Steinlager.

4 comments have been added so far

  1. Comment made by Caren || October 1st, 2010

    I remember several years ago seeing Trilogy skin-care products in a plutey shop in Paris - and, in a second-hand bookstore in Bangkok, a copy of that venerable book A Man’s Country by the esteemed Jock Phillips. I was also delighted to be greeted with ‘Kia ora!’ when meeting a Thai friend’s Thai partner, who had worked for Tradenz in the past. And then there was an extremely odd Thai TV commercial for mobile phones, featuring a rather bastardised kapa haka performed by cheerful, moko-wearing, possibly-Māori men with huge stomachs, crowding around a small Thai woman…

  2. Comment made by Sarndra || October 2nd, 2010

    I’m off to London on the 28th. Now i’m going to have to keep a look out also, just to see if i can do as well as you :-)

    Lovely post. Thanks for sharing

  3. Comment made by Jock Phillips || October 4th, 2010

    Nice blog, Marguerite. Here is the Peruvian highlands Anchor milk powder is the universal panacea. The packet is all in Spanish - except for the large words “Made in New Zealand!” which probably means nothing to the locals but was a great comfort to one poor Antipodean caught in a snow storm at over 4000 metres!

  4. Comment made by Marguerite || October 4th, 2010

    Thanks Caren - hearing kia ora is Thailand must have been a bit of a surprise - very nice though! I remember Temuera Morrison saying that he would say ‘kia ora’ to people in LA, and they would tell him the time. They assumed he was Latino and was asking “Que hora es?”.

    Have a great time in the UK, Sarndra!

    Glad you’re surviving, Jock! Only just though, by the sounds of it!

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