From the land of ice and snow

Pernille Bugel loves our di­ver­sity and ‘‘fush and chups’’, but thinks we could do more to live up to our clean, green im­age.

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

Where are you from?

A small town out­side Oslo called Jessheim. Now I am liv­ing it up in Wellington and lov­ing it.

What in­spired your move, and how long have you been here?

My mo­ti­va­tion to move to New Zealand was to do my un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree here. I wanted to go some­where English-speak­ing and as far away from home as pos­si­ble. I have been in Wellington for nearly four years.

What do you do here?

I have been study­ing for the ma­jor­ity of my time, do­ing my Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies. I am work­ing as a barista in what I like to call the ‘‘world’s cof­fee cap­i­tal’’.

What sur­prised you most when you first ar­rived?

The cold, of­ten mouldy, hous­ing and the slow in­ter­net con­nec­tions.

What are the great­est ad­van­tages to liv­ing here?

Liv­ing in such a di­verse and ac­cept­ing com­mu­nity. It is re­ally unique and dif­fer­ent from any­where else I’ve been.

Disad­van­tages?

New Zealand is an awe­some place, but it is so far away from any­where else.

How ex­pen­sive do you find it com­pared to back home?

I find it to be cheaper than home. Even liv­ing on my stu­dent loan from back home I was hav­ing a grand old time. Food is quite cheap too.

What do you do in your spare time?

Go trav­el­ling around New Zealand and ex­plore cool places in the Wellington re­gion. I also en­joy eat­ing out.

What are your favourite New Zealand foods?

The mag­nif­i­cent pies, tasty ‘‘fush and chups’’ and the huge va­ri­ety of amaz­ing food trucks al­ways hit the spot. You re­ally know your burg­ers too.

How do you get around?

I had lived in Wellington for a year and a half be­fore I even tried out the bus. Walk­ing is so easy, any­way. Re­cently I have taken up cy­cling, but here in Wellington it is the equiv­a­lent of an ex­treme sport, as driv­ers tend to be a bit ag­gres­sive to­wards cy­clists.

How do you find the shop­ping?

It’s quite lim­ited. There of­ten aren’t many brands to choose from. There are, of course, real cool shops with lo­cal de­sign­ers, but un­for­tu­nately that’s not on the cards for some­one like me cur­rently on min­i­mum wage. The fash­ion here seems to be a lit­tle be­hind the lat­est trends, but that is no prob­lem in a place such as Wellington where any­thing flies and free­dom of ex­pres­sion through cloth­ing is highly en­cour­aged. Cool stuff.

Favourite after-dark ac­tiv­ity?

Go­ing out to one of the many sweet bars be­fore a feast at a nice restau­rant. New Zealand re­ally de­liv­ers on high­qual­ity foods and din­ing. Com­pared to Nor­way, din­ing out is re­ally af­ford­able. I can’t get enough of it.

What are the top three things you rec­om­mend for vis­i­tors?

Lake Tekapo – specif­i­cally Mount John Ob­ser­va­tory – is a stun­ner. If you are even the slight­est bit in­ter­ested in stargaz­ing, this will blow your mind. Mart­in­bor­ough – get on a bike and get around to the vine­yards. A tasty and su­per-fun ac­tiv­ity. Bal­ance gets harder as the day goes on. Abel Tas­man coastal track – five days of amaz­ing trop­i­cal beach feels and lush bush.

Be­sides fam­ily and friends, what do you miss most about home?

I re­ally miss hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to travel cheaply within Nor­way and around Europe. It is easy to get is­land fever in New Zealand.

How easy is it for you to go home?

It is dif­fi­cult, to say the least. Imag­ine need­ing $3000 and 40 hours just to hang with the fam­ily.

If you could change one thing about NZ, what would it be?

The at­ti­tude to­wards the en­vi­ron­ment. It is mar­keted as very ‘‘clean and green’’ to tourists but, in fact, there is a darker re­al­ity. You can­not take this beau­ti­ful place for granted and this spe­cial coun­try must be pro­tected.

PHO­TOS: PERNILLE BUGEL

En­coun­ter­ing a wild seal on a gor­geous beach in Abel Tas­man.

Bugel with her Kiwi bloke en­joy­ing a wine at Pop­pies in Mart­in­bor­ough.

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