Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Bach

A Glimpse Back Into Time
New Zealand is a thoroughly modern country in every way.  But part of the charm of this beautiful corner of the world are the glimpses of times long past that very easily coexist with life in 2011.  One of those delightful peeks into the past are the corner dairies that I talked about in the previous post.  

This post is about another uniquely NZ tradition called 'The Bach'.  A bach in the 1950s was a tiny shack thrown together on the beach, or other place one wants to stay.  It supposedly is short for a 'bachelor pad.'  Usually made of old plywood, or corrugated metal or other odds and ends, a funny definition of a bach is, 'something you built yourself, on land you don't own, out of materials you borrowed or stole.'  We still see these funny little shacks, usually near the beaches.  If you had more resources, you might have a little mobile home that you would park where ever you wanted to be.  We see these old mobile homes from the 1950s, 60s, tucked away in back yards, vacant lots, or on the beach.  (Today people still say they are renting a bach for a holiday, but it now means a small vacation home.) 

The tractor is also significant.  You see old tractors parked in driveways, or in yards in most of the beach villages, because residents use tractors to pull and launch their boats.