Monday, 30 May 2005

Start work

Today I started work with the Bank of New Zealand. I was really pleased with the office. From where I was working the last 3 years, this is God sent! First thing I was aksed to read and sign was the bank's health and safety policy. They made sure I understood that staring at the computer too long was bad! I was given specific instructions to take a break every 30 minutes or so and they even gave me a external keyboard and monitor to use when I was at my desk.

Next, the pantry threw me off! They have the works! Fruits, biscuits, snacks, nuts, energy bars, you name it! All well stocked! Coffee bar, tea, milk, chocolate and beat this even wine! Daily there is soup stocked for breaks! If this was back home no one would go out for lunch and whatever stocked in the morning would dissapear in 20 minutes or even less!

The Bank takes its "work life balance" pretty seriously. No one is expected to be in the office after 6pm and on weekends unless there is critical work to be done.

This is going to be real difficult to get used to....

Saturday, 28 May 2005

The Car is next

There is a weekend promotion at all major car dealers for used vehicles. We saw a few of them including a 1996 Land Rover Discovery but what caught our attention was this 1999 Honda Odessey. After fiecely negotiating, we managed to bring the price down by almost $3,000! Bottom line was $16,500!

And here it is.

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Because we were renting a car then, the dealer gave us a courtesy car for us until our Honda will be ready for us to drive away. We were told that we could get our car on Tuesday. So for now, we are promoting WCD (the car dealer).

Lots of paper work! Warranty, insurance and all that!

Friday, 27 May 2005

School and house search

This monring getting up was a challenge for all of us. There is a 5 hour time difference between NZ and and back home.

We had an appointment with the principal of the Greenacres School in Tawa. We liked the school and so did Anil. In fact Ashwini liked the school but was not allowed to register as she has not turned 5 yet.

After that we called up an estate agent and asked if there were any 3 bedroom houses for rent in the Tawa area. There were 5 houses altogether but most of them were damp and small except for this one which had 5 rooms and an amazing backyard. We saw the house a couple of times and took it! So now we have a house as well.

We signed the rental agreement with the owners this evening and we now have a new address. We move in on June 10. We were surprised that in Wellington, we don't need to pay for water! But the weather is so cold, I think I am going to run the electricity bill up!

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Thursday, 26 May 2005

We arrive

After an almost 12 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur with a transit in Singapore, we arrived this afternoon at Auckland International.

Our first point of contact with NZ was the immigration officer at the airport. We showed our passports with the visa stamp on it and he smiled and said "Congratulations and Welcome to NZ"! That was a nice change to stern looking immigration officers back home who won't say a word.

We had 9 checked baggage and 4 carry ons, a total of 13 bags to gather! It managed to fit into 2 trolleys. Earlier on the flight, I sprained my back and Vera had to do most of carrying. After MAF and then we were out, I mean in! Our next flight to Wellington leaves at 1.30pm. We were charged NZ$200 excess baggage but I think it was worth it as we had about 140kg in all.

The next flight was uneventful and most of us slept the entire 1 hour.

When we arrived at Wellington, we had a Subaru Legacy Station Wagon waiting for us. It was a miracle to fit all those 13 bags into that car. Taking them down to this place was not a problem as you can see but bringing them back up will be.

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Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Post card from New Zealand

These were photographs taken during our March 2005 visit.

This is an unmodified photograph of a sunset at Eastbourne, Wellington. The skies can be really stunning at times.

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This is a shot of the place we are going to live in, Tawa.

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Not very far from Tawa, is a place called Whitby and this is a bay nearby Whitby.

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We took this from the ferry from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island. They told us it was a ferry but it was more like an ocean liner! See how misty Wellington looked from the Cook being in dreamland.

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Travelling along the coast down South Island to Christchurch. South Pacific Ocean on one side and the mountains on the other side.

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Kaikora is the place to watch whales, pity we were 7 months early! That is the South Pacific Ocean.

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Whales are not the only visitors to the coast, along the coast near Ohau, you get seals!

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And now we are heading back to Wellington and its getting dark and yet another stunning sunset!

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