Mum's arrival in Wellington (25th June 2010)
Got up as early as 5am this morning for a 6am start at work so I could finish at 2pm and head over to the airport to pick up Mum. Mum arrives from Malaysia today and will be staying in Wellington for the next 6 months or so, living abroad for an extended period of time for the very first time (living and working in Singapore doesn't count, Mum; that's only 3 hours drive away from Batu Pahat). We've started scouting around for a place for her to stay as well as possible job vacancies before her arrival but haven't found anything to suit so far - frankly I'm somewhat concerned whether the rental property market is really slow at the moment due to the winter period and how easily we would find a suitable place for her, one that fits her budget and needs. She'll be putting up with me while Jono's away on holiday (yes, my man left for his Canada-Alaska trip on Wednesday - I miss him SO much!) so we have only a short time to find another place to put her before Jono gets back.
Arrived at the airport around 2.15pm and waited an hour before Mum exited the international arrivals/customs area - turned out she saw Uncle David working at the duty free store and the two ended up chatting (ah, thought so!). Standing around at the arrivals waiting area, it was very interesting to watch how different people react when they see their loved one(s) walk through the glass doors. Looks of surprise followed by smiles, hugs and kisses, a much happier place to be compared to the departure area where most are in tears or have looks of longing and feelings of sadness. I'm really happy that Jono's on his trip but also sad that we would be apart for 3 weeks - look forward to his return soon! And in the mean time, Mum's going to keep me pretty busy trying to get her settled...
Hmm, I looked more like the newbie in town with my beanie, scarf, gloves and wearing 3 layers, all wrapped up and Mum's only wearing a thin jacket and tells me it's not that cold. Huh? It's 9 degrees outside!
We headed into town to get her a SIM card for her mobile phone from the Telecom retail store on Lambton Quay only to find out that her phone wouldn't work properly on the XT network and that we were better off getting a 2degrees SIM card for her (really appreciated the honesty of the retail person we spoke to). But first, a quick stop at the Translation Service to get Mum's Malaysian driver's license translated. It was unbelievable how expensive it was to get the translation done! Costed $50 for 2 translated copies of the license and that was for literally 2 words AND it takes up to 3 business days to get the translation and license back! Crazy!! However, the translation is compulsory because she needed it to be able to apply for an IRD number, which in turn is needed for her to apply for a bank account. See where this is all going? Now you understand why it was essential we get the driver's license translated ASAP.
Popped in to Dick Smith Electronics on Featherston St to get Mum's 2degrees SIM card. Personally, I've never used 2degrees before but have heard from friends it is great value for money to be on prepay and if you mainly use text. Cost $5 for the SIM card and you get $1 credit (that's dirt cheap for a SIM card!) and we added $20 of credit and got 100 free texts. Pretty good value to me! And it worked immediately too - my only hassle really was to figure out how Mum's mobile phone works. She has a Sony Ericsson walkman phone that was just an absolute pain to use (a wrong touch of a button and it starts playing music). I cannot understand how she puts up with it! Even my Sony Ericsson C510 is much simpler to use. Sheesh!
With the 2 main things sorted, we headed home for Mum to rest and settle in to her temporary accommodation, the 'Newtown hostel' aka my house. Photos taken today:
Mum arriving at Wellington Airport
The rest of the evening was spent chilling out at home, me buying takeaway Indian curries back for dinner and having an early night. Dad called us as well to see how Mum was doing - really sweet of him to do so :) I actually think he misses Mum but just wouldn't admit it when I asked him...tsk, tsk...Don't worry Dad, Mum will do just fine here. Will take her some time to get her head around things but she'll be ok. Auntie Daphne's already made plans to take her out tomorrow - see, she's got friends already!