Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 12, 2008- Tauranga, NZ

Tauranga Harbor View
View of Mt Manganui from Beach

Back in New Zealand, yet again. The little city of Tauranga feels more and more like home. The weather is sublime, it’s nice to reunite with friends and acquaintances, we know our way around, the car is working, and fresh strawberries are the fruit of the month.

The boat is fine, but there is still a lot of work to do. We worry about completing it in time to catch the good weather window in May. Yes, five months seems like enough time to get anything done. Any why would you worry when you are leading the dream life in the South Pacific?

You do when the tradesman you worked with last year and who is number one on your critical path says (after you have put in the obligatory 15 minutes of small talk, live and in person, because starting a project on the phone is not getting into action here): “Oi keen coom boi and look at it sometoime in Janry efter Oi feenish thees big jawb een look at eet.” “We’ll be in Oz (local for Australia) for 6 weeks in January and February”. “Weel, Oi moy be down thee road boi then.” “Do you mean you are retiring?” “Ah, yees, thees is getting too much fer me, got ter leave it to thees yung uns.”

We will get there but it won’t be easy. And hey, the really good news is that New Zealand is a bargain now. A U.S. dollar purchases 35% more than it did in March, when we started the boat refit. Dinner out, nothing fancy, costs $16 rather than $25 and there are a lot of very good wines to be purchased for under $5/bottle. Here we are, on the “good side” of the global economic crisis – there are deals to be had, the planes are empty, it really is a good time to come on over.

The Kiwis are not preoccupied by the gloomy news. They tell lots of jokes: “How do you tell who’s an optimist in the financial industry?” “It’s the one who irons five shirts on Sunday night.” The tradespeople claim to be busy, but it looks to us like they just know how to drag out jobs that pay by the hour. The only thing the New Zealanders complain about is the price of cheese, and they have been doing that since we first arrived a year ago. Go figure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! Sounds good to me! although I'm sure that it's also very frustrating. Ice cold weather here for an unusually long time. Poor little plants! Happy Holidays to the both of you. We're thinking of you and perhaps one of these days I'll write some more.

Love, Larae

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