Weekend out and about (14th - 16th August 2009)

Into week 3 since I've returned from my trip and gradually getting back to more social activities, as I normally do. Caught up with Chris on Friday for a drink at The Red Head (upstairs of Molly Malones) on corner of Taranaki St and Courtenay Place around 7.30pm. This was my 2nd time at the bar (my first was during St Patrick's Day this year) and it was actually really nice - kind of more posh and as the night was still early, it wasn't crowded, which made it a great place for us to catch up. There even was a pianist playing jazz music while we were there. Lots for us to chat about as both Chris and I had been travelling in different countries recently.

Scott popped by to join us around 9pm and all 3 of us left around 9.30pm to Salsadrome at Wellington Performing Arts Centre (WPAC). It has been a very long time since I last turned up to a salsa event so decided to go this evening when Scott asked me if I was keen to head over tonight. As we were walking over, I told the boys of my earlier encounter with a bunch of young kids who wolf-whistled at me as I was walking into town to meet up with Chris. I ignored them and continued walking but the brats drove slowly by and started calling out "50 dollars". What the f*&k??! Finding myself in such a situation is more common (and I would say 'normal') in Malaysia but here in NZ?? I couldn't be bothered with the morons and walked on. Scott said I should have said something back. Hmm, perhaps (like telling them to shove it up their arse) but I didn't want to get myself into any trouble and why give them the joy of knowing I'm pissed off? Naughty Chris and Scott kept calling out '50 dollars' at me the whole walk over to WPAC. Grr...

A brief stop at the old Latinos Bar to check out the place as it reopened tonight. The place has been bought over by the same folks that owns Amigos in Newtown (this was another Amigos branch). We didn't go in since there was a cover charge but just had a look to see what has changed. Hmm, other than a splash of paint here and there, it didn't look very different from the old Latinos Bar. And we could see former owner, Manuel, standing near the bar - wondered if he too was thinking the same as we were: how long will this place last?

Salsadrome cost $8 as usual. Wow, I hardly recognise many of the people on the dancefloor. Have I really been out of the loop for so long? Chad was a new face in the dance scene and I must say, you're doing well, my man :) Keep it up! Had danced mainly with friends I've known and boy do I need to brush up on my dancing skills. Left the place around 11.30pm. Couldn't stay on as I've to be up early for a training course tomorrow.

Spent most of my Saturday at the Multicultural Services Centre on Webb St for my Job Mentor Training with Job Mentoring Service, a service that provides free employment support to migrants and refugees from a non-English speaking background. Remember I had previously applied for a volunteer position before I went on holiday? This was the position I applied for and to be qualified as a Job Mentor, applicants had to sit through a 5-hour training session before we are matched with a Job Seeker, whom we will meet regularly, plan, advise and support them towards finding employment. The Job Mentoring Service also falls under the ESOL Home Tutors Wellington Service which I had volunteered for back in 2005.

It was an interesting session run by the by co-ordinator, Rose Desmond, who gave us each a kit with tools and resources to take away and talked us through the role, cross-cultural awareness as well as issues and ways we can assist our Job Seeker. The 10 of us who were there for the training came from different cultures and backgounds, had varied opinions and some personal experieces, making the session one with lots of constructive debate and also brought back a lot of memories from my days when I was the new migrant who went through my own struggles to find a job here. It was also great to hear the experiences of a current Job Seeker and Job Mentor respectively. You would not believe how small Wellington is - one of the ladies in the training session was my former work colleague, and the Job Seeker's (the one who came to speak to us) husband was a friend of another guy in the class.

The training ended at 2pm. What happens next? Well, Rose will be in touch shortly to set up a meeting for me to meet my Job Seeker and we'll discuss how we meet, what the expectations are etc. Looking forward to find out who my Job Seeker is!

The rest of my afternoon was spent looking for a small pot plant for my room but didn't find anything to suit. Did my weekly grocery shopping and chilled out at home the rest of the evening. Going to make tamarind fish curry with lady's fingers for dinner tonight - yum!

Went over to Ambience on Elizabeth St in Mt Victoria on Sunday morning to see if they had any suitable pot plants. My flatmate, Priscilla, suggested I try them out and thank you, my dear, for I found the loveliest little pot plant which I fell in love with at first sight....hmm....Got myself a Portulacaria Afra (aka Money Plant/Elephant's Food Plant/Jade Plant) in a small white pot for $15.90 (plant was $5.90). Cute little baby green plant originating from South Africa that has horizontal branches and tiny jade green foliage. I'm told that it requires minimal watering (just keep moist, only water every 3 weeks if required). Check it out:

Blissfully happy with my purchase today :)


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