October 13, 2007

Yellow brick road...

So this is more or less official. We'll be moving to Sydney. We don't know when exactly yet. It completely depends on when our visas will be processed. We both have been offered good jobs at the same time and this will be one of the first times in our lives that we're moving to a new country without one of us sacrifising something for another's career.

Last weekend we went to Sydney (Kaj to a conference, me to hang around) and came back quite convinced that it will be a good move. The city is BEAUTIFUL! People have been telling me that, but after living in Auckland for over a year, I think, I have forgotten how a REAL city should look and feel like.

Sydney has great public transport system (though Sydneysiders dare to complain about it!) and there are plenty of public spaces there where you don't feel like you'll be mown by a car any minute. The streets are full of people at any time of day (or night), public transport operates 24hrs a day! In Auckland you sometimes feel that only "nutters" are walking in the streets (all the sensible population are driving their "Remuera tractors"=SUVs), but in Sydney, the streets are full of normal people commuting to work or on their way to a restaurant at night. I'm sure statistics will prove me wrong, but Sydney feels to be a much safer city than Auckland, just because there are people in the streets, not just drugged up weirdos in hoodies.

We'll surely miss the nature around Auckland dearly. I walked from Coogee beach to Bondi beach in Sydney and although the ocean was flat with no waves at all, there were heaps of surfers trying to catch a beach break. I don't think we stand a chance with our half-baked surfing skills there! We'll probbaly spend hours looking for remote locations that are so abundant here in NZ.

But as we discussed the possibility to move, we decided that if we have to live in a city (that is Auckland), we may as well live in a proper city (like Sydney).

Although both cities are almost at the same altitude, Sydney climate seems to be more to our liking: 3 months of cold(ish) winter, 3 months of warm spring (last weekend all the ladies wore tiny fluffy sleeveless dresses, while long pants, a hoodie and a raincoat are still very appropriate in Auckland!), 3 months of scorching sunny summer, 3 months of pleasant autumn, etc. While in Auckland we have 9 months of mid-season waiting for the skies to clear and 3 brief glorious months of summer with BBQs and beachlife, blink and you miss it!

In any case we were very pleasantly surprised by our visit to Sydney. I expected it to be huge and opressing, but it seemed to be a very pleasant city with lots of parks and amazing harbour, extensive ferry network, great nightlife, fantastic cafes, etc!

Kaj is telling me to write: "we're just a couple of jackasses on a world's tour". Not quite so, I beg your pardon!

Posted by gkligyte at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2007

Enjoing while we can

If you have seen the Black Sheep movie, I'm not surprised if your heart froze for a second. Surely these sheep look evil, galloping full speed towards you!

In fact it is pretty hard to get any pictures of sheep running towards you. They much rather run away. It is spring here and you can see lots of spring lambs in the fields as you drive around Auckland. Sheep are cute! And we have 40 million of them here (compared to 4 million of human population!)

We decided that we should explore our immediate surroundings more (especially considering some major decisions possibly looming in the horizon... Well, if you haven't heard about it yet, we may move to another country yet again... More on this sometime soon... ) and one of the places that has been totally under-explored for us in NZ was the Coromandel peninsula.

It is just some 2 hrs away by car and it is incredibly beautiful. There are lots of tiny beaches and small settlements with huge foresty ranges in the middle... Oyster farms on one side, surf beaches on the other... Satisfies any taste!!!

We tried to visit the Hot Water beach at Haihei (where my mother was happily soaking last summer), but even at low tide the waves were crashing in washing away any warm water that managed to accumulate in our puddles. The only option was to dig our feet deep in the hot sand and stand in the raging water, feet scorching, legs freezing. We had fun watching other people being washed away by waves crashing in.

We tried to wait for real spring to come before we went to Coromandel, but we realised that warm weather may not come till December or January. Last Friday we left Auckland and headed towards dark clouds and pouring rain.

We still managed to find sunny and warm moments in the seemingly never ending rain.

I had neck pain (caught cold draft somewhere), but courageously enjoyed everything that Coromandel had to offer.

We'll be going to Sydney next weekend for Kaj's conference and my birthday.. Well, yes, the 4th decade of my life is about to start next week.. :) Really, the best way to enjoy it is to go away from it all...

We'll definitely miss the open views, nature, green hills, bush and beaches if/when we move... So we'll try to enjoy it while we can...

Posted by gkligyte at 11:32 PM | Comments (1)