Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A decade of birthdays

On Friday I will be 27 and was thinking about where I have spent the last 10 years on my birthday, here goes...

17th W.R.
18th Rhinie
19th Minneapolis
20th Madison or Canada (I can't recall)
21st Portugal
22nd Spain
23rd Madison
24th Rhinie
25th Rhinie (I think I was at home visiting)
26th Charleston
27th New Zealand!

There are a few internationals in there, but Rhinie wins. What can I say, mom makes a good cake!
Not sure what blue has planned for me this year, hopefully a nice dinner and maybe we'll go out for drinks (gasp!).

Monday, May 28, 2007

After 21 years of education...

I am now learning to make the coffee that fueled me through the last years of that education, that's right I'm a barista. The place I am working at is only a few blocks from the house, so it is nice that I can walk. It is also a bakery/ pie shop (mostly of the meat and veggie variety) and I have already been given a bunch of food to bring home, which is pretty good. But blue and I decided that we will probably get fat if I keep bringing the stuff home. Not to worry, this is just a temporary means of bringing in some extra cash while I search for a more appropriate sciency position.

So the internet works differently. Ok the internet works the same I think, but how they charge you for it is different. We now pay per usage, how much we upload/download. We have 1G/month and after that it goes to dialup speed I guess. But I think we can change it so we just pay for high speed after our allotment, I don't really get it, but 1G of broadband here isn't any more than unlimited back home. However, I have to be more frugal with my usage, I already miss watching all my shows online :( That is also my explanation for lack of pics, I don't really know how much of the usage they will take up, but I know that it is way more than emails and text only blog entries (plus blue has all the pics on his computer).

I have been working on the smell of the house, thanks to a tip from my mom. I have been simmering diluted vineager and it has definately improved the house smell, but I think I could use some flowers or something with a good smell to at least temporarily overpower it completely.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On sports

Apparently there is a real sport called netball, it is not just something made-up by blue to mess with me. AND after looking into, it was invented in the states, but huge in NZ, australia, jamaica, britain and a few others. From what I can tell, blue summed up this sport best - sexist basketball. It is only played by women and there is no contact (or backboard) and consequently lots of whistles.
Rugby is another sport that is constantly on TV, it is kind of fun to watch because it is always just mayhem, but I still don't quite understand all the rules. I do like when they kick field goals while running and when they pass it to themselves by kicking it way ahead and then running after it.
I think my favorite new sport to watch is sailing, the americas cup has been going on in venice and the NZ team is in the semifinals so they cover it pretty well (it is on in the mornings when I am waking up).
The worst part about sports in NZ (besides having ones I don't care about dominate all the channels) is that I am not getting my full dose of tennis (or much at all). I only catch the outcomes on the news, apparently tennis isn't as popular here :(
Yeah, they really like their sports here, they are constantly on TV, as are infommercials for proactive and for whatever that work out thing is chuck norris totes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


- our car beeps when we put it in reverse (only on the inside, but effectively annoying)
- electric kettles are amazing and faster than lightning (i'm gonna have to get one when I come back to the states)
- small sinks, especially kitchen sinks, makes dishwashing more cumbersome than usual
- people here leave out articles, for example 'I need to go to the hospital' becomes 'I need to go to hospital'
- my house reeks of curry and when I leave the house I can smell it on my clothes (blech)

10 observations in NZ:

1. Everything is expensive
2. People like to say cool (coo') A LOT
3. There are no dried beans in the grocery stores (or not the 3 that I have checked)
4. Cookies are called biscuits and come in strange varieties, like chocolate wheat
5. Tire is spelled tyre
6. Super markets have large sections of dog food rolls (think jimmy dean or gimme lean breakfast sausage)
7. There is no central heating, heat pumps are prevalent, but they aren't like the heat pumps in the south, usually just a unit in the main part of the house
8. There are a lot of americans here, A LOT
9. The only native mammals are bats (not kidding, check it out)
10. It is beautiful here!

this list is bound to get much larger, I can already think of at least five more off the top of my head. Instead of add them, I am going to post a pic of Lake Pukaki, a glacial lake from our weekend adventure

Thursday, May 17, 2007


We are now a little more settled here in NZ (they say that n, zed). After buying our car last week we were able to find a suitable place to live, in Lincoln, just a mile away from blue's school. It is a sleepy little town, but has everything you need (not everything you want). There is a post office, a butcher, a hardware store, a grocery store, 2-3 hair salons, 2 cafes, a library, a gas station, oh, and lawn bowling. I don't think we will stay here for the entirety of our visit. But in order to for us to be able to afford higher rent/the commute, I will need to be employed/bringing in some bacon.
We haven't gotten the chance to take a lot of photos yet, but the one above is our little car and the port hills to our east in the background.
It is really beautiful here. We live in a very flat, agricultural part of the country. There are lots of sheep, deer, horses, and crops to be seen, all divided by beautiful hedgerows. I will put up some pics of our place and some of the local sites on flickr for your viewing pleasure.
We also have a phone and the internet now so I should be better at staying connected with everyone back home... hopefully. :D

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

it's 8pm...

and feels like 2am. The last two nights I fell asleep at 5pm... and slept until 6am. Guess I needed some extra sleep. The most amazing part about this journey to the other side of the world is that we totally skipped May 6, 2007. It never existed. We left Chicago on May 5 and arrived in NZ (24 hours later) on May 7. So for all of you back in the states, I am living in the future and if you ever need to know any future stuff (more next day type questions rather than 10 years from now inquiries), just let me know.

There are lots of cute things going on here in NZ, like instead of expiration date, people and forms say expiry date (I have heard that they are keen on shortening words and adding a y to the end...). Also there are a few new (to me) coffee drinks available, long black and flat white. The long black is pretty good and just a larger, slightly weaker espresso drink (although if you are in a hurry, the short black is better suited). The flat white... I have no idea sounds to me like some sort of cafe au lait though. Also you pretty much have to pay for absolutely everything, especially in the hotel we are staying in. Oh, except for the shuttle, a bus that runs a strip in the downtown area and is free, hurray!

Driving (or for me - riding) on the opposite side of the road is also an adventure. The hardest part to grasp is when you are turning left (which would be like turning right in the US) you have to yield to oncoming traffic turning right (that is the opposite of what the rule is in the US). Also crossing streets while walking has proven a little more difficult (or maybe stressful is a better term), I haven't figured out what part of the street to look for traffic heading my way, I just look a lot on in both directions to make sure nobody is going to hit me.

Yeah, things are a little backwards down here near middle earth, but with a little more time and a little more sleep, I think we will be just fine.