The first mistake I made in New Zealand

Two truths and a lie

Jon Bell
Jon Bell
Apr 8 · 2 min read

On my first day of work in New Zealand, my company asked me to play a game with my coworkers to introduce myself: two truths and a lie. I’ve played two truths and a lie before, so I came up with a little list in my head. I was born in Germany, I once got an email from Steve Jobs, and I I was going to lie that I can do a Rubik’s cube in 45 seconds. Sorted!

The big day came and I was introduced to the rest of the company. I managed to capture a photo of everyone’s face. They look so nice and welcoming in this photo! But it turns out that I was taught the a different variation of the game, where there are no follow-up questions. In New Zealand, they grill you.

So I announced my two truths and a lie and waited for everyone to guess. But they didn’t guess! They asked deep, probing questions about each item while my heart raced. I did my best to answer, but I hadn’t prepared my facts for the lie I was trying to get past them. So after asking me about Germany and Steve Jobs, they turned to the Rubik’s Cube.

“What’s your strategy when you solve?” a developer asked.

“Well, I start with the corners and work my way in,” I bluffed. Which happens to be precisely the wrong answer. His eyebrow shot up and he announced to the room “That’s the lie” with finality. Which lead to a simple voting round.

“Who thinks Jon wasn’t really born in Germany?” Zero hands.

“Ok, who thinks Jon didn’t get an email from Steve Jobs?” Zero hands.

“And … who thinks he’s lying about the Rubik’s Cube?” A sea of hands.

And that was the first mistake I made when I came to New Zealand. I made many more over the years, including some doozies. This one was tiny, so no one noticed. But I did. Everything was new, which was a fun feeling.

New Zealand Immigrant

What it’s like to move from Seattle to Wellington

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