It took about 35 hours from door to door, and our luggage didn’t (quite) arrive with us (though it got to our house several hours after we did), but we made it safely to New Zealand!
Here’s a round-up of a few things we’ve noticed so far on our journey.
In the air
Evelyn: “I thought that we wouldn’t have televisions on the plane, or that there would be one small one attached to the ceiling. But there were multiple ones on the back of each seat, and the chairs reclined. And the food was better than I remembered (from our trip to Scotland). But still not good.”
Char: “the food was much better than I expected… I still don’t like the sausages they served, though…”
Evelyn: “When we got bumped to a different flight I got upset because I thought that airlines couldn’t do that, and then Dad thought that it was a lot better than the Chicago to San Fran leg, but we had to pay for baggage and it costed more than the other.”
Our house is a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom single-family home right off of the University of Canterbury campus. (Email or comment below if you’d like the mailing address–we’d love to receive mail from friends and family, and I promise we’ll write back!)
Evelyn: “The heating. I thought there would be central heating in our house. When we got here it was freezing–it was the same temperature outside as it was inside. About 50 degrees. As soon as Mom said this was not liveable and even though we cranked up the radiators, it got a little better but not much because we can’t heat up every room in the house; my bedroom is freezing.”
Char: “We can fix the coldness by putting on warmer things and running the small heaters and using blankets. And there’s enough lighting, I like the windows, we even have our own fireplace! The house is better than I expected.”
Calvin: “Once I found it was interesting to see FOUR beds and we didn’t know what beds could be ours and we didn’t know for sure if Evelyn had to have another bedroom that was big. And we worked it out! By talking.
Charlotte: “I expected the house to be smaller, the backyard to be crappier, and not having enough heating in the house. I thought we wouldn’t have enough space but we do.”
Janel: The weather here in Christchurch *does* feel wintery, though not the wintery we’re used to in the northeast of the US. It’s cool and dry. Temperatures so far have hovered between 40 and 50 degrees and it’s been sunny. The angle of the sun in the sky, however, has thrown me, particularly because my usually good sense of cardinal directions is off! At 10:30 in the morning yesterday, for example, the sun was so low along the horizon that I would have sworn it was 3 in the afternoon. At midday, the sun’s zenith was nowhere near the top of the sky. So that will definitely take some getting used to.
Today, our first full day in our new house, we should get about 9 hours of total daylight… residents of the southern hemisphere just passed their winter solstice.
We’ve gotten some groceries–James went once for a few things and then we went again as a family to get a few more things we realized we needed.– My worry about the price of staple food items was confirmed as we walked through the store. FOr example, James got chicken on special for NZ$16/kilogram (one kilogram equals about 2.2 pounds), which means the *sale* price for chicken breast is about US$5/pound. Some things are comparably priced but for the most part it looks like our weekly grocery budget will be quite a bit higher than in the states.
While we do have UC wireless in our home, James jokes that the Internet is on-holiday at times. 🙂
Orders of business for today: setting up a New Zealand bank account, registering the kids for school, visiting our local park/playground, getting a library membership, and exercising.