Week 2 for Mum in Wellington (7th July 2010)

After almost 2 weeks of being in NZ, Mum has now finally found herself a temporary accommodation for the next 3 months living at Loafers Lodge located on Adelaide Road, about three blocks away from where I’m living. We’ve had a look at several accommodation around town but there weren’t many available during this winter period, nor one that fitted all of Mum’s needs – the accommodation had to be located in Wellington Central, with easy access to public transport and shops, ideally a single unit with her own bathroom and kitchen, and under $200 a week inclusive of power. Loafers Lodge was the only place we’ve seen that ticked all the boxes minus the private bathroom and kitchen part (it has communal facilities). Hmm, frankly I still prefer if Mum has her own place where she can indulge in her passion of cooking and baking at her leisure but as her stay in NZ is only for a few months, she's happy to just make do with the temporary accommodation and look for a more permanent place later on. Loafers Lodge is quite different from most backpackers/hostel in the sense they only house long-term tenants (minimum contract term is 3 months with the ability to extend). Hmm, I didn’t know there was accommodation like this in town…much better than some of the places I've stayed before!

We spent the late morning packing up most of Mum’s stuff into my car (for a newbie in town, she sure has loads of stuff – my car was jammed-packed!) and headed over to the Tay’s to collect kitchen utensils they have kindly donated (the Tay’s have been most helpful to us, showing Mum around and introducing her to new friends in the last 2 weeks). Around 2pm, we headed to Loafers Lodge to meet property manager Luke to sort out the paperwork and collect Mum’s keys. Luke is a friendly young chap who runs the place and I’ve meet him a week ago when I came by to view the room. He offered Mum the choice of another room on Level 2 today, this one much nicer and brighter than the first we saw previously – we said yes straightaway! I wasn’t sure what it was with the other room that was on Level 1. From memory, it was a corner room, darkish and it gave me a grim and lonesome feel. Very different from this one that felt cheerful and the bathroom conveniently located exactly opposite the room! The room itself was a good size for 1 person and came with a double bed, a wardrobe, study chair and desk, and wall heater. Photos taken on my mobile of Mum’s new place:

Mum with her small alarm clock showing her check-in time

Mum at her study desk

An upfront 2 week’s rent and another 2 for the bond were required when we signed the contract. Interestingly, Mum’s communal area key (she’s got 2 keys, one for her room and one for all other areas) only provides her access to her floor and not the others which was ok since every floor has its own communal kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. And you need to use the same key for the lifts too! I hope she’ll settle into her new place quickly and enjoy her stay at Loafers. Possibly even make a few friends too :) She’s beginning to get her head around how things work NZ which is great!

So with her accommodation now sorted, we have a few more things still outstanding including getting her set-up on wireless broadband internet and a bank account (this is pending receipt of her IRD number), and then it’s time for her to look for a job. Given that she’s not had to formally apply for work for over 25 years, writing a CV and cover letter has been quite a challenging task. Even for job mentor me, I’m pulling my hair out reading and correcting her drafts – they did not fit the NZ writing style and it was easier for me to re-write the whole thing (but that defeats the purpose, really, as she wouldn't learn a thing if I did it for her). We spent a whole evening re-writing her CV to suit and she’s since used them for a few job applications. Hopefully she’ll find work soon so she has some extra money and work to keep her occupied.

Oh, and I've had many yummy home-cooked dishes the last few days (Mum has time in her hands and has been cooking most our meals). Photos of fried beehoon (fried rice vermicelli) and teh halia (English tea prepared with milk, sugar and crushed ginger slices) Mum made this afternoon:

Mum making us fried beehoon for dinner

Mum and her teh halia (and that's last night's leftover chicken curry Mum made)

Dad, miss her cooking yet? I bet you do :P

You know, it felt weird when I left Mum at Loafers and drove home - I felt like a parent whose 18-year-old kid had just left home the first time, this gut-sinking feeling that my dependant child has now grown up and left home for good. Bizarre...


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