Destination: Palmerston North
Since all three boys were sick, we though taking the Overlander to Palmerston North would be too tiring for all of us – 7 hours with these active boys on the train. We did it last December to Xiamen but the boys were much easier to manage then. Air New Zealand is pretty much the only choice for domestic flights, at least to Palmerston North, we bought the flight online right away and I was able to get full refund on the train tickets, which was nice. The plane ride from Hamilton to Wellington was alright, but it was a propeller, I haven’t taken these for ages but it went fine. Then it was a even smaller Beech from Wellington to Palmerston North, only holds about 20 passengers I think but it was only a 45 minute flight. Both of us felt so relieved when we arrived, we finally reached our destination on Sept 10th, after 18 days living in hotels in five different cities.
We had no problem getting a taxi and the driver was pretty cool with us not having the car seats but legally it’s not allowed in New Zealand. We got in the Mews and Tracey greeted us there, we rented two studio homes and I can’t believe we’ve been in it for almost three weeks by now. If we could do it all over again, I think it might be better to come straight to Palmerston North and have a few houses to look at but we are cool with doing things differently all the time, so it was quite a unique experiences. Boys were really troopers and they quickly settled into their new routine, they love the parks, and they meet ducks and nine little ones every morning, all the babies (ducklings and Lin & Li) eating the rice puff. I am sure most of the inconvenience will go away once we find the right house to rent but in a way, I will miss the days at the Mews, not just the stroller ride to learn about the neighborhoods but probably the part that we overcame the challenges as new immigrants as well. I am also getting used to being home with the boys 24/7, they are growing and at times, they are really fussy, pulling each other’s hair, battling, but they are so beautiful and cute, at least everyone says so when they see them :). Another interesting thing is that Kiwis are very friendly and welcoming, coffee is fantastic, the way of living is just so different – not so much keeping up with the Jones but more laid back, even though the pay is pretty low, Michael loves his work – he works 37.5 hours with 2 15-minute paid break, coworkers and his manager were all super nice to him, as a matter of fact, a lot of them are Europeans and we are planning on going out with them already; 4 weeks of vacation plus public holidays, whole week off during Christmas. He felt that he’s treated better here than his previous job as a number. We can also apply for family assistance because of the kids on top of the tax credit, medical is free, all the parks are free, and music lessons and such are really cheap, plus I think the government pays for free daycare till age of 3 but we still think it’s better for me to stay home, so I think in the end, we will make it out better with our disposable income.