Ask Anne: Diary of A World Traveler

Just thought you might like to know the cost of living here in New Zealand. All prices in NZ dollar; the exchange rate isn't the best as the banks always take a fee and using our credit cards subjects us to 3.5% fee. Basically we give them 80 cents and they give us a dollar.

Gasoline - $2.12/liter well over $8.00 per gallon

Eggs - $6-7.00/ dozen; never refrigerated in the stores, just pluck them off a shelf.

Milk - $2.50 per liter again well over $8.00/gallon. Bill [a New Zealand friend they visited] sold fresh milk off the farm for $2.00, but buyer needed to supply his own container.

Pint of draught beer - $11.00 Speights is their brand, but they do make a dark version.

Liter of coke - $2.85

Bottle of ketchup - $5.49

Ground beef - $14.00/kilo or nearly $7.00/pound

Shaved ham - $17.00/kilo

Bananas - $2.50/kilo, makes our stop & go at 39 cents a pound sound good

Right now all the grocery chains are running a scheme that you give them $10.00/ week and then at Christmas time they will give you a pre-paid box of groceries. Tells you something about where the Christmas priorities are.

Bowl of soup in a restaurant - often $14.00

Continental breakfast - generally $15.00 in the restaurant

An order of garlic bread - $8.50

Beef or chicken burger with order of fries - $18.00

McDonald's Egg McMuffin - $8.00

A menu favorite, Roast of the Day served with mashed potatoes and veggies - $25.00

Internet - generally $5.00/ half hour

Housing - small 1500 square foot home on small lot $355,000 and up

Rental cars - cheap off brand vendors $80-100/day for short term rentals

New Honda Accord - $56,000

I think I have mentioned about the motels ($125.-$150.00/ night). They do always give you 300cc of milk (fresh or trim) and generally have a mini kitchen in the room. No free newspapers, no free breakfast.

Last night spent time talking to a traveling salesperson who indicated that many people are raising a family with annual salary of $25,000.

Makes one really appreciate the bounty of the USA.

I appreciate the generosity of my friend, her acuity, humor, and common sense.

ONLINE DEPARTMENT Why I Like Retirement (Thanks, A.A.) Question: How many days in a week? Answer: 6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday Question: When is a retiree's bedtime? Answer: Three hours after he falls asleep in the recliner. Question: How many retirees to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one, but it might take all day. Question: What's the biggest gripe of retirees? Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done. Question: Why don't retirees mind being called seniors? Answer: The term comes with a 10% discount. Sometimes 15%. Question: Among retirees what is considered formal attire? Answer: Tied shoes. Question: Why do retirees count pennies? Answer: They are the only ones who have the time. Question: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire? Answer: NUTS! Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage? Answer: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there. Question: What do retirees call a long lunch? Answer: Normal. Question: What is the best way to describe retirement? Answer: The never ending coffee break. Question: What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree? Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents. Question: Why does a retiree often say he doesn't miss work, but misses the people he used to work with? Answer: He is too polite to tell the whole truth. Question: What do you do all week? Answer: Monday through Friday, NOTHING. Saturday & Sunday, I rest.