Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Settling In.. Has it only been one week?

Saturday Market was an opportunity to get our feet wet in the local scene. There was fresh produce, all organic, food, art and people watching. Who knows what we spent? The items were all so new and different and our tiny fridge was empty as a pocket with nothing to lose.

I took a neighborhood walk and marveled at Nelson College, the famous school where I hope they let me substiute teach.

The last few days have been hectic and informative. Lest anyone think one can enter a new world and be in control, think again. It takes patience and persistance to stay on track and centered.

Since our last post, we now have a bank account, tax numbers, P.O. Box, Sky TV, yoga and golf memberships.

Still no car.

We failed to make a deal with Norm Lovelock for the Suzuki Grand Vitara. They must have seen us coming and pegged us as rich Americans who would pay anything for an $8000 SUV. After 2 hours, including a test drive and a serious sit-down with the manager, we were still miles apart. We came up 5500 and they came down 1500. And there was still a giant space in between.

So we walked and went for a stiff drink at Lamretta's, our new favorite watering hole. The place is decorated in a european motor scooter theme.

The bank was much more friendly as was the govt. tax office. We were in and out in less time than it took for Norm Lovelock and his manager to wish they took our deal.

Kimberly has found several yoga studios and taken some classes. She will probably be teaching before we get a car.

I played a round of golf at the Nelson Golf Club, which borders the estuary and is quite beautiful. The course is challenging, inexpensive, and uncrowded. If you pay the annual membership of $275US, you get to play for free all year! You also get the same deal at 15 other NZ courses around the country. I joined today and already have my membership card and bag tag. I told them I was a novice which means I don't have an official handicap, which happens to be true.

This morning, we took a 20 minute drive with our Kiwi buddy, Frith,

to magnificant Mapua, a small colony which features art, wine, boating, fishing, camping, and hiking. We had marvelous chocolates, wine, coffee, home grown olive oil, picked delicious apples and looked at sheep. We finally found them hiding in a apple grove. The grower lets them graze between the trees so he can avoid mowing the lawn.

Later we walked to town and I shopped for Honda CRVs. Hopefully a deal can be made with young Nick Devereux because my feet are getting tired.

We also got grocery store cards to earn points when we shop. We are not sure what the points will get us, but we did not want to miss the opportunity.

Tonite we dine at home on local produce, wine and capsicum/almond tapenade, which is a spread we will put on local bread, and free range chicken.

The fire is blasting and warming our little New Zealand home.


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