Another very interesting country…

sheep_new_zealandIt is very far away from anything other than Penguins  and ice-caps. It has 4 million human beings surrounded by 40 million sheep.  It has almost 100 Volcanoes, lots of mild intensity earthquakes (about 400 in a year, out of which about 25 are usually above 5.0 on the Richter scale) and is ruled by a lady who lives about 18,000 kilometres away (let us face it, given all this fire & brimstone, wouldn’t you too ?) And of late, it has decided that a new tax will be imposed on its citizens – nicknamed the ‘fart tax’, it is a tax that actually gets farmers to pay up every time a sheep or a cow belches. In short, this is one of the world’s most interesting countries.

I am of course referring to New Zealand.

The first Indian to get to New Zealand was a Bengali man who jumped ship in 1810 to marry a Maori woman (and whose progeny I would give an arm and a leg to see!). By 1896, Indians had overrun the place with all of 46 of them in residence, including Mr Phomen Singh, a sikh who became a seller of sweetmeats in the streets of Auckland. And they just kept coming – recent estimates suggest there are 100,000 of us who followed in Mr Singh’s footsteps; almost all of them in professions as benign as hawking sweets.

So, even if you do not want to do a ‘self-drive honeymoon’ or jump off a cliff for fun or watch India getting hammered by the last ten Kiwis playing cricket, I would suggest you go and check out the country. If not for anything else, at least to understand how the ‘fart tax’ works. Remember, the way the enviro-mafia is at it, soon you will need to pay up every time you…you get the picture. And New Zealand will probably be a good place to figure out how that can feel.

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8 thoughts on “Another very interesting country…

  1. Arriving in Christchurch, and seeing mainly Asians in all the streets, and in the downtown squares, I’d wondered how wrong my visualization of New Zealand had been.

    The marriage you have mentioned is interesting, a fascinating story, perhaps. Where did you come upon it?

  2. First time here and its wonderful going through your blog..Your post on New Zealand brought back such nostalgic memories when I went there more than 15 years ago..I was counting sheep then…I would love to go back there again, but India remains my favourite place ..as a traveller and as a travel writer

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