This one is first because it’s probably the most unexpected thing to like. What is IRD? IRD is the NZ Internal Revenue Department, i.e. the tax man.
Seriously, I like the tax man. I don’t mind paying taxes – I’m a practical person and appreciate my roads and my health care and the museums I visit and don’t mind subsidising other people’s kids going to school (well-educated kids make better citizens), or even other people’s sports arenas, ’cause, hey, I have my museums.
And IRD are nice, and sensible. I’ve never talked to an IRD representative who hasn’t been polite, well informed, and able to help me with my query in a logical, practical way. And they get to talk like real people, not like auto-bots following some script. And they make taxes do-able, on your own. All of these things mean that when I talk to IRD, I actually feel happier after I do. Yep. IRD leaves me with that warm fuzzy feeling
(the same does not apply to the US IRS btw. The IRS, thanks to their stupid “US citizens living abroad must file taxes for the rest of their natural born life” policy, sucks. May no seam they ever sew runs straight, and the ones that do run straight turn out to have caught extra fabric underneath. May their zippers break as soon as they install them. May their machines always knot on delicate fabrics, and drip oil on whites. May their hand-sewing needles always break, and their unpicks catch and rip the woven cloth. May their beautifully constructed garments get eaten by goats on the first wearing. Or get poo-ed on by an ostrich. And all of this applies x1,000000 to the accountant lobbyist groups, who are the real evil)
I love spiders. They are cute and fuzzy and have 8 legs. Also, there are spiders in Hawaii with little happy faces on the back. I kid you not. And the Hawaiian word for spider is nananana!** How could you not love that!?!
*this particular entry may be slightly influenced by the fact that I’ve never lived anywhere where poisonous spiders are a problem. A few more trips to Australia and I might change my mind).
**clearly that theme song got used for the wrong superhero.
I know, it’s the worst part of sewing, because it usually means you’ve made a mistake. And I don’t love the mistake part. But I actually quite enjoy the unpicking bit, especially when you can figure out a way to unpick really easily.
Liking unpicking is a very helpful attribute as a sewing teacher, because it means I’m always happy to help my students with it!
4) Things that taste like cardboard.
OK, not actually cardboard, but I really love foods with dry, not-quite crunchy textures and very subtle flavours. Even better if they have a uniform texture. Crackers all full of seeds and whole grains? Meh. Extremely flavourful, cheesy crackers? Meh. Totally un-flavoured rice crackers? Yes! Are they slightly stale? Yes? Who cares, I will still eat them!
My sister the chef doesn’t eat gluten, and while she was visiting she bought some gluten-free corn crackers. She ate one, made a face and said “This is horrible! It tastes just like cardboard.” Then she handed me the packet and said “You’ll love them.” And I do. They are now my favourite.
I just like the way things like that don’t overwhelm your mouth with flavour and texture. You have to really stop and pay attention to the tiny grains, and to the subtle sweetness of the corn.
But on the flip side, I also like…
Now, someone else must like sardines, because every single supermarket has them, and not just one type, but multiple brands, but in multiple flavours. So I can’t be the only person in New Zealand, or the US, buying sardines. And they clearly used to be desirable, because early mid-20th century British books are full of characters who think that sardines are the best thing ever.
But when you tell most people that you like sardines, they react with levels of disgust and horror that might be a little more appropriate if I were confessing that I regularly eat live goldfish. (only the once. And it wasn’t even a goldfish).
I don’t actually regularly eat sardines. I love eating them when tramping, and I every once in a while I randomly crave them. And then I have sardines. Preferably on crackers that closely approximate the taste and texture of cardboard.