There are some real perks to my job. I get to go to great parties. Parties to launch products and buildings and restaurants and fashion collections. Parties where they serve good fizz and arancini balls (everyone’s doing arancini balls this season – what’s with that?). Parties where I get to eat things like this:
And I get to stand around in rooms as gorgeous as this:
The new Sugar Club.
Lined with velvet like this:
Actually that party wasn’t so much fun. Yes, there was Tattinger on tap, but it was 52 floors up and the glass-bottomed elevator that took me up there made me want to heave all over the velvet-lined walls before crawling out of there on my hands and knees.
And it doesn’t really matter how much fun they are; they’re never as fun as the weekends when I get to do this:
Me and Wolfie.
I know I’ve banged on on this blog over the past two years about how expensive New Zealand is. When I first arrived to live at Disco Farm, I was gobsmacked at $5 for a carton of milk, $4 for a lettuce and $3-something for a small bottle of water. After living in a town where there are millions of savvy shoppers to keep the prices low, where you pay very little for almost everything, including restaurant meals, supermarket staples, bikini waxes and petrol, it was quite a shock that here, on an island at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, you pay a fortune even for things that are made here (like milk and cheese).
But in the last month or so I’ve noticed my sticker shock has abated.
Well the pickings in the ‘Who has had the biggest disaster in the home’ competition were slim, but I loved that they all involved emergency services, potential loss of life, a trip to Accident & Emergency, and in Ngaire’s case, a sexually-innapropriate moment. It’s a great indicator of the types of friends I gravitate to.
So my bright idea to give away a book didn’t garner much interest – so far, only three peeps have posted a domestic disaster. But I can’t tell if that is a sign that means it doesn’t bode well for book sales or that the people I know are such sophisticated cooks/cleaners/home-handy women that they’ve never bleached a whole load of black washing or poisoned their dinner guests.
My book comes out next month. Remember that book I worked like a lunatic on last year? Yeah that one…
One of the things I’m really enjoying about suburbia is entertaining. In New York, people hardly ever have friends over, partly because their apartments are so cramped, partly because they work so hard, and partly because they’ve never learnt to cook. Instead you spend your social time in restaurants and bars and coffee shops where as soon as you’ve finished your food and drink you are expected to move on. You get used to catching up with people in one-and-a-half hour blocks. And to never having to do the dishes after dinner. But that’s not how I roll.
I’ll tell you one thing that sucks about New Zealand: the ethnic food. Not all ethnic food. Thanks to its proximity to Thailand and Malaysia there are amazing curries and laksas to be found*, but you really have to hunt for them. And while you hunt, you have to eat a lot of average, overly-sweet, under-spiced dishes.
Almost everyday someone asks me, ‘How are you adjusting to New Zealand?’. Sometimes they have the most pained expression on their face that I want to give them a hug and tell them not to worry so much. Sometimes I just let them bang on about their own horrendous/traumatic/ongoing return to New Zealand after years overseas (for you ‘foreign’ readers, almost all New Zealanders venture overseas for a few years in their early adulthood – it’s pretty much compulsory). Always I tell them I’m fine.
Here’s a whistlestop tour of what I’ve done since I dropped off the face of the earth a few weeks ago:
I’m trying to get a taste of the country as much and as often as I can here in NYC. That’s why I’m walking in the park so much (and avoiding the subway wherever possible). And making the most of neighbourhood farmers’ markets that are full to bursting with amazing summer produce at the moment.
Yesterday I found one just a street or two away from where I’m living. I stocked up on all sorts of things, including these: