Thursday, June 30, 2005

nz.day04 + 05

nz.day04
christchurch

nz.day05
christchurch - wanaka

As of writing I only have three minutes left of internet, so I'll make this quick. Weather is getting really much colder as I head down south, currently at Wanaka. Lovely lake, tremendous scenery and beautiful mountains. A really unspoiled, beautiful land.

Took a 7-hour bus ride down to Wanaka today; yesterday I met my former students' family (who emigrated to Christchurch) for dinner. They were absolutely wonderful and really nice to host Amanda & me for dinner. Really enjoyable. Went up to the mountains in Christchurch as well, and managed to get really beautiful glimpes of the entire city.

Will be renting a bike tomorrow and try to cycle up the mountains alone. Should be nice, looking forward to that! In the meantime... will try not freeze any part of my body up!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

nz.day03

nz.day03
auckland - christchurch

Took a morning domestic flight today from Auckland to Christchurch, transiting in Wellington. Pretty fast flight, wasn't too bad. Took a rather expensive shuttle from the airport direct to Cathedral Square, the main city centre. Boy, it was pretty awesome, watching the idllyic human traffic go by. And the cathedral is quite a grand sight, very much like what you see in pictures.

We managed to get a place to bunk in for the next two nights, dropped our stuff off before heading back out to the city square. Did abit of walking around, felt peckish so we dropped by McDonalds (yeah, of all places) then headed downtown for more window-shopping. The city doesn't close as early as Auckland; most shops remain open till 6pm, some even later.

Stopped by this good pub for chips and drinks, by the time it was already dark. Did alot of walking around in the cold, so beer and fries looked really good. Walked by the river towards our hostel, but on the way we got accosted by this really drunk (and stupid) Korean dude who didn't speak English (what the hell was he doing in NZ?). Man, what a wuss. They're wasting all the pretty Korean girls on assholes like him!

Well, back in the hostel now so all's well. Will be visiting my student's family's place here tomorrow evening for dinner, that should be nice!

Monday, June 27, 2005

nz.day02

nz.day02
auckland

Slept in today and got up at 11:30pm, thanks to Mandy who kept nagging me to wake up! Had lunch before heading to downtown Auckland. Pretty cool place, shops and cafes and bookstores, abit like your Orchard Rd. Only with cooler weather and friendlier people, but more expensive stuff. Gee... I guess it costs a bomb to ship everything to this corner of the world!

We went to Sky Tower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere (I think), but didn't pay the entrance fee to go up only because I forgot to bring along my camera (damn!). Never mind, still will have chance when I return back to Auckland before I fly off.

After that we headed back to the suburbs, went to kia lai kia ke at this shopping mall (but nearly everything was already closed at 5pm) before heading down to dinner at this Chinese place opened by this bunch of Singaporeans who speak Cantonese like Hong Kong pee-ple. Dinner was MSG-loaded, but I guess everything tastes good when you're hungry.

Across the street was this Chinese provision store, so I went in to get Wang Wang crackers (those round biscuit thingys with white speckles. Yum!) and Red Bull. Haha... Before heading home we dropped by the nearby supermarket Countdown, and got plenty of chocolates for distribution when I get back. Heh heh! The lady at the counter asked me who they were for, no doubt.

Will be heading down to Christchurch tomorrow on a domestic flight. Flight's at eleven in the morning so I'd better get some rest... If not Red Bull also not enough already. Till then!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

nz.day01

nz.day01
auckland

Finally landed at Auckland International. Emirates wasn't as good as I expected... Not for the number two airline in the world anyway. On the plus side, everything looks lovely here: weather is heavenly, most of all. Reports say that weather will be worsening soon over the next few days, though... So I'm crossing my fingers and hope everything turns out fine.

Got picked up at the airport by Mandy (no not Moore) and her parents. My long-time friend and host family while I'm in Auckland... Heh heh. Free lodging and internet! Nah... They're really nice folks. Brought me to this mall for lunch, then went on a short sightseeing tour at the city area.

Did some sightseeing at Viaduct Harbour, Mission Bay & MJS Memorial. Sky was getting dark though, so didn't managed to take good shots due to the lighting. Hopefully I can post some shots up here sometime soon... But Auckland's beautiful, that's for sure! Should be heading down to the South on Day 4, hopefully that works out.

Oh, I've also got my NZ cell phone number. Will be using it over the next three weeks, so contact/call/sms me here ok? Number's +64 21 1826658. In the meantime... Dinner's about ready. Hee hee. Will be back later!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

enlistment letter

What do you know... On the day that I leave for NZ I get my enlistment letter. Ah well, finally. I've been waiting for it for quite some time now anyway... At least this gives me a proper time frame now on how to plan things and take it from there.

Here's the biggest irony: I'm enlisting on my birthday. Wow. :)

I don't know whether to be sarcastic or not... Heh heh. P. Tekong here I come.

Batman Begins

No kidding man, I was packing the whole day. Well, very slowly, to be honest, but still packing. Got my stuff out and laid them on my bed, slowly squeezed them into my backpack... Oh you know, the whole routine. Not fun. And as of 1:02am I am still officially not done. But I'm going to stop and continue tomorrow... Have had enough for the day man.

Went to watch Batman Begins today (finally!) with Ling... As usual she insisted it to be at Yishun GV so ok lor. Haha... No lah I don't mind Yishun, really. It was ok-ok, just so-so. Dunno why everyone has been raving about it recently. However, the movie experience was sorely marred by the most irritating family you could ever encounter at the cinema: parents with two kids who barely know what bats are, let alone watch Batman. Boy was crying, girl was talking loudly, the boy started shouting, then girl started crying...

I don't really blame the kids. Blame it on the stupid parents who are just dumb enough not to carry their kids out and try to calm them down. Man, I'd hate myself if I was such a parent. Seriously.

Yeah, yeah, that's what I mean. Lucky for them, everyone in the cinema hall were nice enough not to "shhh" them (except me), but I can assure you their luck will not last should they persist to continue with such ignorant tactics. That aside, the movie was ok. Just ok.

Should be heading off to sleep soon... Eyes are nearly popping out of their sockets. Still have to finish packing and do some last-minute shopping tomorrow. Argh! See you at 7pm, T1 ya. Choir kids are going to send me off... Oooh should be fun! :)

Friday, June 24, 2005

packing woes

Ok, just got up half and hour ago. And still haven't packed. I hate packing!! Wong, please help me pack. Guess I'll be spending the whole day packing. Pack pack pack.

Hopefully I can get things done in time to meet Michelle, Caleb & Michaela at CHIJMES liberte tonight. NZ here I come...!

and so it begins..

And so here begins my first post. On yet another new blog. My old one sort of failed... And yeah, I did abandon it after all. My bad. But, as the saying goes, the new will not come if the old doesn't go away. So, here it is!

1:24am in the morning, and the main reason I'm spurred on to create a serious blog is only because all my students have smashing good blogs. Even my sister has a bloody good blog. So, guess I'd better jump on the bandwagon and do something about it! Valerie is guiding me each step of the way as we speak, so I guess that shouldn't be a problem.

Spent hours pondering over what blogskin to use, and finally settled on this one. Decent ones are hard to come by these days, with all those kiddish ones that scream pink and psychedelic being the norm these days. Tsk, what's the world coming to. No one actually likes those, ok?

Yesterday was grad nite, no doubt about that. A very bittersweet moment for me, yet one that I shall cherish for a very long time. To the graduating students, what you've written for me (and so nicely put in a black box) has been extremely inspiring and encouraging, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You really make this all worthwhile.

Thanks to the choir for putting up a memorable show. Keep swaying, and keep singing! The future's abit unclear for now, but remember, whatever happens, I will always be with you in spirit. You have taught me as much as I have taught you, and I hope that you will continue to flourish and stick together through thick & thin. Love you guys so much!