Monday, February 19, 2018

Changing Car, Changing Place

There's usually a rush at the end of any big project it seems, but it's rarely pleasant. In the midst of doing revisions of my thesis draft, I also had to get another car and move house again, so things have been busy.

I took the Toyota Camry that we had had only since the start of last year to the wreckers at the end of last year -- it was overheating constantly and the repairpeople said a blown head gasket wasn't worth fixing on an older car. This left me worrying that it would stop working when I needed to get to work, and I was also worried about insurance issues. So I found another Subaru Legacy, like the first car we had here, which is newer and only needs to have a Warrant of Fitness (WOF) check once a year instead of twice. The seller was nice and seemed to have taken good care of it. My friend helped me pick it up and take the old one to the wrecking place, where I just got a pittance for it. But it was better than nothing.

Finding a new place was another hassle. There's not much affordable in the Christchurch area and they just don't have studio and 1-bedroom apartments like in the U.S. One place I saw was literally a shoebox size room that had been carved out of an existing building. The bed was up a ladder in a little loft area with a huge skylight, so the sun would be blasting in the morning. There was no oven or stove, just a hotplate, and a tiny bathroom squeezed in. And that place was almost as much as getting a regular small house. I decided it was time to find a place with other people to bring down the price, so I happened to find a house with a separate sleepout building in the backyard that was a decent size with two medium-size rooms that I could keep the cat in. I have full use of the main house but have my own space as well. It's not ideal and has taken some getting used to, but it will work for now as I finish things up and make a decision about where I want to go.

I've been participating in a business course over the summer at the university and it has been a great learning experience. I wish I would have learned this stuff earlier, and I really think it should be required for everyone to learn a little about business whether or not they think they want to be their own boss someday or disagree with the whole system. It's part of the world we live in, and it's hard to change something you don't understand. I've found it encouraging how often I've heard other students talk about sustainability and the environment -- it seems like a trend that has staying power.

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