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Life in NZ after a week

Well a week has gone by it feels like 2 months. It's amazing to think of all we've accomplished in that time.

Since last Friday, Aurelie and I have:
- walked all over the city in rain and sunshine
- setup bank accounts (no bank cards though)
- purchased a car (94 Toyota Camry) and car insurance
- setup telephone accounts with Vodafone (unlocked Aurelie's old mobile phone online)
- visited houses/apartments looking for flatmates
- received a number of job proposals

It's been a busy week but I'm happy to say that we've adjusted to the time difference (and to the weather).

The weather here in Auckland is madness. It switches constantly between bright blue skies and heavy downpours. If it's not raining now it means that it's going to be. The temperature got down to about 10C this week, which apparently is about the coldest it'll get all winter (here in the city).

The way of life in New Zealand is refreshing. Everything is clearly explained and if you still don't understand, someone will explain it for you. Everyone we've met has been so helpful and so friendly, it's hard to believe.

Our banker told us where to find a car. At the car fair, they told us how to get ownership and registration. The family we bought the car from told us where to go camping. A phone salesman told us how to unlock our old mobile phone (even directing us to the competition because his company didn't support sim cards). Another phone salesman told us how the driver licensing works. We met a guy in a flat who told us where to go surfing and the people at McDonalds helped us find the bus.

Driving on the left hand side has been challenging, especially in the crazy NZ weather ... but so far, so good. I repeat "left, left, left" out loud wherever I go.

Thursday night we were invited to the University of Auckland to be witness to the end-of-year exams for students of Maori culture. About 50 students put a wonderful display of Maori dancing and singing and war chants.

We met a man named Philip who's daughter was one of the lead singers. He was so warm and friendly. He showed us this incredible wood carving that he had done in his spare time for his brother's wedding. He even invited Aurelie and I to come visit his tribe in the south. (We were told later on that this is a very great honour and an incredible opportunity to experience.)

Rest assured, I have been taking pictures of all that has happened. But as of yet, do not currently have any way to put them online. Soon, I hope.

Know that Aurelie and I are doing very well and our adventure in this beautiful country is even more exciting than we could have imagined.

4th June 2005 | Filed in blog