Auck Ward

A Honeymove Blog

Tag: moving

New Year’s Eve 2015 in Auckland Recap: New Bed, 20 Dumplings

If you’re reading this right now, and the text isn’t blurry or making you want to vomit, congrats and happy new year! You’re not hungover.

This New Year’s was my first in Auckland. It happens to fall during our move, since we found a place to live just a couple of days ago. Kiwi was still working, so he departed for where we were temporarily staying. I stayed behind in Auckland a couple of nights before New Year’s Eve and on the actual day to get some stuff done for the house before I joined up with Kiwi again. Here are some of the highlights I can share:

I had my first night in Auckland in a not-hotel.

On the night before New Year’s Eve, I stayed with an Airbnb host located near Eden Park (a big sports stadium). This way, I could get some insider knowledge about the city and explore another area of town. This was a good move. My host introduced me to some good dry goods brands and told me tidbits of Auckland history. After a chat, I went into my room to do some online shopping, then headed out to get dinner.

Since I would be dining by myself, I picked up this month’s Metro magazine. It’s the city magazine for Auckland, and it’s a really smart publication, the result if Monocle and New York spent a couple of days in Auckland and decided to make a magazine. This issue had a feature on Prime Minister John Key’s recent year, at times comparing his political style with Obama and Merkel. It also had a calendar of events to look forward to this summer. (It’s still weird for a North American to say it’s summer.)

I took the magazine to get some really good spicy Thai food (@ Bangkok, recommended by Metro), then went down to Mac’s (a local brewery) to get a cider and finish reading my magazine.

@ Bangkok veggie spicy noodle. Photo by Tina.

I went back to my Airbnb host and watched MasterChef Australia. It was an episode where the chefs had to slice fish for sushi and Nobu would judge it. I went to bed, woke up the next day, had breakfast with my host, then left for the local mall to buy some house stuff.

I took the wrong bus home.

After I bought some linens and pillows, I ended up waddling to the bus stop with pillows under my arm, two bags and my carryall. I knew there was a bus that would take me close to where we will live. I jumped on the bus that I thought would take me home.

It took me about a mile in the opposite direction. I waddled the 45 minutes home.

Once home, I took a nap on the floor for like 20 minutes. What? We have no furniture. It felt good on my back. But once awake, I had a few hours before I expected delivery of a bed and frame. So I needed to do something. And I was hungry.

I ate 25 parcels of pork and chives.

Our new place is off a main road that is filled with inexpensive Asian takeout and cafes. So I tried one of them: Bun Hut. Five buns for $4.

Bun Hut buns. Photo by Tina.

I bought an order of pork and chive steamed buns and dunked them in soy sauce. So good. And a bit of a novelty because I don’t think I’ve ever lived anywhere that offered easy-to-find steamed buns. But these didn’t quite squash my hunger. So I thought: Asian food crawl along the avenue.

Well, that didn’t quite pan out. Most places are still closed until January 3. But there was a dumpling place still open: Barilla Dumpling. I ordered a tray of steamed dumplings. Twenty for $12. Really juicy, at times I wondered if I had ordered soup dumplings in a welcome accident.

Barilla Dumpling. Photo by Tina.

One person should not eat 20 dumplings. Or 25 parcels of pork and chives. I felt sick. So I went back home and took an nap on the ground.

Not too long after I passed out into food coma, the delivery men came with the bed. Once they left, I had a decision to make: Do I leave now and get an early bus to Kiwi? Or do I attempt to make the bed?

I made a bed that was not manufactured by Ikea.

The bed came with the bolts and wrench it needed. And I needed some exercise to work off the dumplings. So I made the bed, then I put the sheets on it, then I took a nap. Blame it on the pork and hardware. (At this point: Kiwi, who reads 99 percent of blog posts before they go up and doesn’t nap, chided me for blogging about a three-nap day. I regret nothing.)

I woke up after an hour, then left to meet my bus. It’s a three-ish mile walk to town, so I made the walk and made the bus. I reunited with Kiwi, we had a roast dinner, then went out to celebrate the new year.

It wasn’t a dress-up, wear hats sort of New Year’s, but there were bigger things to deal with, like preparing a house to live in for 2015. And I’m fine with that.

Survived the Auckland Rental Market

In these last few days, I’ve been a pain to be around. That is because when I don’t know what is going on, and by that I mean there are too many details left unknown about the near future, I’m a mess.

But my mood has taken an upswing because we secured a place in Auckland. One new concrete detail regarding the future.

Cue the celebratory music because for a while, it appeared that the Auckland rental market would be just as competitive as New York’s or DC’s. In New York, you’re squeezed out by money; in DC, you’re squeezed out by money and the quality of your job and or humblebragging.

In the case of the Auckland rental market, the quantity of the stock doesn’t meet the demand. It could in a couple of years; there is some building going on so the housing stock will increase, according to our property manager.

We had a couple of things going in our favor in nailing down a place quickly. A good friend of the Kiwi’s who told us to have our landlord references ready. We had discussed that if this place ticked the boxes, we’d take it.

We liked the location of the one we were shown. It had a number of things we wanted: separate kitchen, hardwood floors, decent sized bathroom, a (shared) backyard. BACKYARD.

When the location is good and there’s very little downside to the actual dwelling (closet and storage space are lacking), you have to go for it. Maybe because the property manager said there would be 50 people lining up to see the place once they are back from the holidays. But also, it’s nice to have a place to call your own.

So we have a dwelling. The next few days will be sprucing up the house. And increasing Apartment Therapy‘s page views. Please discourage me from buying a baby pool for the backyard to serve as a wading pool for cocktail sipping.

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