Culture, culture shock and shopping

We went to Remuera Baptist Church this morning – Keith went there for a number of years back in the eighties, so it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for him. There were several people who came up to talk to us who remembered Keith from about 25 years ago! It was a lovely welcoming church, the sermon was rather good, but I didn’t feel that I quite “clicked” with it in the way that I did St Chad’s a couple of weeks ago.

This afternoon a friend and I went shopping (clothes)… So I know have a few more items of summery clothes to round out my extremely meagre wardrobe. And no, I’m not putting on a fashion show for you!

I’ve had a few things on my list to blog about recently, and I suppose the shopping thing is a symptom of one of them. For some reason, despite my experiences of moving countries (the main one being to Kenya back in 1995), I just wasn’t thinking about the whole culture shock aspect of things. Maybe in part because I’ve been here before; because it’s K’s home country; and because it’s English-speaking (and they drive on the left!). But it was obviously fairly naive of me to discount it – it is definitely to cope with when you acknowledge that it’s there, and it is playing a significant part in my life right now.

It’s all the little things. Where do I go to buy handkerchiefs? Where do I go to buy clothes? When does summer end? It’s torrential rain with not a break in the cloud, does that mean that the weather will be like this tomorrow? And the more subtle differences, different accents, different money and so on.

I’m fine most of the time, it’s just occasionally I’m not. Good chatting to friends back home though – that’s usually enough to help me re-centre myself 🙂 .

And the other bug bear – bugs! Despite regular spraying, there are so many flies about. And mosquitos. I was thinking of entitling a blog post “27 plasters” the other day – as that was how many plasters I had to put on poor M, who had scratched mosi bites and eczema until she bled.

She’s definitely better than she was, but it’s not entirely cleared up, despite us doing everything we can treatment-wise, but I have bad memories of last year when M had several bouts of infected eczema that required antibiotic treatment. We’re not at that stage yet, but it wouldn’t take much to tip the balance. Hopefully she’ll have a good night’s sleep tonight.

She didn’t last night. But that was because we took her to the Starlight Symphony in the Auckland Domain. We went with Nan and Grandad, and had a picnic tea. The kids enjoyed the concert – Aidan seemed to enjoy a couple of operatic pieces, while Megan loved the piece from Starlight Express!

We left at the interval to get the kids home to bed. Unfortunately the second half was the part containing the fireworks and laser light show so we had to miss that, but even with leaving at 2045, it was 223o before they got to bed. The show was scheduled to finish at 2230 – so can you imagine how late they would have been in bed if we’d stayed? So, much to Nan and Grandad’s disappointment, we left early. I’m glad we did – the kids have been cranky and exhausted enough today!

I think that’s enough rambling from me for one night. I hope that wherever you are in the world today, you’re having a good one! Cx