“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Other Americans in Auckland

Here's a photo of Bethell's beach. It's just 25 min from my sister's house. I went yesterday morning, and there were guys going out to surf the giant scary waves (this is the Tasman Sea, West coast). The sun did come out later that day, but it's back to raining today. The good thing about it being cloudy and overcast is that you don't have to wear sunglasses and you can worry less about sunburn.
It's so great to meet other Americans here, because you can communicate so much easier. Here are links to blogs of my new friends here, Adam and Roberta, and Holly. They are good role models (along with my sister and her husband), and genuinely nice people. Who doesn't need more friends like that? What is bizarre is that Holly works with my sister, also owns a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and came from the Bay Area of CA (as did my sister). Small world? Or is NZ a popular place to emigrate to? I think the latter. The country is in demand for skilled labor. I took a big pay cut to come here, but we're expecting the quality of life to be better.
I have to talk about food again. This is a big part of the adaptation process. I enjoy good food, you could call me a "foodie". I'm not terribly picky, but prefer to eat good quality food. The best way to know your food is of good quality is to verify that it's fresh and clean, and you can do this by growing/raising it yourself, or going to the farmer's markets. You can get good dairy, veggies, juice, and meat, but watch out for the sausages! They grind the meat into pudding before stuffing it in the casing and it's scary, not knowing what is in there. I have found a couple good sources of sausages though. One is the EuroDell, where I got a really nice pepperoni, and the other is Nosh, one of the few gourmet grocers in Auckland. Holly served me a chorizo sausage from there that was really great.
As far as restaurants go, I've had great food and beer at Hallertau brewbar and restaurant, and you can get great Thai and Indian food here. Lots of sushi places too, but I haven't tried any yet. We don't eat out too much because we like to cook, and it's cheaper to eat in. Not that it's too expensive to eat out, it's not. What's great about eating in a restaurant here is that there's no tipping, and sales tax is included in the cost of everything. When you finish your meal and are ready to go, you don't have to wait for the waitstaff to bring the bill or make change, instead, you get the bill while you're eating, then take it to the cashier at the front when you're ready.