Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Question: What is worse than finding you are in a country full of uncouth people?

Answer: Finding your esteemed teacher is one of them.

This week in English in Action we are doing feelings and expressing yourself and things like that. One of the listenings were on Culture Shock, and we had a bit of sharing about the things they thought were shocking... and one of the main ones to come up was the way New Zealanders wash their dishes. All the Japanese and Koreans in my class were quite disgusted by what they observed Kiwi host families doing. They would say with the faces wrinkled that those terrible homestay families would wash their dishes in hot soapy water and then just let them drain in a dish-rack! With the water from the sink STILL ON THEM! I am used to this kind of panic, I calmly tell them that is exactly what I do. Looks of incredulity abound. They could accept stupid kiwi homestay families doing it but not their teacher... (interestingly almost all the students who have host families have not enjoyed their experiences, which is a bit of a worry).


Anonymous said...

Do New Zealanders rinse the soapy water off the dishes, or just let the soap dry on the dishes? Ya don't use a dishwasher? :) --K.

Crypticity said...

Dishwashers? Euwww~ yuck! And they waste water. There is nothing more therapeutic than washing your own dishes.

Anyway, it probably isn't true for all New Zealanders, but it seems what shocked my students, was that many families just put the dishes in the dish rack after washing.

It does not leave much if any soap on the dry dishes because (a) gravity means most of the water drips off and (b) then you use a towel to remove the excess water.

James said...

And, the dishes have just been removed from a sink of hot water. Much of it would just evaporate.

Anonymous said...

Dishwashers a waste of water? I had no idea New Zealanders were concerned about water conservation.

Your blog left me wondering just how the students were used to seeing dishes washed...before you blew them away with your confession. --K.

ideacat said...

I don't think this person named crypticity fits the "stereotypical New Zealander". No one fits any generalisation really. Not only do dishwaters waste water, they waste electricity and money too.