While travelling through Australia a few years ago with some friends,
we decided that the phrase of the trip was "cultural hegemony", after
being continuously surrounded by American media and advertising
despite being on the other side of the world for the States. So I was
somewhat sensitized to the issue on travelling through New Zealand,
and noted several examples...
- Wandering around Auckland in the evening and finding a Microsoft building
- A town in central NZ, with a population of 8000, proudly
advertised its McDonald's.
- Sitting in a Starbucks in Wellington (don't blame me, man, the
group I was with chose it), I was struck by the sight of the
disaffected, dreadlocked, pierced barista behind the counter, who
wouldn't have been at all out of place in San Francisco, except for
the accent. Weird to see what translates...
- Two nice buildings in Wellington with a Burger King and a Starbucks.
- Sitting in a nice little pub in Picton, a ferry port, the song
Drops of Jupiter by Train was playing on the radio, while David
Letterman was on the TV.
- Seeing American chains dominate the resort town of Queenstown with
a Hard Rock Cafe, various fastfood chains, etc. When we pulled into
town, the Magic Bus folks gave us a coupon for Subway. Woo.
Back to Eric's New Zealand 2002 page.
Eric Nehrlich's WWW home page / email@example.com