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Old 08-16-2006, 09:37 PM   #1
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hey everyone!

I had a question in regards to travelling safely through NZ... I'm hoping to backpack through the country, and was set to leave by mid-september. However, my parents stopped me and sat me down and tried to talk me out of it, as things have become very serious here in the USA, with security become tighter, alerts getting redder, more people panicing... (and well... elections coming up.)

I want to really be fair to my parents, and trully understand how safe things are out in NZ, ESPECIALLY for a pakistani-american as myself, who plans to backpack entirely alone for a few months... can any clarify how people of arab-descent are generally perceived out in NZ?

i appreciate everyones time.. thanks a lot!

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Old 08-16-2006, 10:06 PM   #2
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Firstly Welcome to TPunk!

I don't think you'll have any troubles. I live in Australia and New Zealanders generally have the same laid back attitude that Aussies have. Sure you may run into a couple of red neck dickheads but I don't think it will be a problem for you at all.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:45 PM   #3
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Can't answer the racism questions, but you can make the security screening a lot less painful if you plan ahead a bit - don't even bother trying to take liquids, Swiss Army knives or whatnot in a carry-on, pack those things in clear zip loc bags - you may still have to open them, but the screeners can see what you're going to pull out before hand. Also, it's a good idea to pack liquids in zip loc bags so that if they burst under pressure you don't end up with shampoo mess all over your other gear. Double check the lists of acceptable carry-on gear before you go, and pack everything else in your checked bag. Even if you object to the new rules or think they're daft or whatever, it's just rude to make everyone else wait while you repack.

Don't make stupid remarks about terrorism in the terminal, that's just asking for trouble. And if you do get picked for screening, don't automatically assume you're being profiled and get all huffy: I'm a 5'4" white Canadian woman, generally traveling with four small children, usually on US military orders, and I get extra screening EVERY time. I plan on this and arrive early, and try to keep as positive an attitude as possible with the screeners (when 99 people grumble, a smile from the 100th makes a big difference in their day) - they're not going to make life easier for you just because you complain!

Once you get on the plane, you can relax and enjoy the building excitement for what sounds like will be an incredible trip.

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Old 08-17-2006, 01:41 AM   #4
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I'm predicting you'll have no problem at all in NZ.

I'm half Iranian, half Japanese, 100% swarthy and another 100% self-loathing American.

I know that adds up to 300%.. but I'm 3 times the man any of you will ever be. Bear with me...

While NZ's across-the-Tasman cousin Australia has had it's recent, highly publicized flare-ups with racial BS, New Zealand seems to be way too chill for that stuff.

First off, if you go through Auckland (which I recommend getting out of quickly), you'll find that the place is busting at the seams with immigrants. You've got tons of Asians, Latin folk, Indians, Pakistani - you name it. And maybe I was just seeing the surface of things, but none of them seemed to be seething with hatred for each other. Judging by how integrated Maori and pakeha (white) culture have become there (again, something I've only seen on the surface) NZ seems like a pretty tolerant place.

Furthermore, with an economic boom there and a *need* for more immigrants to keep it going, they don't complain like other countries do about "damn foreigners." Pretty low on the xenophobia scale, if you ask me.

Beyond that, they're very much against our actions in Iraq, much of TWAT, and don't feel so paranoid about us swarthy types blowing our money in their country. I met with nothing but friendly faces and great attitudes, with the exception of some non-Kiwis here and there.

The only remotely lame thing I went through was having to go do a second security check for all US-bound flights, but back then it was because they'd just started the ban on lighters.

Should your parents worry? Yes. They should worry that you'll go there and never want to come back.
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Old 08-17-2006, 07:45 AM   #5
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I agree with Omi. I have a Kiwi friend back home in Atlanta and he has told me the same thing. Apparently its also easy to get work visas because of the stated shortage.

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Old 08-17-2006, 08:03 AM   #6
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((( 1/3 Pure Heart Emotion by Siam Shade )))

From what I know ( I'm so sad I only have one NZ friend) Angie has never mentioned anything of the type in NZ so I'm guessing you are being a lil' paranoid (Yo! that could be my MC alias) but naw dude other than if your were totally rude and obnoxious everywhere you went I doubt you would have issues. Oh and for the record I'm 25% Blk, 25% Caucasian, 50% Latin. but I look totally hindu/arab if I let my beard go on! and if I over tan I look ultra Hindu, it's fun! & dude chill the only way you get into trouble is if you look for it.
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Old 08-17-2006, 08:06 AM   #7
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Granted, the most people I met from new Zealand where either in hostels, or Aus, but I kindo f agree with everyone else here, they were laid back, didn't care who you were as long as you were chill and fun to be with.

I think the worst thing people do heading out on travel is worry. If your too worried you will be too on gaurd and too held back from people that otherwise might have been really fun, helpfull, or a friend. Granted, you need to watch yourself somewhat, as you would from dummie anywhere in the world but I doubt you will have a major problem over there. Have a great time.

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Old 08-18-2006, 04:30 PM   #8
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Hey there,

You may get some snide remarks from the minority. However the majority of us Kiwis are genuinly nice people and i doubt you will have any problems. Don't let the fools who judge people on appearances (usually because they are self-concious) stop you from coming to see our beautiful country!
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
across-the-Tasman cousin Australia has had it's recent, highly publicized flare-ups with racial BS, [/b]
In the defence of my country can I just say this was an isolated incident with a very small group of people and, in my experience at least (having lived here all my life) Australia is not a racist place, like NZ we also have a very multicultural society.

Sorry to go off on a psuedo-patriotic tangent it just really pisses me off to think that a tiny group of bogan surfers are giving Oz a bad name.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:39 AM   #10
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Raoul - I'm not badmouthing Oz - I think it's lightyears ahead of many other countries on the multicultural front. I'm just saying that there have been incidents there And I did meet some very interesting people with very interesting (ummm, closed-minded) opinions there, but you'll probably run into them anywhere in the world. Give anyone enough Jack Daniel's and they'll tell you how they *really* feel about people!

I'd move to Oz in a heartbeat - no offense meant
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:04 AM   #11
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Sorry Mate, I didn't mean that at all as an attack against what you said.
It just pisses me off, if anything should be giving Oz a bad name it should be the shit they show on TV down here, not racism. :D

Quote:
Give anyone enough Jack Daniel's and they'll tell you how they *really* feel about people! [/b]
Don't you love it when people start a sentance with "I'm not a racist but..." and then follow with the most offensively racist diatribe, as though that makes it ok.
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:48 AM   #12
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HAHAHAHAHHA OMI

''Im 3 times the man you ever be'' LMAO That deserves some serious kudos. holy shit everyone is looking at me in this internet cafe that was too funny Im a fan
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Old 10-15-2006, 05:39 PM   #13
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I think u'd be sweet in NZ, we are a pretty diverse nation and the highest level of prejudice is probably in our politicians!lol! .. and this may sound bad but speaking english will definatly help
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