America, New Zealand, Shopping

Paging Dr. Pepper

It’s a beautiful day in New Zealand – sunny, warm, a light breeze, and all of the windows in our home are open to allow the fresh air to permeate and soak in our surroundings.  Of course, the downside to this is that window screens aren’t all that common over here, so we have a few fly visitors joining us for the time being.

Yesterday was gorgeous.  I walked to the library and to the jewelery story.  You may not know this, but if you move to another country and your jewelery is appraised in a currency other than what your new country uses, then guess what?  That appraisal won’t count towards your insurance if anything happens!  At least, it won’t count in New Zealand.  So, I took my jewelery in for an appraisal and cleaning.  I’ll feel much better knowing that if anything happens to it, we’re covered.

After going to the jewelery store, I walked a little further down Queen Street to The Warehouse.  There’s a whole shopping complex there, and in order to get to The Warehouse, you have to go through 2 other levels.  I stopped off first at a shampoo and salon supply store for some mousse.  I still can’t get over the fact that it costs $30 for a small bottle of that stuff.  My hair has been looking much wilder lately thanks to that!  I headed up to The Warehouse and looked around for a small sewing kit.  I had 2 small travel sewing kits back in the States, but I can’t seem to find them over here.  The Warehouse didn’t carry any, so I’ll keep an eye out for one elsewhere.

After The Warehouse, I walked all the way back up Queen Street and then onto a side road, where I visited two Asian groceries.  The first one was a wash – lots of packaged foods and a Gateau House set up inside it.  The second one was more promising: a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, all of better quality than our local chain grocery.  I selected some red grapes and nectarines, and then, lo and behold!  What did I see amongst the dried fish and noodles, patiently staring out at me at eye-level?

Dr. Pepper.

I’ve seen cans of Dr. Pepper since arriving in New Zealand.  They have some at New World Supermarket, but I seemed to remember them being more expensive than the ones at the Asian grocery.  Still, I was so surprised to see them there that I just kind of stared at them for a moment, then promptly grabbed a six pack and headed to the checkout.

Once I got home, I thought, “Do I even like Dr. Pepper?”  I couldn’t tell you the last time I drank some.  It must have been years ago, and I’m guessing that it was Diet Dr. Pepper and that it was something that my parents had on hand.  But it was right there, and it seemed fitting that I, an American, should buy this American soft drink that was sitting smack dab in the middle of an Asian food market in New Zealand.  Isn’t that what Americans do?

I have to say, the packaging on the can was a bit alarming.  It seemed faintly reminiscent of the surgeon general’s warning that you see stuck on cigarette packs: these contain cancer-causing agents and, if smoked over time, will lead to death!  Only instead of that, it warned about the high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, and the fact that it was made in the United States.

Soda here, as with most other foods, does not have any high fructose corn syrup at all.  They use regular old sugar, which gives things a different taste but is overall much better for you.  And now that I’ve looked at the warning sticker in detail, I can at least rest assured that this Dr. Pepper will still be drinkable up to 2 years post-production.  What a relief.

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8 thoughts on “Paging Dr. Pepper

  1. Hi again! I’m enjoying catching up with your blog after your break and me having my head buried in some work. It’s really a little bit like therapy reading other immigrants’ experience! It’s good for a healthy chuckle and knowing that someone else out there has similar experiences. I love that you just bought the Dr. Pepper not even knowing if you really like it! It’s just the pull of something familiar, no? I had the same experience when my mom sent me a package from the states and some things were wrapped in newspaper ads. One ad said that Oreos were on sale and I started crying because I suddenly missed Oreos so much. And you know what? Even when I lived in the states, I never ate them!!!! Too funny.

  2. So, I’m guessing you did buy it? How was it? Or, are you going to save it for two years to see if it still tastes like Dr. Pepper? 🙂

  3. Hello, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I love it. I’m moving to New Zealand on November and the things you write have been really helpful for me.
    And just the other day I was wondering if I could find Dr. Pepper in NZ, since I really love it and in my country (Mexico) is so easy to find and I don’t think I could really live without it. So, to find this new post about Dr. Pepper is great!!
    Thank you for sharing your life in here, don´t stop writing please.

  4. I went to college in Waco, TX, and the Dr. Pepper museum resides there. We used to go to get the sweet, syrupy Dr. Pepper straight out of the old fashioned soda fountains. Was it ever good!!

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