Monday, September 29, 2014

What I've been up to -- learning the ropes

It’s been exactly six months since we first set foot in New Zealand.  With two huge bags in tow, the hubby and I bid farewell to wonderful friendships we have made in Singapore and with a heavy heart but filled with anticipation and excitement (what irony!) we were ready to start the next chapter of our adventure.

It’s been 185 days of ups and downs, highs and lows, everything you might expect from a BIG move from one country to another. House hunting, job hunting, and all the nifty gritty of setting up bank accounts, taxes, internet connection, mobile phones, insurances, etc. etc.

My how time flies.
We arrived at the close of summer and in a matter of weeks, the leaves started to fall.  And slowly winter crept in to replace autumn. 
Reflecting on our last six months, I can sum it up in one sentence.  “What a learning experience!” And the learning continues.  As they say “You are never too old to learn new things!”
What I have learned/discovered so far is that you cannot drive anywhere in New Zealand without passing fields of sheep and cows along the way.  And the rumor that there are more sheep than people in NZ, well I think might be quite true.

You pay rent weekly and not monthly.  It has its pros and cons.  I guess it helps guise the high cost of living as acceptable, coz when you sit down and do your maths, wow rent is “bloody” expensive ay.
You have to have patience in waiting for customer service to attend to you.  We waited for over a month before we have our internet connection.  And when we moved house in the suburbs another month of waiting for it to get reconnected.  Or was this just a bad case of chosing the wrong service provider for our mobile and internet lines?  Oh well, benefit of the doubt....
I learned that kiwi is not just a fruit, but it’s a flightless bird as well.  And Kiwi is also the name of the people of New Zealand.  Confusing ay?  Well you’ll get used in how to use it contextually right.

While Singaporeans like to end their sentences with a "lah", kiwis on the other hand end it with an "ay". I have been replacing my "lahs" with "ays" lately, guess I'm going local now ;).  Kiwinism (as how I like to call the kiwi slang) is quite an interesting topic that merits a blog entry of its own.

Driving in the left is ok, but wait till you get to the roundabout and then it’s a completely different story.  The hubby puts it simply, always give way to the right. Yeah right! Confusing ay!

And as what the hubby and I have learned, you will soon get over the stress of driving in the motorway (freeway).
A car and a house content insurance is a must!

Getting rid of your rubbish is expensive.  We have to buy a $2.50 bag that holds 10kg of rubbish.  Place your rubbish inside any other plastic bag and the garbage collector might just leave that bag in the curbside.  While back in the Philippines, if we want to get rid of extra boxes at home, we can turn it into cash by selling it at the junkyard.  While here, instead of making extra money from those old boxes, you have to pay to get rid of them.

But that’s a price you have to pay for living in one of the most beautiful country in the world. No matter where you are in NZ, you are approximately 10-15 minutes’ drive away from something spectacularly beautiful.  The scenery is just incredible.  From beaches to mountains to lakes to glaciers and even volcanoes. And artisan vineyards to boot.
And for a coffee lover like me, I just found paradise. :)
As our adventure unfolds, we are learning the ropes one step at time....

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