Today, I'm pleased to present a Q&A with guest author Jamie Baywood, of the hilarious memoir Getting Rooted in New Zealand
Craving change and lacking logic, 26 year old Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating, after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.
Why Move to New Zealand from California?
It was always
my dream to live abroad when I was growing up in California. I had bad
dating experiences in California and read in a New Zealand tour book that the
country’s population had 100,000 fewer men than women. I wanted to have
some "me time", and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so.
Although I intended to have a solo adventure, I ended up meeting my husband in
Tell us a bit about that gorgeous, lacking-in-menfolk country!
New Zealand, I had a lot of culture shock. I had the opportunity to write and
perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I
performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland.
The funny thing about that experience was Tom
kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was
under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their
experiences in New Zealand. All of the
other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren’t their
At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,”
laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and
mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I
would tell them, “I wasn’t acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next
to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.”
And just for my readers, an excerpt from Getting Rooted in New Zealand:
"Just like “biscuits,” the word “rooting” has a completely
different meaning in New Zealand than it does in California. In California, one
would say they need to get rooted when they settle in somewhere, as in, to put
down roots, to ground themselves.
After living oblivious to the New Zealand
definition for five months and while brushing my teeth with Liam the other
night, I told him, “I’m really excited to live in this house because I really
need to get rooted. I traveled all around Samoa for a month before I came here,
and the first place I lived in New Zealand didn’t work out, so I had to move.
I’m excited to stay in one place long enough to get rooted.”
Liam’s eyes almost popped out of his head, and he just about choked on his
toothbrush. He spat out his toothpaste, staring at me out of the corner of his
eye. Finally he spoke, “Jamie, are you hitting on me? Do you know what rooting
(Oh, my. Now I want to visit that country even more!)
Labels: getting rooted in new zealand, interview, jamie baywood, memoir