Town Mouse

Dear Internet,

Please forgive me, for I am about to rant.

Last night I went to the World of Wearable Arts dress rehearsal.

Nosebleed-y at WoW

It was horrible. I do not know why I thought I would like it – I do not like interpretive dance, I don’t find the wearable art particularly moving*, and I never watch the televised version because it bores me. But I went. It was horrible.

I suppose, the one good thing that came out of last night is that now, when I am told – in a smarmy tone, ALWAYS the smarmy tone – that I really MUST go because it’s just TOO TOO fabulous and how it’s SUCH A SHAME that I live in Wellington and DON’T GO to WoW I can tell them that I did go. And it was horrible.

Besides the general boredom, the insufferable child & animal performers, the men-dressed-as-women-equals-hilarious shtick, and the women in the audience hooting everytime a man wore tights, there was one straw which broke the proverbial camel’s back.

Fred fucking Dagg.

I am sick and tired of being made to feel like I am not a “real” New Zealander because I do not like the countryside.

Because I do not own or like mud-caked gumboots and a wife beater. Because, more often than not, I find pavlova cloying and overly sweet. Because I do not like paua shell. Because I do not know Ten Guitars.

Because my idea of a future life for my family does not involve a paddock. The quarter acre dream is not mine. I do not secretly want to retire to the country and do hard yakka. I enjoy that I am not entirely sure to what the “number eight” in “number eight wire” refers, though I presume it is the gauge. I do not want a bach with a corrugated iron shed and worn sheets on the splinter-y bedframes.

I like the city. I prefer the city.

I like the background hum of traffic, I like the smell of rain on a hot pavement, I like that there are cafés and bars and restaurants and stores all within walking distance, I like people-watching. I like wearing inappropriate shoes and never wearing trackpants. I loathe enclosed shopping malls and homogenised suburbs. Give me urban, give me grime, give me culture.

I admit, I can admire verdure, and clean air, and stars. I like that the countryside is there, over the hills, a drive and a bit away. That’s fine. It’s nice that it’s there if I feel like a change.

But I am a town mouse. I always will be. I am sick of being told I am not a real New Zealander because of it.

sincerely, Sarah-Rose

* and I LIKE modern art. I just like pieces which make me feel something other than “huh” or “meh”.



  1. Kerry · August 25, 2011

    I could not agree more. I'm a city girl through and through. Add on top that I don't like the beach and just listen to the shocked replies:'You don't like the BEACH?! But, but it's the BEACH!'Yes I know. That doesn't mean I have to like it.

  2. Anonymous · August 25, 2011

    Years ago your blogs used to be full of fun and interesting things. Now 99% of your posts are you whinging or complaining about something. It's depressing, and I can't be bothered reading any more.

  3. Sarah-Rose · August 25, 2011

    Kerry – What?? You don't like the BEACH?? Kidding. It's annoying.Anonymous – close to 50% of them currently are my 365 posts so there's that. I'm glad you've been reading for years though!

  4. Dread · August 25, 2011

    I'm the sort of girl that likes both – muddy gummies and the bush as well as five-star dining and pretty dresses, but I also don't get that overly patriotic clap trap of Fred Dagginess. But more importantly – I went to WoW for the first time last year. I ALSO like contemporary art and theatre, not to mention fashion, but I was bored. Just plain bored. I know it's terribly un-Wellington of me, but if I had actually paid for my tickets, I would have been pissed off.

  5. Henry · August 27, 2011

    You have to remember WoW started in Nelson were it probably did seem TOO TOO fabulous. The fact that you can see more interesting stuff on an average day on Cuba Street didn't occur when they moved it. Wow isn't for us, it's for out of towners.

  6. Robyn · August 27, 2011

    I was at WOW last night. I largely enjoyed it (particularly the dance!) but I found the "Kiwi" section quite hard to deal with. It's not usually that extreme – I think they were playing up for RWC tourists.I found it hard because it was a weird version of New Zealand where it's always 1953 and everyone is mainly Anglo or Maori if a haka or wisdom about nature is needed. There are no cities, everyone is a farmer and any buildings are broken-down old shacks perched by the beach or by a mountain full of sheep. There I was in a large arena in a vibrant, dense city and I thought – that is not my New Zealand.John Clarke is a brilliant satirist, but that's what Fred Dagg was – a satire of New Zealand rural life. Clarke ended up moving to Australia so he could continue his career as a comedy writer, something not available to him in New Zealand.And I don't like the beach either – the water is salty, the sand is gritty and it's all really messy.But – holy crap – there are millions of things I love about New Zealand.

  7. Pingback: 366 in 2012 « Oh, Sarah-Rose

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