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Thread: Seven months in.....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lincoln, UK to Rotorua, NZ
    Posts
    492

    Default Seven months in.....

    Well, we've been here seven months now........

    I must say what a roller coaster of emotions it's been....excitement, trepidation, disappointment, weariness, worry and many more.

    I had a job to come to...OH found one within 3 weeks, then was made redundant after 2 months as the company folded.

    So we've managed (just) on my wage and had to dig into our savings for nearly 5 months, have been worried sick that nothing would turn up

    even after numerous job applications. The inactivity was unbearable for a man who worked solidly for 26 years. So he did voluntary work for a

    police charity. Thankfully he was finally successful and now has a secure full time job with the NZ police.

    Daughter number 1 has worked from virtually day one and has had about 4 different jobs in 7 months. She is on a WHV not a permanent visa

    like the rest of us. She decided she wanted to go back to the UK when her 12 months was up....to what? Living with friends or grandparents?

    Thousands of miles away from us? OH & I were very unhappy. She then had a change of heart and wants to try for dependent child as she is 22.
    We will have to extend the WHV to 23 months whilst we re-tackle the entity known as INZ. Not looking forward to that one bit.

    Daughter number 2 has not had much luck job hunting, she worked with OH for a month then was laid off too. She is now considering going

    back into education and wants to be a vet eventually....good plan....good money......look after her parents in their old age. She has a Kiwi

    boyfriend and went to his prom last month.....what an education that was!

    We lived in a very small rental flat for 6 weeks and almost killed each other until our container arrived...it was like Xmas!!!!

    We moved into a bigger long term rental owned by daughter no 2's boyfriend's mother, in a very nice area. Lovely character property with

    beautiful gardens but..........the house was freezing....no central heating.....massive learning curve....chopping wood morning, noon and night.

    Learning about single glazing, no insulation, condensation. Don't get me wrong, I'd read all about how poor NZ houses were but experiencing it

    myself was something else!!!

    We eventually decided to mention it to our landlady who put in underfloor insulation almost straightaway....God bless her! Still not ideal but

    100% improvement.

    Now I have a theory that all Kiwis are masochists....they love to punish themselves....why else would they continue to freeze to death? I

    believe that Kiwis love the great outdoors and sports of every description because it keeps them warm and it's cheaper than wood or gas!!

    I have been horrified by the price of energy...our first monthly electric bill was $500 but we still weren't warm enough and our clothes weren't

    drying for days. I am hoping that the summer months will be cheaper and it evens itself out.

    I know I am going on and on but this is the first evening on my own for a while with OH now working.

    It has crossed my mind on many occasions what an idiot I have been and that we should pack up and go back to the UK. But what did we

    leave behind there? Why did we want to come here in the first place.

    People here talk to you in the street, perfect strangers will pass the time of day with you and it's not weird. Try that in the UK and see what

    happens. My first time in a bank here......crikey....where was the bullet proof glass? In supermarkets....staff don't grunt at you whilst

    continuing a conversation with their colleague. People are interested in people here.

    My warblings may be full of nonsense and inconsistencies but I am still ambiguous about New Zealand and only time will tell whether we stay

    here, try elsewhere in NZ or move country again...who knows.

    Thank you for listening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Wellington, NZ from US
    Posts
    1,927

    Default

    Thanks so much for sharing your story! We've also been here for 7 months and it has had it's crazy ups and downs. The "golden rule" of immigration is give it 2 years before thinking of going back. Good luck with everything

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35,966

    Default

    All the best. It sounds as though, with every step forward, you're getting more familiar with how things go in NZ, so I really hope that's helping. ((()))

    (Have you tried putting your clothes in a small space with a dehumidifier?)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Nelson, New Zealand
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Good luck and I also suggest giving it more time as it appears you have gone over the learning curve.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    NZ to US to NZ. Opua
    Posts
    1,470

    Default

    Now I have a theory that all Kiwis are masochists....they love to punish themselves....why else would they continue to freeze to death?



    When I came to the U.S. (in the winter) I thought the central heating was going to kill me! We stayed with American friends who must have had the heat up around 75 F (in California). I had a sore throat every morning. After years in the U.S. I still hate central heating and prefer to heat the space I'm in with a couple of oil-filled radiators (and it gets close to zero (F) where I live). I guess it has to do with what you get used to?

    Sorry you've been freezing - but hope things improve for you!
    Last edited by Dell; 14th September 2012 at 08:38 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Francisco to Auckland
    Posts
    626

    Default

    Great post!!! Very honest. I agree, Kiwi's are masochists. My husband is a kiwi and we had the coldest house accordingly to our friends. When they knew they were coming to our house for Thanksgiving dinner in November, we still wouldn't put on the heater and they would always tell us they are going to be prepared because they know they'll freeze at our place. And most of these friends were Kiwi's or Aussies. So, as my hubs would say they have softened up being in the US. We have only been in NZ for the past 1 1/2 weeks and I have to say my body is having a hard time adjusting to the cold because we just left summer. So, it is definitely a struggle as I am sitting here on the couch wrapped up in a fleece robe, and a blanket on top, warming myself with my computer.
    Hang in there, stay warm and take it day by day. I agree try to last 2 years, that is what we have said we need to do and then we'll make a decision.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    was Berlin, now Auckland
    Posts
    138

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dell View Post
    Now I have a theory that all Kiwis are masochists....they love to punish themselves....why else would they continue to freeze to death?



    When I came to the U.S. (in the winter) I thought the central heating was going to kill me! We stayed with American friends who must have had the heat up around 75 F (in California). I had a sore throat every morning. After years in the U.S. I still hate central heating and prefer to heat the space I'm in with a couple of oil-filled radiators (and it gets close to zero (F) where I live). I guess it has to do with what you get used to?

    Sorry you've been freezing - but hope things improve for you!
    Hm, you are aware off the rising number of infectious disease in New Zealand (something you don't find in any other developed country). Main reason for the many sick people in NZ is bad housing. Cold and damp housing has nothing to do with "being used to it", it is simply a factor that makes quite a lot of people (especially children) very sick. Housing in New Zealand is substandard and it needs to adjust to international standards, meaning good insulation and central heating.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Ōtepoti, Aotearoa
    Posts
    2,736

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalSoul View Post
    ....chopping wood morning, noon and night.
    That explains why we haven't seen any posts from you in the meantime, doesn't it?!



    It really is a tough going occasionally, but I'm sure you'll manage!!



    Quote Originally Posted by MetalSoul View Post
    Daughter number 1 ... had a change of heart and wants to try for dependent child as she is 22.
    You must be quite happy, considering you previous posts on this.
    Last edited by ralf-nz; 14th September 2012 at 10:34 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    NZ to US to NZ. Opua
    Posts
    1,470

    Default

    Not disagreeing with the dangers of cold/damp housing - just making a valiant attempt to explain why Kiwis continue to freeze to death....that we're used to it.
    I am in the process of house-hunting. Insulation and north-facing are high on the list, though central heating isn't.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    California to Tasman Bay
    Posts
    1,135

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    Your "warblings" don't sound like nonsense to me. They make perfect sense. I felt the same shock at the housing standards and the difficulty in saving money. I know the nervous feeling of that ball in your stomach that seems to grow in direct proportion to how the savings dwindles.

    I do think Kiwis are a bit more used to cold houses. I don't think liking it a bit colder is equal to living in a damp and uninsulated house. There is something a little askew when you have to go outside to warm up. IMO, I don't think it's necessarily central heating. In my life, I've lived in very few houses with central heating and because I'm too cheap I've never actually used it. I lived in San Francisco in a house built in the 20s and I even lived in a basement flat where the bottom of windows were at ground level. SF is notoriously damp and I never had the problem with mold and dampness that I do here. Double glazing and timber framed windows make all the difference even in an old poorly insulated house. My MIL had some kind of central air circulation system put in her house and although it is still cold, it is no longer damp which really makes a difference. She claims it's warmer and I just nod my head and smile. I think Kiwis are trying to change their housing standards but it's expensive and isn't going to happen overnight.

    A tip on the washing, my sister-in-law has one of those old fashioned pot racks that hangs from the ceiling and she has rigged it on a pulley system to go up and down in the area in front of her fireplace and she hangs her washing on that and it dries in no time. When it's not in use it doesn't look like a laundry room. I've just got a line strung from one side of the room to the other in the room where our logburner is and that works too. It's a bit Little House on the Prarie but it's better than wet waistbands. I can usually wash and dry two loads in the evening doing this.

    People are interested in people here.
    To me, this is the most important aspect of NZ and you said it succinctly. This is such a special value even when I'm wearing two pairs of socks.

    I hope you know that you are not alone in your observations, your hardships and your questioning your decisions. Summer is just around the corner and hopefully you'll be in a singlet watching the sunset at 9pmish with a glass of sauv blanc and dipping a cray in butter trying to remember what it was like to be so cold.

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