Friday, 31 October 2008

I'm moving, again! (31st October 2008)

Yes, I'm moving again! No, no, I'm not moving abroad; just moving to another location in Wellington. It was a random and sudden decision after I popped over to Priscilla's flat 2 weeks ago but I guess it was about time I moved into a flat with other people. Was beginning to feel somewhat lonesome living in my 1-bedroom place. I hardly talk to anyone during work hours (such is the nature of my work) and I talk to nobody at home! Besides, I was spending most of my time out of the house than in so was paying A LOT for not being at home. Will miss my apartment and the gorgeous views though...sigh...

Remind me next time NEVER to buy anything! I've only been back in the country for 1 year and I have SO much crap to move!!! I'm not planning to move anytime soon - such a hassle! Going to live from a backpack and sleeping bag in the future...I had boys Helbert and Chris help me with my move after work today - it was the only sunny day forecasted this weekend so I had to make the most of the sun. Thank you so much guys! Without them, it'll probably take me even longer than 2 hours (we were done moving by 7pm) to move my queen-size bed and other stuff. Just wanted to quickly move everything, re-organise my stuff and settle into my new place. Will buy you boys dinner tomorrow night!

Dropped Chris back home (poor guy, his car broke down) and went back to my apartment to clean and move the last bit of my stuff, then back to my new flat to sort out my stuff until late into the night. Photos taken during the move: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157608656259977/detail/

A bit of info about my new place - I'm living with 2 other flatmates, Priscilla and Andy, and cat Flick. Hmm, never lived with a cat so that would be something different. A quiet, non-party, family-like flat is what I gather so far. I haven't flatted with others for a long time so it will take awhile for me to get use to flatting again. Also had to sort out parking of my car as there is only coupon park on site. Cost me $50 a year to park at marked areas but it doesn't guarantee me a park though. Had to get a Justice of Peace to sign off my coupon permit form. And it was quite funny in the sense the JP I saw was from Malaysia and she had guests visiting so while I was there, one of her guests took photos us! The guest said the photo was for her souvenir. Right...

Monday, 20 October 2008

A day with Goldstein (20th October 2008)

Did another commercial shoot today, this time for the ASB Bank of New Zealand Goldstein TV commercial series. Was playing an extra role as one of the background people and the shoot was done at several locations around Wellington City waterfront.

The weather was so cold and windy today! We started our day at 10am at Oriental Bay beach and sand was flying EVERYWHERE - not a great day for outdoor work :( Me and other extras had to hide in the bus stop nearby in between the shoots to shield ourselves from getting blown away! The first shoot was pretty easy. Me and another extra, Matt, just had to sit at one of the benches by the beach in our current clothes (we were in coats - winter wear) so we ended up chatting and convincing ourselves that it was summer. My fingers were getting numb due to the cold!! During our work and chat, we also got to see a live nature show in view of a large seagull ripping another dead seagull into bits. The bird was pullling the intestines out of the dead bird's broken neck - eww, gruesome!

Steve Mellor, better known to most of us Kiwis as Goldstein, was on site for the day for all the shoots. Wow, he sure is as tall as I imagined from the commercials. It was somewhat odd hearing the crew call him Steve - the Goldstein name just comes up when I see him!

About 12pm, we moved to The Band Rotunda, into one of the community rooms located on the level below the Fisherman's Table restaurant to wait our call for our next shoot. While we waited, some of us indulged in a bit of reading, snooze, card playing and just chilling out. Pretty cruisy, huh? It's always good fun doing small pieces of work like this :) Interestingly, I was the only Asian today.

Shortly after, lunch was served and we had the most yummy Middle Eastern lunch of Morrocan lamb, salad and pilaf. Yum...And yes, lunch was provided to us free. So was tea and coffee throughout the day :) Helps keep us awake!

After lunch, me and another extra, Sara, spent about an hour outside just walking in the background on the beach. Up and down, up and down we went. So damn cold!!

Got changed into another set of clothes and everyone moved down to the the carpark at Freyberg Pool & Fitness Centre for another shoot, this time with staff from St John Ambulance. More walking in the background. Photo taken on my mobile phone while we were there:
The last location for the day was at Zarbo, and you guessed it, more walking but this time we had to pretend it was summer and take off our coats and layers!! Argh, cold! The weather seemed to get worse as the day goes by. There were some shoots done of a few of us having coffee and chat outdoors as well. The final scene was taken indoors and I had to pretend I was drinking coffee and chatting with Sara. We had to mouth our chats - we couldn't make any noise as the crew was doing a recording of Goldstein's voice. Wrapped up at 6.15pm - phew, what a long day! Hopefully get to see a glimpse of myself in the upcoming commerials though I doubt it very much. It'll be like for a nanosecond! But it's all for the fun of it ;)

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Awesome weekend with friends (17th - 19th October 2008)

Caught up with Mike and Chris at Chris's for drinks and dinner after work on Friday. I’ve not seen Mike for a while and was nice to catch up with the boys. Couldn’t stick around for too long as I’ve agreed to meet Priscilla to check out her flat. I've been considering moving out of my apartment – I’m hardly around and pay too much money to not be at home! Saw Priscilla’s Facebook status that she was looking for a flatmate so thought no harm checking it out.

Hmm, the room in her flat at Mt Victoria is nice. Small but clean and only 5 minutes away from my office. Worth considering…have to think it through over the weekend…

Why am I always running around??? At 8.30pm, I met up with Rosel and her friend to see the movie, The Duchess. Interesting movie but it got me quite outraged how men can treat women with little respect. Hmm, I’m a modern woman but still disagree with sharing my man…

Saw Rosel hop on her bus home (catch you another time, girl!) and was about to get my car and head home when Damien texted me to go salsa dancing. It has been a month since I last danced so sure! Met Damien at Salsadrome and it was packed tonight. I wasn’t planning to dance hard out but I ended up dancing almost non-stop for 1.5 hours! It was a lot of fun but I felt bad for Damien because we couldn’t really catch up with me on the dance floor so much. We’ll need a proper catch up when I get back from my trip to the Cook Islands!

You wouldn’t guess who I met at Salsadrome – Claus! I haven’t seen or heard from him for ages and thought he had gone off travelling. Hmm, some of our texts must have gotten lost in transit because he said he contacted me but I never responded. Oh well, can’t trust technology sometimes :/ Was nice to catch up with him and have a few fun dances together. Also met a Russian man whom I’ve never seen at salsa events before. He was probably a beginner or spectator because he wasn’t dancing the right moves nor with the beat but he just wouldn’t give up trying to dance with me. Good on him for trying! Left around 1am for home – just absolutely shattered.

Couldn't sleep in as my mind was going around million miles a minutes with a list of stuff to do Saturday morning. Went swimming, picked up Scott and headed to Ramnish's place to view his flat (he too was looking for a flatmate), had lunch with Scott at this Thai place in Miramar, then went to The Weta Cave before heading back into town. I need to come back to Weta Cave another day with my camera to take a photo of me and the huge evil-looking LOTR beast. I expected more of the cave – it was small and more like a gift shop. It would have much better if it was more like a museum.

Back into town to Oriental Parade for a walk and coffee, and bumped into several friends along the way. Claus and his visiting friend from Brazil, Roberto, came to join us for a bit but the weather took a dramatic change so we all headed back to our own homes about 2.30pm. Home for a rest and then gafieira practice with Helbert before we headed out to Southern Cross Bar for the Brazealand gig.

I must say, I was somewhat disappointed that Brazealand didn’t play any gafieira type songs but mainly forro. Kind of defeated the purpose of Helbert and I practicing earlier because we had planned to try out the steps on the dance floor tonight. Oh well, forro it is then. I was dancing forro with boys Luciano and Claus, and at one point, we were all taking turns stealing Ron’s hat, putting it on and getting the hat ‘stolen’ by another one of us. So much fun! Didn’t stay out too late as I was tired from swimming and a day of running around so left about midnight for home. Was night to catch up with familiar faces I’ve not seen for awhile at the gig too.

Oh yeah, the Russian guy I met last night just wouldn’t stop texting me to ask me out for coffee. I swapped numbers with him when he asked, not really thinking much into it. According to Scott, guys only ask for a girl’s number when he’s interested in her. Oh, well, that didn’t cross my mind – it was just a polite thing to do to swap numbers and I don’t mind having another friend. Anyway, he was persistent on catching up so I told him to go to Southern Cross which he did! I was fine with his presence but what really crept me out was the way he was watching and following me everywhere in the bar. I had to get boys Helbert and Ron to stick around me so I was not left alone with the weirdo. Think he got fed up after an hour and just took off. Phew! Some random Kiwi guy then came by to chat with me and at the end of our small talk suggested we should catch up. I told him he’ll bump into me if he goes salsa dancing – I know I was lying through my teeth because I rarely go salsa dancing these days but I just didn’t want a repeat of Russian man incident. Note to self: no more giving out my phone number to random strangers! I just get stalked!!

Was up at 7am on Sunday because of a loud continuous sounding alarm, much like the one for tsunami warning and got me a bit shaken when it didn't stop going on for over a minute. Looking out my window, I didn't see anyone get out of their houses and there was nothing on the radio or web about the drill. Oh well, might as well get up, have breakfast and start baking some banana chocolate chip muffins for Sonja who was coming to see me this afternoon…

Oh yeah, I’ve decided to move out and into Priscilla’s place. Lots to sort out and pack up, AND I'm going to be away for a few days next week! Eeks, Eeks! Just not enough time!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Well, ain't I famous! (13th October 2008)

I was home waiting for Helbert to turn up to sort out flights for our year-end trip to Australia (yep, my travel buddy and I are shooting off somewhere in the world again) and mindlessly flipping through Intrepid Travel's Australia & The Pacific 2009 brochure I got in mail today. You wouldn't believe who I found on one of the pages - ME! Check this out:
I thought that picture was familiar (was taken in Western Australia last year) and reading the fine print, it had my name written. Ok, I did periodically submit photos for the Intrepid Photo Competition 2008 but I've not been shortlisted to date so wasn't expecting my photos to be used in the brochures - what a nice surprise! I'm now famous!! Well, at least for a year while this brochure is still in use - hehe, my short stint to fame :P Gives me the motivation to submit more photos from my travels to share with the world!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Wratty & Louise comes to visit (10th - 12th October 2008)

I'm having guests coming to stay with me for the first time! Friends Louise and Quentin aka Wratty whom I met during my trip in Tasmania were coming to visit this weekend and staying at my humble abode while they were here. Spent the week spring cleaning my place during my spare time before they turned up. Not much to clean but just wanted to have a place look presentable :)


Friday, 10th October 2008: Rushed home from work drinks at 5pm to wait for Wratty to turn up before we headed over to YHA to pick up Louise (me running around in between places again as usual...). It was so nice to see them again for I had never expected we would cross paths after our Tassie trip! And we were still as crazy as back on the trip - us brilliants ;P It was as if we were never apart even though it has been 6 months since we last saw each other!! Great job Louise for pulling this mini gathering together in such a short time and with all 3 of us living in different locations (me in Welly, her in Australia and Wratty in Blenheim). It was a pity Niek and Ilse weren't here with us but definitely not forgotten - we'll have to send them photos of what they missed out :P

A quick grocery shop for me and on the way back to my place, we drove up to Brooklyn Hill to take photos of the Brooklyn Wind Turbine and views of Wellington City. Funny that I see the wind turbine from my apartment everyday but I've never been up the hill to have a close look at the monster-of-a-turbine. This Vestas turbine has a blade length of 13.5 meters and the nacelle is 31.5 meters above the ground. Its maximum output of 225kW is enough to supply about 60-80 homes throughout the year. You could hear the "vromp-vromp" sound of the blades just standing around! Photos taken at the wind turbine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157607947054160/detail/

Brr, getting chilly...time to head home, guys!

Back at my place, we chit-chatted over drinks till about 9pm, then headed out to grab dinner in town. Photo of Wratty having a chat with the new local busker, Mexican singing man, on our way to dinner:
Ended up at Oaks Satay Noodle House on Cuba St and I think the staff there couldn't wait for us 3 to get out as we continued chatting until they were closed! But we have so much to catch up on!! Left the diner and took a walk down Courtenay Place for Louise and Wratty to check out the night life in Wellington. Louise wasn't into a big night out after her many nights out drinking while on the backpacking tour down to Wellington so we all decided we would take it easy, maybe a drink or two and head home. Besides, Wratty and Louise have a tour in the morning so couldn't stay out late anyway.

Niek & Ilse, guess who we found on the streets! See how much we miss you guys? This photo is for you - just imagine you are the Star Wars character and here in Welly with us:
Since Louise was a Guinness drinker, we headed over to Molly Malones Irish Pub & Restaurant for a drink and you wouldn't believe this but we found some of my workmates whom I was drinking with earlier there - Mark, Mehrdad, Ashvin and Andrew. Guys, where's the rest of the gang? Turned out, they were the last ones remaining as the others couldn't keep up and had left for home! So we joined their table, trying to talk to each other (it was so funny to see Andrew communicating with us using his mobile phone - he was showing us his words in text form) in the crowded and noisy pub. I got to try some of Louise's Murphys, a variation to the Guinness which was less bitter and alright for a non-Guinness fan like me. But I think I'm sticking to my lager hehe...

Oh, I so wished I had that on camera - not everyday do we get to see Andrew boogie! He did a little jig with me and Louise, dancing around in circles, linking arms. He was the last man standing; the other 3 had left by then. Oh, I cannot believe I didn't record it!!! It would have been a cracker at work on Monday :P

We left the pub around midnight and headed for home while Andrew went back to the office (seriously, Andrew, after all the drinking??). Photos taken of The Brilliants and on Andrew's mobile at Molly's:
The Brilliants - Wratty, Louise and me!

Mehrdad all excited with his Guinness


Buddies Mark and Ashvin having another drink






Saturday, 11th October 2008: Was up at 7.15 in the morning. Louise and Wratty were up and got ready to head out to Civic Square where they will be joining the local Lord of the Rings tour for half a day. I would have loved to join them but had visited most of the places before so decided to pass. Instead, I went for a swim and bought us tickets to the Vodafone Wellington Lions vs Taranaki quarterfinals rugby game for this evening. Louise and Wratty were into their sports and Louise was keen to watch the game. Sounds like a plan - my shout guys!

Louise and Wratty are very fortunate that the weather is so nice today - I'm sure they would enjoy their tour! Hopefully the sun keeps shining the whole weekend. Days like these are rare!

Met up with the two at Civic Square around 1pm and headed down Lambton Quay where Louise was picking up her Taranaki shirt (oh-o, Wratty supports the Lions - it would be interesting being sandwiched between them at the game...) and a bite. With the little time we have this afternoon before the game, I took them to the Wellington Cable Car, one of Wellington’s oldest and most popular tourist attractions, where we caught a return ride up to the lookout and back down. I must say, the renovations done at the bottom station made the tourist attraction much nicer looking now (used to be dark and grubby during my student days). Photos taken: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157607954453187/detail/

Louise had her Taranaki shirt on (it was striped yellow and black like a bumblebee) and as we walked around town, we had random people shout "GO THE NAKI!!" at us (or rather, at her). Hilarious!

We cruised along the waterfront and caught up with Christian outside Te Papa. Thought of playing a trick on him, getting Wratty to walk up to him, call him by his name and introduce himself but too bad Christian turned around and saw us. Ooo, missed our chance! The four of us continued walking towards Oriental Parade and along the way bumped into several friends. You know, I never really thought I knew so many people in town until we stopped so many times to do introductions throughout the day. We met people from work, from salsa and others I got to know over the years. At one point, I was hoping we would NOT meet anyone I know so we could actually get to the stadium in time for the game! Photos taken on our walk:
When the sun's out, so are Wellingtonians (and more skin!)


Louise, Wratty and Christian walking ahead of me


By 4pm, we headed back the opposite direction towards the Cake Tin aka Westpac Stadium to watch our game starting at 5pm. Yeah, I need an hour to walk there because I was in heels plus we kept stopping to chat with my friends...

Tickets cost $22 per person and we were seated where one of the goal posts were located (apparently pretty good seats according to Wratty). I've never been here to watch a game when the sun is still shining oh-so-brightly! It was an awesome game with lots of tries, a few fist fights and plenty of running around (the Nakis looked like bumblebees buzzing around in their striped rugby tops). However, the stadium was rather empty so I couldn't feel the energy from the cheering crowd. The Lions won Taranaki 50-30. Photos taken at the rugby game: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157607953211483/detail/

Hope you guys enjoyed the game as much as I did!

Louise and Wratty were just saying that we haven't bumped into anyone I know in the last hour as we walked back home and George appeared across the street! Haha, what a coincidence! Yeah, yeah, I'm SO popular :)

Back home to change and out again for dinner by 8pm, tonight was Louise's shout at Hog's Breath Cafe on Courtenay Place. Yummy steak...I always end up polishing my plate and then feel stuffed! But there's always room for dessert!! Wratty was craving for a nice lemon meringue so suggested they try Espressoholic just a few shops away. Apparently they do serve a good lemon meringue - got the approvals of both Louise and Wratty :) Thanks Louise and Wratty for dinner and dessert! George came to join us for awhile before heading of to his favourite hang out place, Kazu Bar. It has been a long day for my fellow guests and Louise was leaving on a really early flight tomorrow (5.30am, I think) so we were back home by 11pm for her to organise her stuff.


Sunday, 12th October 2008: Was up at 4am to drop Louise off at airport. Wratty tagged along just to make sure Louise leaves! Oh, you are so evil! :) It was sad to say goodbye yet again but I believe we'll see each other again soon - we've managed to get together this time, we can definitely do it again! Louise may even be moving to NZ - yay, another headcount to our population, hahaha...Have a safe flight home, Louise, and keep in touch!

Back home and snoozed till 8am, then up having breakfast and chit-chat with Wratty. I had an appointment with my new personal trainer this morning so gave Wratty a set of keys - he can go wonder around town in the sun while I'm out. Caught up with him at home at 12.30pm and lovely Wratty bought a bunch of irises to brighten up the house:



Unable to find a vase, Wratty had to make do with an empty detergent bottle


Aren't they just gorgeous!


We left home near 1pm to drop Wratty off at airport. Oh, I'll miss you guys - it was awesome to spend the weekend with both of you, showing you around Wellington and my life here in the little time we had together and I look forward to our next catch-up! Keep in touch!!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Joanne's and Clarence's farewell (10th October 2008)

Today was another day of farewells. It was my colleagues, Clarence's and Joanne's last day with us - both are moving on to another job in Wellington! How could you guys go??!! I've enjoyed working with them and it was sad to see them leave our team but I can totally understand :/ Best wishes in your new job! Who knows what the future holds - the IT/telecommunications industry here is not that big so we may end up working together again!

The farewells started with Clarence shouting the team cake for morning tea, followed by a large fruit basket from Joanne. During lunchtime, a group of us joined Joanne at her farewell lunch at The Lanes Bowling Lounge on Wakefield Street. It was another place I've not yet stepped in but often passed by when driving back home from the gym or pool. An interesting twist to the normal tenpin bowling alley, The Lanes is set up in a bar setting with large screens playing MTV clips, a full bar, food, pool tables and comfy lounge seats. Cost $10 per person for a game.

Ameer, Manesha and I were there as spectators while the others fought it out on the lanes. It was funny to see the different bowling styles (and I even caught some on camera!) and just watching everyone have a good time. Congrats to Mike - he had the highest score of the lot! I think the team should have more out-of-office social activities like this :) Photos taken today: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157607916494519/detail/

Back to work for a bit and then at 4.30pm, everyone started to trickle in to Kitty's for Clarence's farewell drinks. We pretty much took up the whole upstairs deck! Unfortunately I could only stay for 1 drink and had to go - Wratty and Louise were staying with me this weekend and I had to go pick them up. Clarence and Joanne, you guys must come join us for the regular Friday work drinks and keep in touch!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Adagio & Ken's farewell (8th October 2008)

Scott and I went to the preview of Adagio - Seriously Sophisticated Circus at Downstage Theatre at 6.30pm this evening. Cost us $20 per person (normal price $42) for the 70-minute show. I wasn't sure if this was Scott's kind of thing but in a previous catch up with him, I found out he was into juggling (and even had a brief show of how it was done!) so decided to rope him along...hehe...By the way, a preview is pretty much the same show but just cheaper in price and staged before the official opening night - it was also a means for reviewers and the general audience to help spread the word about the show. Interestingly, despite the cheaper tickets, the theatre was only half-full...

Adagio takes circus out of the tent and into the theatre. Featuring a blend of syncopated circus acts and the cool fluid sound of jazz, the small group of 7 combined physical theatre, circus, contemporary dance, music and comedy all into one. I was most impressed at their circus acts in such a small theatre and the woman who played the pianist was musically talented - she could play the piano, accordion and saxaphone which she did in the show. Oh, and I also loved the doll in the bag act! A woman was pulled out of a luggage bag and acted just like a ventriloquist puppet gone out of control. I was glad Scott enjoyed the show - me too :) If you've seen shows such a La Vie, you would definitely enjoy this one (though in saying that, I thought 1 hour was a bit short - before I could get immersed into the act/show, it was over).

After the show, we headed over to Kazu Yakitori & Sake Bar where Scott had some dinner while we chatted and around 9pm, we left for Hawthorn Lounge to attend Ken's farewell drinks. Yes, yet another one of our friends is leaving - Ken's moving up to Auckland to start a brand new life and adventure so friends gathered to wish him well and bid him goodbye. Well, not really goodbye in the sense he's just moving to another city - I'm sure we'll visit him and vice versa. You would be dearly missed, Ken! Best wishes and keep in touch!! Photos taken tonight by Sanya:

Ramnish, Stacey, Kanaka and Ken

Willy-John, Stacey and me sitting at the bar
A very packed Hawthorn with Ken's friends


Barbara, Yvonne, Nicola and Julia


Isabel (yes, she left us and now back in town) and Scott


Naz and Willy-John

John taking a snooze caught on camera

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Wind storm in Wellington??? (7th Oct 2008)

Was up at 5am, literally 'shaken' awake as I could feel my apartment 'sway' when the gusts of strong wind blew. Of course, just the sound of the howling wind was enough to wake up a light sleeper like me. I wasn't impressed at all; I've not been getting enough sleep of late and was unable to go back to sleep with this horrible weather! Urgh...might as well get changed and go swimming...

On days like this where the wind blows at up to 150km/hr, I seriously wonder what the hell am doing living in Wellington. I should be in some place warm with more predictable weather! My 10- to 15-minute walk to work took more effort than usual - I was walking at an angle against the wind and when walking down streets 'with' the wind, I could feel myself 'floating' and being 'carried' down the street! Could you imagine my fear that pot plants or billboard signs may just fall on me while walking?? I wasn't able to see clearly as I was shielding my face from the wind and rain that was coming down like mini gun pellets. Even the lamp posts and traffic lights were shaking! I wondered if it would just get uprooted off the ground...Images from the movie Tornado came to mind. I REALLY need to organise my emergency/disaster plan...Coincidentally, this is Disaster Awareness Week in NZ and it just makes one even more fearful that possible disasters, such as weather related, volcanic, earthquake or tsunami, could happen in this country.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

A WOW of a week (1st - 5th October 2008)

I had put myself forward to volunteer as a programme seller this year at the Montana World Of Wearable (WOW) Awards Show 2008 event held at the TSB Arena from 25th Sept - 5th Oct. As a volunteer, I had to work 2 hours at the start of each show for a chunk of 5 days in a row - since I was away in Samoa for the first half, my volunteering started on the 1st of October. Why volunteer? Well, I would choose to model like my friend, Mariana, but I didn't meet the height requirement so ended up as a programme seller instead in exchange for a free ticket to the show. Tickets vary from $50 - $165 and the better seats were very quickly sold out when first released for sale. Oh, but volunteering was so much fun! I would definitely consider doing it again :)

The WOW Awards Show is an extravagant two-hour performance that celebrates creativity in unique and colourful ways on-stage, taking static display and art off the wall. Breathtaking works of art are designed for the moving body, then individually choreographed into an extraordinary theatrical show entwined with every facet of performance: music, dance, lighting, drama and comedy. The annual show has been going on for 20 years now and this was the first time I was watching this world-class event!

Day 1, I was given a WOW crew shirt to put on (and I got to keep it), a shiny golden hat to wear, introduced to the other volunteers I would be working with during the week and tasked to hand out the Dominion Post People's Choice Award forms to the streams of people as they walked into the arena. The shirt was too large for me (male size M) - I looked as if I was wearing a pyjama top! Well, I couldn't change the size since it was the only size available so I was stuck with it for the next 5 days. Oh well, if it fits Helbert, it'll be his for keeps after the event.

It was awesome to be in the midst of the crowd, just absorbing the atmosphere and excitement, the happy vibes that oozed out of people who came from Wellington and around NZ (perhaps some from abroad as well), and some even taking the opportunity to dress up as if attending a formal ball. One lady even hugged me! She was so excited and had been looking forward to the show the whole day!

Pre-show performers were out and about, mingling with the crowd and it was such fun to watch them: there was a couple donned in costumes as if they imerged from someone's back garden, a trio of silver people, the amazing Tess (drag queen), Maria (oh, 'she' sings so amazingly only to fall asleep in between), Vishnu (blue Hindu god) and a few comedians. I never get tired watching these performers, mainly Maria, even though I can predict when she would pretend to fall asleep - just cracks me up everytime :)

A photo taken of sculpture SkyBlues on Post Office Square, Jervois Quay, as I walked to get my car and headed home for the night:

Day 2 & 3, I was tasked with selling the event's programme books (cost $20 each). Definitely more fun than handing out competition forms.

Oh, so much running around and full-on days - I went from working my full-time job, to volunteering to teaching gafieira!

Before I started my shift on Friday, I made a quick visit to ARA Libertad, an Argentine navy school ship that has recently berthed at Queens Wharf. Didn't cost anything to visit the ship. The weather was windy so I didn't stick around for long - just walked around the tall ship to take some photos. Hmm, it would have been more interesting if they did a tour of the ship of all the levels like the tour I did when MV Doulos was in town. On Libertad, visitors could only explore the main deck and do it on their own. Photos of the ship: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157607783510155/detail/

I went to see awards show on Friday night. The show was an absolute WOW (despite the seat I got was for the impaired vision i.e. I had a staircase rail blocking part of my view to which I had to sit at the edge of my seat for the whole show)! Though I've heard mixed reviews from friends who had seen the shows over the years, I thought the whole show was very cleverly choreographed and the garments presented were just amazing.

The show started with the pre-show performers egging the crowd in their sections to cheer loudly against each other. The garments were displayed in different sections and themes - there were even live animals making stage appearances! I wondered how they manage to keep chickens, pigeons and ducks to sit in baskets or serving trays without them flying off in the arena...

Watching the show, I felt as if warped into a different world, a world that was dream-like, unreal and of fantasy. Imagine being in Alice of Wonderland world, where anything and everything could be worn and was art! Designs range from simple to intricately complex, with a section of magic illusion of UV light and a bizarre range of bras. As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, the audience also had a chance to see all the winning garments from the last 2 decades.

Some of my favourite garments seen tonight include: Fonteyn's Folly (dancing dragon), Punk Bird Family (punk mix with African birds), Chicken (a rocking chair incorporated into a dress), Perfect Pins (large size pin cushion and the winner of the Dominion Post People's Choice Award), Ornitho-Maia (this was this year's event winner, a beautifully feathered costume made with leather), Me & My Shadow (this was from the Illumination Illusion Section, a big entertainer and his skinny shadow in the spotlight), Dragon Fish (1996 winner), Superminx (1999 winner - 2 large cushion chairs) and Rattle Your Dags (2007 winner - a sheep).

A must-see show for those of you who haven't seen it and for those who have, continue supporting the show!

Caught up with Rosel for lunch at Simply Paris on Saturday. Simply Paris is an authentic French establishment on upper Cuba Street, serving delicious light meals, exquisite cakes and pastries, and an excellent range of coffee and tea. Oh, and the serve the best pumpkin soup I've ever had in town - fresh and clear (not thick with cream). Yum! Was nice to catch up with Rosel :) Photos of us girls at Simply Paris:

We took a drive up to Mount Victoria after lunch before I dropped her off at Queens Wharf for her to visit the Argentine ship. Urgh, weather was so crap outside! I cannot believe you still want to visit Libertad, Rosel - it's pouring and so windy outside! Brave, brave girl...salute to you!

Tonight, I worked behind the merchandise counter and had to work the till - eiks! I was amazed to learn that some of the merchandise were made from previous years display items such as flags, calendars and eggshells were used to make the notebook holder. Very cool :) As a volunteer, I got given a 20th anniversary badge as well (lucky me, the badge was sold out before the event ended!).

Had brunch over at Christian's on Sunday before finishing up my last day volunteering at the WOW event. Was lovely to catch up with Christian - though we see each other twice or 3 times a week, we hardly have time to really talk as we would be mostly dancing. Better still, I didn't have to cook! Well, I did bake a cake for our brunch. Just sick of eating my own cooking so it was a nice change to try Christian's instead. We should do this again soon, Christian - it was nice :)

I was a wandering programme seller this afternoon. It was funny that I had to stop promoting the programme as we were running out so I was selling in silence (yeah, just holding the programme and walking around until people approached me). Volunteers got a programme each. It did cross my mind to sell it off and earn $20 but nah. Going to keep this one as souvenir. It has been a WOW of a week here at the awards and I look forward to the event next year. Photos taken during my time at WOW: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157607778466796/detail/