Our First Month in Wellington

Where did the time go? I can't believe we have been in Wellington for a month now. It feels like only yesterday when I was at the airport worrying about whether I could even go past immigration or not.  Ha, a lot of good things have happened since. Life remains imperfect of course, but it's good enough for me to enjoy what I have here. The truth is, I already love Wellington (although my hair and my skin don't) and I am very blessed to have been given the chance to live here. It's a ridiculously beautiful city and so laid-back. I have a lot more to say about this amazing place, but it's hard for me to put them into words right now. Maybe next time.

For the meantime, let me tell you what J and I have been up to in the last four weeks.

The first two weeks were all about finding our way around the city. Sure it can be so daunting to be (or live in that matter) in a new city and not know anything about it. To be honest before coming here, I didn't do any research on Wellington. I just didn't do anything. I think packing and unpacking for almost three weeks before  we left London wore me out completely. J did a good job though because he did some reading, so we were okay. The credit also goes to J's company for first of all finding us a good hotel that is convenient to everything  and secondly, for being so considerate in letting J out of work most days so we could sort out basic things like buying sim cards, opening bank account, etc. This actually made our adjustment period less stressful and more fun. If anything, I am more overwhelmed by the number of beautiful places (yes I know now) that we must go to. I'm not sure if a year would be enough to see them all, but I would be equally grateful even if I can only manage to see some.

One of the first places we visited was the Te Papa Museum (national museum of New Zealand). The DreamWorks  animation exhibition was on at that time and it was so cool to see how sketches of our favourite films (like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda) were made into movies. And for NZ$15, it was well worth it.

What I enjoyed the most though was the interactive area where J drew himself. 

Now it's up to you to believe if J really looks like this:

Also I found this and really enjoyed reading the comments:

The biggest surprise of the month I think is the fact that I have not made any friends yet. It's out of character really but I just don't feel the need to have a physical friend right now. I am enjoying my own company and I want to make the most out of it, because I know that as soon as I start working I'll definitely be making friends. I never had this experience before and I am absolutely loving it. But don't get me wrong, I am no "Billy No Mates". I am actually in regular contact with most of my friends from all over the world via messenger, whatsapp and viber. So I'm not totally friendless. I just don't have a physical friend- that is all. I actually know a couple of ladies in New Zealand and I met up with them recently. 

I met up with Gayle during my jetlag days so pardon my appearance on the photo below. Anyway, I used to work with her at St Thomas' (so tempting to put an "S" after the apostrophe) in London and I got the idea of a career break from her. She lives in Hamilton which is about 6 hours drive from Wellington. We have been in touch on and off since she left for New Zealand more or less than a year ago.  I'm glad that I have met up with her because she is going back to London soon.

Manang Mabel on the other hand is my brother's friend and kumare. I haven't seen her in person in a very long time. We only communicated randomly on facebook. As much as I was embarrassed to reach out, I took the courage to send her a message to let her know that I was coming to New Zealand. Without hesitation, she offered to meet up and so here we are.....

It was just so nice to see familiar faces in an unfamiliar place. 

I guess our biggest achievement in the last month is finding a new flat and moving in. If I can be totally honest, this has been the easiest move that I have ever done in my life. Believe me. Until now I keep asking myself how did it happen. I just can't believe that regardless of how big this move was, everything went so smoothly. When we shipped most of our belongings to Wellington, we were worried that they may get delayed for a long time and worse, get lost in transit (based on reviews of the company that we used), but much to our delight none of this happened. We also thought that it would be stressful to find an apartment but with the help of J's company, we were able to find a good one after just a couple of viewings. And now, we have been living in our new home for a couple of weeks and we're loving it!

It's just so surreal on my part that after 15 years of either living in a studio flat or sharing with people, I finally have a place I can call my home. You have no idea how much this means to me. It's because I am a "homemaker" by nature and I love doing household chores. Thanks to J, this is another dream come true.

So let me tell you our journey to making this two bedroom apartment into a cosy home. First of all, we had five big boxes to unpack, two luggage, three weekend bags and two carry-on bags. Secondly, the apartment is quite big and I knew when we brought our boxes  the day before we moved that it hasn't been cleaned. And because we had to move in as soon as possible, I volunteered to clean the whole flat- much to the delight of the land lady (who  by the way is also called Christine). We bonded over my eagerness to clean and I think this is the reason why she keeps telling me that she likes me in the flat.

It took me a day to disinfect the whole flat (to my standard) and then another day for (both of) us to unpack our belongings. I really don't mind doing all the cleaning in any flat that I move into because at the end of the day I am the one living in it. Besides, even if it has been cleaned, I would still clean it anyway. It's the OCD you see. So no matter how tired I become, I don't mind for as long as I know that my house is clean because otherwise I'll have the shivers and goose bumps and I won't settle.

I must admit that although the whole process went easily, there were still some unavoidable minor difficulties. The most difficult part for me was buying bits and pieces for the flat. We thought we won't need much as we're only here temporarily but we ended up buying loads of stuff. I found this challenging only because J was at work most days and I was left on my own to buy the things that we needed. I mean I could have waited for the weekend so we could have done it together but the OCD that I am, I couldn't wait. I wanted to settle straight away. And this is why I went to town on my own everyday. Somehow I think the weather had something to do with my discomfort. It was quite hot those days and walking around town in the heat was too uncomfortable for me. But I shouldn't really complain because despite the little inconvenience, I enjoyed furnishing our flat.

We live in a hilly area called Mount Victoria or Mt Vic (will blog about it later). Although going up the hill is most of the time a struggle, it's worth it because it is a very nice area. It is quiet and it feels safe around here. There is a bus stop a few steps away from our flat, or you can walk to town in just 15 minutes. And the view? I am grateful everyday to be waking up to such an amazing view.

I guess it's safe to say that I am now settled. J, the last time I asked him was quite unsure. But last night when I reminded him that we've been here for a month, he said that it feels longer than that. I don't know what to call that but at least I know that he is slowly settling in somehow. I think generally I just do things in great haste (which according to the Bible makes mistakes). Ha.

So what else have we been up to? J works five days a week while I am sort of a plain "housewife" at the moment. But I don't think this novelty is going to last any longer as it is beginning to take its toll on me. Although I am very capable of finding things to occupy my time and to entertain me (yes, facebook and instagram), I can not be jobless for a long time. And for this reason, I have already applied for jobs (hurray). And no, I am not going to be a nurse here. I am taking this opportunity to take on  a different role. I believe that I have other skills outside nursing that I need to develop, so I decided not to apply for New Zealand registration. And the best news is, I now have a work visa so I'm sure I will find a job sooner than later. Who knows, my dream to work in retail will soon come true. Ha, too bad they don't have Zara here. 

So far we have been spending our weekends driving around the bays in our car Fumptoid and visiting some tourist spots. One thing that I love about Wellington is that everywhere is beautiful. You drive 15 minutes away and you see beautiful bays and beaches. Or if you are not that keen to go anywhere far, you can just stay around the city and be equally satisfied with its beauty. Or in our case, we can just sit in our balcony and enjoy the view of the bay and the city. :)

We have also joined the gym and have started going at least three times a week. I have been running but not as much yet because the weather has been very good lately (meaning it's been really hot) and I can't really run in the heat. Another thing that is frustrating me right now is the fact that I have been running at a slower pace - from 5:25/km to 6:01/km. But hopefully I can run more soon - only if I can convince myself to wake up earlier in the mornings.

I guess I have said enough about our first month in Wellington. We have few months ahead of us and although I am hoping and praying that everything will be as good as the first month, I am also aware that some things  may not work out the way we want them to. But hey, it's all part of the journey and I am ready as ever to join the ride and just enjoy it no matter how bumpy it can get. 

For now, I am just grateful.

tintin x


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