Julian and Laure, a young cute couple celebrated Christmas with us. We cooked in our Airbnb. Braised leg of lamb with vegetables and mashed potato. Also, several salads and as a dessert an Old Viennese apple strudel with the best, New Zealand apples.

Applestrudl
xmas quiche
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We talked about travel, our lives, and our plans. Laure spoke about her former, stressful job as a shopper at a French fashion label and the methods that are practiced to buy cheaper. She did not like the way the company dealt with the environment and the employees and decided to do something different with her life. What exactly, she did not know yet. Julian, a Developer, understood this well. He had started a learning platform for mathematics with a friend. Young people can learn math in a modern way and understandable language. A great idea with a heart and currently about 300,000 subscribers. Here’s the mathrix. Stop by if you speak French and want to learn math.

At midnight, the two drove, and I wash up. A plate broke and penetrated with a fractured side to the ankle of the right index finger. Blood everywhere. I called Nina for a plaster. “A big one,” I called after a second glance at the piece of meat that was coming off my ankle.

When Nina saw the wound and took a quick look at the blood around the sink, she said coolly, “That must be sewn” and grabbed the key in the same breath. The challenge for her was drive in the dark, in the rain, for the first time with a manual gearshift to counter the traffic on the left in New Zealand. We headed to the nearest public hospital via Google Maps.

Wound care in New Zealand’s hospitals

Thirty minutes later, a nice sister picked up my data and asked me to sit down. I was bleeding. I was still bleeding after 3 hours. The 20-meter kitchen roll that I had wrapped around my hand was red. Nina again asks a nurse. She looked at her watch and said in an apologetic tone that it would take about eight hours. “Eight hours,” Nina echoed in disbelief. The nurse nodded and went on. We googled a private hospital and drove off.

A friendly and experienced doctor sewed the rag with eight stitches and only said that a nerve had been injured. Furthermore, she did not know if it would grow again, as it had not been adequately perfused for a long time. If it died, she recommended plastic surgery. I swallowed and nodded. 200 NZD and a speechless ride later we went to bed and slept. The kitchen was a bloodbath – we would clean up afterward.

Campervan conversion with “left” or “I do it with left hand ..”

The next week I spent as a Youtube Junkie. I watched every DIY Campervan video and made planning and sketches. The hardest part was figuring out where to get which materials as cheaply as possible. It was anything but easy. Americans created 100% of the videos, and for them, it was easy at Homedepot or fasted on Amazon.com to get everything for little money.

New Zealand is outside the well-supplied world. Many products on Amazon.com were not shipped to New Zealand. If so, duties and delivery cost were as high as the product itself. Example 4 pcs. LED bulbs 13 USD, shipping, customs, and fees 38 USD. Really? Does it have to be that way? The New Zealanders do not use webshops regularly, after all, there would be the physic shop. Why shop in your webshop if there is a physical store?And so we became a regular customer at Bunnings – the home improvement chain in New Zealand.

We were there every day. Every. Single. Day. I tried to get an overview of the product range and spoke a lot to the friendly Service personnel from India. Yes, most of the Service personnel in Bunnings are from India. So my impression. Regardless of origin, I can say that most Bunnings employees have never held a hammer in their hands. They have no idea about anything – not even their products. However, that did not prevent them from asking after the obligatory “no idea, my friend” about the reason for the searched object. Then you are suddenly in the middle of a conversation. “Oh, really my friend, that’s wonderful.”

The car was ready, my hand not

We received the call from our car salesman Garry in the first days of January. The money is on the bank account, and the car is waiting for us. So the conversion could begin. The hand was not ready yet, so I had done to it with my left hand. Cumbersome.

Timelapse Campervan conversion

Get everything out, clean it up. Cut windows in the metal skin and a hole for the ceiling fan in the roof, glue and fasten window and fan, install a solar system on the roof. Electrical wiring for 12V and 230 volts, cover walls, floor, and ceiling with thermal insulation, lay laminate flooring and walls, build a kitchen, water tank, pump and perform installation work, cut upholstery for our seating and sleeping and covered with textile and dadaaaaa – our “BLUE” was finished.

The conversation lasted 3 weeks – day and night. Did you know that there is almost no measure in a campervan twice? Everything is somehow round and does not follow any symmetry. Unbelievable.

to be continued ….

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