Thursday, August 26, 2010

6 months in...

Or 6 months and a few days; it's hard to keep track, as you lose a couple of days flying, then a couple of days to jet lag. Anyway, we got here towards the end of February, and I quickly started work on March 1st. The culture shock everybody talks about never really hit...perhaps because, in the greater scheme of things, pharmacy is pretty similar everywhere in the industrialized world [and the personalities of persons in the profession are not too different either--which is good, as I don't know a whole lot of people outside the hospital].

Nico, on the other hand, took considerably longer to find a job. There is a myth that New Zealand is short of teachers. It is just a myth. She's now working in a customer service sort of position...after about two weeks she was promoted to management. We're not making huge money, but we seem to be in the black each month since she joined the ranks of the employed.

In case you haven't been reading, we did all the normal stuff you do when you move somewhere new: rented a house, bought a car, a TV, and a slew of other appliances. It took about 5 months for my beloved PT Cruiser to get here and clear all regulatory hurdles. She's nice to have, but it is very seldom that we need two cars.

RE rented house: I don't care for it. It is poorly insulated (if at all), and is heated by a wood burning stove [A wood burning stove is an enclosed fireplace; the witch from Hansel and Gretel might have one]. We've been half-heartedly house hunting most weekends, and have put offers in on two houses. (First one was so low that the seller removed the house from the market after seeing it; currently awaiting a response on the second.) Houses here are cheap if 1) You come from Southern California and 2) You brought a lot of money with you. We didn't bring enough money...

What else: We've done a lot less sightseeing than planned. We've been to Wellington once and Auckland twice (including our arrival), and to Taupo for a half marathon. We've explored quite a bit of Hawke's Bay, and I'm slowly taking up tramping (or more correctly walking, as I have yet to undertake a two day walk). Even though I work a lot less than I did in California, 40 hour weeks still seem to take up a lot of time.

Winter: It was colder than I expected, and our house was even colder than that. It was getting dark way too early in June and July, and there's not a whole lot of night life. Not that I was ever much of a night person, but knowing that a giant mall was open until 9 PM was somehow comforting. Fortunately, we've just about made it through winter #1; I'm thinking I need to buy a sailboat before summer...and a kayak...and a stand up paddle board...and can someone lend me some money?

Friends and family in the US: Still no plans to come home, and you are all terrible at Skyping. (Ok, I'll give my parents passing scores; everyone else: terrible!)

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Ahem ... I think Lev is really good at Skyping.