Saturday, September 25, 2004

Day Two on the Ground... Time to get Sorted!

Woke at 6am.

Went for brekkie at a local cafe called "T for Tea" - v. contemporary place with GREAT brekkies and coffees. The first of our NZ experiences happened here.... the first of a few today...!! We arrived at the cafe at 8.40am - the door was open. We asked the girl behind the counter if she was open - she said not until 9am but to come on in..! We chatted and ordered brekkie and then she announced she was leaving the shop to deliver a cuppa to the guy at the garage (down the road!) and to get the papers.... she left us alone in the cafe with the key in the till! Now that wouldn't happen in the UK!! We were gobsmacked....

Finished our rather superb brekkie and decided to catch bus into town to try and buy a car.... we don't hang around!

Whilst a little way away from the bus stop we saw the bus arrive... damn we thought. However... the bus stopped and the driver got out... he walked down the road to the bakery and went in... we got to the bus and asked a lady passenger what was up... she said "he's gone to get brekkie"!!! Sure enough, the driver came back avec coffee and pastries! We chatted with passengers, had a laugh with the driver (we commented tht we knew this place was friendly but a free coffee and pastry with our ticket was just tooooo much to take haha ) and began our first bus ride into Chchurch..... Stopped off at the corner of Ferry Road and Moorhouse (see, I sound like a local already!!) - this area is just chocka with used car salesrooms.

After a few hours of test driving various models we decided on, and bought, a Rav4 for 10K. So YAY... we have a car plus insurance plus AA cover... mission accomplished and we're chuffed to bits with it! All the car sales places were very helpful (funny that, eh?!!) but we found Donniethorne Simms v. good indeed and that's who we bought it from....

Sorted ourselves out with a new sim card (pre pay Vodafone $25 incl $15 free credit) at the East Gate Mall - found The Warehouse there too.. v. cheap stuff... great for basic toiletries etc. Drove home, sorted out internet over the phone with a company called Lynx - costs just $35 / month (dial up until we get a permie place) and that's unlimited usage so not bad at all.... plus they didn't require us to take out a contract for 6mths / 12mths - it's done on a monthly basis and can be used anywhere so can take account with us when we move.... result!

That about brings us up to date after a few days on the ground.... it's now 10.30pm and I'm pleased that we've managed to stay awake so long.

First impressions? Well, we certainly are VERY taken back with the friendly and trusting nature of the Kiwi's - we have spoken with so many people today. The garage loaned us a car for the day whilst they spruced ours up, the surf shop where we bought my fleece gave us LOADS of clothes hangers for free when they overheard us saying we needed some (!), and the guy at the garage where we bought the car gave us his home number so Warren could call his wife about an IT job (wasn't suitable in the end but HEY, it was an opportunity not to be missed!).

Next step is to find somewhere to rent... and Nicky is ALREADY armed with places for us to see... amazing!!!!!! Now... Lyttleton. Hmmm - not as nice as I had expected and, to be honest, was really disappointed Even the locals don't have much good to say about the area ("drunk Russian sailors" !!) so it's going to be knocked off our list of places to live... oh well... I suspect Diamond Harbor will go the same way, and Governors Bay too but we will see what is available. LOVE Mt Pleasant and Redcliffs .. but I have expensive taste so that's to be expected!!!

Sumner is FAB and we shall see what we can find here but again, it can be pricey. Well folks, bedtime, just can't drink enough Red Bull to keep us awake but its nearly 11pm so we have done quite well !! Will post again soon.....

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