Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Celebrating New Year with Driver's Licenses

We rung in the New Year in Hagley Park again -- couldn't help but notice that the same band was playing the same songs as last year. I enjoyed them, but I can see how people that go there every year might want a little change sometimes.

Since you're supposed to get a New Zealand driver's license once you've been here for a year and we hadn't yet...we finally went in to AA to submit applications. Of course, I read the instructions and had everything photocopied and ready, and then the clerk tells me that my U.S. license has to be at least two years old to avoid retaking the driving test. Did it say that on the form? Nope. So I had to come back the next day with my expired U.S. license to prove it was older than two years. In the U.S., no one even wants to see any ID that's expired. Good news is that other than that, it was easy, the licenses arrived in the mail within five days, and they're good for ten years. Now we don't have to lug our passports around if we need to prove our age.

Our Chinese friends nicely invited us out to dinner at a local Chinese restaurant, and I decided to learn how to use chopsticks finally. It wasn't too bad once I got the hang of it -- I had to keep a death grip on the lower stick to manage. Interestingly, the restaurant served the water warm, which apparently is a common practice. We had a nice evening talking about food and life.

Otherwise, I am plugging away at the first chapter of my thesis, finally. The "summer" has been mostly cool so far, with a few scattered days of warmth. Our pepper plants are still hardly more than a couple inches high, but the rest of the garden is taking off, though the hail storm has destroyed the spinach beyond hope I think. It stays light out until late in the evening, which distorts one's sense of time.

pretty sunset -- after 9:00pm here!

my first homegrown raspberry!!

the broccoli is actually growing this year

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