Saturday, August 30, 2014

Drive Around Christchurch

We got to visit our kitty today! He had sad eyes when he first saw us, and he is still a bit scared, but he purred a lot and rubbed us. We gave him lots of love and brushes since he is shedding up a storm. He still has another week in quarantine.

View of Sumner
Our host drove us around Christchurch. There is a lot of damage in the city center from the earthquake with buildings damaged or missing and construction everywhere. We passed by the summer hotspot of Sumner and the harbor of Lyttelton, and we stopped at a farmer's market and picked up some sourdough bread. It's not San Francisco sourdough, but it was fresh and fluffy and good.

We went to our first garage sale which was a success. I got a dishware set, pillowcases, and a portable heater. The lady threw in a Brita water bottle to prove that Kiwis are a generous people. She and her spouse were a cute old couple. Considering the high prices for retail, garage sales are even more of a good deal here.

Containers are stacked up as retaining walls
We checked out an apartment for rent in the afternoon. There were lots of other people there - it reminded me of the California apartment hunting I did when hordes of people showed up at any decently affordable housing in the area. I filled out an info sheet, but the kitchen was small with a tiny fridge and the bathroom was old and not very nice. The bedrooms were large, but with how much time we'll be spending in the kitchen cooking and baking, I want better.

We came home defeated, but our host was helping us look places up online and found a couple nice places for more money but still close by. I think we'll head downtown on Monday to the realty office to inquire about properties. A realtor is going to be the way to go I think since there's just not that much available. We're competing with students, working people, and people temporarily moving out of their homes for earthquake repairs.

We had Chinese take-out for dinner: lemon chicken for D, beef, bok choy, fried rice, and pork wrapped in Chinese pancakes. Those were pretty tasty. Our host is going out of town for a week tomorrow, so we'll have to fend for ourselves along with the other homestay student from China. She's studying fire engineering and learning English. We tried Afghan cookies which are made out of cornflakes and cocoa. No relation to the country!

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