Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Some things I learned while in New Zealand

1. About the food: 

A hamburger here is not just a sandwich, it's a buffet: meat patty, sliced Beet, an egg, pineapple, chutney, lettuce, tomato, onion....what else am I forgetting?

I am truly sorry to say this.  But, with the one exception of THE LUCKY TACO food truck, there isn't any amazing Mexican Food here! So I am forced to gorge myself on Mexican food every time I go back to southern California.

2. About the weather: 

People talk about the weather A LOT. And when the weather is bad the conversation will include, "This isn't normal for Auckland."  Im sorry after nearly 18 months I DO NOT believe that anymore.

It rains a lot!!! That's all I have to say about that.

3. Things in nature:

 All the birds in New Zealand can't fly 

There are more species of penguins here than any other country

There are no snakes, AT ALL! Bonus! 

4. About sports: 

Rugby is not a sport, it's a religion.  

Rugby comes in a variety of ways: rugby union, rugby league, 7's, and 9's

After the rugby game aka religious experience there will be more talk about why the All Blacks only won by 60 points rather than celebrating that they WON! I mean a win is a win is a win, right?! Spoken like a true Cubs fan, lol! 

5. About the language:

Sometimes you have to say "yes" to say "no": kiwis don't just say "no" they say, ""

TA=thank you 

Bangers and chips=sausages and fries, which to some, is the staple diet of bogans=white trash, hillbilly

If it's cold, you'll want a cuppa=cup of tea and your jumper=sweater

Togs=bathing suit and Jandals=flip-flops are what you wear to your Bach=vacation home at the beach

Chunder=vomit, which you do when you're crook=sick or after being pissed=drunk because you have skulled=slammed all of your drinks 

The most important one I've learned is do not say, ever, you are "rooting" for a team (or player), especially in a car full of guys on the way to a rugby game.   Rooting=having sex=I felt in a word, awkward!!!

6. For all the ladies:

In 1893, New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote 

Nancy Wake, was the Gestapo's most wanted person during WWII, and once killed an SS soldier with her bare hands. 


Here is one of the photos from my first photo shoot.  A big "thank you" to my friend Brian Ng for your triple help with styling, shooting and editing.  It was a fun experiment while feeling slightly awkward at the same time.  It also was part of the motivation to get a new camera, which I did on my last trip home. Now dont getme wrong, I love my Iphone.  Sometimes you just need more in the photo taking department.  I went with the Canon D3200 and am learning about all the features.  The one thing that I have learned more than anyhing is that I will learn the most by USING IT! No amount of reading will replace taking the camera out and experiencing life through it's lens.  So that is what I plan to do and share with you in the near future!!

PS: If you do have any tips or tricks that you would like to share I am all ears!!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Moving: bad, very bad. New neighbourhood: good, very good

Well, after sorting, purging, cleaning, packing,  then moving followed by more cleaning, sorting and unpacking we are starting to get settled in our new house.   After all of this the fact that I HATE MOVING has been solidified in my soul forever.  This may seem dramatic, but it was very stressful!

We have moved from Mission Bay to Ponsonby.  To my friends in the US this probably means very little. So to compare the two in a way that makes sense I can say it like this... Mission Bay = a kind of suburbia while Ponsonby = is a hipper, edgier neighborhood with more pep in it's step.  A BIG BONUS for us is that we can walk to a plethora of great cafes, restaurants, shops, salons, wine bars, even a grocery store and a bank.  There is something great about not having to get in you car to go to the places you enjoy.  In other words this area just feels more like a city (which makes me, a true city girl, happy).  

The house is smaller and older than the house we rented in Mission Bay. This type of house is referred to as a villa (clearly the Kiwi's don't see eye-to-eye with the Italians on this term).  Here that means means that it is a single level home with 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms in the front and the living, dining and kitchen area is in the back.  From here, there are french doors that open to the deck and backyard.  Toby is already enjoying the yard and deck and all the sunshine so it's just what we need!

Now I am slowly making it our own.  It needs some sprucing up....I've already made a list and checked it twice, nothing major but little things cosmetically that I think will make a big difference. Meanwhile, pictures are going up, new couch covers have been ordered and the Christmas tree and decorations will make an appearance this weekend.  My preparation is reaching a feverish pace as the date my parents arrive quickly approaches. I am super excited and want things to be looking as close to perfect as possible for their first Kiwi Christmas!!  Here are a few pictures of the house so far... I will share more as I make more progress :)