Sunday, January 22, 2006

On arriving

Well I’ve been here about 10 days. The first thing to say is how welcoming everyone has been. My host family have been just stunning; they have welcomed me into their home and treated my like I have always been here. They have been chatty and helpful and generally great. I cannot emphasise enough how much this has helped in the move so far. All the other folk I have met through work or through my host family have been friendly, supportive, and understanding of my ignorance about practically everything.

So far my doubts as to whether coming here was the right thing to do have been silent.

I have learnt my first cross cultural lesson: It is okay for the people of a country to make fun of their country but not for me as an immigrant. Yesterday some of the kiwi’s were laughing about how strange some of the things they do and say are, and we all laughed. I pointed out some more things I saw as odd and nobody laughed.

The weather (stupid thing to mention I know) has been wetter and windier than England which considering it is supposed to be summer makes me laugh as it is quite like home.

Home sickness hasn’t been too bad so far. The hardest times have been when people talk about family reunion events or what nephews and nieces have been doing, which reminds me of how long it will be till I see mine again. Work is good; I am enjoying the new challenge though some days it has been a little overwhelming.

I have gotten over my fear of the sun. I read that the burn time is 10 minutes. I have a hate of sun cream so will only put it on when I really have to. I spend my first few days here sticking to the shaded side of the road so that I wouldn’t get sun burnt. I got bored of that, but was mystified by why when doing a half hour walk each way to and from the office to the train station I wasn’t getting burnt. Someone suggested you got burnt worse if you were just lying in the sun, but why would moving make a difference? You can’t dodge sun rays!

My first experience of Church was good. As ever the people were very welcoming. The guest speaker was supposed to be speaking on the body of Christ from Ephesians 4 but pretty much used every passage in the New Testament that mentioned Christ's body. It was what the bible said but it wasn't exactly preaching the passage. What made it difficult was that she preached from the Message version which translated (I think v8) to include the word 'booty' I think in the treasure sense but I still had to stifle my laughter.

Some further observations:

There are enough new brands of coffee to try to last me a few years at least.
I am being lent a car for a few weeks, can’t wait to be mobile again!

There are more Cadburys chocolate bars available here than I saw in the U.K., Black Forest dairy milk for example

Income tax is high, about 33%

All trains around the world seem to have the sign in the window saying what to do in case of a fire. In Wellington they have the amusing addition of what to do if an earthquake strikes.

Manchester: the name for the department in a store where you get bedding and towels

New Phrases to use
“Turned to custard” meaning when it (situation, project or whatever) has all gone wrong


Kath said...

welcome to the world of blogging... good to hear news and updates from the otherside of the world... challenged, amused and entertained by the stuff you've written so far! Keep it up!

Steffy B said...

Let's have an update James...