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24 November 2009

Darwin Day Today

So today is Darwin Day, and this evening the department is putting on a public lecture. One of the undergrads in my lab is a part of the zoology society and is in charge of getting the refreshments. So we got distracted discussing the snacks and I was telling everybody what sort of things we would provide for this type of thing in New Zealand. And it is the small difference that really get you. For instance - dip. The way we make dip with reduced cream and onion soup seems to be just a NZ thing. As far as I can tell you don't even get onion soup here. And then, there is cheerios. They don't have cheerios here. Nor those little savouries that are so yummy. Though even pies are not really such a big thing here so the savouries isn't really surprising. The onion soup was the, it's such a normal, essential sort of thing to have in the cupboard.

Also, did you know that lolly-cake is uniquely kiwi? I didn't. Everybody had no idea what I was talking about, and I couldn't even explain it very well because they don't get the right sort of lolly here. No fruit puffs or eskimoes or penguins. If I find anything like that I will have to make some lolly cake. But even finding the malt biscuits will be very difficult.

Anyway, I made some scones last night, because it so much easier to grab a scone in the morning than stopping and making a sandwich or something. And Mum always said to put a packet of onion soup in the mixture - but you don't get onion soup here! See, it is such a staple. Not that I have ever actually had it as soup but I use it for a lot of other things. Anyway I used oxtail soup and they turned out really nice, but still, not the same.

So I was looking online and there is a UK shop online that ships NZ food over. And some of the stuff on the website is what you would expect. But the rest of it is not even NZ stuff. Sure, they do pineapple lumps and whitakers chocolate. But what about other NZ stuff? Sure they sell marmite (which the rest of the world hates anyway), and they sell edmund's custard powder, maybe the NZ stuff is better, but they don't sell the baking powder, and the baking powder here is made with different ingredients so it would be far more useful if they sold that. They have some biscuits but no Sultana Pasties (which are also unique to NZ), no Squiggles, no Mint Slice. And they call themselves a New Zealand shop?!

Not that it matters, as if I would go to all that trouble. I will just get used to what is here instead. Galway is full of places to eat. The range of shops is a bit odd, but there are a lot of really nice clothing stores and a lot of places to eat. They seem to be big on their bakeries and all the pastries and cakes and tarts look so delicious.

Anyway I should really probably be working. There is a strike on today so everything is really empty and quiet, it makes me feel like slacking off. But as students we are meant to be working, or at least my supervisor wants me to be working, and I feel behind already. She doesn't just want things now but even better, yesterday or the day before, it should all be answered already! I mean, come on, we have a whole four years, there is no need to be so antsy about it all.

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