Kiwis and Castles

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


So, the reason I started the last post was because of something I've seen on the news and I completely forgot to include it! On one of the NZ channels they do a "World Weather" report every so often. Normally this is really just South East Asia and a little bit of the Middle East and Europe weather, but occasionally they make it all the way over to the States. Obviously Canada doesn't get it's own screen, but they list a couple cities. They list Montreal and ... Winnipeg!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Back to nannying

I was just offered the job wrapping soap gift baskets but I turned it down because the pay wasn't very good ($10.63/hour) - at least I can Saran wrap soap up to their expectations. I'll go back to nannying for Weta families instead and I'll probably start next week. I met one of the families and they have the cutest little boy ever, and the other family has 2 little boys who I haven't met yet.

National elections are being held here tomorrow and the campaigning has been annoying but really funny. The commercials on TV have run non-stop but some of them have very catchy and cleverly written jingles with bad puppets, bad cartoons, and blatant slandering of the other parties. Yesterday and today it has felt like a student body election with people handing out flyers, walking down the street yelling things about the different parties, and even Thomas the Tank Engine (or one of his friends, the green one) made an appearance. I saw it today, as well as regular vans from two other groups, driving down the street fully decked out in posters and balloons and slogans, with someone on a megaphone yelling at you to vote for their party. I have done absolutely no research into any of the parties or their policies, but from what I've heard other people say, Labour would be better for the country but National is offering tax breaks for the well-payed, so all the Weta people (who are all expats and can't vote anyways) are half-heartedly wanting National.

In other news, there are some funny Kiwi things I've noticed. Lots of convinicence stores ("dairies" in Kiwispeak) sell 'party pills', which I guess are legal versions of speed, ecstacy, and whatever other kinds of pills people would take at partis. I have no idea what is in any of them as their names aren't descriptive at all. There is one store called Cosmic I think, and they have their menu on the window like restaurants. At the bottom of the herbal pills section is the note: other herbal products available upon request. Not very subtle but I found it funny. And for Viktoria, Amy, and anyone else who may have asked, I've finally noticed that the toilet/bath water swirls the other way down here. I did check to see when I first got here, but it pretty much just looks the same as at home. Last weekend we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (so good!) and they had swirling chocolate, and it was then that I actually noticed it went the other way than the bath water I've watched here. Also, the water here is blue. Not the ocean, and not just because they've painted the inside of the fountain blue, the water itself is actually a very bright blue. Of course, it's only noticeable in large quantities against a white background. I noticed this when I was about to step into the bath after the gym one afternoon. I thought that something was reflecting from the blue glass bowl thing that's in the bathroom, or that something was casting a shadow, but nothing was there. Just blue water. And the tap water is drinkable but it tastes terrible ... not that that's weird, I just though I'd share since I don't have much else to say.

I keep making mental notes of other funny Kiwi things but then I forget them by the time I come to update the blog. I'll try harder in the future, I promise.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The next white wrapper?

I had what I thought was going to be my first real job interview. For all the jobs I've held in the past I either just phoned and got the job (coaching) or had phone interviews (camps, tutoring). So I got all dressed up, put my fancy leather boots on, and practiced answering questions in mirrror about how I work under pressure and what examples I have of working as part of team - all the things the ad in the paper mentioned they wanted in an employee. Anyways, I get out to the warehouse for the interview and was taken to the back packaging room. A woman explained that all their gift packages are made by hand, then quickly showed me how to make a basket with the stuffing, product, and wrap it. Then I had to make one and she inspected it. She then showed me how to make a box and I had to make one, and then she inspected both of my packages. I know the first one wasn't great, but I thought the second one looked exactly like the example she had given. She then showed me the blow dryer-looking thing that sealed it all, and got me to tie a ribbon around one of the boxes. She said that doing the ribbons was someone else's job and that if I were hired I wouldn't have to do it anyways, but then said my ribbon wasn't that great. And that was it. The whole thing. I didn't get asked any questions, they didn't ask for a resume, and I didn't get a second chance to make another basket showing that I can learn and get better. I signed a sheet with my contact information and saying that I was in fact available for full time work for the dates of the job. The end.
I'm not terribly happy about this because who is perfect at gift wrapping on their frist try?! And another woman showed up early for her 'interview' so the woman running it wasn't even watching me the whole time. I've been told that I'll get called next week saying that I either did or didn't get the job. It seemed like there were a lot of people on the list who have applied, so I hope that none of them were gift wrappers in a previous life. If I don't get the job then I'm going to Australia for a while, so I guess it's really a win-win situation anyways, but it would be nice to know that my wrapping soap in plastic abilities are slightly better than other people's. I'll post as soon as I hear about the job.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Happy Father's Day!

It's Father's Day today in NZ, so happy father's day! I went to a Habo meeting which turned out really well and was lots of fun, and then Matt and I went shopping. I bought a black Roxy bikini yesterday and there was another one that I wanted to show Matt. However, the suit was $90 per piece and not $90 total like I'd thought, so obviously I didn't buy it. That's just ridiculous. I tried to find a picture on the Roxy site of the suit I did get but couldn't find one.
Again, like the last few posts, not too much to report. I'm not working for the family as a nanny anymore and I'm going to apply for a job at a bath products-type tomorrow morning. They're looking for people to make the Christmas gift baskets. The job goes from now to the first week of November so that works out perfectly with Matt's job and the cruise. It would be great if I got it but if not, then I'm not too worried. I'll go to Australia and maybe do a tour of the North Island. Nothing will be decided until I find out about this job and another potential nannying job that I've been contacted about.