Life in Redmond, compared to Wellington

Some of my friends in New Zealand were asking what it's like living in Redmond.  I moved here 2.75 months ago from Wellington, New Zealand.  I haven't been since I got here and partly it's because I'm so busy at work.  Partly though it's because I haven't had a blog reader on my machine.  Here's some things I've noticed beyond the strange road rules and big cars.

  • Electronics is cheap compared to New Zealand
    There are however quality issues and poor returns policies.  New Zealand is lucky having the Consumer Guarantees Act.  This makes mail order a little risky but finding a retail store can take a long time.  I've been trying to find somewhere to get new inner tubes for my bike.

  • There's no such thing as PAL
    In New Zealand you can buy PAL / NTSC TV's.  Here you can't so I bought a PAL to NTSC converter.  Well it doesn't work and I got it mail order.  So I hope it's useful for something sometime.

  • Orange Cheese and White Butter
    I'm not sure what they put in it.  Most bread has lots of sugar in it.  It can be hard to find food that we're used to.

  • The Grass Grows
    In New Zealand we had some variety of grass that grows quite slow.  I foolishly assumed that an electric mower would be okay here.  But the grass seems to grow about 3-4 inches a week.  I have to mow the grass twice over each week.  Once long on mulch and the second time short with the catcher.

  • HDTV is cool
    For some reason there's an Eagles concert on TV in HD tonight.  It looks spectacular.  Sound is good to though my 5.1 receiver from New Zealand doesn't work.  My wife complains that the TV doesn't have enough bass 🙂

  • When it rains it rains
    I guess that's something to do with it being near Seattle.  Some days it will rain heavily all day and they call it a storm.  In New Zealand it doesn't rain that hard in a storm but the wind blows roofs off and peoples houses get washed into rivers.

  • Houses are bigger, but rooms are smaller
    Go figure, the lounge room in a house is often quite small.  All these people have to sell their big screen TV's because the room in their new big house is too small.

  • Don't bring Alarm Clocks
    They keep really bad time when moved from 60Hz to 50Hz.

  • No TV Ariels
    Houses don't have 'em.  So we got cable TV including 4Mb cable Internet.

Comments (10)
  1. It really is quite interesting how noticable the small things being different is when you travel. I have to say that I am glad that human culture is not yet homogenous (even better the supposedly similar English speaking countries) – that would be much more boring

    I am in Perth (Western Australia), so I am guessing that these things are quite similar in Aust and NZ – and yet we would probably notice the few small other differences:).

  2. Rod says:

    Hey Paul. Coffee verdict?

  3. Craig says:

    I had to laugh at: "Don’t bring Alarm Clocks

    They keep really bad time when moved from 60Hz to 50Hz. "

    Were you late for the first day at work?

  4. Peter Jones says:

    Wierd cows – too many steriods probably.

  5. Shannon says:

    Cheese? They add a dye called annatto to it. I don’t understand it, but there you go.

    Butter? Their cows have a different diet – less grass year round – in bad cases, purely grain fed all year. There’s no (or less) beta carotene. It’s what makes butter yellow.

  6. that windows mobile guy says:

    I second that, last i was over all the coffee i found was week. Have you found any Real Coffee Houses?

    Whats the general feeling about kiwis/auzzies over there? for instance there was a feature on tv3 last night asking residant asians what they thought of nzers. Are we thought of well/badly/don’t care? If you walk into a pub are people going to be standoff-ish?

    How long is your trip to work?

    how does the work eithic at ms redmond differ from ‘tipical’ nz firms?

    the thing that struck me with ms employees i’ve meet, such as from the local branch, is they are all really onto it, do you see that as a common theme?

    What do you enjoy most about working over there, and what do you miss most?

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