Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Good news! I have arrived in New Zealand.

Snow-covered mountains on the South Island
We made it past customs (only thing they made me pull out was the Frontline flea and tick medication) and onto our connecting flight from Auckland to Christchurch. Our homestay host - who turns out to be Australian - met us at the airport and drove us home. Thankfully, her SUV was able to fit all of our six pieces of luggage. She has a newly rebuilt (within the past year) house because of the earthquake. It is large and modern with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living rooms, a big kitchen, an office, a laundry room, and a big patio and garden area.

We set up bank accounts and then went to Vodaphone to get new SIM cards for our iphones, but T-Mobile  in the U.S. hadn't told us we had to restore the phones to finish the unlocking process. Funnily enough, there was a K-Mart in the mall! Plus a Mexican restaurant with decent-sounding stuff (burrito, beans, quesadillas) and a Pizza Hut. Next we walked to the university and got enrolled. I wasn't up for getting my picture for an ID card taken after having been on a long flight, so we saved that for the next day.

Why hello, K-Mart!
On the way home, we went to New World supermarket and were unpleasantly surprised to find the high prices we had heard about were true (cereal starting at $5-6 a box, cans of green beans for $2.89, refried beans for $3). We bought cereal, milk, apple juice, rolled oats, and bananas to get us started. Later we found another supermarket, Countdown, and found some cheaper prices. We bought clearance bread for $2.52 - bacon and cheese topped - yummy, hot chocolate, and Head and Shoulders shampoo for $5. It's a tiny bottle. The big ones are $12! Our host had fish and chips for dinner which was good. I crashed around 8, exhausted.

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