Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37

Thread: Our move so far...

  1. #1
    pianist is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    26

    Default Our move so far...

    Hi everyone!
    I have been absent from reading and posting replies for the last few weeks....we were packing like mad, trying to take care of all kinds of business, tying up lose ends, sending off kitty to Chch etc. ?Lots and lots of unexpected mishaps, extreme stress....well, those of you who have done it know what I am talking about.
    The sale of our house fell through the last minute and our realtor is not to be trusted. ?We have had to engage the services of a real estate attorney (fortunately, a friend of mine) to make sure he does what we want. ?We packed all our stuff (almost) and had a 3-man crew load theboxes up on a 40 foot container just over a week ago. ?We were still packing when the truck showed up...we were throwing things into boxes at that point! ?We used just a little over half of the container space - better safe than sorry. ?All the professionals who came to give us estimates had said a 20 foot was not large enough. ?Regardless, because we packed ourselves, we could bring as many things as we wanted because the shipping company had no limit on weight, just space. ?After the container left, we spent the next few days cleaning up the house and discovered all the OTHER things that we had forgotten to pack because they were "hidden" under stuff!
    To make matters worse, I discovered (4 days after the container left) that I had packed my passport (with the visa!) into a filing cabinet in the container...along with all my other important papers! ?This happened at 4.30 p.m. the Friday before Labor day weekend (a long holiday weekend here in the US). ?We had just enough time to call the NZ consulate in Washington DC to ask for help. ?Before doing that, we tried to ask the shippers to allow us to open up our container (which was STILL sitting in the port at Miami) to retrieve my passport....but they had rules they could not break for us. ? The guy in the NZ consulate wsa kind enough to help us out - I had to get a replacement passport and send it to him to get my visa again. ?Nothing could be done till Tuesday because of the holiday. ?We had planned to visit my in-laws in Houston regardless, so by the grace of God, I was able to apply for and get my US passport in one day (yesterday) in Houston and send it off by FedEX to Washington DC. ?Of course I had to pay some extra fees to expedite my application and also for them to look up citizenship info etc. (since I had no papers to show them)...but now, all we are doing is waiting for my passport with the visa to be returned to us. ?If it was sent today, I will make the flight our with my husband on Friday...if not, then I will fly a few days later and pay a rebooking fee with Qantas. ?
    This has been a harrowing experience....even with all my lists and detailed plans, I had forgotten to pack my passport.....be warned, all you Kiwi wannabes!
    Also, another word of advice - if you have to go into debt to hire professional movers vs. moving yourself....do it! ? Packing your own stuff is a major headache....and also, I am not sure what kinds of problems (with customs etc,) we will be running into when the container gets there in 2 months.
    I have donated my computer and access to the internet is limited for me now....will try popping in whenever I have a chance.
    Good luck to all who are on their move to NZ......

  2. #2
    Glenda's Avatar
    Glenda is offline All Knowing Deity
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bay of Islands
    Posts
    1,313

    Default Re: Our move so far...

    Crikey, pianist, I jokingly said to someone a couple of weeks ago not to forget their passport ... do hope it was not you folks. :-[

    Great to hear that you have sorted it out, even though it has left you rather frazzled at the ends. I cannot imagine moving every possession we've got without a lot of help from friends and family, if not the professional removers. It was exhausting enough with the latter!

    I do hope the rest of your move goes along without a hitch. I guess immigrating is something one does not do that often (!) so there are bound to be the odd hitch and we probably all can recall one ourselves.

    Good luck.
    :)
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

  3. #3
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    currently Ras al Khaimah, UAE, ex Wales, UK
    Posts
    11,180
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Our move so far...


    Holey moley, Pianist! What a time you've had. I can just imagine the kind of panic you must have felt as we've made our share of self-moves over the years and know exactly what last minute things can go wrong. You have my sympathy, but, at the same time I hope that things will go a bit smoother for you from now on.

    Stick with it and good luck for the move. 8-)
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  4. #4
    Dawn's Avatar
    Dawn is offline All Knowing Deity
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Hamilton NZ
    Posts
    1,272
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: Our move so far...

    OMG what a nightmare! Amazing you've managed to hold it all together! Let's hope you can take it a little easier from now on :)
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

  5. #5
    pianist1's Avatar
    pianist1 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Our move so far...

    Hi all,
    We have been in Christchurch for 5 weeks now....sorry for dropping off the forum! Yes...I had to change my username - couldn't remember my password and couldn't retrieve it either since it was sent to my old email address, now defunct.
    Picking up from my last entry...I got my passport back from the NZ consulate in Washington DC the day before we were to fly out of Houston....didn't have to rebook my flight. We had each packed two suitcases to the allowed weight for Qantas (70 lbs. each) but we forgot our domestic carrier (that flew us from Houston to LAX) had a 50 lb. weight limit! Ended up paying $25 for each of the three bags that were over 50 lbs.! During the second week of September the airlines still had restrictions on things that were allowed as carry-ons....no cans of drinks, lipgloss, etc. It was a drag.
    We flew in to Auckland and had to drag our overweight bags to the domestic terminal with little time in between flights. If you are not an athlete, this will easily give you a heart attack! A friend picked us up in Christchurch and took us to her home. She was someone we knew from the US who was doing a fellowship here (for 4 months) at the university my husband is working at. We stayed at her rental house in a snooty part of town for two weeks. Her tiny 2 bedroom house is old, cold and not insulated. We experienced firsthand for ourselves all the tales of cold houses I had been reading about on the forum! The only source of heat were space heaters and the electric blanket. I was shocked to discover the toilet (commode for Americans) is usually in a tiny room by itself - and this one had glass louvered windows, permanently OPEN...even in the winter!
    Some observations the first few weeks of our stay here....we spent lots of time looking for houses (to buy)... most 3 or even 4 bedroom houses have only ONE toilet; kitchens generally have little cabinet/storage space; the refrigerators are usually very small (I ended up going to the grocery store every other day because there wasn't enough space to put all the food); washers and dryers tend to have smaller capacity...the larger ones are very expensive; bedrooms generally have limited or no closet space; many houses share one driveway because one house is built in front of the other; most houses less that 10 years old have little or no insulation and no double glazed windows; some food in the grocery store cost twice as much as in the US (meats) despite shopping at Pack n save etc.; if you know someone who will take you to a reputable car dealer, you can select from a wide variety of used cars for a good price (we got a 10-year old Nissan Cefiro/Maxima that had 80 ki. for around $7k); eating out is VERY expensive - even lunch for two at Burger King will cost $15 easily. Can't hardly get a can of soda for less than $2.30
    We are now in a 2 bedroom furnished rental house until January or so. It is very minimal and lacking (no microwave, hairdryer, iron, toaster etc.) but it is short term, so what the heck. We are paying $270 in rent a week. My cat made it safely and has been out of quarantine 2 weeks now. He seems to have adapted well for being 14!
    We are coming to the conclusion that we either 1) buy an older and cheaper home and renovate it to our taste - i.e. insulation, heat pumps, double glazed windows etc or 2) build from scratch and have the builders insulate and heat the house to our specifications. In Christchurch, we would have to spend at least $400k to do the latter for a house around 180 sq m. in a cheaper part of town. Not sure what prices are like elsewhere in NZ.
    Things have been going real slow for me and life has been really boring. I have not been able to find work in my field (teaching music) since the academic year is coming to an end. My piano is still on the ship, somewhere near Italy we were told, and won't get here till mid-November. I have applied for some retail jobs to pass the time, but no luck so far. It looks like the arts has taken a financial hit here, like in the US....the local professional ballet company folded up recently, and I hear the opera or orchestra is going the same way too. I had a niche in my previous home in the dance and music world which I really miss. On the good side, phone cards are real cheap - 3 cents/minute to call the US. It is good to be able to talk to friends and family without breaking the bank!
    Our rental house is old and has neither the connections for cable/satellite tv or broadband. I have not been able to access the internet except at the internet cafes until a couple of days ago, when we discovered that one of our neighbors has WiFi! We are tapping into it, but the signal is not always good.
    Are any of you guys out there living in Christchurch? Sure would be nice to compare notes etc. Getting tired of sitting at home most of the time and talking to the cat.
    Good luck to all of you who are in the process of moving over!

  6. #6
    Taffy's Avatar
    Taffy is offline He who shall be ignored
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Hamilton, NZ
    Posts
    3,408
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: Our move so far...

    Some of those older homes are pretty bad, aren't they?!

    $400k for building a 180sqm home sounds extortionate. Companies up this way (Hamilton) are charging in the region of $240k for a 250 - 300sqm home (including 2 or 3 toilets! ;)) and one fits double glazing and heat pumps as standard. Would definately recommend shopping around a bit for new builds.

    I bet you had a shock on grocery prices! Thats the trouble when you come from the buying power of around 350 million people to just 4 million!
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

  7. #7
    pianist1's Avatar
    pianist1 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Our move so far...

    Hey Taffy,
    $400k for the 180 sqm. house includes the section. Is the price you quoted including the section? We have spent a good amount of time talking to builders, as this price is one of the lower quotes so far.

  8. #8
    Taffy's Avatar
    Taffy is offline He who shall be ignored
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Hamilton, NZ
    Posts
    3,408
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: Our move so far...

    Hi,

    No, that doesnt include the section, so depending on what size section that includes, it's not a bad price after all!
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

  9. #9
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    currently Ras al Khaimah, UAE, ex Wales, UK
    Posts
    11,180
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Our move so far...

    things aren't panning out quite as you'd expected, Pianist, but your post will serve as a good guide re cost of living to other folks coming to NZ from the US. ?I'm sure they'll be very interested to hear how you compare NZ life to that in the US.

    I hope things will pick up for you as you settle in, get to know more people and become more familiar with your surroundings. ?Perhaps people you meet can put you in touch with what's going on in your area and, if you can find something you're interested in, it'll help to lift your spirits. ?Also, once the warmer weather (finally) kicks in, I'd hope it should help you to see things more positively.

    I don't think we have too many members living in South Island. ?Netchicken lives in the Christchurch area but we haven't heard from him for a while and Moggy was heading down that way, so I don't know if she'll be looking in on us. ?I do hope you can link up with someone as it will open up new vistas for you.

    Keep your spirits up and, if you need to share your thoughts and problems, you know we're here for you. ?

    Thanks for taking the time to make a very informative post. ?

    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  10. #10
    pianist1's Avatar
    pianist1 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Our move so far...

    Hi MB,
    Thanks for all the encouragement. Yes, I agree the cold weather doesn't help lift one's spirits...especially for people like us, who came from Florida where it is over 27*C nine months a year!
    I know it will be a matter of time before we get settled in, but having been a career person all my life (and not having any kids) leaves me with little to do at home now. Thank goodness for the internet that I have been able to access better recently...otherwise I would have gone crazy. I am sure anyone would experience the same isolation initially, for moving anywhere else in the world!

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. We're on the move...
    By Jodie in forum General NZ Chat
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 16-04-2007, 01:28 AM
  2. Move or not to move to NZ
    By Shannon in forum General NZ Chat
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 18-05-2006, 08:45 PM
  3. Why I want to move to nz!
    By nattydread in forum General NZ Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-06-2005, 09:31 PM
  4. Why move to NZ?
    By jamesthecarman in forum General NZ Chat
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 26-01-2005, 04:16 PM
  5. Big move in Jan...
    By cal in forum General NZ Chat
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 21-11-2004, 02:58 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46