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.
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.
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.
Encountering a wild seal on a gorgeous beach in Abel Tasman.
Bugel with her Kiwi bloke enjoying a wine at Poppies in Martinborough.