Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.

First Day at Work.
September 26, 2007, 8:03 pm
Filed under: Establishing | Tags: , ,

First Day Fashion.

Today was my first day at work. After sorting out the final details about my new apartment (more on that this NZ weekend) and having one more scrap with my bank (grumble), I finally managed to drag myself to work and earn some money for myself. None of it billable – shout out to all my consultant friends out there. Most of today was spent reviewing legislation and policy documents applicable to Auckland Region, which of course needs to be done but makes for some pretty ho-hum storytelling.

Which is why we are going to talk FASHION tonight. Oh yes. Pictured above is our hero, sporting a vintage Tarleton pullover jumper sans collared shirt. This is incredibly trendy and functional, taking into consideration that our hero does not have a single article of wrinkle-free clothing to his name right now. A pair of brown Levi’s cotton pants provides an economical conclusion to this ensemble – that’s a $40 outfit you are looking at. Brown pants are so last year, but for some reason our hero can pull it off no matter what. The oversized (on a person with a normal sized head) aviators are from this (North American) summer’s Dockers line, a $25 accessory that screams trendy but at an appropriate scale with an appropriate reflection to render one anonymous within any public space. And of course, no Auckland ensemble would be complete without the requisite umbrella, this red and black number providing both local flavour and a little bit of spice to make even the quietest of kiwis exclaim “crikey dick!”  The shoes are faux suede Sketchers ideal for both the boardwalk and the boardroom, the most expensive piece at $70.

(Epilogue: I have built a whole new life for myself in a while new country in only 72 hours.)


Moon Festival.
September 26, 2007, 7:53 am
Filed under: Establishing | Tags: , ,

I had my first ever Moon Cake yesterday.  Mmm mmm scrumptuous!

No New Phone Without Residential Address.
September 24, 2007, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Establishing | Tags: , , ,

My first full day in New Zealand started off by sleeping until 10 AM. That’s a 12-hour sleep, of which I do not have many. I guess I’m over my jet lag now. After playing with my boss’ dog (identical to one of my Barrie boss’ dogs) for an hour, I showered up and went into the City. Auckland is divided up into somewhat autonomous suburbs – in the Winnipeg style back when the Unicity was first formed – of which one is focussed upon the Downtown. It’s called “Auckland City” or “Auckland Central”. That’s where I work and will live, hopefully in short course (it’s tough to be a tomcat when you live with your boss).

After landing in the City at Noon, I decided to set up a bank account and some apartment tours. And having forgotten my passport at my boss’ house, this became quite trying. Apparently, foreigners need a passport to do anything here. I imagine it’s the same for newcomers to Canada, too. I decided to visit work for the first time to mooch their phone to set up tours.

Now why on earth would I want to go into my office, unpaid, simply to mooch a phone? That was based on my detour stop on the way into the City.

I tried to set up a mobile phone and was rebuffed.

Apparently, if you are new to New Zealand, your approved Visa and all the reference letters in the world aren’t enough to satisfy “the corporations” that you’re money is good and reliable. The phone company wants a residential address to validate an account. So to get a mobile phone I have to a) hand over a photocopy of my important passport information, b) fill out a bunch of paperwork, way way more than I needed to get a mortgage for the condo in Barrie I am serious, and c) wait 24 hours for the application to be approved before buying a phone.


I started at a suburban outlet near my boss’ house (where I am staying, refer below). I finished the deal in the City, at the flagship location across from the train station and the port where there are lots of foreigners coming into the country looking for phones. Therefore, I remain phoneless until lunchtime tomorrow.

Which is especially handy when all the apartment owners I am looking to tour through tomorrow all want me to “text my mobile number” to them ASAP. Five tours scheduled. Should be a hoot.

If that’s the worst speedbump I have been faced with to this point, I suppose I am made in the shade in this life. But until that is resolved, I can’t whine about it through text messages to my non-existent New Zealand friends. I should get started on that, too.

Adelaide Airport.
September 24, 2007, 10:49 am
Filed under: Process of Travelling | Tags: , ,

As you know by now, my flight into Hong Kong arrived late.  I was re-routed to Auckland through Adelaide, Australia.  That’s an awful long way from Toronto.

I walked off the plane and was met by one of Air New Zealand’s land staffers, who gave me a printed receipt of why I wound up in Adelaide and sent me to the gate.  There, I was met by a Qantas staffer (it appears as though they do airport management as well) who didn’t understand the paperwork ANZ had given me.  A couple of phone calls sorted that out and I was rewarded with an exit aisle window seat – the most luxurious part of my 30 hours in the air from Vancouver (36 if you include Toronto from earlier in the week).  All Staff seemed quite interested in what I was undertaking by moving to Auckland.

In fact, they were so friendly that I would consider holidaying in Adelaide.  I’m stereotyping that they are all fairly nice people.

The flight to Auckland was wonderfully uneventful.  I was the only Canadian on the flight for sure.  I claim this because I was the only person in the entire “Not Australia or New Zealand” line.   I was welcomed into the country by a border guard with one of those trendy mullets that people from more “English” countries are always sporting.  He was cracking jokes and everything.  My Visa was therefore validated and New Zealand officially became stuck with me.

Next stop was Customs to declare my life savings (Note to the Royal Bank: yes, I do only have $2 to my name right now.  Please skip my next few mortgage payments).  Turns out I didn’t have to because most of it was contained in a bank draft and I didn’t have to declare that.  The Customs Agent was all excited for me too.  He actually shook my hand as wished me good luck on my way out!

Suffice to say, the final leg of the airplane marathon was most pleasant.  More on New Zealand itself over the coming days.

Generic First Post.
September 22, 2007, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Site Maintenance | Tags: , ,

I thought I could take advantage of my missed connection layover by (again) restarting my website.

I am sitting here in Hong Kong, hammering idly away at the keyboard in preparation for an overnight flight to Adelaide. I left Vancouver five minutes late, yet somehow arrived here an hour late. While Staff have been nice and friendly about everything, as you can understand I’m not in the best of moods. And further considering that most of you know what my writing is often about, I figured this would be the best therapy for me.

To confirm the rumours, yes, I am moving to Auckland to work with a small planning consultancy for a year. Not unlike Ron Burgundy, this is the balls. I land in town tomorrow night, where my new boss Neil will pick me up and take me home for a lovely meal with his family. Monday becomes househunting and cellphone day. Tuesday becomes nap off the lag day. Wednesday is work.

With this relaunched site (at a new, so far better location), I’ll be chronicling my stay and experiences. I will also be trying to learn a little CSS as well to add some bells, plus to see if I have legitimate picture hosting material here somehow. Do please continue to check in here to see what’s going on, or perhaps even to subscribe using the feed links below.

Missing both my flights and you…