Legoland Malaysia & Universal Studios Singapore

So this year – 2013 – I visited 2 theme parks – LEGOLAND in Johor Bahru Malaysia in January and then Universal Studios Singapore in March. Really happy to be able to visit them, and what more with 2 of my good pals.

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LEGOLAND – 12th Jan 2013

KFC Singapore had a promotion at that time, whereby they would give you a 30% off the entrance ticket to LEGOLAND when you purchased one of their meals. This was a fantastic deal, because I calculated we saved around SGD$18! The entrance fee, converted to Singapore dollar, was S$58, but we paid S$40 because of the discount.

What I did was I stayed with my friend, who’s Malaysian, on Friday night and then she drove to LEGOLAND on Saturday.
There are buses that will bring you to LEGOLAND from Singapore
http://www.legoland.com.my/Plan/Bus-Services/
There are also packages offered from time to time by online websites like Groupon and Deal to LEGOLAND.

One of my friends went to LEGOLAND in mid December, and she mentioned to me that it was so crowded that she had to wait up to an hour for the rides, and what was more, it rained. On the day I was there the park was not crowded at all and the sun was up. It was hot but it good weather to be around the park. So its important to plan your visit well to enjoy it to the max.

I was really impressed with the figures at LEGOLAND. I don’t recall having Lego toys as a child, but it is really amazing to see what can be made out of the Lego bricks! And some of the displays could have taken years to be put together. Here I share with you some of my favourites at LEGOLAND:

See the twin towers at the back :)

See the twin towers at the back :)

Merlion Park in Singapore

Merlion Park in Singapore

Elephants in Thailand

Elephants in Thailand

Miniature Food Stalls, I love this!

Miniature Food Stalls, I love this!

Lego Skeletons muahaha!

Lego Skeletons muahaha!

Wolves surrounding the castle, aaaoooo!!! (yes there was a Lego castle!)

Wolves surrounding the castle, aaaoooo!!! (yes there was a Lego castle!)

One of the rides that we did, and it was fun!

One of the rides that we did, and it was fun!

What I like about the rides in LEGOLAND were that they were family oriented, such that they were right in the middle, not so scary, and yet, not so mild either.
Another similar theme park which I loved very much was ‘Windows of the World’ in Shenzhen, China, which I visited in February 2011.

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UNIVERSAL STUDIOS – 9 March 2013

Universal Studios! It opened quite recently I think, within the last couple of years but so many of my friends have already been to it. So was really happy to find out that one of my friends had not and she didn’t mind going. It was KIV for a few months until our visit finally materialised on Sat, 9 March, a week before the 1 week school holidays.

To me, the price of the ticket was expensive – SGD$74. But MasterCard was currently having a promotion of 15% off, so it was $63, plus an additional $5 F&B voucher (which was useful, meals cost $12-$15 at the Madagascar food section where we went). My friend also wanted to pay $50 more for the Express pass, which allowed you to skip the normal queue, and which I agreed, because I’ve heard horror stories of waiting times of up to an hour or more for the rides.

Actually when I look back, I felt that there was no need for the Express Pass, coz once again it all depends on the time of the year you visit the park. In the morning there were not much queues, and later on, when I queued again without the Express Pass for the Transformers Ride, it took me only 15minutes to my turn. And at The Revenge of The Mummy ride, he did not even need my Express pass, he just let me go into the Single Ride lane (which led to the same queue same as the Express Pass lane) as I was by myself. So its really up to you. All in all it was really a bomb, $116 excluding food and souvenirs, but I did have a good time :)
MasterCard also had a 10% discount for retail purchases, which I found out by chance.

I absolutely loved the Transformers 3D ride, it really felt like you were in the movie, fighting with the Autobots against the Decepticons! And it was so addictive, I could go for it again and again!
The Revenge of The Mummy was a blast too – part of the ride was in total darkness!
In fact these 2 movies are amongst my favourites.

And I also loved the Canopy Flyer at Jurassic Park, where your legs dangle freely as you ‘soar’ above, but I felt the ride was too short.. the fun lasted just a few seconds :)

And in Waterworld, you would get drenched, literally.

Shrek 4D adventure was nice, but we sat in the first row, which was too close in my opinion.

And of course, the much talked about Battlestar Galactica! We chose to do the Human ride – and it was exhilarating! A bit giddy afterwards. I would not have survived the Cyclone – it turns you upside down and I don’t do well with upside down roller coasters haha :)

But part of the highlight of my visit was meeting all the mascots!! :D
In fact, it is a dream of mine to be a mascot one day.

I love Sesame Street to this day! Grew up watching 'em :)

I love Sesame Street to this day! Grew up watching ‘em :)

Cheeky Ernie went down to the audience, right in front of me, and then wiggled his bum at me!

Cheeky Ernie went down to the audience, right in front of me, and then wiggled his bum at me!

Check out their six pack abs, looked like they've been painted on haha! :P

Check out their six pack abs, looked like they’ve been painted on haha! :P

I love the Madagascar penguins!!! This is my fav shot :D

I love the Madagascar penguins!!! This is my fav shot :D

Part of the the Hollywood Dreams Parade

Part of the the Hollywood Dreams Parade

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Tough, but ultimately I’m living my life :)

So it’s been some time since I posted.

What have I been up to? Quite a bit actually :)

One week after I came back, I started working at the Family Courts. A stint that lasted about 10 weeks. Interesting experience. Though the Family Courts dealt with Family Matters and we were doing ‘hotwash’, which was the clearing of pending cases from waay back as 1998, it was interesting to attend court and hear a ‘mention’. Learnt court terms, saw people getting handcuffed (not very dramatic but still not very nice) and found out that the judges are really nice people, who also earn a lot, obviously :P and my colleagues were great too. Got along really well with Hanisah, a girl who is waay younger than me and who is my Ngee Ann Poly mass comm junior! She used to work at MediaCorp as Assistant Director for a youth TV series and I learnt some interesting stuff about that sector from her too. The job ended 30th Nov 12.

And then December I totally relaxed. Did nothing much the first week. Then started preparing for Christmas, albeit pretty slowly. Took up balloon twisting, now that is cool! Can only make simple creations though. And tried to take up 2 courses with ‘Coursera’, an online website that offers free courses in collaborations with worldwide universities on a wide range of topics, you get to watch lectures and take quizzes, even exams for some, and if you complete it successfully you get certified!! How cool is that! I signed up for ‘Think Again, How to Reason and Argue’ and ‘Drugs and the Brain’ though I never successfully completed both, coz I moved on to my next (temp) job which took up a whole lot of time and my energy.

Yep, January came and I realised its not easy just staying at home, I had all the time in the world to do the hobbies I wanted but what about the money to survive? So I started looking out in the Classifieds for short term jobs. Wanted a CNY (Chinese New Year) job, and wanted to try packing/promoting with Malaysia Dairy Industries but that didn’t work out. 1) they didn’t get back to me if the promoters needed to be able to speak Mandarin. Probably! 2) when I called them again about packers all the vacancies were filled.
Wanted to be a dental assistant to see how that industry was like but they were looking for somebody more permanent whereas I could only work a couple of months. Called another one regarding packing but they wanted guys as they were packing electronics. Offered me admin job at Expo but that was too far for me. Felt bad that I was choosy but oh wells. And then finally the first job that I applied and went for the interview I got on the spot. Although I wanted to consider first, but I only had until 12pm the next day to do so. And I decided I wanted it because I wanted to see how that industry was like. And it was for a flower/hamper company – Goodwood Florist!!

Turned out to be the MOST tiring and exhausting job I’ve ever done in my entire life, even more tiring than the apple job I did in NZ, but no regrets. Started off quite badly coz there was this lady who kept scolding me and the other temporary staff for every single thing we did. She was so bad tempered, she scolded basically everyone (except guys, we noticed!) and kept banging stuff.. a lot of negative energy there. She even scolded me one day for something that she herself did, and even though I tried to explain to her she ignored me. That was the last straw. The next time she scolded me, I went to tell the other supervisor, who made me do something else. And then shortly after she didn’t come to work for a week. We found out her mother was terminally ill, and she had some problems with her mother earlier. Which was probably why she behaves the way she does. And then a week after that her mother passed away.

Anyway, closer to Chinese New Year we started working at 9am and finishing past 1am sometimes, 6 days a week, 15 hours or more a day is really, really tiring. We were supposed to end on Valentine’s Day but were asked to extend, coz that lady who scolds was not back in the office yet, and I agreed. Met some really interesting and nice people too. The florists were all basically nice peeps! On the 1st day I extended I ordered lunch and got something else coz the order didn’t go through and the lunch substitute wasn’t very nice. But earlier a florist gave me a cupcake so that made lunch bearable. And then there is this PRC guy and he suddenly came to me and said ‘u h-o-t-e me?’ I said ‘h-a-t-e’? and he was like yeah! and I was like, ‘nooo!’ and he laughed. On the same day he offered me Mentos and described it as ‘sugar’. When I was leaving that day, another PRC lady who wanted to be my friend Valerie’s (this sweet 18 year old girl who works temp together with me) mother in law asked me if I wanted some flowers (which she was probably going to throw away) and she then wrapped them up nicely for me in newspaper to bring back. A few weeks back another florist noticed me coughing and offered me a herbal candy which really helped. And there was this guy stationed outside who always smiled teasingly at me and Valerie. I learnt that some people take a while to warm up to you but that doesn’t mean they’re not nice. And that the world is made up of a variety of colourful, different characters.

Working there was tough also because during one period in time, probably a week or so ago, I started feeling really unhappy and questioning myself as to why I was doing this. ‘This’ as in working temp jobs that last a only a month, earning a meagre pay (the florist job costs $5 an hour), having to watch how much I spend on food even, I felt so poor and really really unhappy. I wondered if I should forfeit the $200 deposit I spent to learn Muay Thai in Thailand, something which I had to do by May, and go back to working full time. After all, what I am doing currently is against the norm. Why work temp jobs when I have a degree and experience? Why subject myself to exhausting jobs, belittle myself to being scolded unnecessarily, having to watch closely how much I spend, etc, just because I want to follow my dreams (and learning martial arts is one of them) which don’t seem to be materialising and which I don’t seem to have the money and confidence to do? When I could be going back to earning a couple of thousands a month and living a stable life like what my current peers in Singapore are doing. Even my ex-boss asked me a couple of weeks ago if I wanted to go back to my old company and work with her, although in a different department but I threw that chance away all because I wanted to follow my dreams. But is it worth it? People will ask what I am doing and I will be looked down upon, its true. My older brother told me to look for a permanent job way back in September as he said employers will think that I am not committed. Even one of my friends kept asking me ‘Have you found a job?’ back in December, but to me, life is not all about working or getting jobs, and then while she offered to ask around her company for temp jobs for me, when I checked back with her a month later she said it slipped her mind and then asked me why don’t I look for something permanent along the lines of what I was doing before. I was a little bit sad and disappointed really.

Talked it through with my mum just for encouragement and decided it was worth it to continue doing what I was doing and pursue my dreams. As long as whatever I choose to do I offer it up to God. And I am sure he will bless my decision. After all, I answer to no one except God. But it was REALLY, REALLY TOUGH.

And then yesterday the bigger picture came to light. Yesterday I got the encouragement I was looking for.

Quite a bit of a story before that, but I have to go into the details. Started on 15th Feb, the day I extended. Finished work around 11plus pm, reach home close to 12am, and then while usually I would go to sleep, I decided to check my email. And found out that my friend from the U.S. was in Singapore! And he would be leaving the very next day!! I was so bummed, if I hadn’t agreed to extend work I could had met him on that day itself! And with work still being so busy, how could I get let off earlier to go and meet him! What if I couldn’t meet him at all, but I had to!! And then I found out another friend of mine was going to India next Tues to volunteer!! India, a country I wanted to go to also but buying my time, and of course, if I had a choice, I would not want to go there alone! And I want to volunteer there too, with Mother Teresa’s charity! I emailed her for details but had to wait for her reply. That night I couldn’t sleep. So hyped up. Would I get to meet my friend? What would happen next in my life? Finally fell asleep around 3plus am, and had to be up at 7plus am.

Well I am happy to share that it all worked out ok. Of course I prayed like mad too. I felt bad, because I couldn’t pray much earlier as I felt I didn’t deserve to pray when I’ve not been good so far. And yet, in this desperate position of mine I couldn’t do anything except pray and I wanted to because in the end, who is in control? God is! So I went to work and my texted my American friend (who got himself a SG SIM card, perfect!) and managed to work out to meet for dinner around 6.30pm, which was great coz then I could continue to help out at work until 5.30pm, which was not too bad. And I met him, and my dear friend Valerie joined us, I thought it might be awkward but it was not, it was all good!! And then I went back home and saw my friend’s reply about India – she would be going to volunteer at exactly the same place I wanted to! She would be travelling after volunteering! And she would not be going alone! + she didn’t mind if I joined her! And there was a possibility of joining my American friends too as they are gonna travel around South East Asia. And as I took some time to reflect, about how something I was so worried about turned out alright (because, really, I think I was worried as I felt that matters were not in my hands and beyond my control, but it all worked out because I let God take over). I reflected on the wonderful and interesting characters I met recently. I reflected on how friends I’ve made overseas took time to come to SG and made arrangements to meet up with me. (besides my American friend, my China friend Vivi would be coming too!) I reflected on the freedom I had at this point in time to join my friends in their travel. I felt extremely, extremely happy with my current situation. Life! Its not always smooth, but I’m living it. And loving it. And that’s whats makes me happy. Living life!!

See, the thing is, my life to me is not about climbing the ladder or earning thousands a month, or status, wealth, following the conventional, the norms, the crowds, attaining the 5Cs (cash, credit cards, condo, car, career) in Singapore. I’ve always told God I want to something meaningful in life. And of course right now I don’t have a family of my own, am not tied down, so its my chance to make things happen. While some may say/think/feel that I am wasting my time doing all these temp jobs and creating a death-bed for myself career wise (especially in SG!!), what I am actually doing is learning a lot of new and interesting things. Seeing how different industries work. And meeting a lot of interesting new people! Some nice, some not so nice, but in meeting new people and learning new things that I am growing to be a better person!! And that is my ultimate aim anyway, God knows!! So what if I am earning a meagre pay? I have to freedom to leave when I want, and of course, travel when I want to :) My friends who work full time have to apply for leave and get to go for short term holidays. Whereas for me, I will be able to volunteer, do exchanges, see places at my own pace, and ultimately, that is my dream. To be able to do what I want. Learn new things, meet new people, become a better person in the process, and freedom and choice to do all that! And that is what I am doing now! Thank you Jesus! And when the going gets tough I am just gonna have to remind myself of all these and the tough will be nothing but a piece of cheese. Or cake. Haha, just had to make it rhyme :)

God bless,
Marie

Categories: Life, My Spiritual Journey, Travel | Leave a comment

It’s just not the same

9 months.

9 months is the length of time that a baby spends in its mother’s womb before it is ready to enter this world.

9 months is also the length of time I spent living in New Zealand.

21 October 2011 to 21 July 2012

Its funny, back in May, just 2 months before it was time for me to leave NZ, I was just commenting to a friend how I loved Europe more, because everywhere I went there was something to explore, whereas to me, at that time when I had stayed in Alexandra (Central Otago NZ) previously and was at that moment living in Roxburgh, NZ was just mountains and lands and plains with nothing round the mountain, or rather, its corner to discover.

And yet my opinion changed pretty quickly.

The day after I left NZ and stepped into neighbouring Australia (Sydney) I already started to miss NZ badly. Australia, or rather, Sydney, being a city, was nothing like New Zealand. The longer I was away from NZ the more I missed it. Now in November its been 4 months since I left NZ but I miss it more than ever.

I miss the beautiful nature and wildlife. Forget what I said earlier about there being nothing to explore and discover. The beautiful, vast backdrops and magnificent surroundings give me a sense of awe and wonder, and peace, serenity and tranquility.. and its in this beautiful nature where I can stop to breathe, think and appreciate and know that its God the creator of this awesome land, is ever present.

The wildlife. Where else in the world could you have wild penguins crossing the road, just being at a distance of 1metre or less away from you? Oamaru, NZ that is! Where else can you see seals and walruses lying on the coastline so near to you? The road from Blenheim to Kaikoura! Where else in the world can you see cute little brown kiwis in the wild? Stewart Island of course! (But I’ve yet to visit there) Ahhh and much, much more. .. there’s also sounds and glaciers, volcanoes and mountains, glowworms, Maori culture, ancient fossilized forests, the lists goes on….

You can’t see this anywhere else in the world!

Penguins crossing the road! “Look right, look left…”

I miss the people. The wonderful Kiwi friends I’ve made – Maree and John Milliken whom I did farm exchange with, Dawn from the apple packhouse, Loretta Gye my landlady @ Alexandra, Kath and Errol Croy whom I met by chance!… some of the service staff whom were really nice people too – like the lady from KiwiPost Alexandra whom I gave a compliment via email but never got a reply.

I miss the friends I made in New Zealand. The travelers I met in NZ seem to be of a different kind than those I meet in other countries haha…

I miss NZ snacks!!! Bluebird Grainwave Chips – Sour Cream and Onion especially! Whittaker Chocolate – Coconut and Dark Almond…. the chocolates in NZ are of a different kind altogether…. Ahhh… Le Snack Crackers! Hummus dips! Housebrands like Pams from shopping at New World supermarket!!!

My fav snacks in NZ! :D Bluebird Grainwave chips and Le Snack can’t be gotten in Singapore :(

I think I have to stop here. The more I think about what I miss, the more I have a heavy heart haha….

Christchurch.
Akaroa.
Oamaru.
Invercargill.
Gore.
Alexandra.
Clyde.
Roxburgh.
Queenstown.
Wanaka.
Dunedin.
Ashburton.
Blenheim.

Above were the lists of places I stayed in, and visited, while in NZ. All were wonderful. Well, maybe Invercargill was the exception. Maybe it was so city-like so I didn’t like it much.

Anyway, I was just so happy and carefree in New Zealand.. and life was certainly more relaxed back there than over here.. there is also so much more to experience and discover in NZ – and I have not yet explored the country – have not even been to the North Island! I cannot wait to go back – and I really hope and pray that somehow, I could live and work in New Zealand again one day. Soon!

Hagley Park in Christchurch, June 2012 (Winter and the unexpected snow!!)

Hagley Park in Christchurch, July 2012

Categories: Life, New Zealand, Travel, Working Holiday Visa | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

What do I do next??

So, its been 2 months already since I’ve been back home.

When I first came back I found that nothing has changed. Its almost as if I’ve never been away. Took me a while to settle back in though – but now I’ve caught up with most of my good friends, and have gotten back into doing day to day + fun extra activities, so I can say that I’ve settled back into life here quite well. My Working Holiday adventure in New Zealand now seems like a dream.

In fact I’ve settled in too well with ‘reality’ that if I don’t do anything about it I’ll be stuck in that reality mindset forever.

What I really wanted to do after I came home was to relax, and use the free time I have to complete whatever activities and hobbies I wanna do – like for example, complete my driver’s license, which I couldn’t complete while I was working full time (I missed out driving in New Zealand’s beautiful scenery!!!), master my 2nd language of Malay (which I flunked in school) and learn a foreign language properly (like German, which I love!)

This couldn’t materialize though, as I started working about a week after I came back home. True, I could do these stuff after work or on weekends, but its easier said than done. Sometimes you have something on after work or on weekends, and because of these activities you get too tired to focus or do anything else and you just wanna relax by watching TV. Or, these could just be excuses I’m coming up with. Lol. Anyway, the job I’m working at is only temporary, and will last until early Dec, so after that I will have lots of time for these things.

BUT the thing is, I do not know what to do next…..

1) Most of the wonderful friends I made overseas are still travelling around. Some are still in NZ, some are in Australia.

I would love to still travel around problem is I am only allowed to do a New Zealand Working Holiday only once, and the only country Singapore has a Working Holiday agreement is with New Zealand. There is no other country I could go to.

I do not have enough cash to fully travel around; the cash I have on hand can only last me about a couple of months of travel. Although, what I can do is some couchsurfing, or exchange in hostels (if they’ll let me without a Working Holiday Visa) and help out on some farms or something like that to continue experiencing life to the fullest.

Plus before coming back home to Singapore I already paid a SGD$200 deposit to learn Muay Thai in Thailand, which I was supposed to learn in September, and I don’t know how long they can let me postpone that for, so I have to go back to Thailand. And once I’m overseas, I would love to keep the momentum going for as long as I can.

Living and working overseas was and is one of my dreams, and to have done that in NZ was awesome. Travelling is also one of my greatest dreams. And its something one can’t get enough of.

So this leads to:

Option One of travelling (and living out all of my dreams!!!) which may consist of:

- Return to Thailand and learn Muay Thai

- Climb Mt. Kinabalu in Eastern Malaysia

- Go trekking in Nepal

- Meet up with my friends who are still on Working Holiday in New Zealand and Australia

- Visit the good friends I made while on Working Holiday who are currently back home and these countries include Japan and Germany

- Walk the way of St. James to Santiago, Spain (personal pilgrimage)

2) Since I was a little girl, reading books and watching TV has instilled in me a love for history, culture, fairy tales, and the likes of these. History was my favourite subject in school. Many of my classmates found it boring, but I took it as stories and I excelled in it for the GCE O Levels exam – got an A1, even higher than my English language. I thought the only way I can actually see the places and experience the geography which I only saw as pictures in books would be by travelling (since Singapore is just a city) – part of which I fulfilled as an adult recently – like when I went to Germany and stayed in a castle and experienced the land of fairy tales J (Another one which I have to fulfill would be to visit Mont St. Michel in France :D) Also, I thought the only other way I could experience how a different culture was like – especially if it was back in the olden days – was to be an actress. So that was another dream of mine since I was a little girl, which I have not yet fulfilled.

In polytechnic I took the module ‘Acting & Directing’ which was really very fun and which I scored an A – but when I graduated from poly, I didn’t go all out to try to be an actress. I remember I did attend one audition, but I flunked it coz I got too nervous and fumbled over the lines and never auditioned again, partly because I started to work full time. So I forgot all about this ‘little’ dream of mine until 2008 when it resurfaced, I’m not sure how. But by that time I was in my 2nd year of studying for my degree in Communication Studies and English Language. When I looked back, it was such a waste, because if I had become determined to pursue my dream earlier, I could have invested my time and money in a drama degree. And when I graduated in 2009, I was still working full time and continued working to gain experience in my position after being promoted. Then in 2010 when I finally decided to pursue the matter further, it was also difficult, because it was difficult to apply leave and go for auditions while I was working full time.

BUT now I am no longer tied down to a full time job! This is my chance! To be an actress as my profession is the dream job of mine – not because of being rich or famous – but because this is really the ideal job for me – I would be able to live my dreams of imagining I am from another era or profession, each project would be different, which will satisfy my desire for trying out new and exciting things in life instead of a mundane deskbound job. BUT there are still some things holding me back:

- I may be too old

- I don’t have proper training, and SG doesn’t have part time training courses in drama right now – unless I apply overseas, and some require referrals, recommendations, even auditions!

- I get stage fright and nervous in front of others

SO what should I do? Should I take the following option?

Option Two consists of:

- Getting a proper makeover and headshot, and start auditioning, despite no proper training and all the odds which I mentioned above

- Apply for drama courses overseas, come back home, and then try auditioning

- Give myself a few months to try to make it, living on whatever savings I have left; at least, giving it a shot especially now when I have the time and am not tied down, instead of not trying at all

3) Another group of good wonderful friends I have are those back home in Singapore. Trouble is, those that are back home in Singapore are stuck in reality. And its not only friends. Its relatives; its society. And society here means one needs to have a well paying job, with a well paying income and position. Employers here will question why there is a gap on my resume and chances are majority will not look on my stint overseas favourably. Ever heard of the 5 Cs that needs to be achieved in Singapore to be considered successful? They are: Cash. Credit Card. Car. Condominium. Career. And all of the above are associated with $$$. The longer I stay here the more I feel I need to conform.

So what I can do is forget about having my head in the clouds with the first 2 options and settle for

Option Three, which will consist of:

- Getting a proper full time job with at least a monthly salary of 3k and above

- Position of Manager (or at least, Senior Executive)

- Thus be permanently stuck in this ‘reality’ and submit myself to society’s norms which will consist of working my ass off and having no life (except of eating regularly at high end restaurants and activities along the likes of that) and ensuring I climb the ladder at an escalated pace. Which will probably mean a goal of achieving at least a 5k monthly salary in about 3 years time and at least a Director’s position by the time I am 40.

- Of course, with this option I will have the chance to earn lots of money but I will also be stuck in the job, going through its motions and grow a full head of white hair before I even know it

SO, which Option should I take?

Categories: Fun, Life, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Mid Way in New Zealand

Questionning the title? Well if you’ve been following my posts you’ll see that there’s quite a big gap between March – August 2012 with no posts.. thats coz immediately after I moved on from Alexandra, New Zealand, with 2 full days of travelling with Erica and skydiving, I then moved to Roxburgh, a small little town in Central Otago New Zealand, 30 minutes away from Alexandra by car, and I started work immediately – the next day after I arrived.

I was a bit apprehensive about Roxburgh. My only ‘encounter’ with Roxburgh was when I was travelling on the bus and it stopped there for a ‘toilet’ break, and I thought the public toilets were pretty interesting.. doors and flush by automatic sensor, so hi-tech.. its a shame that I did not take a photo! But other than that I had no impression of Roxburgh. I tried looking for jobs there before way back in Dec but was not successful, and didn’t think that there could be much jobs available, but I was surprised – I learnt that there is alot of seasonal work around, all the way from Dec – May.

Anyway as I said, I was pretty apprehensive about Roxburgh. When I tried to research about the place that was going to be my home for the next 2 months, I came up with a pretty small town, with no ATM machines! And no New World supermarket.. I was like uh oh.. supermarkets are very important. Erica had been to Roxburgh once, to buy dog leashes from a guy who makes it who stays there, and she told me she liked Roxburgh. She said they had a small supermarket as well, and she tried to ‘calm nt fears’. Still, I was doubtful.

Turned out some of my best times in New Zealand were at Roxburgh. I stayed at ‘The Commercials’, and old style hotel that is now converted into a backpackers. From the first day I arrived the people that stayed there made me feel at home, and every single day thereafter there was always somebody to talk to in the evenings, hence I never had much free time like I did in Alexandra. Took a while to get into the hang of cooking, coz the 2 fridges were full of stuff and the kitchen always crowded, but eventually I did get assimilated into the hang of things.

This is what I posted on Twitter on 18 March, my 2nd day in Roxburgh and 1st day of work:

“Also, from a nice comfy homestay where I can watch TV and cook whenever I want with free internet I am now @ a backpackers where there are LOTS of people sharing ONE kitchen and FOUR showers wow.. no free internet too.. guess I’ll learn time & $$ management :)”

And then on 3 April:

“Been having such a great experience ever since I came to this hostel. Everyone is just so nice, welcoming & like a huge family! *pinches me*”

“Its my third week here and everyday its like I’m talking to someone different, from another country.. its just so wonderful”

My first impression of The Commercial Hotel – from far – which was to be my home for the next 2 months of my life in NZ (Mar-May)

My bed for the next 2 months ~ pretty colours :)

Looks like there used to be a fireplace in the good ol days! :D

So happy that there was a Catholic Church in this little town! I could go for Sunday masses then! :D

Yes, there was a gym in this little town! You could imagine my excitement! lol – despite my enthusiasm, I never did visit the gym, not even once.. got too busy :)

The internet room! Beware – it gets pretty cold at night with the exception of summer months.. otherwise I would love to hang out there more :)

Me and John, the owner of The Commercials. Lovely guy!

Categories: Fun, Life, New Zealand, Travel, Working Holiday Visa | 1 Comment

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