Expat Magazine


By Martinemler


We arrived on 11 July in Christchurchiii. I got my first impression of New Zealand at our transit stop in Auckland. A small and cosy airport close to the sea. Grey sky and cold weather and the music of Robin Thicke in the background.


We had one hour in transit, with 4 huge suitcases, 4x cabin baggage, 4x “purses” and two large and one small “Allied Pickfords” storage boxes. This is a photo of our luggage at the Tokyo airport:


Yup, with our excess luggage at our side we had to travel from the International Auckland airport to the domestic airport Auckland, within a hour. Besides that, I forgot to pack my coat into my hand luggage and my summer outfit from Tokyo wasn’t really the right attire in a polar breeze.

Well, at the end of the day, the domestic airport was a stone’s throw away from the international airport. We hurriedly followed my tyrannical husband (who doesn’t want to miss our plane under no circumstances) with our baggage carrier to the domestic airport. At the entrance hall, which looks like a huge Cafe,  my husband rushed to two Kiwis and asked them for the departure gates (ssss!) to Christchurchiii and our flight were not on the bulletin board. Well, the two indicate the direction to the departure gates but were unsure about Christchurchiii …. In the meantime my husband turned to Wob-speed and I just tried to keep up with him, not that I lose him, god forbid. and my children to whom I barked “schneller”. By now we got some attention from some of the Cafe guests. No, with that our appearance wasn’t over, we were about to pass this Cafe another 5 times with my better Half, dressed in a real polar jerkin, in the lead. Wob speed is apparently not his final speed, he can do better.

1. passing the Cafe – looking for the departure gates (tiny airport) 2. passing the Cafe – coming back from the information booth (max. 10m) 3. passing the Cafe – on our way to the only check in to the departure gates (max. 10m) 4. passing the Cafe – our baggage needed checkin at the other end of the hall. 5. passing the Cafe – finally checkin to departure gates CABIN LUGGAGE CHECKIN My hubby, completely hyperactive, grabbed all my belongings from my hands and distributed everything on the run ribbon at the luggage checkin. At the end he collected everything and packed it. Obviously, I wasn’t on top of it and to slow!

Moments like this have ended loving relationships… and it put me to the test ….

Well, after all I couldn’t find my purse. Immediately my hubby started the search and unpacked everything where we were, at the other end of the cabin luggage control. I have to tell you, my husband never ever packed anything for me, and for sure he never opened my luggage. Now, he hold up a bra and Co.! It took some time until he realize what he was doing. Quickly he put all back and I was sure that I will find my purse.

I thought this moment was priceless and I forgot about my previous anger!

We arrived 45 minutes early at the departure hall, like a headless chicken family. My hubby queued up for a coffee at the other end of the hall to get some coffeine in his system. Right, I guess you think the same as me….



WUFFTI IS LATE Finally we sat in the plane to Christchurchiii and I asked the Steward if our dog is on the plane. He turned to the pilot (!) and no, Wuffti didn`t make it. We were told that he will take the next flight in two hours to Christchurchiii.

The flight was great. We could see the the mountain and the square forests. Yes, I asked the couple beside me like; “What are those square fields?” Answer: “Do you mean the trees?” Everything in squares, weird.


Well, as easy to get around as the Auckland one but with better weather. This time I took some photos:



Flughafen Christchurchii

Beside our rent a car we needed a second car or taxi to get to our Motel. M. and myself took a cab to the Motel.


(Merivale Manor Papanui Road)

We were first. In the meantime my hubby turned into a traffic obstacle and you could hear from far the honks coming closer. He took the wrong turns or some streets were blocked. Christchurch just open up down town or inner city four weeks back, so a lot of streets were still blocked or re-directed and we forgot about that.

The receptionist/owner welcomed me with the following sentence: “Your husband booked the cheapest rooms with a double bed, are you sure you want that?” I welcomed Sato-San with the same sentence and he said, that the rooms were expensive. Kiwi humor!!! Aha! GENIAL ———– best Motel Ever! Whirlpool Badewanne – eine riesen Badewanne ——- Himmel auf Erden!Best Motel Ever – Jacuzzi bath tub – huge —- heaven on earth!

After 3 years of bathing sedentary in a Japanese bathtub, this was the best!

My little one was taken away and started bathing immediately at 3pm! The rest of the day we bathed.


The next day we visited a school in Christchurch. I loved the school immediately and some very impressive personalities attended the school. :).




Finally people with some humor! I missed this in Tokyo. Maybe we lived in the wrong area or it was the school environment. So my elder one jumped two classes and the little one 1 class. Finally they are allowed to learn Japanese on a higher level and some burst out in laughs when I said that the kids are not keen to learn French. They don`t need to take French, not compulsory.

The great thing at this new school systems is, that the boys do real sport. My little one is talking non-stop, like a radio. Since he start school he doesn`t talk so much anymore, to tired. He is at 9pm in bed. Finally! My elder one could choose which subject he wants to study. Main subject which he needs in his future job. They have a career consultant. Wow! Well, they have to wear uniforms, English system, we can`t get around it. Well, who cares if everything else is okay.



I mention in one of my reports before that we could not view the house before. We rented one for one month via Email. Christchurchiii has a problem after the earthquake in 2011. There are to many houses demolished or they need repair. So we had to act very quick, we had no time to fly to Christchurchiii. Renting and buying homes is very expensive. Well, this is the house until our container arrives. We are happy, I expected the worst. Dogs and smokers are not welcomed and we were very happy when the owner allowed us to bring our dog. The condition was to keep the dog outside the house.



Well, this week we will move back into a Motel and Wuffti will stay at our new home, which is empty at the moment. The rent is the same as in Tokyo, no joke. For water we don`t need to pay. Electricity seems to be expensive.

I saw a lot of houses during my search for a suitable home for the next years. Bathroom and kitchen were all terrible. The only house with a nice kitchen we got. We had to visit on an open day with many applicants. Than we filled out a form where we have to mention a person who knows us. so the owner can call and ask him or her about us. After that another viewing was set up, again many people came, this time only the one the owner would like to have as a tenant. This I had to bring my whole family. Well, the bathroom is not that nice.

Well, there is the other possibility to buy a house but the prices are sky rocking high. We think that it is to high. I tried to find a piece of land in the area we like to stay, they want 400 to 765 NY$ a sq, nuts!


I am so pampered from Japan. I do not like the food, fatty and unhealthy. Look at the sushi:



So much mayonnaise that it sticked at the cover and the taste of the tuna simply killed off. It could be chicken or anything else, you wouldn`t know. The red ones are capricorn pickles. This does not go together well.

The first 10 restaurants we tried were just crab. Well, in the meantime we found a few good restaurants where we really like the food but the price is high. 300 NZ$, to much to go there again.
Pie is really a local delight. Puff pastry in all variations. Each one 800 to 100 calories, at least … They are really tasty but nothing for every day!



Our car arrived in the beginning of August in Christchurchiii and we haven`t seen it since. When it finally arrived in Lyttleton and later send off to a sub contractor to inspect the car it went mission for 5 days. We found out after the original receptor told us that the car hasn`t arrived. It was delivered to the wrong address. So after the arrival at the correct address I had to call every day and ask when the inspection will take place. First they said Monday, so I called Tuesday to get the report but no, the inspector did not come, he will come today, well I called the next day, Wednesday and the Inspector did not do the inspection on Tuesday. Let`s see what will happen next. Nobody seems to think about the fact that we imported the car to use it. …. !



I am in shock! Where am I? At the moment I still observe and go to the Gym two to three times a week. I could not write anything. Somehow I am not sure about everything. Things I totally love and other things which make me think. At the moment it is like a roller coaster: Depressed & Discovering new things. In Tokyo my little was 24/7 around me, here Wuffti is the whole day with me.  At the beginning this was super cool but since 2 weeks it`s boring.

Christchurchiii is outdoori, sporti, naturali and not girli girli! The earthquake in February 2011 was devastating and the people had a very hard time. The inner city looks like a war zone. Still houses has to be repaired, two years later.

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