One Month In

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We have now been living in New Zealand for 1 month!  And what a month it has been :)

In the first few days we picked up our rental car and had all the flurry of buying kitchen appliances etc.  Once we had the essentials; food, cooking implements, something to eat from, something to sit on and something to sleep on, we were good to go.

My advice to anyone else doing this – register for FlyBuys, we could have gotten so many points :(

Furniture here seems very expensive at first glance.  I’m an IKEA girl and I feel at home with veneer and fibre board and a cheap price tag.  However, things are actually made of solid wood here, mostly New Zealand pine with a nice stain or super glossy.  Once we got our heads around that, we started to see furniture as an investment and not just something that will do short term. 

We took our time figuring out what bedroom furniture we wanted, shopped around and managed to get a really good deal on a bed and mattress.  We got a duvet, pillows, covers and sheets as part of the package deal.  We were really happy to find our IKEA double duvet fits our queen size bed snuggly, which was something we were concerned about.  I think standard UK double duvets would be too small.  I managed to get some money off a matching chest of drawers too.  I also asked how long they are likely to have that particular furniture set.  They have had it for the past 10 years and are not planning to stop or change it, so I hope this means once we’ve saved up some money we can get more matching chest of drawers and dressers.

Another thing that is very expensive here are second-hand cars.  They hold their value very well.  I’ve only ever bought a second-hand car once and that was the 1977 Volkswagen camper van.  We had good times in that van, but also too many break downs!  I think it put us off second-hand cars for life!

We shopped around and decided to buy the cheapest new car available in New Zealand!  We have a Holden Barina Spark CDX (in cocktail green).  It’s definitely not in the same league as our old car but I do love my new baby :)  The salesman was just awesome and if you are ever looking to buy a new car you should find Richard Thomson at Schofield Holden in New Market and talk to him.  He reminded both Kane and I of Dick Van Dyke.  He is such a nice man, kept me updated with the progress of my car, I picked it up on the scheduled date and he introduced me to the staff in the service centre, made sure I was familiar with the car and then a few days later called just to check everything was ok and I was still happy with my new purchase.

I’ve found people in the service industry much nicer here.  Even I’m nicer here.  The other day a man dropped something and instead of giving him a kick when he bent to pick it up, I picked it up for him!

Anyway, the day I got to pick up my nice new car, I got offered a job!  I applied for a number of jobs and got replies back from 2 agencies which I registered with.  Colin Munro from MTR took me under his wing a bit and gave me some excellent advice on my CV.  CV’s here are really long!  In the UK you shouldn’t go beyond 2 pages, but for someone of my experience I probably should have a 5 page CV!!  I totally reformatted my CV and I now have a 3 pager.  This seemed to help and I had 2 interviews very quickly, the next week I had a second interview and started my new job almost straight away.  Colin and Andy at MTR are awesome!

I’ve also found a new pole dancing class that I go to on Saturdays and lately I’ve been spending the weekends sourcing new clothes for work.  I packed a small work wardrobe which was good for interviews but a bit too formal for work.  I’m disappointed that my belongings haven’t yet left the UK and I’m looking forward to being reunited with them … eventually.

It would seem that Tesco’s have ruined me when it comes to my price expectations of tights.  A single pair of tights here costs about … hey there’s no pound sign on my keyboard! and I thought it was just the @ sign, the “ marks and the \ that was in different places – I never noticed the absence of the pound.  Anyway, a pair of tights costs about 2 GBP and in Tesco you can get a value 5 pair pack for that price.

To provide some balance though; avocados, mangos, pineapples and the good NZ wines are all cheaper and tastier I think :)

So tonight, after work, I’ll drive home, have some dinner out on my deck with a nice glass of white wine and then later either watch the Event, go to the cinema or watch a DVD if a new one from Fatso has arrived.  So not too different from normal, but different enough for me.

Take care everyone xxx

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