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Sunday, February 03, 2013

The past weekend

The past weekend was supposed to be my birthday weekend but it was actually just the same as any other normal weekends. In fact, my birthday this year was also just another working day for me, and i didn't feel particular happy nor sad on that day.

Last Friday, i went to work as usual. My ex-subordinate informed my two bosses about my birthday (he knew it because he is on my FB) and so we went out for lunch on that day. We didn't have anything fancy for lunch but just went to the food court at a mall near my office and my boss paid for my order. I still worked in the office until 6pm+ and then the evening ended as usual as well. There was no cake, no candles, no birthday presents... but there were quite a number of birthday greetings from my friends and family on FB, emails and sms. Mom did make a hard-boiled egg for me (without the red colouring) as part of our Chinese tradition.

Frankly, at this stage of my life, not having a significant half or a family of my own, and also without any close friends here, there really isn't a need to make a fuss out of my birthday anymore. In fact, it is the day i get older and getting nearer to the age of 40, with not much of achievements in life. I would be lying if i say i didn't feel melancholy about it at all, especially with the situation i am in now. I did my best not to think too much about it lest i fall into self-pity. That was also why there wasn't any introspective birthday post on that day.

It isn't really easy to blog nowadays too. Besides mom keeps using my laptop to watch dramas, the lack of privacy also makes writing difficult. This is a very small apartment and mom is around all the time. I can't do anything without her noticing and even probing sometimes. To be honest, i have mixed feelings about her being here. On one hand, it is nice to have my closest family member by my side so that I am not really all alone here. At least i have someone to talk to when i return to this apartment, and i have someone to cook and take care of the house chores for me. However, on the other hand, i miss the freedom of being able to do whatever i want, eat whatever i want and go wherever i want, without having mom nagging at me and tagging along. I also miss sleeping on the bed and having the blanket all to myself, and not having to be bothered by snoring or awakened by someone waking up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. Anyway, there is less than a month to go and i will be really all alone by then.

Alright, about the weekend - well, we went car hunting at a few car dealers on Saturday. I have hoped to get a car as a birthday present for myself, but unfortunately that didn't turn out well. All the cars sold at car dealers were over my budget, mostly over NZD10K in price. I would still stick to my budget for another week, after which i really need to seriously consider increasing the budget by probably NZD2k.

After my failed attempt to get a car in the morning, we spent the afternoon shopping and i got myself three presents that cost me over NZD400. I bought a blender and two pairs of shoes. The blender is for making juices to keep myself healthy (and slim).

As for the shoes, I had been looking for shoes for quite a while already since i need to walk quite a fair bit here and i can't wear the high heels that i've brought here to go with my officer wear. After much shopping, i finally got myself a pair of low heels leather shoes and a pair of leather boots. Those should be quite comfy to walk in, and i'd be wearing one of them tomorrow!

That pretty much concluded my boring birthday weekend, except that it wasn't really as boring for other people in the city.

The past week, especially the weekend, felt as if the entire city was in a carnival and huge costume party. It was the week of Wellington Sevens, the annual rugby sevens tournament that is held here every February. The Kiwis are crazy about rugby, which i guess is pretty much considered their national sports. However, the thing about this event is that the people would dress themselves up in different costumes to go to the game. They would also go drinking before and after (and perhaps even during) the game. I seriously wondered if their enthusiasm and excitement about this event was for the game or the partying.

Nonetheless, it was quite fun to see different characters walking on the streets for the past few days. I would have been out taking photographs of these quirky people if not for my mom being around (as she will not let me go out alone at all except going to work). Of course, if i have done that, i would not do it in the night because it would be really unsafe for a single lady roaming the streets amidst all those people with adrenaline rush after the game and alcohol.

The streets below where i stay were closed off on Saturday from 5pm to Sunday morning. At around 11pm on Saturday night, there were batches of crowd walking back from the stadium and passing through these streets to get to Courtenay Place, the street famous for nightlife here.

It was a very noisy night, as we could hear them talking loudly, shouting, laughing, singing and chanting down the streets, and not to mention the siren from the police cars that were more frequent than any other usual weekends. This morning when we were walking to the church, we saw some people still in costumes and some with those pubs' wrist bands on their hands. Apparently, these people had been out partying whole night (or probably couldn't drive after drinking) and were only going home this morning.

Frankly, if there is anything i notice about Westerners in general, it would be the unhealthy drinking culture. This is something i observed from my previous employments and having to deal with Westerners from USA and Europe. I do no think i can ever immerse in such culture, for boozing is never my thing even though there were times in my younger days when i did drink beer and red wine but in good moderation.

On an unrelated note, saw new Bearista at the Starbucks here but not sure what costume that is and for what occasion.

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if only the ex-subordinate notified your bosses earlier and not the last minute .. it's ok Pin, it's just because you're still new in NZ (it's even < 100 days) and it will be surely better as time passes and more people get to know you :). And Pin, you did make a change in life when you switch career to NZ, and it's still in the initial stage. Plus, most of your friends, ex-colleagues station in MY, SG and internet space but not in Wellington only, it's not they did not remember your birthday and have forgotten you judging from FB, emails and sms. wait, sms ??? gee, that's doesn't sound good when it comes to bill ..... sigh, if only you manage to get a car or spot one within your target and budget that would be a great first birthday in NZ. don't give up Pin, and certainly don't get overstress for this. well, for the time being just treat taking bus as morning and evening exercise after long hours sitting in front of laptop and be discipline to get to bed on time, which is effective than the blender (what am i writing over here ler ...).

hmm, i know westerners "guys" are into boozing with beer be substituted as tea, but westerner gals ... i do hear some of my thai colleagues who are ladies are great drinker with lacquer, and lacquer is total new level away from beer and red wine, is like drinking ethanol like that. sometimes i wonder what's so nice with gulping down 65% alcohol content drink making the liver miserable. speaking of rugby, All Blacks is so famous, always synonym with kiwi NZ and their haka dance taunting the opponents in every match. so soon PinPin will be from basketball fan to badminton and later rugby fan :), ha. but rugby is so manly. Gee, the bearista dressed like british redcoat army, not cute. And Wellington did not beat Napoleon in February, he doesn't even wear a moustache. perhaps only locals would know the reason. Hopefully you'll find a car soon, and until then DON'T USE the TRAIN!!! Cheers :).

after google about it, the redcoat is from the fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. it's a famous story, but how come i also donno, now i know ... cheers. -HY-

They say it take time to get use to Wellington,it can be a really boring place :) Give yourself sometime to like Welly. Young Kiwis just drink too much,it is a disgusting culture.I see you are living near Manners St, please be careful at night.
A belated Happy Birthday to you :)
Anonymous in NZ

Anonymous in NZ: Thanks for the birthday wish. :)

Yes, initially i thought staying here is very convenient (which it is), but never did i expect it can be quite dangerously too, especially with all those people drinking near Courtenay Place...

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 @ 7:43 pm: Random updates for the week
Friday, January 25, 2013 @ 8:55 pm: More about transport
Friday, January 25, 2013 @ 6:59 pm: Taking public transport
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 12:57 am: No car soon
Friday, January 18, 2013 @ 11:56 pm: Busy at work
Sunday, January 13, 2013 @ 9:44 pm: Lost & found (II)
Sunday, January 13, 2013 @ 12:47 am: Lost & found (I)
Thursday, January 10, 2013 @ 9:59 pm: Unexpected
Friday, January 04, 2013 @ 10:13 pm: Quick update
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 @ 11:29 pm: An unusual day