It’s less than 4 hours to the new year! Holy moly, time sure flies! I can’t believe how last year at this time I was all glam-ed up to counting down the new year. This year however, I’m already in my PJs and churning this blog post out lol.
2016 has been incredibly good for me. I checked all my new year resolutions – I read more books that ever, I workout harder than ever and feel fitter & happier than ever.
*Happiness level is subjective. I was happy during my working holiday but I am content with how my year turned out to be.
I gotta give credit to the work out session for making me into this happy-go-lucky person. All the articles on the internet stating the benefits of working out is so true. Exercise will increase your endorphin level. My happiness level is through the roof that it radiates happiness around me. I’m doing so much better at work in the sense that customers feel happy by my service. This last 2 months, I actually got 4 excellent reviews from my customers.
This has also made me to be positive in any situation. Call me too chillax but I’m so level headed that nothing can bring me down. Life is too short to let temporary stress get to you. The sooner you fix it, the sooner you can move on to bigger, better things.
One of the highlight of my year is i made tonnes of friends at work. I have a couple of customers who became friends and this alone deserves a blog post on its own.
All in all, I’m really excited for what 2017 will bring. My new year resolutions for 2017 is start kickboxing and write more.
Time to pop the champagne. Thank you for making my 2016 awesome (you know who you are). Let’s rock 2017!
Howdy people! What the hell it’s May already?! It’s unbelievable that time passes so fast! It feels like time is playing a game called “Let’s Speed Up this Aging Process!” Not cool yo!
Ozias recently posted a picture of our room with all our pictures in it. It is certainly my favourite corner of the room. I can just stare at it and smile at the memories we had.
Let me document the memories and the stories behind this picture before dementia takes over me in 30 years time *gasp*
>> Pictures are not in chronological order. So please do not freak out, 60-year-old Mel<<
In Feb 2014, I moved to Invercargill to live with my boyfriend Ozias. We lived in a small flat, gorgeously located in Louisa Street. I am going to overuse the word “gorgeous” because Louisa Street is a really beautiful place to live. Every time i head out, I feel like I’m in Wisteria Lane.
This picture was probably taken on my way home after work. Can you see how gorgeous the pathway is? Even in the mid-winter it is still so gorgeous! I miss this place very much because the background is very #ootd ready. Last night, out of boredom I Google Street Louisa Street and just stared at the driveway for a good minute. Gosh, we had so many good (and bad) memories that stored in that tiny home. I hope whoever is living there takes good care of the place that we called home #sentimental
A couple hours away from Invercargill is the fehmes Queenstown! You cannot come to New Zealand and not visit Queenstown (or South Island for that matter). This view is one of the many reasons why I am in love with South Island. I want to go back there one day. It’s cold but for this view, I would 😉
For our 2nd year anniversary, we flew to Samoa and spent a week basking in the sunshine. The best thing about living in NZ is you’re that much closer to the South Pacific.
Grandmother story here:- When I was young, I was practically raised by Astro. Yes, growing up I was the kid who spent too much time watching TV and my favourite channels are MTV (duh!) and Travel & Living. At 18, I remember watching this show about Top 10 Best Beach in the World. And guess which beach was awarded numero uno? Bora-Bora. Naturally, I googled where the heck is it and instantly felt dejected to learn it’s in the South Pacific.
Being a small town girl, my opportunity to travel is very limited. I am not from a well-to-do family. We are the typical middle class family. After much research about it, I learnt that the only way to go to South Pacific is to fly to New Zealand first. And of course, the flight ticket would be through the roof!
This picture is a reminder of how far I have come. It’s okay to dream. And with a bit of luck, the universe will whip out its magic and send you there. Although it is no Bora-Bora but it’s a big step for me because I now have immigration stamps from Cook Island and Samoa on my passport! 🙂
This picture means a lot to us as it is the first time Ozias’ sister visited us in Invercargill! It was my first time meeting Christine and Catherine and to be honest, I was super nervous before the meet-up! But all went well. We had kebab for lunch and watched ‘The Other Woman” in the cinema.
The two Cs live in Mt Cook so logically our meeting point is either Queenstown or Dunedin. Kinda funny thinking about how deprived we were of Asian food until need to drive 3 hours for it.
This picture leh is taken the day I had my haircut in Auckland. Went to a Japanese hairdresser and it cost me $80 T3T. Kind of worth it la (self-console talk here) since the hairdresser turned my broom-like hair to bob-chic ready. I think the boyfriend is the vain one between us. See after haircut sumore go color it. To be fair, it was a DIY job. As for me, I will only leave my hair to good hands (I miss my trusty hairdresser in Malaysia!!)
We had a fancy schmancy dinner sometime last month to commemorate our 34/35th monthsary (Can’t remember. Dementia seeping in). We went to a fanciful Italian dinner at Pasta & Cuore. Holy mother, it is one of the most expensive dinner we ever had! Averagely the price was $25-30 which was okay for us to splurge but the portion was so tiny! 🙁 Can you imagine paying that amount of money for 6 pieces of ravioli? Internally, I was struggling to fight off the pain of spending so much but at the same time the food was oh-so-good! Ozias and I take our food seriously. We gave 10 thumbs up to the food. Since the portion was small, I licked my plate clean to make my money worth it! (Okay I wasn’t that dramatic lah!)
Still food, service was top notch! Makes me want to go to Italy for the real deal now!
The boyfriend picked this particular picture cos he said it has 2 of his fav people in it (swoon!) I kind of got fed-up with editing, so filter it B&W and call it a day! Judging by my outfit, this was definitely taken in Invercargill haha.
We have come a long way in terms of compromising. Ozias and I had always wanted to have 2 kids and 1 furkid. Many moons ago, we discussed about the possibility of adding a cat in the equation and the boyfriend flat out said no because he hates cat. So ok lor I can live with the decision.
Until recently. Recently, out of nowhere the boyfriend said that he’s okay with having a cat. At first I thought he was just kidding but he gave his promise. Now, Ozias is the type of person who doesn’t promise you something if he knows he can’t do it. So his promise means a lot to me cos it is a commitment on his part. The cat is tentatively named Mimi until I see it. It might take up to 10 years for him/her to be a part of our family but i’ll wait. I’ll wait for you Mimi <3
On the 26th of August 2015, we packed all our belongings and left Invercargill in pursuit of a better life together. We drove from Invercargill to Auckland in 3 weeks with frequent stops to take pictures like this for keepsake.
This pic was taken in Nelson Lake National Park, one of the most gorgeous place in New Zealand! I came here in Summer 2013, so it was cool to be here again with my other half.
When we made our way up to Auckland, we also met up with the 2 Cs. This gorgeous backdrop was taken in Wanaka (my favouritestestest place in NZ). We stayed in Wanaka Bakpaka which has the most stunning lakeside view. Wanaka is my favouritestestest place because *drumroll* it is the home of my favourite wine, Rippon! I am by no means a wine expert but I love Rippon wine so much. So much that I cried when the boyfriend accidentally destroyed our $30 wine bottle on Christmas 2014 🙁
Special picture on a special day because this was taken on my first swim in Auckland! As a fashionista, I purchased this hat the day before for #ootd purpose. Very typical of me – every outing is a photo opp! Surprisingly the autumn in Auckland is not as cold. I could still swim in March and wear shorts and mini skirt in May! I hope not to jinx myself. I hope to never bring out the puffy jacket unless I’m traveling to South. Puffy jacket is not fashionable lah! (Boyfriend going to kill me after this :P)
This blogpost is so messed up with its crazy timeline! Okay this was taken when we first went to the city by bus. It was a big deal for us because we didn’t get to do it in Invercargill. Parking was dirt cheap ($1.20/hour) and abundance of space!
My very rare lipstick moment gets to make an appearance. Love how it look. Makes the boyfriend look pale. Maybe I should apply lippy on him too!
And lastly, this picture was taken during our first trip together ever! Back in our tanahair (home country) in Dec 2013 visiting Langkawi!
I can’t believe how much we have grown in those 3 short years. From personal style to personal drive. The boyfriend and I are at the same phase of our career life where we both are supervisor in our respective workplace. This is the first time we have the opportunity to manage people at a workplace so it’s cool that at the end of the day we can come home and share our experience in management and the things we learnt so that the other doesn’t repeat the mistake one did.
Poor boyfriend is so skinny from all the work stress. Plus he catches the cold easily (I on the other hand still wear shorts out *flips hair*) so we’ve been stocking up on medication. Prevention is better than cure! Not going to pay $60 for consultation or in the boyfriend’s most recent case, $120 for his thumb infection.
I cannot wait to go home next year! We are working very hard and saving for our big trip home. I am going all out when I get home. I’m going to visit my facial lady, eyebrow lady, get my hair done and have relaxing body massages! Of course, not forgetting food! And family and friends of course! 😛
After 2017, the next trip home would most probably be 2020 or later *gasp!* We’re going to spare no expenses for Malaysia ’17 trip! Super excited, now back to the daily grind. I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend. See you (soon) in my next post! xx
Hola! A quickie (or in another word, half-assed) update to end the year.
If I could describe 2015 in a word it would be – INCREDIBLE.
At the end of 2014, I told myself to take 2015 as it come. No expectations, no plans. Just go with the flow.
And the flow is an amazing one!
Some of my favourite memories.
- Collecting all the Greys book.
Haha I am such a nerd putting this first in the list. The boyfriend gifted me the first book “Fifty Shades of Grey” on Valentine’s Day. After I finished the first book, I was looking forward to read the second one. But for a reader , I am pretty stingy when it comes to buying book for myself. The boyfriend took this opportunity to surprise me! (Brownie point for him!)
2. Went to Samoa for our 2nd anniversary.
I called it “A Blessing Trip”. During this trip, we met an online friend who helped us settled down better in Auckland. Also because of this trip, the boy got a job in Auckland. And also because of this trip I found many #ootd worthy background wtf #superficial.
I love South Pacific so much. So without much thought, we decided to go to Samoa for a week. I am thankful to have a boyfriend who has the same interest and as adventurous as I am when it comes to food and life experiences.
One of the highlight of this trip was our stay in an island with no electricity and no grocery store. Basically it’s just an island with a few huts by the shore. You can walk around the island in 1.5-2 hours. That is how small the island was. However, it wasn’t all nice and dandy. Because it has no electricity, we couldn’t charge our phone. Meaning we have to be very stringent with our phone usage – only for photo taking and then switch it off to conserve battery. And the sun sets much earlier so by 9pm it was pitch black. We were given solar-powered lights which was the size of a man’s wallet. Not enough to do anything so we had a lot of time to think in absolute tranquility.
Because there were no grocery store on the island, we brought some food supplies i.e. bread and sardine cans. On our first night there, the boyfriend told me that he saw 2 huge rats, the size of a cat munching on our bread that was hanging behind our heads. With the small solar-powered lights, he saw 2 shadow of the rats and heard them biting through the plastic bag to eat our bread. I was so grossed by it and I thought they will aim for my smelly feet next! Every time I turned to look at the rat (or its shadow) it actually disappeared and the munching stopped. Part of me is amaze that they are quick, part of me is angry that they are eating our food supply. What are we going to eat then!
At that island, I also befriended 2 dogs who I fell in love (too quickly). I am more of a cat person so it was unbelievable how attached was I to the dogs. On our final morning, I set the alarm at 6am to watch the sunrise. One of the dog was sweet enough to accompany me. We sat by the beach in total silence and i said to him “I’m going to miss you so much”. Not sure if it’s pure coincidence or not, he licked my cheek as if to comfort me. And then I cried. I never felt so much love from a new acquaintance before.
Okay enough with the mushiness! Writing this makes me wana cry again.
3. South –> North
In August, we sold most of our belongings and took the plunge by leaving Invercargill and drove up to Auckland. Started off from Queenstown to Wanaka to Mt Cook we slowly make our way up, passing through towns and cities and saying my goodbyes to my friends. I have so many lovely memories from the trip, maybe I’ll blog about it some day 🙂
4. Got promoted at work
I have been unhappy with my career path for quite some time. I am what you would call “the Millennial job-hopper”. So every time I got a new job, I have to start from the bottom and before I reach the management level, I hopped to another one and the cycle starts again. So I was very excited when I am officially a Supervisor at my workplace now. As my manager is on leave for a month, I am in charge of day-to-day operation and the fire extinguisher to all the crisis at work. It is stressful, a bit daunting but I love it coz it’s a whole new challenge.
5. Best Christmas to date
The boyfriend and I had Teppanyaki at Daikoku on Quay and had wagyu beef for the first time! OMG after my first taste of the beautifully sliced wagyu, I swore never to eat average beef again (yeah right). It just melt in your mouth and I am so thankful for the boyfriend for this wonderful Christmas.
We got each other the same prezzie – a FitBit Charge HR. WTF right?! Hahaha. On top of that, for our 31st monthsary, he got me a book! It’s The Martian by Andy Weir. Been dying to read this book. So excited to be starting a new book on a new year!
6. Best book I read
… goes to Steve Job biography by Walter Isaacson. I was bored one day. Browsing through my old Instagram pictures and was looking for something to read. I am bored of reading romance novels (had just finished the entire Grey series) and was also bored of the same usual genre i.e. thriller etc. In 2012, I bought Steve Jobs’ biography but didn’t have the chance to finish it due to my travels (did NZ working holiday. Not going to lug a thick book around. #notpractical) So I went to the nearest library, borrowed it home and satiate myself in the joy of flipping through pages of words and wisdom.
At the same time, my sleeping pattern changed. I was roster morning shifts which start as early as 5am so for a few weeks I needed to catch up on my sleep and missed out on the pleasure of reading. So it took me 2 months to finish reading it. Longest reading record time hahaha but a gratifying one nonetheless.
I can totally relate to the book as I
‘m used to be in the digital advertising line (and a little bit of a tech geek). I have the utmost respect of him bridging art and technology and also creating revolutionary products (an adj that Steve often used in his product demo).
I am no Apple fan but how I wish he was still alive. It has been 3 years since his passing and I wonder if he was still alive, what sort of product/ technology will we be using now. I reckon if he was still alive, it would be amazing to see Steve Job and Mark Zuckerberg work together in refashioning the digital world.
I apologize for the wordy blogpost. I am on time constraint, need to get ready for NYE party with the boy. Have a good one people, see you next year! 🙂
Hello peeps! *blows dust on keyboard
As you might/ might not know… that’s my new postcode!
Yepp, I’ve been living in Auckland for almost a month and umm… can’t say that I’m loving it.
Firstly, we are very fortunate to find an affordable place to stay. We were expecting our rent to double what we paid in Invercargill however, it was just a little bit more.$270/ week inclusive of utilities and the room is fully furnished! I reckon it’s a great bargain. However, since it is so cheap… it also means that we lose privacy. When I first stay here, I totally couldn’t get used to it. I am so used to having my own bathroom, kitchen, my personal space. I am so used to running around the house, dancing like I just don’t care. But now… I have to be considerate and not make too much noise. At night, when baby Ozias and I laugh, we have to whisper our laughs. It is so pathetic but I hope this is only temporary.
Oh, did I mention that I can have unlimited internet access?! I know I must’ve sound totally idiotic but hear me out. 18 months with no internet at home. I get my supply of internet from the occasional visits to the library and if I’m feeling ‘rich’ (more like when Vodafone has cheapo weekly promo) then I’ll get data on my phone. Now I don’t have to spend a single cent on data! Upgrade!
I am in the midst of getting a job in Auckland. Preferably I would like to jump into the corporate world. Back to digital advertising (where my true love lies). But I reckon since I’ve been away for 3 years, I should start from scratch. Which I don’t mind at all! However, it sucks how every resume that I sent, it gets returned with a rejected email. Makes me feel dejected.
So my game plan is to ‘upgrade’ myself with a digital marketing certificate by the Marketing Association. Classes don’t start till 2016 so I’m currently applying for all sorts of jobs from retail to admin/ data entry (can’t wait to unleash my mad typing skill) to customer service.
Anyway, aside from that… I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE I’M IN AUCKLAND!!!
Most of my time spent in the suburbs so I don’t feel the crazy busy frenzy. But every time I see Sky City from afar, it dawned on me that I AM IN AUCKLAND! And let me tell you this. Boy there is too many Asians here! A lot of Asians also mean that the boy and I cannot gossip in Chinese or BM already. 80% of the Asians understand Chinese, there is surely someone lurking somewhere who can understand BM also. So now we can’t bad mouth people anymore 🙁
During our first week here, the bf and I went to visit the nearest Asian store and what d’ya know? Whatever that you can dream of having is available here! Asian food is available at every corner of the street and seriously, we contemplated of not going back to Malaysia anymore haha. We are so not going to be homesick here! Saw my childhood snacks the other day and I had to keep my fingers to my pocket. As I’m on the path of eating semi-healthy.
I’ve got some great memories from my 3 weeks of driving from Invercargill to Auckland. What a tiring trip. Had fun, nevertheless. Okay going to abruptly end this post. Toodles!
Was meant to blog this sooner but i live in an internet-less home so this comes a tad bit late. Better late than never no?
Last weekend we had horribly cold nights. Temperature below 0c is a norm. What’s exciting in this freezing weather is how our entire backyard and neighbourhood are covered with beautiful icy frost. This was the coldest time of the season and it doesn’t come very often (thank god) so to truly appreciate the beauty i took lotsa pictures and videos for rememberance! 🙂
On Sunday, i had the day off and the bf have a bit of time before work begins so we dragged our warm asses out of the bed and to Queens Park for some coffee and dog watching.
Very rare of me but i actually forgotten to bring my phone out wtf. I know some people will go bonkers without their phone. Well, i’m like that too except when i’m with the boy coz he makes me feel safe <3
All pictures are taken with the Sony Xperia Z2, the boy’s new phone *sigh*. The quality trumps my 2-year-old S4, my phone can retire liao.
See the details of the frost. SO pretty right! Excuse the black foreign object on the top left hehe. That’s my glove wtf. I took another pic sans the glove but posted this up coz i reckon my blurred glove gives the picture a bit of character.
When we arrived the park at 10.30am, it looked like winter wonderland. Everything was in white. But because i went and grabbed coffee and chill, this was taken 30 minutes later. The sun has melt the frost 🙁 But you still can see patches of white covered by shadows.
So captivated by the frost. Tong sampah also must take wtf.
I missed the rare opportunity to take picture in a frosty park 🙁 When we came, the park was literally covered in white. So pretty! I made a mental note to to this exact spot for a picture. And by the time i went, nehhh. Frost melt liao 🙁 Sad ler. But this picture still looks awesome. I am really impressed with the bf’s photo composition. I didn’t have to do anything at all!
The bf exercising hahaha.
See how thick we have to dress! HAHAHA. Damn sien la living in this weather. Can you believe that for 25 years I live in tropical weather and now…. now i have become the person who says “Eh, tonight is warm la.” And that warm is 10c, my friends. OMG 10c nights for me is warm!!! Since when?!
On another note, I am fascinated that human being has the ability to adapt so quickly. Last winter, the only thing i ever blogged about are the complains about the cold. But this year, i have learnt to embrace it, make full use of the physical contact with the bf hahaha. Coz i noticed during summer time, we hugged lesser compared to winter time.
The previous Monday was really cold. I couldn’t remember the exact temp but while we were out, we kept getting hit by hails and it took us at least 10 mins to defrost the car.
And it snowed that night!
This is Louisa Street. My lovely and very quiet neighbourhood. Every morning, you can hear nothing but birds chirping and my boyfriend snoring next to me haha. My 2 fav sounds to wake up to <3
This is the road on my right but the bottom pic made it to Instagram 🙂
Oh gosh, just look at the snow-powdered picture! I wished i had a picture with my face in it! But this picture was taken on my day off, when i just woke up at 10.45am so no way am i documenting my crazy hair with it. Also, the cold was no joke.
And this was beside my house lah. Not a very pretty sight but still one to remember 🙂
A full version of this year’s snowfall. The one i posted on instagram was only 15 seconds (mehhh) and this was 30 seconds long i think?! Actually the nice part of the video is the ending but it wasn’t on instagram sighhh.
Neways, we kept whispering in the video haha because the street was really quiet. This was around midnight-ish in the CBD.
I am such a glutton that I’m dedicating this blogpost on food alone! Haha. The bf and I are such gastronomical adventurers. Every place that we went, we will for sure check out the best coffee in town.
This post is choke-full of delicious pictures.
**Skipped Day 1 because we were so hungry from our flight + rushing for the BSB concert so tummy takes precedence.
Day 2/ 3rd Meal
Breakfast with the boy’s favourite – Dim Sum at China Yum Char Restaurant.
First thing to put into my mouth in the morning – delicious! I’m not a huge fan of congee but this was so simple yet flavourful. I could have finished it off on my own but was saving tummy space for more 😉
Then we had chee cheong fun. I like the ones with prawn but this one is with coriander (i think) and it was so yummy.
Prawn dumpling! As we go along, you’d know that i heart everything prawn. Especially in this tiny, delicate form.
And the many others that we ordered. Couldn’t be bothered to take nice picture anymore coz my tummy was screaming for these babies!
Price was really reasonable. We had 6 items and tea for two and the bill came to $36.60. Considering this was made fresh, making it really worth it. The ones that we had in Dunedin was obviously frozen and the bill was a tad bit more expensive. Don’t ask me how i know. Ask the bf’s super tongue lol.
Day 2/ 4th Meal
As we walked around Queen Street looking for things to eat, we decided to eat at a food court. There are the usual varieties i.e. Indian, Japanese/ Korean, Chinese, Thai, Middle East and when we came across Bintang Wok and went through the menu then we realized “Eh Malaysian food lah!”
Although we had promised Kelly to have Malaysian food tonight but we couldn’t wait till then! Saving the best for later so I ordered the 2nd food in my craving list. The nasi goreng kampung. Very spicy pls!
Mamma mia! Just look at this! The first bite immediately transported me back to home. It really taste like home. $10 is exxy if you convert to RM but when you’re 9,000km away from home, pay only lah!
The spiciness level was just right. The type that of spiciness that will keep you addicted. OMG i wished i could tapau this back to Invercargill lol.
The bf had char kuey teow (typical Penangite) Umm, I do not have much to comment about it because I was too engrossed with my nasi goreng to even bother trying his char kuey teow. But the bf seems to like it. We both jilat habis the plate haha.
Day 2/ 5th Meal
Dinner time with Kelly! We’ve got to know each other last year through Dayre, a mobile blogging app where I had questions about the process of renewing Malaysian passport in NZ. She was super kind to help a stranger out and we kept in touch ever since 🙂
When baby Ozias and i confirmed our trip to Auckland, I know I really have to meet her to thank her personally for all her help. Without her, we would be daunted by the complicated procedure. But Kelly the lifesaver carefully prepared a list of forms and gave us some helpful tips which make our life so much easier.
Thank you so much woman for all your help! And of course, we have to treat them for dinner right? 😀 She made reservation at Ngopi. A Malaysian cafe operated by a team of volunteers.
Of course, I had to have my nasi lemak.
Expectation: Village Park Nasi Lemak
Reality: Nasi with Curry Chicken, $12.50
I guess… in a western country, that’s how they do it. I do not blame them actually coz not many mat salleh will know how to appreciate an authentic sambal nasi lemak like we do. But still, the curry was very yummy.
The bf’s Char Hor Fun,$11. In retrospect, he said he shouldn’t have ordered this as he can actually cooked this at home.
Kelly’s Curry Laksa, $11. It looks yummy, no?! Gosh, I would do anything for this. Been craving for Sitiawan’s curry noodle for the longest time. Seriously, if i were to be living in Auckland, every week i’d go to the same cafe and ordered different dishes just to try them all out. I am such a glutton.
Day 2/ 6th Meal
Dessert was at Meet Fresh.
Cantik anot our dessert. The night was a little nippy but it didn’t stop us from having Taiwanese dessert. In Invercargill, there is no such thing as bubble milk tea. The only desserts that we have here is frozen yogurt. Sad right?! Blame it on the lack of Asian population here 🙁
Baby Ozias was chatting animatedly with Kelly in Hokkien. So nice to meet kaki lang in a foreign country. And it’s such a small world after all. Apparently, Kelly’s father-in-law is Ozias’ discipline teacher. Haha.
Day 2/ 7th Meal
After bidding goodbye to the couple (Kelly and her hubs, Aaron), we continued walking around exploring the city’s nightlife. After all the many meals we had for the day, the bf was still hungry. So I introduced him to my fav burger franchise, BurgerFuel.
Just look at that tam chiak face! I had a bite or two from him. Regretting not ordering one for myself as I’m craving for it now >.<
Day 2/ 8th Meal
We figured the night is still young so we lepak at Starbucks for a lil bit. Invercargill ran out of Rasberry Truffle Mocha so gotta have it when you’re in Auckland!
This has got to be one of the most complicated drinks they’d need to make. I’m sorry…. i’m very fussy with my Sbux like that >.<
Day 3/ 9th Meal
Rise and shine, it’s a brand new day. We’ve been in Auckland for 3 days and we still haven’t had a cuppa coffee. After googling for a good one, we decided on Imperial Lane.
I had my usual trim mocha and the bf had flat white. My verdict, just average. I’ve drank better ones.
But this… the potato waffle is the star of the day. This is something that I can eat every single day. It was so delicious, the next day i was craving for it already.
Day 3/ 10th Meal
Out of Kelly’s recommendation, we tried Korean at Dong Demoon.
The spicy chicken wing is supposedly a very famous dish here. They have 2 levels of spiciness – mild or hot. According to Kelly, mild was already very spicy for her. The type of spiciness will numb your palette. And of course i played safe. Since i was going to travel the next day, I don’t want to spend a good amount of time in the toilet.
My verdict: Mild gives me a slight kick of spiciness. It wasn’t overly spicy until you cry but it was alright. Being a spicy food lover, I’d go for the hot one next time. Downside is the price for this dish is too steep. $30 for about 10 pieces of spicy chicken wing with a side salad and a bowl of nori rice is certainly not worth it.
By day 3, we’ve already explored every nook and corner of the CBD and we were running out of places to go haha. Even walk through the dodgy lane and uninteresting malls to kill time.
Day 3/ 11th Meal
After hours of
exercising walking around aimlessly, we settled for a second cuppa coffee for the day at Remedy Coffee.
I tried to be adventurous and ordered myself an affogato.
OMG this was so good. I certified this to be way better than Imperial Lane’s one. I’m not good in describing coffee, pardon my lack of adjectives. The espresso shot has a rich, smooth flavour and when mixed with vanilla gelato it just slides through your throat. It was so good.
The cafe was also very queit. Lots of books on the wall and shelf and people reading. The bf and I had to whisper as to not make too much noise.
Day 3/ 13th Meal
We had sushi as our 12th meal. Not documented here because I reckon it’s sushi. Very common everywhere lol. For dessert, we went to Giapo for ice cream. They labeled themselves as haute ice cream. Just like how haute couture did with fashion.
They have all these unique ice cream flavours but I’ve got to have my salted caramel. That’s my #1 choice. We had to other flavours too which i can’t remember (sorry) and it was so good. I am generally an ice cream person and i would totally fall in love with the store if it’s possible (creepy!)
The store concept emphasizes on creativity thus their ice cream ‘designs’ for each customer is different. We had ice cream topped with golden flakes. I saw some people had colorful topping which i was very jealous of. Haha.
This is me with the ice cream for posterity sake lol.
Day 4/ 14th Meal
Breakfast time! Our last day to try coffee in Auckland. So we chose The Shelf which was just 5 minutes walk from our BBH.
The cafe is gorgeously decorated with bright artworks hanging on the walk, on the shelfs.
The cafe is owned by a group of Korean. We were there at about 10am on a Friday and it was full! People from all walks of life can be seen in the cafe – from people in suits, to tourist (like us) and university students. We lugged our luggage (luckily it’s not huge) but still it was obstructing the walkway.
Creepy paparazo shot of the men in suits. I can’t get enough of the pretty dainty decor.
I kinda expect the cafe food to come with a twist but not the drinks. Coz how creative can a flat white and mocha be? But my mocha was so pretty and unique. It has chocolate bar slowly melting away into my drink and chocolate syrup on the side for people who likes it more chocolatey. Well, it is pretty to look at but the drink isn’t very nice. I like my mocha balanced – 50% coffee, 50% chocolate. This was chocolate > coffee. The bf commented that his drink was good.
Baby Ozias’ French Toast.
My heart shaped waffle.
Umm, didn’t like this at all. The waffle was dry and portion was too small for a big eater like me haha. If i’m not mistaken this was about $10 – $15 so not worth it at all. I can make this at a fraction of the price. Of course not as pretty lah haha. So basically, i’m just paying for aesthetic and not quality. Hrmph.
But the bf’s French Toast was so delicious. I wished we had switched plates but not nice to give something i don’t like to my bf haha. So just suck it in and wasted calories on yucky food 🙁
Day 4/ 15th Meal
Before we leave for the airport, we had our last Asian meal. Since it was a chilly day and i was craving for something soupy, so we went to Daikoku, the Japanese restaurant by Countdown.
I had spicy ramen, while the bf had the normal ones. The weird thing about me is I like ramen but won’t take ramen. Hahaha. Meaning I’d only take the soup and the ingredients that comes with it but not the noodle. If you asked me, I’m an udon girl. I don’t like ordering ramen at Japanese coz to me it just taste like instant noodle (big difference, i know but that’s my palette wtf) So i had few bites of the ramen and passed the rest to baby Ozias. Poor boy, 2 hours ago we just had the breakfast. By the end of the meal, we were stuffed. Had to sit for 10 minutes digesting before making our way to the airport. But we’re not complaining! Sapu all the delicious food before we fly 🙂
Chiken karage. Love the sticks on the left. Not sure what is it but so addictive haha. Arghhh thinking about Japs food and i’m missing Marufuku! When i was in M’sia for 9 months, i have no idea why it didn’t occur to me to bring the boy there for Japs. I haven’t had it for 3 years already *sob*
So that’s it folks! Some of the food we had in Auckland. We had street food and bubble milk tea too but sometimes cannot let your phone eat first right!
Previously during our working holiday, the boy and I stayed in Auckland before and from that experience alone, we didn’t like Auckland. We hated it actually hahaha. But for some reason in this trip, we grew to like the city. It even felt like home to us. Maybe coz we walked Queen Street like a million time. Can locate Glasson and Hallenstein easily (haha my landmark).
We were also in love with the weather. It was autumn but since we live in Invercargill (most southern city in NZ) we felt the weather here is as warm as summer. I mean Invercargill’s summer time coz it can be pretty chilly. So we were like wahhh macam summer time. Wear all the shorts in the world!!!
Our friend, Kelly is very persistent in asking us to move up north. And her method hits home. She constantly tempts me with all her Malaysian home-cooked meals *drools*. If i ever move there one day, imma camp at her backyard or clean her house in exchange for good food haha.
The other night the boyfriend was doing the dishes. I was chilling by his side attentively listening to him talk about his day.
Him: … we were busy for a while and then… wait. What’s that smell? OMG YOU FART!!! *runs away from me*
Me pretending to chase after him in our tiny teeny house. He then seek refuge in our room and attempted to close the door but i was fast. And he went to our bed and tried to create a barrier between us.
I was breathless from all the laughing to even bother chasing after him anymore. I was literally ROFL at the door.
“OMG YOU AHH. WHY SO BUSUK WAN!”
“YOUR FART STINK LIKE HELL. OMG I KNOW THE SMELL. YOU FARTED AT COUNTDOWN JUST NOW RIGHT????!!!!!! AT THE BUN AREA WHILE WE WERE CHOOSING BUNS! OH MY GODDD I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!”
HAHAHAHAHAHA. I just couldn’t stop laughing.
I don’t usually fart but when i do it’s a silent killer LOL. Whereas baby Ozias (he insisted that i call him this here) fart loudly all the time. It’s usually odor-less but damn annoying!
It’s funny how we are at a phase where we can be totally comfortable with each other’s quirks. When i first move in with him, i always ‘maintain’ my behaviour. Making sure our home is in tip-top condition before he comes back. I was very self conscious of myself and obviously, i wasn’t being me lah. I was pretending to be one of those Stepford wives. I think when i need to fart, I’d go somewhere else to release it.
After a while, he felt more comfortable farting
in my face in front of me and that always make us cringe and laugh hysterically. After some time, I also felt comfortable making him smell my one-of-a-kind EDT. LOL.
Anyway, they said your have taken your relationship to the next level when you feel comfortable farting in front of your partner. Hence, the title! What…. did i mislead you into thinking something else? 😛
It is the dreaded time of the year. The day when i turn one year older. And this year it’s a little bit more depressing because 29 is the last year of my 20s *sobs*. Goodbye carefree life, goodbye youthfulness. And welcome to the trial and tribulation of an adult.
However, it wasn’t all bad actually. At 29, i feel more confident of what i want and how to achieve it. When i was in my 20s, i was exposing myself with as much experience as i could possibly have – jumping from jobs to jobs, country to country. After all the ups and down, i now know what i’m good at and work on it. No more jack of all trades, master of none anymore!
During my working holiday time, i always wanted to celebrate my birthday in a foreign country. Last year was my first, pretty exciting time. This year… not so much. Just cuz, i always envisioned that celebrating your birthday in a foreign country means lots of excitement and party with fireworks (hahaha my dream birthday) but… celebrating your birthday particularly in Invercargill means you’re stuck at home, covering yourselves in the duvet with hot chocolate. Yeah, one of those sober grandmother’s birthday. Heck… i think my grandmother has more happening birthday than mine wtf.
Anyway, reality is celebrating your birthday overseas means not having your family and friends around, celebrating with the wind from South Pole blowing at the speed of 70km/h. Yepp, it was that horrible. But i owe it to my boyfriend Ozias for making it as special as he can.
So here’s the best bit – we celebrated my birthday on 2 different days! Why you asked? Why not?!
On his day off – Monday the 8 of June, we did normal couple housework stuffs. Eating Chinese takeaway at the launderette. Groceries bla bla bla then we went to watch Aloha.
Holy smokes, the movie sucks big time. I am so surprised that 3 of the top Hollywood blockbuster actor and actresses agreed to act in a movie with no storyline. AT ALL! I came out not understanding a single bit. I overheard the other patrons commented, “I fell asleep.” Another one said, “I almost but Bradley Cooper kept me awake”. Seriously?! Initially i thought it’s a rom com but it is far from it. I just… i don’t even know what to label this movie. Worst movie i ever watched wtf.
To end the night off, we had dinner at Buster Crabb. It’s conveniently near to our place and passing by this place for a year and a half, i am really so curious about this restaurant because the door is always close. It’s tradition to have your wishes come true on your birthday right?
The boy and i ordered 2 mains and a dessert (learnt our lesson from Valentine’s Day)
Moi’s 250g Eye Fillet wrapped in Bacon with garlic prawn and risolle potatoes and garlic butter sauce on the side.
The boy’s Mixed Grill that comes with 200g of Rib Eye, Lamb Rump, Chicken Breast and Bacon (basically the whole farm lah!) with garlic prawn and marinated mushrooms on the side.
Food was great! I tend not to order chicken when i eat out because i’m sick of eating chicken at home (it’s the cheapest meat at the supermarket) But boy oh boy. I always find eating chicken is so boring but sayang’s chicken breast was so delicious. It was cooked to perfection and it changed my perception on chicken! Life changing moment for my tongue. We were there for the steak but the chicken breast stole the show. It is a damn good chicken coming from a chicken meat hater wtf.
For drinks the boy had Irish Coffee and I had Fresh Plum Daiquiri. Oh gosh, another refreshing, mouth watering cocktail. Fell in love at first sip. Told the boy, we gotta come back here again.
To finish it off, we had Banofee Cheesecake.
Not my favourite lah since I don’t fancy banana flavoured food. But it’s a well balanced dessert because I had the raspberry, cream and ice cream (something that the boy doesn’t like) and he finished the (deconstructed) banana cheesecake.
And when we returned home, i pestered the bf and asked if he got me anything for my birthday. He said sorry don’t have but understandable lah coz we need to save money for a million things (sigh growing up). Took a long shower and when i came out of the bathroom, this was hanging at the door!
I was like WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!! Quickly put on my PJs and went to open my present!
Tadah! A earring from him! I’ve have been looking for a simple earring design for the longest time and I finally have one now 🙂
Told him next time not to get Pandora liao (I actually not a fan of the brand) But quickly add “Other brand can lah ok!” HAHAHAHAHA.
When the clock struck 12 on my actual birthday we celebrated with cake! Birthday is the only time that i shamelessly and guiltless-ly eat cake without a care about how much calories i’m consuming.
Nah an ugly picture of me here. No make up, pic taken in yellowish fluorescent light. No amount of editing can save it T3T
A closer shot of the cake. I requested for salted caramel flavour (my fav!) but according to the baker they can’t do salted caramel. Can only do caramel. So… overly-sweet-borderline-diabetic cake for me! The boy got it from Colonial bakery. He didn’t request for any design and it turned out to be so old fashioned one! I used to see this cake design when i was young i.e. in my teens? Now people still make cake like this meh!
Aesthetic aside, the cake was fluffy and yummy. My teeth sinks into its soft flesh. Despite it being too sweet for my liking, i still enjoyed it. Until i found egg shells in the cake wtf! Seriously?!!!!! This is unacceptable! But working in the F&B line, i understand sometimes people make mistake. I rang them up and just casually told them about it. They wanted to compensate for it but i was fine with it. Didn’t make a big fuss out of it, just give them a heads up so that the baker would be more careful in the future.
Anyway, while i was making my wish the bf sneaked into the room. I was like, “Eh where are you going. What are you doing?” And i can hear him opening the cupboard. Weird… why the sudden? And when i finished with my wishes, opened my eyes and the bf shoved a plastic bag into my hand. Yay another present *spoilt* And it’s a bag.
A bag that i really really want! I’ve always wanted a bucket bag. Saw this when we were shopping before our trip but i didn’t get it. At that time, i was secretly wishing that he would get for me on the spot but he didn’t and i sadly went home LOL. Smart fella got this for my birthday instead! Ok la you passed the test lah. You know me really well 😉 I cried when i saw the bag. Because i used to have one – dad bought it from Africa and it’s brown. It’s simple but unique at the same time because nobody in Malaysia has the same as me. After my working holiday, i went back and look for the bag but it got moldy. My heart broke into a million pieces. Same feeling as losing your pet. So this was a really good surprise! Love the details of the bag. Can’t wait till it’s warmer to bring this baby out to play!
The next morning, after brainstorming on which cafe to go for breakfast (we tried all the cafe here liao) we settled for EAT on Windsor.
The boy had fluffy pancakes served with crispy bacon, fresh banana and maple syrup.
I like savory breakfast! Had the famous hash brown. Description copied from the website : Grated potato, whole see mustard, cheese and onion, combined into a cake. Wrapped in fresh bread crumbs and fried till it is golden and crispy. Served with creamy button mushroom, grilled bacon, fresh tomato salsa and a poached egg.
Poached egg (/)
All the different components taste beautifully individually. When eat it together, you can taste all these different flavours – sweet, sourish and salty. Yums! Portion is huge. Unfortunately it was too heavy for 10am so i ended up doggy bag ’em.
I’m very particular about my coffee and it was so-so. Not the best but not the worst too. It leans on the pricier side for cafe but worth every single cent.
When i arrived home, there was a delivery for me! Smarty pants boyfriend got me roses over the internet tsk. Asked him not to get a huge bouquet anymore coz i feel so reluctant to throw them away when they wilted. Told him next time get me 1 rose can already. At least my heart doesn’t ache as much when i throw it (oopssss)
He insisted that i take pic with my roses.
But seriously, i think they’re beautiful on its own.
The only good thing about living in a very cold area is my flowers can last for a month. I know in Malaysia, my flowers would probably last for days then i have to chuck them away.
Overall i had a fantastic birthday. I felt really special on my birthday. Although the activities are pretty normal but the moment spent together that matters. Now now, this set a very high standard for the next birthday. Seriously, i can feel the pressure to make his birthday equally special now.
Hi guys! How are you doing? Took me such a long time to write about my travels. That’s because I was going through post-holiday depression wtf. Was really emo about leaving Samoa because… I’ll write another blogpost about it okay 😉
I was contemplating to do a chronological blogpost but thought better to do it place-specific.
So we landed at Faleoleo Airport which is 30 minutes away from Apia, the capital city.
It is an open aired airport lol.
Above – front view.
Below – back view.
This time when i flew with them, they played this video!
So apt right?
That time semangat already wana sink my feet into the sand and dipped myself in the sea.
To be honest, first impression of Samoa – very village like. It is one of the most underdeveloped island in the South Pacific. So… show you some photos of our drive through the island.
This is one of the building along the road.
Oh i should mention – upon arriving, we rented a car from the first car rental that we saw. Smartie pants us for not exploring outside and immediately signed up for the first thing we see tsk.
Anyway, we rented a Rav 4 for $110 Tala per day. That’s equivalent to about NZD$55. Not sure if this is the cheapest as we didn’t check out the other car rental agencies.
The car wasn’t in the best condition. As we drove, it felt like it’s going to break apart. At times I was paranoid because the island is hilly and i don’t want anything to ruin my vacation. Anyway, we traveled around in one piece. Fuh.
On our first night, we stayed in Tatiana Motel, Apia. As I am a terrific blogger, I don’t have a picture of the place but feel free to browse the pictures on its website la ok 😉
But I have picture of our breakfast! Hahaha. Living the name of a Malaysian.
Anyway, we stayed in a room with double bed and single bed with ensuite bathroom. The rate was $110 Tala inclusive of breakfast. I think it’s a pretty good deal. However, it is rather far from city center thus having your own car is essential.
So while i was having breakfast, i was curious about the food that they served. As it is one of the most underdeveloped country, i was curious if they manufactured any products or is it all imported ones?
This… this ugly looking jam is made in Malaysia wtf. Don’t know whether to be proud or not. The jam was too sweet for my liking. Also could be because i’m not a sweet breakfast person. I prefer it savoury.
Check out time is the usual 10am and then off we went to the flea market. Told you it’s very Malaysia right. Actually, the whole place reminds me of Sabah. The city center – Kota Kinabalu (minus the multi-storey shopping centre) and the village – Kudat.
Samoans are very religious people thus you can see churches scattered sporadically around the island. This majestic one is opposite the i-Site. Tourists are allowed to enter the church but you must dressed appropriately. No sleeveless tops and bottom must be knee-length (or longer). As i was mostly in
tak tutup aurat beach wear, so I skipped that.
This is a common sight in the village. This house is consider rather modern already. Some houses are only made of wood. And if you see closely, there’s a cemetery on the left side of the house. In Samoa and Rarotonga (can’t talk for the other islands) it is common to have your ancestor’s cemetery buried right in front of the house. Not sure why though. I wish i have a tour guide or local to explain this.
Made the bf stopped in the middle of the road so that i can take pic of the tong sampah. You’re welcome. Not sure to label it creative anot haha.
And also paparazzi shot of the garbage men. (Is there a nicer way to address them?)
So when you’re in the village, seeing chicken and ducks roaming around is a norm right? Have you seen…
A horse walking towards your car as you drive past it?
seen Size 2 before? LOL. It’s actually piglets but the Samoan called pigs as Size 2. This bf super excited every time he sees a group of them. Entertained the cuteness but after 5 times it doesn’t get any cuter, more like irritating la. But the bf still gushes about its cuteness tsk.
So i’ve written the good side of Upolu in general. Now for the ugly side of it *jeng jeng jeng*
Generally, the Samoans are big sized people like Dwayne Johnson (he’s half Samoan btw). And come these 2 Asian kids, so naturally we stood out like sore thumb la. A Dutch friend said that if you hear the word ‘Palangi’ it means they’re talking about you. It actually means white people but i’m not sure why we’re in that category la. Anyway, whenever they see tourist, they see the $$ sign. Which is a normal case in many tourist spot. But what is unfair is that if you go to say food court, the cashier will purposely hike up the price. We were in this kopitiam where the majority are local. No tourist in sight. So the price must be cheap right for locals to makan? Unfortunately a bottle of water cost $5 Tala (supermarket was selling at $2 Tala).
Next bad experience is the champion of all champion la.
So we were looking for this food court called Sunrise – said to have authentic Samoan food. As a foodie, i’m up to trying new food. While we were walking around searching for this particular restaurant, out of nowhere, a man came up to us and started talking to us.
Man: Hi, how are you? Remember me?
Us: Umm… no.
Man: I saw you the other day. I’m the immigration officer that stamped your passport.
Who on earth remember immigration officer face la. So at this point we just played along.
Man extended his hand for a handshake. Bf dutifully reciprocated the handshake. Me silently gasp.
Man: Where are you heading? You look lost.
Us: We are looking for Sunrise. We want to try the Samoan food there.
Man: Oh, i can bring you there. It’s just around the corner.
So he led the way…
Man: So how long have you been in Samoa?
Us: 5 days already. We’re leaving tonight.
Man: Oh, in that case I will see you tonight at the immigration check point. I start work at 6pm later. What do you think of Samoa people? They’re friendly right?
Us: Yes, they’re nice and friendly. We love the weather and the beaches here.
Once we arrived outside Sunrise.
Man: Okay, this is Sunrise. And please write your name for the donation of the junior football team.
He then shoved the paper to Ozias and didn’t even give us a chance to decline or think about it. On the A4 paper itself, there was 2 English names with the same handwriting. I doubt it was a genuine person and they both donated $50 Tala.
As it was our final day already, we actually budget our finance cukup cukup to last the day. And now there’s this person who out of nowhere extorting money from us. Dah ler we area already poor lagi kena makan.
Well, we definitely don’t have $50 Tala so the bf wrote $20 Tala. Only to later find out that we only have $15 Tala. Apologized to the guy and he looked pissed. PISSED AT US! Wow the audacity! He didn’t even thank us. Just walked away like we’re a waste of time wtf.
At that time i was super angry. Angry that we just got cheated right under our nose but at the same time worried if we have enough money to eat and pay for gas.
After that i was dying to go home already. Thanks stupid ass for ruining our vacation. Remember how he said he was going to see us at the airport? Bullshit. He wasn’t even there. So not sure if he’s a genuine immigration officer or just some random person trying to make money off the tourist.