I have talked a good while ago now about some of the things I miss…or more appropriately do not miss…about the UK after coming to NZ. However, I think it is worth thinking about something else – namely the number of things you take for granted in your day to day life…
1. All of the shops you know and love are not on your doorstep any more…so where do you go for a pair of shoes? Where do you go for a new TV? This is no great hardship really…it makes things a little more interesting…but also more time consuming to do even the simple things in life that come naturally wherever you are from.
2. There are odd occasions when you need a friend or family helping hand…not quite so easy any more. We were incredibly lucky to have some help in loan of furniture after we arrived here but I can only guess at how hard it can be for some people arriving with just a suitcase and no-one to greet them.
3. Many brands these days are worldwide but there are still occasions when the best of elsewhere simply doesn’t quite cut the mustard. The prime example being beer. The real ale of Britain (some of which you can buy here…for a price) cannot be beaten. But for each downside, there are upsides because the freshness and variety (and cheap prices!) of fresh produce here is top notch.
4. A lot of the time I would find that I would perhaps not pay full attention when someone used to give me advice, such as “this curry house is great”…whereas here, you can never be sure what little gems you might hear to make things a little easier…an example being someone telling me that the man who owns the Z petrol stations also makes award winning pies, which he sells in the petrol stations…and boy is it true! Who would have thought of Thai green curry in a pie…?
5. Something that happened was my PS3 gave up the ghost recently…not a huge problem you would think to just get a new Blu Ray player…but in NZ it is…because of DVD region codes (Blu Ray regions are the same). A simple job needed hours of research to try to find a player that might just take region 4 DVDs. Thank heaven for hacking websites. We ended up settling on a slightly lower spec player which seemed easier to change the region using the remote (you can’t hack Sony or Samsung easily) and thankfully job done!
Thankfully the internet helps with so many things these days…and there is no substitute for getting out of the house and experiencing something a little different each time. Just be careful of the routine taking shape…