27 February 2011

The Departing. Leaving London, Shipping, Visa's etc.

In the last few weeks I have gained some specific knowledge, so I thought I might share before I forget everything. I'm writing this as a New Zealander living in/leaving London.

Item One: International Shipping

Even though I have tried quite hard to reduce the amount of crap I accumulate, things never quite go as planned. Therefore I have had to ship a couple of boxes home. The complication for me comes in that I will not be home when the boxes arrive. Even on a slow boat, they will arrive in about three months. I'll be home in around eight! No major though, when I phoned up the forwarders to get quotes I mentioned this. Some were willing to help, others weren't.

I would suggest contacting as many freight forwarders as possible. And phone them. Do not use their online quote system - sometimes it is easy, other times it is extremely confusing. Also, when you have someone on the phone you can often get a better price than the website. The other thing is that there are often hidden costs. While it is easy to hide these deep in the T's and C's, it is harder to lie to a direct question, i.e. is this all I am going to need to pay? By calling as many as possible you can play them off against each other for price. Or find the company you want to go with, and ask them to match the lowest quote you have.

25 February 2011

I feel smarter already - Cambridge Weekender

My friends Rach and Fi decided to take a last minute trip to Cambridge and asked if I wanted to join... I had always wanted to go so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. So, bright and early one Saturday morning we met up at Liverpool Street station and jumped on a train heading north.

We arrived at around 10:30am and wandered into town. First impressions - it seemed like a nice English town: stone buildings, plenty of pubs, and of course the huge number of colleges. Kings, the most famous, is home to the Kings College Chapel - a stunning building. I'm not going to even try to describe it - just look at the photos.

18 February 2011

Schmoke and a Pancake? A short trip to the Netherlands

I've been living in the UK for two years now, and in that time have not made the short trip across the North Sea to visit my long-lost Dutch family. And as time is rapidly running out, I thought I better get my A into G and get across there.

Just to put things into perspective; my Grandfather was born in the Netherlands. He moved out to New Zealand, married a good kiwi girl and had a whole bunch of children, my mother included. My mother then had me, and 26 years later here we are...

I took Friday afternoon off work, and after a minor passport hiccup, made my way to Stansted. A short 45 minute flight later I landed in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital: home of tulips, clogs and coffee shops.

15 February 2011

KA MATE! Kiwi Day 2011

Waitangi (kiwi) Day is a New Zealand holiday which commemorates the day the treaty/agreement was signed between the native Maori's, and the British settlers. To be quite honest, back in New Zealand it is just a good excuse to have a day off work. But over in London it is a chance for all the Kiwi's to get together and celebrate being a New Zealander on the other side of the world.

And being the classy Kiwi's we are - we like to do it in style. The idea is simple:
1. Dress up in something that reminds you of home
2. Take to the streets of London
3. Consume as much alcohol as your body can handle

I must say that the whole thing is very well received. The public seem to get in the spirit, and people from all over the world participate. Even the police seem to love it. I can just imagine the NZ police wanting to ruin everyone's fun, but over here they just want to make sure everyone has a good time... Within the bounds of the law, of course.

I spent most of the day with my French friend Dan, who was from Wanganui (for the day anyway). A couple of Aussie's, Paul and Sarah, joined in the shenanigans later in the day. I also bumped into the Scotland crew (Lindy, Nick, Prue and Elisse) as well as Emma, a girl I used to work with back in Girborne, and a few guys I want to high school with.

A good day had by all!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...