Views #616 | Mid Intermediate 5

New Zealand Life

Lucinda talks about a special place she grew up in in New Zealand.

Todd: So, Lucinda, in New Zealand, are you from Aukland?

Lucinda: No, I'm actually from about four-hours drive north of Aukland.

Todd: Oh, you're north of Aukland.

Lucinda: Yeah, yeah.

Todd: OK, and where are you from?

Lucinda: I'm from the Bay of Islands. That's actually a region in the North Island, actually northland, North Island.

Todd: OK, so did you grow up in a city or in the country?

Lucinda: In very, very, very country. (Oh really) Yeah the population of my town or region is about 100 people, between 100 and 200 people. I haven't been back, been there for awhile but yeah, about 100, 200 people.

Todd: Wow, what's it like growing up in the country?

Lucinda: It's very different. It's very different from living in the city and I can remember when I was a kid, I never had TV because we couldn't get reception for television or candy, anyhing that you really couldn't buy in bulk, cause my mother would go shopping I think once every two weeks and my mother is health fanatic so she basically chose all of the things myself and my brother ate and we really had no choice so we never really knew about, you know, junk food until we were quite older.

Todd: Whoa, so did your mother grow her own food and her own vegetables and raise her own animals?

Lucinda: Yeah, we didn't have animals because we were living on an estate which allowed for no animals, pet animals but we, my mother grows her own lettuce, herbs, things like that, yeah. Oh, we did have chickens. We had our own eggs, so yeah.

Todd: OK, so but you said that you grew up in the country. This wasn't a farm?

Lucinda: No, no not a farm. My mother was raised on a farm but I was raised in, I guess we call it New Zealand, "the bush", it's like a forest.

Todd: Oh, really.

Lucinda: But it's right by the ocean so it's very hard to explain. It's on a big mountain top and it's covered with bush with like, not really big trees, but

Todd: Small trees?

Lucinda: Yeah, and then some big trees but mainly small trees, and then there is a cliff face around the whole area. It's on like a point, and the cliff faces around the whole area and then water below, because it's islands, and a bunch of islands, so the islands are covered not with farmland but with bush.

Todd: So when you have children, or if you have children some day, would you want them to grow up in a similar environment or in the suburbs or in the city?

Lucinda: Oh, that's very hard. When they are young I would like them to grow up in that environment perhaps to the end of primary school but because of schooling problems, the best school's always in the cities and so unfortunately I had to travel by bus one hour each way and I was going to high school.

Todd: Oh, that's a long way.

Lucinda: Yeah, and that's over a ferry, on a ferry as well, that's a boat that carries cars, and you have to travel, the bus had to go over on a boat

Todd: Man, you had to take a bus and a boat to get to school.

Lucinda: Yeah

Todd: That's a commute.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

four-hours drive

I'm actually from about four-hours drive north of Auckland.

A 'four-hours drive' is a distance that would take four hours to drive. Notice the following:

  1. The rain is so bad that a two-hours drive took me almost four hours.
  2. It's only a five-minutes walk to the nearest supermarket.


We never had TV because we couldn't get reception for television.

Used like this, reception refers to the ability to get a strong enough signal for something to function. Notice the following:

  1. This television gets awesome reception, even without an antennae.
  2. My cell phone has reception everywhere except for in my office.

health fanatic

My mother is health fanatic, so she chose basically everything my brother and I ate.

A 'health fanatic' is someone who is extremely driven to keep a healthy body and eat healthy food. Notice the following:

  1. She's always been a heath fanatic, and it has made partying very difficult for her.
  2. After his father had a heart attack, he turned into a health fanatic.

the bush

My mother was raised on a farm, but I was raised in the bush or like a forest.

Here, 'bush' refers to an area of land that has not been cleared for development. It is still in its natural form. Notice the following:

  1. We are building a cabin in the bush right now to get away from it all.
  2. It was hard to adjust to life in the city after so many years in the bush.


I had to take a bus and a boat to get to school - that's a commute.

When you 'commute', you travel to and from the same destination regularly. Notice the following:

  1. I can't believe that I commuted 45 minutes to school every day as a kid.
  2. My commute to work is only 10 minutes by bicycle.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Quiz

23-hours • reception • fanatic
bush • commute
  1. I don't have cell phone right now. Can I use your phone?
  2. The best thing about my new job is that the takes half the time it did before.
  3. He is a definite health , except around the holidays.
  4. We learned a lot of survival techniques living in the .
  5. It's a bus ride to the border.

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