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Thread: Four (!) years in

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Four (!) years in

    So, four long years after getting here, I am, well, still here. My limit was three years, but I have agreed to stay on until my sons finish primary school, mainly because one of them is doing very well in school for the first time in his life. But before you all go ĎAHA! Thatís New Zealand for you!,í I have to dampen your excitement: ironically, his school is about as English as it gets in history and approach (a private boysí primary boarding school). The more NZ typical primary school didnít work for him at all. So no, sorry, not a point to go on the Ďproí side of my list.

    I am still living through various stages of grief and am now at number 28b:resignation paired with a large dose of denial interspersed with some delusion that the end of this ordeal is near. We have jobs, friends, a house (not ours, but still a house), family (not mine, but still family) and to most intents and purposes Ďliveí here. However, the longer Iím here, the more I grieve for things that we have given up. Some we are never going to get back, even if we return to England tomorrow.

    I donít want to get into a long detailed tirade about what I donít like about NZ. I think that is usually quite clear from my other posts (and an array of random thoughts to be collected in my forthcoming publication ĎThe Whinger Monologues.í Just kidding) But in general, I miss some form of intellectual life and drive here. If that makes me sound snobbish, so be it. I miss intelligent commentary in newspapers, critical thinking, educated criticism, and an interest in the world out there that goes beyond Ďarenít we lucky to live here?.í I miss a grounding in historical context, appreciation of intellectual skills and a sense of pride in a job well done rather than settling for the mediocre. I understand that it isnít necessary to spell all words correctly even in the printed press in order to get the meaning across, but why not try? Why not show some attention to detail, and spell the ads on the back of a bus correctly?

    And yes, people rightly point out to me that there are online overseas newspapers to get the social and political commentary from (some even using words with more than two syllables!). And yes, it is witty commentary. But it is written by writers abroad about events that are happening somewhere else to people who happen to live someplace else. And that about sums it up for me. NZ: it is just not happening here for me!

    Daniela

    PS: the actual anniversary is not till Tuesday, but Fridays are the better day for this kind of thing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    was Berlin, now Auckland
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    Daniela, my partner is complaining about the same things as you are I am not bothered by it as much as he is. But there are things about the Kiwi attitude that even get to me: we have fleas in your office for more than two months now! It is taking them ages to organize a spraying. Meanwhile we get bitten and bitten and bitten. Anybody knows a good repellent for fleas??

    If it wouldn't be for the Euro crisis, we might be heading back home now....instead, we are staying put for a while longer and watch what will happen in Europe. Meanwhile we are trying to enjoy the good parts of New Zealand, beaches, nature, and sports. We started kitesurfing - great fun!!

  3. #3
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    Aw Daniela, I secretly hoped that time would make NZ more attractive to you somehow and you'd find some peace living here. It sounds very much like it's not to be so, and goodness knows four years is very much long enough to know! Therefore I hope dearly that it won't be long before you can start planning your return. In the meantime, stay strong and take notes because I think I'd very much enjoy The Whinger Monologues. I have similar reservations to you but I enjoy it more here than you do and it enjoyed it there less, so it works for me (us), for now.

    I only wish there were no truth in what you write and that it could all be chalked up to something like 'culture shock'. Potential expat beware!

  4. #4
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    Can't say congrats Daniela (not sure if that would be an offence ), 4 years is really a long time to breathe in & keep sanity....but for all the good things ahead, here's wishing you all the best

  5. #5
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    I bet you're still here at 5 years! Come for another coffee in Cambridge soon, and we'll show you some more of the NZ highlights - the local paper is full of witty commentary and you can sit in cafes in your gardening clothes without anyone noticing. What more can one ask for?

  6. #6
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    Well done for keeping your sense of humour Daniela. A necessary where ever you live. I get where you are coming from and hope you get to move somewhere you enjoy more soon.

  7. #7
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    if you could make a change now Daniela, where would you choose to live out of interest?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam B View Post
    and you can sit in cafes in your gardening clothes without anyone noticing. What more can one ask for?
    Was thinking very same thing today walking through Northlands mall in very bedraggled gardening gear ( courtesy of very hot day and unruly climbing rose that needed taming) and nobody batted an eyelid

  9. #9
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    That's tough; and I wish you could feel better!




    Quote Originally Posted by dharder View Post
    I miss intelligent commentary in newspapers, critical thinking, educated criticism, and an interest in the world out there that goes beyond Ďarenít we lucky to live here?.í I miss a grounding in historical context, appreciation of intellectual skills and a sense of pride in a job well done rather than settling for the mediocre.
    I personally have had different experiences where I live. E.g. intellectual skills are praised at work as they are necessary to do our work. Or the historical foundation, this an essential part of our city and its population.

    Might it be that your environment - personally, regionally - is not representative of all of NZ?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam B View Post
    I bet you're still here at 5 years! Come for another coffee in Cambridge soon, and we'll show you some more of the NZ highlights - the local paper is full of witty commentary and you can sit in cafes in your gardening clothes without anyone noticing. What more can one ask for?
    Will do The coffee, that is, not the gardening clothes (I don't have gardening clothes...)

    Obviously, coffee with the Cantabrigians of the forum is one of the highlights of my existence here!

    Daniela

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