Kiwi's beer facts of life in the US

Last updated 05:00 26/03/2014

SUPER BOWL: The Seattle Seahawks in their first ever Super Bowl victory, on February 2 this year.

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Home sweet expat home

You don't know how lucky you are in NZ I felt like an alien in my US homeland I love NZ but Oz opportunities are endless Size is everything for New Zealand Berlin is home now but NZ still thrills Global reminders of NZ spark nostalgia Of all the places I've lived, NZ is the best A reminder New Zealand - we've got it good $380 for the doctor's? Welcome to America Should you stay or should you go?

I was 38 when I moved to the US. I settled in Redmond, a city close to Seattle in Washington state. I can walk to the Microsoft campus, so my city has a claim to fame. 

The US has been good to me. I'm now retired and it's great to be close to Europe where we travel frequently. I do get down to New Zealand about once a year to see my brothers, and my 2 children remain there to this day. 

I prefer to pay their airfares for them to come on over to visit me, rather than fly down to New Zealand myself. It's a long trip and I find myself somewhat an interloper within New Zealand.

I criticise the way things are, especially the cost of living and the cost of doing business. For example, I trade shares here on the stock exchange, on a daily basis, (I am a day trader) and each trade costs me $9. In NZ to trade an equivalent stock it is over $225. Do you think there is price gouging here! 

I am lucky to have both an English and an Irish pub in my town with really good beer, along with good friends. The social environment here is totally different too. 

In New Zealand it seems that it is necessary to get really drunk really quickly and start fights. New Zealand has essentially large drinking barns for people to get drunk. Drinking here is a social event, and after a couple of beers, most say, enough. It is civilised! Plus the pubs here are not controlled by a couple of large breweries, so we get a great variety of micro beers.

I am lucky to be a 3 hour drive to Vancouver, an incredible place to visit, and great people, with a similar lifestyle we have here in the greater Seattle area.

Would I move back to New Zealand? No, Why? This is my home and New Zealand is so isolated both geographically and culturally. And of course, the cost of living is so high compared with the US.

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