We didn’t flood the new carpets / Why it pays to put due dates on your invoices

Scott and I just spent about a week gradually moving out of our old rental and into a new one. The first order of business was replacing the carpets, a project we’d agreed to take on in exchange for not having to pay rent until the lease on our previous rental ran out.

On our first full day in the house, after the carpets were in, we triggered a small flood during a failed attempt at replacing the ancient water filter. It wouldn’t have been so bad except that the main water shutoff valve is broken (now we know!), so it’s impossible to shut the water main off completely. I’ve never been so grateful for my travel towel.

I was expecting to have to pay the emergency plumber Big Bucks for coming out in the middle of a three-day weekend. Amazingly, the invoice he sent later that day came to only $46 NZD (~$31 USD), a small price to pay for having saved the new carpets, yay!

But that invoice was missing a very critical detail: a due date. In fact, none of the invoices I received over the last couple of weeks — one from the plumber, one from the carpet people, and one from a doctor — included a due date! Clearly I need to share my latest video around:

Spoiler: Continue reading “We didn’t flood the new carpets / Why it pays to put due dates on your invoices”

Reflections on a first Spring and Summer in New Zealand

It’s been exactly six months since Scott and I moved to Auckland from San Francisco, so it seems like a good time to write up a few more quick reflections on the differences between life in those two places:

  • Farmers markets are few and far between.
  • Storms actually affect the price of veggies; after one of the recent tropical cyclones hit, cauliflower and lettuce went up from ~$3 to ~$7 a head (all costs in this post in NZD).
  • Thanks to its Mediterranean climate (not to mention the drought), I’m totally used to California’s hills being crispy and golden for most of the year. It really felt odd to me that New Zealand’s bright green grassy hills stayed that way all through Spring AND Summer, even though it does make sense given the regular rains.
  • Leaving the house without a layer is usually OK. Really. Even in the evening. But you never know when it might rain, so keep the umbrella handy.
  • You can actually swim in the ocean(s) here! Without a wetsuit! And there are so many beaches right in the city that we haven’t even come close to checking all of them out. Ditto all the beaches within an hour’s drive of our place.

Continue reading “Reflections on a first Spring and Summer in New Zealand”