When I first moved to New Zealand, my husband and I lived in a suburb of Wellington.
It was where my husband grew up, and at the time, a lot of my husband’s mates still lived there. They would stop in unexpectedly to visit us. All the time.
Can’t they ring us on the phone first, or at least send us a text? I would ask, exasperated to be found at noon or later in my pyjamas.
No. Kiwis value hospitality. You are supposed to hide any inconvenience to you and go out of your way to make visitors feel comfortable and welcome.
One of my husband's mates stopped by so often that I started calling him The Pop In.
My mother-in-law popped in, just as I was getting out of the shower. I was walking naked from the kitchen to the bedroom. And once my husband’s sister popped in, while we were Doing It.
So we started trying to remember to lock the door. But if we did remember to lock it, some persistent visitors would try the back door, or just continue knocking.
For a blissful short while, we didn't have as many visitors calling in as we used to. Of course, we moved up the coast, and most of my husband's mates moved away, to Auckland and Australia.
Now I think I might be on the brink of gaining real acceptance in the village. My acquaintances are starting to pop in more and more. Bugger.