Thursday, 12 September 2013

First Kiwi week

So how's the first week in New Zealand been?

I arrived in NZ last Wednesday at noon, local time. When you're travelling long distances, you normally have to go through one or several transit airports. In my case three, London, Dubai and Melbourne. And when do travel like that, your luggage is meant to follow. Though most luggage do appear as planned, some don't. I've heard of people who arrived in southern France and their suitcase in Thailand.

Luckily I didn't have THAT bad luck. Because our flight was delayed leaving Dubai, we had to rush a bit when we arrived in Melbourne to the next flight to Auckland. As we were waiting for our luggage on conveyor 1, my mate got his and headed for the car. Me on the other hand, had to go to the luggage claim services. They were most helpful and told me my luggage would be arriving on the flight after me, five hours later. They would transport it free of charge to the hotel and got heaps (Kiwi expression for loads) of freebies.

TIP! Label your luggage and know exactly what's in it! Because it has to be scanned and if you haven't told Customs exactly what's in it, you will most likely be fined.

Passing through border control and customs was actually perfectly fine. I remember seeig a show on TV when I was younger, Border Security Australia. They were so strict on there, so I expected almost the same in NZ. When I walked up to the border control officer, he asked a few simple questions, but all of a sudden smiled and said "Ha, a Norwegian with a Welsh accent! Now that's a first".

TIP! On your landing card/passenger arrival card, your customs declaration, DO NOT lie! If you don't declare an item, you might get fined. So if you've got some chocolate, medicines and large amounts of cash, don't lie.

All of us arrived on the Wednesday and started our two day orientation. We basically covered everything from nutrition and psychology to first aid and driving on the wrong...I mean left side of the road. There's heaps of au pairs arriving every week now apparently.

The beach

After two days of orientation I arrived in Mount Maunganui and met the family I'm now working for. The boys have been great so far and the rest of the family too! I've got my own room and a double bed! And the beach... 70-80 meters behind my headboard is the beach! It's amazing. Can't wait for summer to really kick in.
NZ ID was one the first things I sorted out when I went into town on Monday. The only valid ID that we from overseas hold, is our passports. That's it. Drivers licence, even my UK one, is not accepted as ID. I didn't know that before I came here either. If it's one piece of document I would NEVER take with me on a night out etc., it's my passport. The is the single most important document I own.
So filled in a form to get a NZ ID, which will arrive within 10 days (hopefully). Anyhoodle, to get that form sent off I had to get it proved by a solicitor, judge, member of Parliament or others authorized by the state. So I had to go to the Ministry of Justice, raise my right hand and say an oath. Nothing fancy, just I had to swear in front of the staff member that the information provided on that form was, to the best of my abilities, correct.
How Kiwi's park their bikes

Then at the same time as I was sorting out my ID, bank account and IRD number (social security number), one of my friends and fellow au pairs had been in an accident and had been hospitalized in the local hospital. So I got to see a NZ hospital as well.

In addition to all of this, I've started to have a social life again. I've met some fellow au pairs in my area and getting to know others outside the family.

So my first week have indeed been very eventful!
This weekend is my first proper outing. We're going to Tongariro national park, so should be great.

Today's song is one of my favourites. It's one of those songs you can listen to when you're really down and your mood will always improve. Enjoy!

Today's song: Owl City - Shooting Star