LIFE: The Great Migration Q&A
To follow up a little more on my recent announcement that we're moving to New Zealand later this year, I arranged with myself to sit down with an interview with myself on some frequently-asked questions. I was a good interview although a little evasive and had poor table manners.
Q. Why are you doing this?
A. Reason #1, for Baby Peter, who'll be able to start attending preschool there at age 3 in 2007. We want him to be closer to his grandparents, auntie and cousins, including one who's just a few months older than him. And, y'know, it's New Zealand. I've wanted to live in a foreign country since I was a kid, and Avril's had to put up with the U.S. for 8 years, so turnabout is fair play.
Q. What will you do for work?
A. Um... Well, the way I look at it, first we have to actually move there, and then due to various residency issues I probably won't work for the first few months while Avril might. I'd like to stay in the media industry somehow, but kind of feel like I'm ready to move on from newspapers into perhaps magazines or publishing. Or perhaps my vast mad blogging skillz will earn me a paycheck (ah, the dream). Anyway, one thing at a time, and I'm not too concerned about whether I can find a job or not. I'm plucky, darn it.
Q. How long will you live there?
A. Answer uncertain. Anywhere from 2 years to 10 years, but it really depends on how it all works out. We're leaving things open-ended for now. I kind of imagine we'll be back in America someday. Maybe if I write the Great American/Kiwi Novel we can buy homes in both places and commute.
Q. Are you pulling an Alec Baldwin? Why do you hate America?
A. Although the political climate in the U.S. ain't exactly blowing my way these days, it's very, very low on the list for reasons for actually moving. Everything's cyclical in history, and the repressive excesses of the Bush era will likely turn around into something else in another 5-10 years. The good things about America don't get changed by politics that easy. Besides, I didn't vote for the jerk either time, so there.
Q. Will you get a funny accent?
A. Apparently I will instantly acquire a funny accent upon moving to New Zealand, although it will only be apparent to the natives.
Q. Can we come?
A. You'll find it difficult unless you married a Kiwi like I did. And no, I'm not sharing her.
Q. Is New Zealand the promised land?
A. It's easy to get that impression but the grass is always greener, etc. I fully expect to encounter the same hassles, irritations and complications that are part of one's life wherever you are. The problems you got, you'll bring with you no matter where you go I think. At the same time, it'll be nice living in a country where you're never more than 70 miles or so from the ocean. It's actually a bit like Oregon already, really.
Q. What are you doing with all your stuff?
A. Well, we're not going to take it all with us (a shipping container runs into the many thousands of dollars). We're cramming as much as we can into our six allowed suitcases next month and the same when we leave for good, and we also plan on shipping a handful of boxes via surface mail. The majority of our books, comics, music, etc. that we keep will go into cold storage here in the states to be dealt with "eventually" on return visits and the like. As for furniture and bigger objects, we've always been pretty minimal about that kind of thing and will probably yard-sale most of it. We'll sell the car and are giving our cat Kudzu to my parents which when I think about it is probably going to be the hardest part to leave behind, but it's just way too much money and hassle to take an 11-year-old cat to NZ.
Q. Will you blog?
A. Probably, although there'll be some hiatus I imagine and I might change the name of the blog to "Expatriate Forum" or somesuch. Or I might disappear into the bush with the tuatara and weta and never be heard from again.
Q. Do you like Vegemite?
A. I said, do you speak-a my language?
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich.