Living in New Zealand- Part 1: The Cons


The cost of living is high, particularly the cost of real-estate.

Alcoholic beverages are taxed by alcohol content. This means that most beers have so little alcohol in them you can drink 15 in one night and just get a stomach ache, and liquor is prohibitively expensive. This might not be important to you, but it’s important to me.

Driving is frustrating. Half the streets don’t have any signs telling you their names, and it’s completely random how they choose which ones do and don’t. When a two lane road becomes one lane there’s almost never a sign indicating that this is about to happen. Roads leading to major highways are poorly marked, and on/off ramps are sporadic at best. In the countryside most of the smaller bridges are one lane. Tailgating is socially acceptable.

Rent is paid weekly so that you pay more on months with 4 weeks than you do in months with 3 weeks.

The value of the NZ dollar lags behind the U.S. dollar. This is great if you’re visiting from Britain. This is bad when you’re getting paid minimum wage ($13 NZD per hour).

You pay for the internet by how many gigabytes of bandwidth you use, and it’s about $40 per month for 5 Gigs, which is just enough to check your E-mail and catch up on the news. If you want to watch videos or download any media you’ll have to pay around $60 per month, and even then you’ll still run out of bandwidth by the end of them month. They don’t cut your internet off when they happens they just toggle your connection speed down to 56kbs…which means they may as well  have just cut it off.

Bacon, chicken, pickles and popcorn are prohibitively expensive.

Vegetables get significantly smaller and more expensive in the winter.

There are no Twizzlers or Reese’s Pieces.

Electronics cost more, and stores offer less variety.

Shipping anything from overseas is prohibitively expensive.

Houses usually don’t have insulation.

If you come from say India or Malaysia you might be delighted by the wide selection of consumer goods, but coming from America the selection and convenience is slightly stifling.

Intense UV rays will melt your face off.

American culture is rapidly invading New Zealand.

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