Even if you’ve never been to New Zealand, some things are known about the country: It’s an island, you speak English, you drive on the left side, and Lord of the Rings was filmed here. But there is much more to this country. I’m starting the series “Discover New Zealand” on Instagram and Facebook. I want to share how I experiance New Zealand as a German and what little hurdles there are in everyday life. Keep an eye out for posts if you are interested in New Zealand or life in other countries. Also feel free to ask me questions and I’ll answer them directly or with a post.
3 Things that have changed my everyday life:
I’ve lived here for over 3 years now and I still struggle to link January to be the hottest month and July as the coldest month. Because we live in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are exactly the opposite than in Germany. So that means we spend Christmas on the beach. When I talk to my family on the phone, I don’t say, “Next summer I’ll do this or that.” But I say the month I’m going to do something. It confuses me and my family because we don’t know what summer I am talking about. So I skip the risk of misunderstanding and express myself differently.
Contact with my familiy
Staying in touch with family and friends in Germany has also changed. Depending on the time dof the year, we have 10 or 12 hours time difference. So that means when I’m awake, Germany is asleep. So phone calls are only possible on weekends early in the morning or late in the evening. And every night I turn off my cell phone, because there is a very high chance that I will get a message in the middle of the night that would wake me up.
Another point, is the availability of things. We live on an island here and it’s far away from everything. So if I want to fly to another country for vacation, I have to be prepared for at least a 3 hour flight. And with that, I might reach 2-3 countries. That looks completely different in Europe, if I have a 3 hour flight radius.
And then there are not as many products available as in Germany. My consumer behavior here has changed extremely. I no longer order anything on the Internet because an Amazon delivery takes up to 3 weeks. I waited 7 months for a delivery from another provider and then cancelled it. For clothes, food, tools, furniture and others there is little variety and the prices are a lot higher than in Germany. When I compare what I spent my money on before and now, I realize that I am more limited to the essentials. I am satisfied with what I have. I no longer buy additional things, but only replace.