And here I am, through the magic of modern international travel, on the other side of the world. I landed in NZ yesterday morning.
The trip was OK – we came over via Hong Kong and didn’t take a night off to break up the journey, but we both got a few hours of sleep on each flight. It was lovely to know that we didn’t have to do the same mammoth trip again in three or four weeks’ time.
Having said that, this feels like a holiday at the moment (albeit a weird holiday, where Tui has come with us and I don’t have to check work emails on my blackberry). It must be different for Tristan; he’s stayed in Auckland had started work today. I’m in my home town, population 12,000 or so, and I spent today hanging out with Katie, my oldest niece, running errands. They were all very exciting chores: getting a new money card for my NZ bank account; talking to the council about registering Tui; finding out how and when to transfer our driver’s licences from the UK to NZ.
None of that was very exciting, of course, but it was all made easier by the way in which NZ banks, councils and other organisations seem to be fairly decent to deal with – flexible about ID, that kind of thing. For example, the lady at the bank agreed to deal with me and accept my UK licence as ID, even though it wasn’t on her list of recognised types of ID (my NZ one has expired, so she wasn’t able to rely on that). She asked if I had my passport with me and I told her that it was at home, but rather than being a jobsworth and making me head back and get it, she just used her brain and made an executive decision, recognising that, with two driver’s licences with photos on them and two credit cards showing my signature, I probably was who I claimed to be. From my experience of UK banks I’m fairly sure that this would have been fairly difficult to negotiate and I would have been on the receiving end of a ‘it’s not our problem: get the right ID’ response. I’m certainly not saying that all UK customer service people are unhelpful, or that all NZ customer service people are awesome, but I do feel like, in the UK, good customer service is the exception and not the rule, whereas things just seem to be a bit more flexible and ‘human’ here. Which is nice.
Nothing much else to report, really. I was asleep by 8.30 last night and awake from 3.30 this morning. Tui was slightly confused to see me when I arrived yesterday afternoon (and has been a very good girl for my mother and is very happy in her company, which is fantastic), but she soon got used to having me around around. She’s absolutely loving life in a single-storey house: she’s sleeping in the kitchen, but she’s following me around from room to room and trying, in her own gentle way, to convince me that she should just sleep on my bed with me. No chance, my furry little friend…
It is so strange to think that I no longer have a job. I think that it’s going to take me a while to adjust to it, but I’m not going to give it too much thought until Tui and I have moved to Auckland. I did fill my day with errands today, but I want to take it easier tomorrow and just lie around and read. I’m really worn out – not just after the past few weeks, but after the past four or five years. I think that my batteries need to be recharged.
My parents don’t have any internet access at home and I don’t have a working iPhone here, so don’t be surprised if updates are thin on the ground for the next week or two. I’m going to Wellington later in the week, though, and will stay with lovely Davey, one of my oldest and best friends, so I might be able to manage something when I’m down there. And I will definitely manage a few beers when we’re out on Friday night. And I’ll get to catch up with some other wonderful friends as well – the prospect of seeing my favourite people on a regular basis is just magnificient!
I do think that I need to rename this blog, though – or start a new one that better reflects my new life. Stay tuned…