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Thread: Two months in

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Manchester > Now Tauranga
    Posts
    4,393

    Default Two months in

    Well I suppose it's about time I give an update.

    I've arrived, but I'm not settled. I've got a job, a place to stay, a car, have joined a couple of clubs, but that's it. The overwhelming feeling is one of visiting. Now this is absolutely due to my wife still being back in the UK, and it's worse as we thought she'd be here by now, but the house sale is going backwards. And that's meaning that I'm deliberately not doing the things that most new arrivals will be doing. I'm not going to see things in NZ as I want to do that when Wifey75 gets here. So I'm finding excuses to work longer hour, work weekends, etc.

    So what's life like here. Honestly, pretty much the same as in the UK, jsut a bit slower. Same work, same sort of day to day pressures, although the company I'm working for seems to be a lot more caring than I'd have expected in the UK. Can't say if it's the manager, the company, or NZ, I only know the one workplace here.

    So on the plus side she's booking a trip over in Spetember so we've got that to look forward to. I've also found myself on the local Triathlon club committee and am now organiser for two pretty well known events which is a bit worrying bt should give me something else to do other than work.

    The vast majority of people are friendly, although it's no paradise and there are a few people that are selfish, rude or othrwise unpleasant, but I've met a lower proportion of those than in the UK.

    Food shopping - varies in price, between a lot (100+ for a week for just me), down to 50. A few mistakes and a few 'startup' costs in the former (olive oil, sauces, etc that last a while), and ready diluted ribena instead of cordial.

    Insurance is cheap. Cars, less so.

    My main 'beef' with NZ so far is the amount of glass on the roads. Makes it a real pain to cycle round, and even driving round is risking things. And even in Tauranga there's a fair few hoons that screach around on a night.

    Customer service places are great though - seem to want to find ways to make things happen, not like the Uk where they appear to be motivated to find a rule why they can't help.

    What's tricky as a new arrival is knowing where to dgo for things. Not just where is 'such and such' a shop. But what's the equivalent to B&Q, or Asda. Where do you get birthday cards from. What do you take round when you go to dinner. Should you offer to buy a round in a pub, etc etc.

    So 2 months in, but not really here. Seems like a really long business trip so far.

    Not posting for sympathy, trust me I'm not after that. But posting as it's something that may help those that follow to be 'forewarned and forearmed'.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,583

    Default

    You (both) have a tough situation to handle. Thanks for the realistic post, and here's wishing you a speedy sorting out, so you can move forward properly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    4,393

    Default

    Oh, and a few other things:-
    1) More FM - addictive national radio station with only 6 songs. At least you know what time past the hour it is by the song their playing. Oddly 4 of the 6 are from the mid 90s too. No real reason either.
    2) Food - Not noticed much in the way of healthy ready meals. It's either fatty junk or it's fresh food that takes a while to prepare / cook. Lots of options for good food if you've the time to shop for it.
    3) Shops - opening hours are a bit like UK in the 80's. But then you get Warehouse and Countdown open really long hours even on a sunday
    4) Coffee shops. I've spotted a business opportunity that's going to make me a fortune. The NZ coffee culture is well established and very popular. I'm going to start a business serving refreshments to people waiting for their coffee in coffee shops. Ok, the fern in the late is very pretty. But it's cold now and I ordered this this morning before work and I'm back to collect it in my lunch hour. Seriously 12 minutes this morning for a trim latte. And this was at 8am, they'd been open for an hour and no-one else was waiting, two people serving.
    5) Medical - Loads of adverts for any type of tablet or potion to help you cough, fart or poo better. A bit like I assumed american TV would be like.
    6) Other adverts. Bizarre. Mix of multinational brands then a 5 minute prime time advert in the middle of the all blacks game for some strange potion for calves. Not sure, but I assume een they needed chemical assistance to cough, fart or poo properly.
    7) All Blacks. I'm writing this on teh official laptop of the all blacks, whilst sitting on the official chair of the all blacks, listening to the official radio station of the all blacks and about to go and sit on the official toilet of the all blacks after eating too much of the offical high fibre based breakfast of the all blacks and washing it down with the official all blacks poo yourself to better health tonic. I'm worried as there appears to be a gap in the official branding for the official toilet paper of the all blacks, but I may jsut have missed it by not wearing the official glasses of the all blacks. And I'm a rugby fan, so I do feel for you non rugby sorts.
    8) Rugby. You had to watch the england vs Aus games commentated on by the Ausies. Come back Jonathan Davies, all is forgiven. They brought new heights to myopic and biased ranting.
    9) Is there a rugby world cup soon? Over a year away and every day there's a news story about it. No really, I can't remember a single day when there wasn't something in teh news about it.
    10) John Key. He's your mate from down the pub. Happy to chat to anyone about anything. OK, so I imagine without being too rude that there's more to do in Downing Street on a daily basis than in the NZ cabinet. But when does Mr Key get chance to do anything?

  4. #4

    Default

    I can't believe you've hit the two month point already. It really doesn't feel like that long since you're I'm leaving post. I hate to think how long i've actually been here for then as I stopped counting ages ago.

    Greatn post though and I'm sure things will start to feel more like home when you're both together again. I know what you mean though I've been here longer and I'm not waiting for anyone to join me but part of it does still feel like an extended holiday (all be it a really sucky one because I have to work 5 days a week of it)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Waikato
    Posts
    1,785

    Default

    Wow, where did that two months go?!

    A very tough way to start life in NZ- I hope your wife makes it out for summer and you get to enjoy your first summer here together

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Christchurch from Scotland
    Posts
    2,226

    Default

    Duncan

    Your post is good and really interesting to a newbie like me!

    It is never easy being apart. I do not think that you can truly settle in a place when your heart is torn in two.

    Hopes for a speedy sale of the house this summer and for the trip in September to become permanent. You have worked so hard for this move.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    1,870

    Default

    I know you're not in it for sympathy, but I really hope your time apart doesn't continue too much longer. If nothing else, your sense of humour will pull you through ;-)

    (and Go the All Blacks!!! )

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Oh Duncan
    The second part of your post had me laughing so much my 3 year old daughter stopped her colouring in to come and see what was the cause of my hilarity!!
    Seriously though great post and i totally agree with what M-squared said lol
    Laura

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,697

    Default

    Hmmm...thanks Duncan for the share. I'm sure life will be much merrier once your OH joins you in next couple of months. Second post is just priceless...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Wellington, NZ from US
    Posts
    1,927

    Default

    Awesome posts, straight from the heart!

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