Thursday, January 05, 2006
No Longer Homeless
We found a house to rent! It feels good to finally have an address we can use. Whenever we do any kind of paperwork such as opening a bank account or even signing up for the grocery store's special savings card, we need an address. But besides the convenience of finally having an address, it just plain feels better emotionally. On the way to NZ we were freeloading at my brother's in Hawaii for a few days, and Curt kept joking that we were homeless (we were) and unemployed (he is). It's somewhat scary to realize that those joking remarks were actually true.
The whole process of moving to a new country is a lot like starting out at age 18 and moving into your own place for the first time. I remember setting up a telephone account for the first time back in 1975 and not knowing how, and of course the telephone company wanted an outrageous deposit because I wasn't an established customer and they didn't know if I was trustworthy or not. And now we're back in the same situation, trying to figure out how to establish telephone service and electricity and internet and garbage and water and drivers license and on and on. It's not too hard – even a little fun at times – until you realize, "Hey, I'm too old to be doing this all over again!" : )
Anyway, back to the house: It's older and smaller but has a great view. Sound familiar? (our house in Portland was small and old and a little dumpy but had a breathtaking view of Mt. Hood) The back yard is on a tidal estuary full of mangrove bushes and ducks and we can see across the water to the Te Atatu Peninsula where my school is. So I'm only 10 minutes or so from my work. Curt will probably have a longer commute if he gets a job downtown. The house has three bedrooms, only one bathroom and a galley kitchen, but it also has a fireplace, a deck and an entire wall of windows facing the water, It's at the end of a cul-de-sac with great neighbors on both sides. We plan on renting this house for 6-12 months while we get acclimated to our new life in New Zealand and then we'll buy a house.
Now that we have a house, we have to start buying electrical appliances like TV, washer & dryer, fridge, and microwave. Since New Zealand operates on 220 volts, we couldn't bring our 110 volt appliances with us. Curiously, our lamps work at either voltage, as does this computer. Don't ask me why. I am definitely scientifically/electricity-challenged and I really don't get it. I just know we didn't bring our big appliances and now we need to buy replacements. So we're scouring the ads in the newspaper and the other want ad publications and internet sites, looking for "whiteware." That's what fridges, washers/dryers, stoves, dishwashers, etc. are called.
PS - I think Curt has given up on the tea-drinking idea. (see the earlier post about Kiwi food) He needs his coffee. Otherwise he gets all out of whack. He's succumbed to the java lure once again.