Kiwiana: relaxing, but sustainable?

The best girlfriend and I recently started to make relocation plans. While we are extremely happy and content in our rural seaside paradise, we have noticed that our brains have slowly but surely been atrophying: things like rabbit nutrition seem to have entered centre stage, questions whether Wim Wenders or Tom Tykwer would have made a difference in Run Lola Run seem to be pushed into the background. A typical story on public television seems to be a perished tractor. National Radio does deliver some fodder for the brain, but in the end, the advanced mind tunes back into the BBC, whether for the news or the now show via podcasts.

With other words: New Zealand is just too remote.

OK, I know this is a blasphemous opinion for most Europeans seeking relief on the other side of the world, but ask yourself: how long do you really want to drive for proper bread and art? There are worse examples. I am happy to explain myself: Let's start with the media: Due to the lack of inhabitants in these big paddocks, there are only two kinds of stories: people who kill someone else for P on the North Island, or farmers who fall off their tractors on the South Island. Then there is of course the political discourse representing 4 million inhabitants mainly living off farming (sorry, Aucklanders): one of the main political questions is how well cowshit should be prevented from entering the waterways. Most farmers couldn't give a toss, polluting New Zealand's streams quite happily (after removing most of the water anyway to irrigate their fields), maximising their profits from dairying. The rest of the nation, convinced that they live in a manmade, green paradise, grins silently and applauds the nation's polluters.

So, now it's time to re-join the Britnoders: For me BBC Radio 4 and a proper health service are just too big a pull: looking at the investment that has been made into the NHS over the last ten years, it looks like it's a good health service to return to.

While Britain is missing Kiwianas lack of population and undoubtfully is populated with far more annoying examples of human misery, it's the proximity of civilisation that will make it so much more bearable.