Seems like you have to leave your country to realise how bizarre your accent is. New Zealanders have always been mocked for saying fush and chups but, naturally, we deny that we actually talk like this.
Well. Turns out we do. Compared to the soft, rolling vowels of the Canadian, we have some pretty hilarious words.
Here are some we have had to officially alter our accent on, in order to get by over here:
- Seven – saay-ven is much better understood)
- Jesse – too many people here believe his name is JC)
- Fare – as in ticket price. Fear is apparently said different to fare. Same with bear and beer, which is rather important to differentiate here..)
- R – for the aircraft callsign RDD. When calling aircraft over the radio, uh-D-D doesn’t quite cut it
- Basil. It’s bay-sil. Coriander is cilantro. And capsicums are red peppers. Chili is cayenne (otherwise you find yourself with a spice jar for flavoring chili (con carne) full of salts and spices)
There is a lot of mockery, and worse – straight up laughter! I guess New Zealanders are accustomed to the Canadian or American accent thanks to television, but many people we meet have never heard a New Zealand accent before – and it stumps them. Jesse’s first on-board safety brief had him facing a plane load of stifled laughter..
We have to do a lot of repeating. Don’t worry, we never plan to adopt the Canadian accent fully (we keep each other in line on that one, and a little dose of Flight of the Conchords every now and then helps…) but sometimes it’s just easier to make a few tweaks here and there.
Speaking of fush and chups… we recently enjoyed it local style! Fresh, local trout – caught in Great Bear Lake. Smoked over a fire, then briefly baked in a hot oven until perfectly soft, without a bone in sight. Served with locally grown potatoes – dug up from the dirt field lining the grass runway – and thinly sliced broccoli stems (you will never throw that stem away again!) baked into chips.
There is a much more simple (and more traditional) way to enjoy local fish, which Jesse was able to do while in Deline one weekend recently. He caught a beauty of a trout, threw it on the fire (with some hotdogs.. there are always hotdogs…) until the skin was burnt the a crisp, and the flesh beautifully soft.
We are loving the local meat here. It is all so lean, fresh and nutritious. We are definitely soaking it up while it lasts – not a lot of fishing and hunting go on once the snow hits – in less than a month!