I hope my boxes of stuff arrive soon – I’m starting to get restless. Not that I have a shortage of things to do but none of them that can be done in the evenings so until my books and cables and laptop charger and everything else arrives (hopefully tomorrow) my evenings are pretty much TV (which I can’t find the remote for) and the one fiction novel I brought in my cabin luggage.
I moved into our new apartment yesterday – smelt all musty but with I have a battery-powered air fragrancer going and cleaning benches and things with eucalypt sprays so it’s starting to feel like a home, my home, but is going to need some colour. The furniture and kitchen utensils are all at least 50 years old.
I’ve been here four days and so far experienced five tremors or at least five that I noticed and was awake for. Pretty crazy stuff – the whole building shaking around, left to right, up and down. It’s crazy how frequent it is and how strong although nothing that will do damage. You might spill your cup of tea if you filled it up too much. Seems to be mostly centered around the south west side of town where my workplace is so it’s really just something to break up the day … just hope it doesn’t break up the building!
Looking forward to getting my box of cables so I can process and upload some photos of Christchurch.
It’s been a long first day in Christchurch trapsing around the city. I got in at midnight last night after a smooth flight out of Sydney following a not so smooth leg from Canberra.
Could have done with a longer sleep in this morning but I start my first day at work tomorrow so I have to try and adjust to the 2-hour time difference as quickly as possible. I’ve probably walked at least 7km today, acquianting myself with Christchurch walking around the CBD and across Hagley Park to Riccarton Mall for lunch and some shopping.
Getting a pre-paid SIM for my iPad was a bit tricky but finally got it sorted in the end so now have the all-important Internet access so I can use Google Maps on my iPad to navigate around. Going to need it tomorrow morning to find my workplace!
Up here on the 25th level of Hotel Grand Chancellor I have great view of the Banks Peninsula to the south. Nearly 9:30pm here and the sun has almost set.
I love the wide open spaces here with Cathedral Square, the Avon River weaving through the city, Latimer Square and of course Hagley Park. The cityscape has a low profile too as you can see from the photos. There are no towering skyscrapers casting dark shadows for miles. It has character like Fremantle or Hobart but with the convenience of a larger city. I like it here. I know some of you probably think I’m crazy that I chose to live here having never visited Christchurch or even New Zealand.
I’ll upload more photos of the city on my photo blog.
I have to go now and write some postcards and then get to bed for an early night – I stayed up too late last night watching Harsh Times.
Spent over an hour down at our local Pack & Send getting three boxes of stuff and my Nord keyboard shipped to New Zealand.
Ended up costing me $717 for 71kg plus insurance on my keyboard.
Maybe there was a cheaper way or something, maybe I could have re-bought everything over there, but I’m flying out tomorrow and don’t have time for mucking around either here or in NZ when I arrive. It’s a lot of money but I’ll forget about it within a fortnight, whereas having to start from scratch will be with me for a long time every time I reach for a book that isn’t there or a kitchen utensil I don’t have. Peace of mind, convenience and a level of familiarity settling in … worth it.
The guys at Pack & Send were very helpful. Sending stuff by air freight is a painful process with pages of New Zealand MAF declaration forms, unaccompanied goods forms, measuring and weighing everything, opening the boxes and inspecting and itemising everything. Only thing I had to remove was a pack of AA batteries – which is fine, I can buy more over there but seeing I had a pack of 20 here I thought might as well take them if I can. Ah well.
So that’s out of the way now and the countdown timer is down to 24 hours 30 minutes till I fly out!
I’m literally living out of a bag now, everything in boxes or draped over the edge of one ready to be shipped or zipped. Getting around the city for some one-on-one farewells with my send-off drinks tomorrow at the pub.
Just some last minute paperwork, tidying up loose ends and revising my big checklist to make sure everything is in order.
We now have accommodation! We were accepted for a rental property in Merivale yesterday; I go in on Monday during my first day of work to sign the tenancy agreement and get the keys. Perfect timing, everything just slipping into place.
It hasn’t been hectic because I’ve been organised (being a meticulous list-maker) but it’s been a lot of work, lots of little things that need to be orchestrated. Photocopying my passport for this, printing off and signing that, researching some other thing, calling people, remembering to follow up things. The latter is a big one – so many businesses these days don’t care about customer service so if I tick off “Contact XYZ” on my list I then have to add “Follow up with XYZ” because in too many cases I don’t hear back from them.
However I’ve also discovered how unreliable website contact/feedback forms. Several businesses this week told me they hadn’t received my contact form submission when I called them to follow it up. Not good people!
Well, back to finishing packing and preparing for tomorrow’s full itinerary of shipping these boxes, exchanging some money to NZD, some shopping and my farewell drinks and then dropping my car off with Jenny’s parents to garage plus disconnect the battery, put fuel stabiliser in the tank. Even that’s a minor thing – fuel stabiliser – but took me four automotive shops to find it! See? Not hectic or busy busy but just all these small things that add up to create a coordination nightmare.
I’ve been pouring over Google Earth, topographic maps, trails and public land areas, and photos for the last couple of weeks in anticipation of the move to the South Island. I thought I’d share a couple of the great photos and locations I’ve come across:
I look forward to snapping and sharing my own photos of these beautiful places!
In exactly one week at 9:25pm AEST next Saturday I’ll be touching down in Christchurch, my new home town. Still no accomodation lined up beyond the first two nights in a hotel – everyone’s closed over Christmas and New Years so it’s been tough trying to contact real estate agents. We do have high hopes of being approved for an apartment in Merivale.
We had no luck contacting friends and colleagues over there to help with the inspection (fair enough too, everyone’s enjoying the holidays) so I found a local personal assistant from OrganiseIt who has been magnificent. They did the inspection for us, provided a comprehensive report and photos and have assisted with liaising with the real estate agency.
Farewell drinks for friends are next Friday, 7 January, at P.J O’Reilly’s in Civic. Let me know if you want to come.
Speaking of holidays: I ordered a bunch of first aid supplies from Parasol EMT in Fyshwick to take – especially as we plan on doing a fair bit of tramping in NZ and I’d kinda run out of things to think of organising before I leave – and thought it would be easier to get from a place I knew rather than trying to source locally, but after placing my order and paying for it I get an autoresponder email from them advising their office doesn’t reopen till 10 January. Slackers!
This summer heat is making it hard to work too. Can’t use the computer during the day and feel lethargic. Don’t have much to do now – just finish packing these boxes, ship them off and make last minute arrangements. It just comes down to timing. Can’t finish packing until just before I go … so I have this whole week to prepare but can’t really do much until the end of the week.
Don’t have to drag my desktop PC and monitor over there now. Bought a Compaq Presario CQ62 laptop from JB Hi Fi during the end of year sales for a bargain $446 and after a minor hiccup tipping the place upside down looking for my Adobe Photoshop 6.0 CD it’s all set up now so I can do my photo processing.
Now, where’s my other Manfrotto tripod head …