5 things that you find in New Zealand’s houses
It's a fact! When you come to another country you’ll miss the dullest and most mundane things of your day. And if there are places where the differences simply pop into our eyes, these places are houses here. So, with the intention of making an easy to read and at the same time informative post, I'm writing down 5 things (that are different than the ones in Brazil) you'll find in the houses here.
It's impossible not to mention it in the list. Here in New Zealand, carpet is absolutely everywhere! In the classrooms? Carpet. In the offices? Carpet. In the houses? Carpet. Even the train here has a carpet, do you believe it? I'm still not sure why they love carpets so much, but I guess it's because carpets keep the room warm.
For me, the biggest disadvantage of having a carpet is cleanliness issues; I have classmates who complain quite a lot about it, and then they search for a house with wooden flooring. Not an easy task I must say!
2. Plug outlet with switch ON/OFF button
Here as well as in the UK and other European countries, plug switches are part of safety and energy saving regulations.
If you take a close look at the picture, you might notice the pin holes are not round like in Brazil. When I came to New Zealand, I brought with me 2 international adapters that were supposed to solve my issue with plug outlets, but it didn’t match the sockets here and I had to buy new ones. I've bought the adapters at The Warehouse but later on, I found cheaper ones at Japanese stores in Queens Street. That's the tip!
3. Electric oven
The electric oven is something that is still becoming popular in Brazil, but here it's something as common as carpet. New Zealand Government is concerned about fire protection, therefore almost all the houses have electric ovens. Do you still remember that plug outlet with a switch on/off button mentioned above? There is a similar switch to turn on/off the oven too. The first time I used my oven, I forgot to turn the switch on and I started getting crazy trying to figure out why the oven was still cold. Guess what? It’s not only the ovens that have these switches; microwaves, washing machines, and other home appliances have it. I mean, you'll find it in anything that is electric in the house.
4. Bath Exhaust Fan
Another very common thing in New Zealand apartments is the bath exhaust fan. As most of the apartments are small, the bathrooms usually have no windows; so the exhaust fans need to be installed in order to suck the moist air out and help it to circulate properly. I confess having a windowless bathroom bothers me a little, but the fans are really powerful and helpful when it comes to reducing moisture level.
5. Smoke sensors
Coming back to fire protection topic, it's worth to say few words about smoke sensors. Almost all residential and non-residential buildings in New Zealand have it. Sensors identify the fire when it starts; detectors trigger an alarm to the fire station, helps them to identify the location of the fire and get there as quickly as possible.
The point is that the detectors identify any kind of smoke. If the alarm rings and the firefighters get to your house and see no fire, you have to pay a fine about $50NZD.
I've already experienced it on my own. Once I've been making a toast, but the bread got burnt and I saw smoke streaming from the toaster. I ran to open the door and window, but the sensor identified the smoke and triggered an alarm. I don't need to explain how terrified I was at that time, praying the firefighters would not come. My prayer was heard, but I have learned the lesson and never made a toast again!
Written by Mégui Moraes