Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The nine month mark...

I think it's nine months. Well close enough anyway.  That's the time it takes for me to settle into a new city or a new country. Nine months has nothing much to do with me and babies.  My pregnancies last around 15 months. (Just ask my husband) which is why I am most definitely not doing it again. Sit down Mum, sorry I got you excited.

I remember hitting the nine month mark in Melbourne. (We moved two months later.) I hit the nine month mark in Auckland a month or so ago.  I feel really happy, I thought. I like it. Life is pretty good. I have friends. I know what I am doing tomorrow and next week. I know where to find things.
I even welled up when my kid sang the New Zealand national anthem  at his school assembly with a couple of hundred little Kiwis.  The first time I heard that my thought was "Oh hell, that's right we live in New Zealand... how did we get here again?" So to hear it and feel a little moved (like you should when you hear a national anthem) is quite a change.

New friends have invited us to their bach in the summer.  People have now started letting us in on the local secrets for day trips and weekends away. We can even give some tips of our own.

I can say some Maori words without stumbling too much. You pronounce all the vowels, 'wh' is 'f' and you listen to Radio New Zealand a lot. You try it... Whangaparaoa, Tawharanui, Komokoriki.  Heavens, our first few car trips into the countryside were fun with me trying to match the signs we whizzed past with the map in my hand.

Ah yes, and if it's wet you say "wit" or if you're five years old "it's wit as, Mum." Sorry couldn't help it. Apologies for poking fun at the accent... there go at least half of the new friends I've made.

Three months in to our move I was depressed and a little snappy. "Why won't these bloody women just talk to me," I thought. Now I don't mind as much if someone doesn't chat back. Australians I think (or maybe just me) love a bit of a chat without consequence. I have now found other people do do that here too. Just not as often.

I think what I've learnt with the whole moving chore (I used to say adventure but it's worn off) is that you can't rush the process. Just wait and slowly but surely it will be fine.

I lied a lot in those first nine months, telling people "yes, we're feeling so settled now."
I am not lying now when I say we're feeling settled. Must be about time to move.

(By the way my husband read this and muttered, "pregnant for 15 months? More like two years...")


  1. Haha, funny husband.
    So I'm trying not to rush this moving countries process, but it's been 5 years! I am still really homesick for NZ and cringe when I have to stand for the national anthem at end of term school assembly (and I'm married to an Aussie). I REALLY need an attitude adjustment.
    We've been on the Gold Coast 2.5 years so my feet are starting to get itchy. 2 years is about our average stay in one place.
    I am so happy for you to be feeling settled after such a short length of time. I love reading your blog. Keep up the good work:o)

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you're feeling settled. I've never lived in another city but my husband has numerous times before we met and my bro and sister-in-law moved to australia 2yrs ago now so I've watched how hard it is to adjust. I'm glad you're getting into the Kiwi way of life and feeling even a bit patriotic :)

  3. Hi Ann, just come across your blog, you have a lovely warm writing style, glad you are settling in. We lived in London for 7 years, that first year was looong! I mortified my husband by crying when they played the NZ national anthem at's an anthem thing? Glad to see someone else still reading Agatha, my friend has just lent me The Vitners Luck, she advised against the movie though....

  4. HI there,

    just dropped in for a visit, and as an immigrant who has lived in NZ for over 11 years now, I fully agree that it takes time to settle and make friends over here.

    Wishing you all the best - you have a lovely blog too :-)

  5. I love reading your blog! I'm visiting NZ for the first time in August (taking our boys to the snow). We will be in Auckland for 2 days, would love to hear of some fun things we could do while we are there - now that you're a local and all. Tracey xx


Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


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