Week 1 back in Wellington (29th October - 4th November 2007)

Having been back for a few days now, I’m still getting used to being here. The weather feels rather cold to me (or is it just because I’ve been away in warmer countries the past few months??) – people here must wonder why I’m wearing my ski jacket but it IS cold, even though it’s now the beginning of summer.

I haven’t heard back from the organisations I applied to and beginning to worry. I do need a job pretty fast as money is getting tight and I’ll start having bills to pay once I move into my apartment. Perhaps this is the wrong time of the year to find work? Well, the job market does slow down towards the end of the year. Hopefully find something soon…

Wednesday, 31st October 2007: I got a phone call from Jean (my former manager at SIM) yesterday evening to say that she needs a temp till the end of the year and asked me if I was keen. OF COURSE!! Pillai (my former colleague) was going to India for 2 weeks so I went to ‘learn the ropes’ of his role to help out during the time he goes away. Yay, I’ve got work, at least to help tie me over for the next couple of weeks.

Helbert and I went to see Rush Hour 3 at Reading Cinemas in Courtenay Central today. Chris Tucker looked chubbier this time…hehe…The movie was ok, nothing overly surprising. I’ve seen the first 2 movies so already knew what to expect in this one.

Thursday, 1st November 2007: I had all my stuff packed up ready for my move this evening. At 10am, I went to see my landlord William to get the keys to my apartment and sort out the contract. He’s such a nice guy – he left me some furniture, a TV and cooking utensils knowing I only had 2 bags of my stuff with me at the moment. Thanks so much! And hey, the place looks way better than when I first saw it (the previous tenants were American exchange students and they had a bed in the lounge). Photos of my quite empty apartment: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157603259927832/detail/

Back to work and boy were there heaps to learn! Pillai leaves tomorrow for India and I have no clue what I’m doing!! Accounts, even though was one of my majors, wasn’t and still isn’t my first love, which was why I never really continued on in this career path. I’m surprised I even managed to complete a degree in Accounting!

Wow, my apartment is so quiet...and empty…Spent my first night here sleeping on the couch (there was no bed in my room). Oh, but I’m loving it! I can’t wait to furnish the place, making it cosy – a place I can call ‘My Home’. Exciting!!!

Friday, 2nd November 2007: Caught up with Sonja today for coffee to return her house keys to her. Thanks Sonja and flatmates for housing me for the week! Really appreciate it :)

I got my landline connected today and will get internet set up sometime next week. Until then, I’ll have to go to public wireless hotspot areas in town to access internet. At least there's a TV to keep me entertained.

Went to Lonestar on Tory Street with Ramnish and John to meet up with our salsa friends for drinks and nibbles before heading to Salsadrome (tonight was the last Salsadrome for the year). Salsadrome is a salsa event that occurs every fortnight on Fridays at the Wellington Performing Art Centre. You pay a fee of $8 and you can pretty much dance from 7.30pm till 12am to the songs played by the DJ. An introductory salsa class is held around 8.00-8.30pm and the dance floor officially opens for social dancing from 9.30pm. In the studio next door, you could dance tango. Some of us who dance both types of dances would hop in and out of the studios. Occasionally, bachata (a form of music and dance that originated in the countryside and the rural neighborhoods of Dominican Republic) is played next door instead of tango. Bachata is becoming a popular music played in salsa events. I enjoy dancing bachata – it’s sensual, dancing very close to your partner as you sway to the music. I had a good night dancing though there were times when I felt left out and just sat down to watch others dance.

Saturday, 3rd November 2007: This morning was my turn to help Helbert shift his stuff to his new flat (he helped me move my things to my apartment on Thursday night). Quite a nice place in Newtown though I wonder how the flatmates cope sharing the 1 toilet and shower among the 7 of them...

We caught up later in the evening and went to visit Sandum at 217 Taranaki Hostel (where we used to live) for a couple of drinks. Elham (TJ’s girlfriend) was celebrating her 21st birthday and we all headed to Eclipse for drinks and nibbles. Hmm, some of the boys were already tipsy before we even arrived at the bar! Photos from the party: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157603703953091/detail/

Helbert and I didn’t stay too long at Elham’s party as we had been invited to Josiane’s costume party, which was also on the same night. I was dressed up as Pebbles from The Flintstones (well, I ‘tried’ to be Pebbles in my sarong and jandals – went shopping in the afternoon and couldn’t find a last-minute costume so raided my cupboard and came up with Pebbles) and Helbert in his vampire costume. It was a lot of fun seeing everyone dressed up (most were vampires), Jo was Snow White, Juliano came in a scuba diving suit (ooo, nice butt…hehe…), and Andrea, Paula and Marcelo looked like they had just walked out from a posh casino! Lots of chit-chat, dancing and drinks – exactly how a Brazilian party should be :)

Sunday, 4th November 2007: Followed Hew (my good friend from uni), Jonathan (Hew's partner) and Edmund (her 4-year-old son) to their church service at The Rock City Church situated at Ngauranga Gorge approximately 20 minutes drive away from Wellington Central. The Rock is very similar to Ah Mike’s church in Perth, with a band playing as the followers sang modern worship songs - nice :)

We went for yum cha (is a tradition on weekend mornings, and whole families gather to chat and eat dim sum and drink Chinese tea) at Regal Chinese Restaurant after the church service and Jonathan’s younger sister, Kymberly, joined us for lunch. Wow, the place was packed! If you ever plan to have brunch here during the weekends, you had better make a booking. Even though we had booked a table, we still had to wait for about half an hour before we got seated! The yum char here is really good so I guess waiting a bit longer for good food is worthwhile…hehe…I suggest coming here in a big group so you and your family/friends can try out the various savouries and sweet stuff served. And for the adventurous, perhaps try out 'feng zhao' (these are chicken feet, deep fried, boiled, marinated in a black bean sauce and then steamed) - they are nice, really! And you musn't forget to have an egg tart to complete your yum cha session.

After lunch, I went to meet up with Marcos (who was having lunch with Helbert) at Courtenay Central and had coffee with the boys. I haven’t seen Marcos since I left for my trip – it was lovely to see him again and happy to hear of his promotion at work. Congratulations!

Helbert and I went to see Game Plan (Marcos had other plans so didn’t join us) – heart-warming movie that touched me and made me cry in some parts. One of those Disney family movies with The Rock (this is the actor, not the church) in the lead role.

Sigh, tomorrow's Monday and it would be a busy (and crazy) day at work with Pillai not around…


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