Life in Redmond, compared to Wellington

Some of my friends in New Zealand were asking what it's like living in Redmond.  I moved here 2.75 months ago from Wellington, New Zealand.  I haven't been since I got here and partly it's because I'm so busy at work.  Partly though it's because I haven't had a blog reader on my machine.  Here's some things I've noticed beyond the strange road rules and big cars.

  • Electronics is cheap compared to New Zealand
    There are however quality issues and poor returns policies.  New Zealand is lucky having the Consumer Guarantees Act.  This makes mail order a little risky but finding a retail store can take a long time.  I've been trying to find somewhere to get new inner tubes for my bike.
  • There's no such thing as PAL
    In New Zealand you can buy PAL / NTSC TV's.  Here you can't so I bought a PAL to NTSC converter.  Well it doesn't work and I got it mail order.  So I hope it's useful for something sometime.
  • Orange Cheese and White Butter
    I'm not sure what they put in it.  Most bread has lots of sugar in it.  It can be hard to find food that we're used to.
  • The Grass Grows
    In New Zealand we had some variety of grass that grows quite slow.  I foolishly assumed that an electric mower would be okay here.  But the grass seems to grow about 3-4 inches a week.  I have to mow the grass twice over each week.  Once long on mulch and the second time short with the catcher.
  • HDTV is cool
    For some reason there's an Eagles concert on TV in HD tonight.  It looks spectacular.  Sound is good to though my 5.1 receiver from New Zealand doesn't work.  My wife complains that the TV doesn't have enough bass :-)
  • When it rains it rains
    I guess that's something to do with it being near Seattle.  Some days it will rain heavily all day and they call it a storm.  In New Zealand it doesn't rain that hard in a storm but the wind blows roofs off and peoples houses get washed into rivers.
  • Houses are bigger, but rooms are smaller
    Go figure, the lounge room in a house is often quite small.  All these people have to sell their big screen TV's because the room in their new big house is too small.
  • Don't bring Alarm Clocks
    They keep really bad time when moved from 60Hz to 50Hz.
  • No TV Ariels
    Houses don't have 'em.  So we got cable TV including 4Mb cable Internet.