Week 2 back in Wellington (5th - 11th November 2007)

The work week has been insanely busy. I’ll be working full-time for the next 2 weeks during Pillai’s absence. Still trying to figure out how to deal with the many queries I get flooded with…

Monday, 5th November 2007: In New Zealand, we celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, an annual celebration on the evening of the 5th of November that celebrates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of the 5th of November 1605 in which a number of Roman Catholic conspirators, including a man named Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the House of Parliament in London. Frankly, it feels more like a celebration of Guy Fawkes trying to blow up the Parliament :P You might want to check out the movie V for Vendetta which gives you some idea what Guy Fawkes tried to do centuries back.

Us Wellingtonians would gather at various places around the city on this night to watch the Pelorus Trust Sky Show (lasts approximately 15 minutes) – you could go to the waterfront or places high up to view the fireworks display. Kiwis can purchase fireworks from shops a few days prior to Guy Fawkes Night and have their own mini-fireworks display too! I was very fortunate to be able to watch the firework display from the comfort of my own apartment (well, not exactly very comfortable given that I had to lean against my kitchen bench the whole 15 minutes). Photos taken from my apartment: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157603300344843/detail/

Wednesday, 7th November 2007: Got my internet connected yesterday – yes! Oh, and I had a job interview today with one of the government departments. Don’t think I’ll be going for it because it is a temp role and I’m looking for a permanent position.

6 of us (Michelle, Sandum, Helbert, Elham, TJ and me) went out for dinner at Masala Indian Restaurant on Allen Street. Helbert shouted everyone dinner to celebrate Elham’s and TJ’s birthday. A very nice, posh Indian restaurant that serves nice food (though it was quite odd to hear salsa/jazz music playing in the background but suits me fine!). Mango lassi (sweet yoghurt mix chilled drink), biryani (a variation of fried rice with mixed spices, meat and vegetables), naan…yum! Word of advice – don’t down the whole glass of mango lassi before your meal. I felt full just drinking it...and my main dish is not even served yet! The slight downside to eating here is that it’s costly but it’s worth paying for good food and ambience once and awhile ;)

Friday, 9th November 2007: Shannon, Ruth, Kim and I went to our regular lunch and catch-up place Chow Restaurant on Woodward Street – they’ve changed the menu! Turns out, they use 2 menus throughout the year, one for summer and one for winter. Ruth and Kim were most disappointed that their favourite curry is no available this season. We’ll have to look for a new lunch and catch-up place, ladies! By the way, Chow is a westernised Asian restaurant - western setting and meal presentation but serving Asian meals.

Had interviews yesterday and today – man, I’m so tired of interviews. I keep repeating the same things to the prospective employers because they ask the same questions. I just need a job!

I joined Helbert and flatmates for a BBQ at their place in the evening. Met everyone except for the 8th person Bruce (yes, 8 of them and one toilet - surprisingly no one ever has to queue to use it!). Faizal and Aid are from Saudi Arabia, landlord Johnny from Singapore with his Chinese wife Summer and their lovely (and cheeky) daughter Faredah, and Amir (Johnny’s brother). Very nice people. You know what, I have a feeling that this Friday BBQ will be something we’ll do every Friday this summer… :)

Went to Latinos later to ‘shake off’ all the food I’ve eaten at the BBQ...haha...Roberto’s band, the La Guagua Boys were playing tonight (well, it was made up of most of the other guys from the other bands like Carlos, Miguel etc. – we don’t have many Latin music players in town so the bands are made up of ‘recycled musicians’). $12 for good music and lots of dancing!

Saturday, 10th November 2007: Today, I decided to check out Salsa Therapy’s Ladies Styling Workshop taught by Lily (by the way, Salsa Therapy is Ramnish’s and Lily’s salsa dance school). It was good fun and Ramnish came to join our all-female class in the last 15 minutes. Hehe…

I later caught up with Aunty Daphnne for coffee and ended up spending the rest of my afternoon and dinner at her place. Always good food and laughs with the family – too much food at most times :)

Sunday, 11th November 2007: I had an unexpected phone call from the local Toyota car dealer to drop by their office to test drive a 1.3 litre Toyota Yaris (I went to have a look at a Yaris a week and a bit earlier but they didn’t have one for me to test drive). This little thing sure can zip! I didn’t expect a 1.3 litre car would move this fast though it felt weird being in such a small vehicle after having driven station wagons for the last 1.5 years. Hmm, it’ll be economical to own one but I can’t buy a car without a job (the dealer needed to see proof of my earnings). Oh well, maybe sometime soon…

I went to the Westpac St James Theatre tonight for the Beijing Olympics Family Showcase. It was a concert incorporating singing, solo and group dances in modern and traditional Chinese dance, and Chinese folk music performances. Cost me $15 for the 1.5 hour show.

Thought I saw my friend Sly on my way in…Sylvester aka Sly (he was originally from Singapore but lived in NZ for many years) was sitting at the other end of the grand circle (the grand circle is the seating area at the top level) with his friends. I was being mischievous and texted him asking him to look to his far right where I was seated. Haha, the surprise in his eyes! We managed to have a quick chat via texting before the show started and agreed to catch up during the week.

I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed with the show as I was expecting more traditional Beijing performances such as Beijing opera, folk dances etc. – this was a very modernised version of Chinese performances. The dances were less demure (more booty-shakin’) and traditional Chinese instruments were playing latin jazz. Perhaps portraying the Beijing of today?? Oh, and did I mention that the person next to me just wouldn’t stop talking to me? Shhh!!!


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