The New Zealand Hello

At Colgate we have something called the Colgate Hello. It means that when you walk around campus everyone says hi to each other. This may not actually happen all the time at Colgate, but it definitely does happen on any outdoor trail in New Zealand.

Therefore I’m calling this the New Zealand Hello.

Every hiking trail we walked on, every single person you passed said hello. Sometimes they would ask how your day was going or make a comment on the weather. It was like everyone on the trail was instantly your friend because you both decided to walk outside.

At the end of the Abel Tasman track we had to walk back into town to get the car. We weren’t on the trail any longer but were walking on a path on the side of the road just past the park entrance. People still said hello as we passed. Frank turned to me and asked, “When do we stop saying hi?” “No idea.” It was a gray area: no longer hiking trail but not yet city street. Is this still NZ Hello territory?

The default answer is yes, because really everywhere in NZ is NZ Hello territory. Those friendly Kiwis.

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