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The Big O.E An epic adventure across the world, backpacker style :)

Home Sweet Home

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 30 October 2008 | Views [733]

The lights of Auckland

The lights of Auckland

Things that struck us about New Zealand:

- how clean the toilets are! Westfield Albany's toilets are like a palace!

- how easy it is to do things! ASB is the most wonderful bank on the planet.

- you can just buy a car! Pay money, get a car.

- everything is so green. Really, the grass is actually greener.

- you can rent a flat. Just pay money, move in. No paperwork, passports, ID, letters from embassies...

- New Zealanders have a unique accent that is less attractive the stronger it gets.

- we understand the secret shopping code of brands. Sounds weird, but it is wonderful to be able to buy the exact right bread straight away, without having to read the labels on the back of every different brand to find out what's in it first.

It was brilliant seeing friends and family again. Our road trip took us from all the Kerrs in Auckland to Napier (our soon to be home). We managed to do a tiki tour, stay with friends and squeeze in a job interview for Catherine. Took a bit of a mindshift to answer education-type questions. But the interview was quite fun. We spent the night in Picton, then headed to Christchurch to see Ruth and Steve in their new house, Paul and Amy with their new dog in their new house, and Julia and Hayden in their new flat. Good times catching up. Down to Oamaru to see Stu, and pick up warm winter clothes for the chilly south. Then on to Invercargill to see friends, workmates and all the new babies that did not exist when we left two years ago.

We did the long haul to Hokitika, and stopped for a delicious meal of pies and chocolate bars in Haast. We were greeted by proper West Coast rain and all the Stobies. After a few days relaxing, we drove up to Nelson to see grandparents. We stopped for a night in Wellington (more new babies) and came to our new home town of Napier. It was great to have a couple of days before James started work just to explore the town and make the mindshift from travelling to staying.

And we are so looking forward to staying in one place after almost two years on the move, living out of back packs in 21 different countries on 5 continents!

Lots of love

Catherine and James


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