Posted by: scribe9 | June 27, 2010

Shower and sherbet

Yesterday I gave a baby shower for my friend from Iceland, who’s due in ten days. She’d never heard of baby showers. 

Since she’s active in WINGS (Women’s International Newcomers Group Social), the guest list was eclectic: only one native New Zealander (who’s married to an Icelander), and six nationalities among the fourteen present. The vast majority were, not surprisingly, from current or former members of the Commonwealth–England, South Africa, Canada.

One game–Rick’s idea–was matching Icelandic baby terms with their English equivalent. The winner was a South African teenager, but she said it wasn’t because of any similarity between Icelandic and Afrikaans; her mother matched only one.

I was going to serve the classic orange punch made with sherbet, but couldn’t find orange sherbet or sorbet anywhere in town (mango sherbet and orange ice cream with chocolate bits were the closest), so on to plan B–a mixture of pineapple juice, apricot nectar, and orange pop with scoops of vanilla ice cream. It seemed to be popular.

The English migrants stayed longest, and the conversation turned to New Zealand houses. The women were in their early forties, I’d guess, and they could remember fireplaces in every room when they were children. By the time they’d graduated from high school, they’d lived with space heaters with fake flames and then central heating.  Having grown up in brick and stone houses, they were scathing about the thin, uninsulated walls of places they’ve lived here, but aren’t interested in returning to Britain.

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