Sunday, March 29, 2009

Karen in Auckland 2.1

It's been 31 days since I landed in Auckland. As much as I'd like to say time really flies, I can't. Time didn't fly for me, but if it's any consolation, time didn't really crawl too. It just went by as it should, class after class, bus ride after bus ride, morning after morning, weekend after weekend. In school I have friends to talk to, make little jokes with, wave hi to on the bus and ask how their weekend was. But as soon as the last class finishes my life here in Auckland is no different from last semester, except for the fact that I now have free nights because I haven't started my second job.

And I've had people sharing comforting words with me, saying it can only get better, you'll find friends eventually, you just need to settle down. And words of advice like join a society/club, go out more, pick up an activity. All very thoughtful and rational advice. And I've tried, trust me I've tried.

I had a long walk home today from my first Run Auckland race, and I started thinking. How is it that my preconception of a student's life abroad in a big fancy campus and a whole foreign land of opportunities turn out to be so skewed from what I am actually experiencing? Where are the endless fun and laughter that are supposed to go on in a house of students? Where are the numerous road trips touring the land? Where are the games, and activities, and pranks, and just silly nonsensical events that occur with students?

And so I kept on thinking. Friends - i guess is the determining factor. Without friends to do things with, life here drags on day by day like an endless to do list, like chores to be checked off. Because on campus accomodation is way too expensive I chose to stay out on my own. I believe on campus would be quite fun for the first year but that's too late now. And I'd love to stay in a big house with many other tenants but I kinda blew my chance with that one because I wanted to save on empty rent. Didn't want to pay while I was away. So, lesson learn, we make do. Do I have my own friends? Yes I do. Do we hang out? Sometimes. But lunching out incurs money. So take it indoors. Do I initiate? I always do.
Buffet lunch at Fortuna Restaurant. only $10/person! =)

This semester, with the arrival of Navin, it seems to be a bit easier to have friends to call. I never got around to doing it last semester, but just yesterday I gathered my lovely SJians for lunch in the city. It was great! So I've got a group now. A group of people I can call out quite easily if I wanted to. And if I wanted to save, if i wanted to take it indoors, the first thing I got to do is to rent a place of my own. A place where I can cook whatever I want, and call these peeps over and have them stay on till late in the night, with booze or a DVD or a pool table or whatever. There is nothing wrong with staying with the Cheahs. In fact I am the envy of a lot of people because of the luxurious home cooked food I get every day. And the care of a mom, watching over me while I am sick. It's really nice and comforting. But I left home to live a different life. To learn. To see. To do.

Yup, first plan of action. Move out..

but unless i find another 5-6 bedroom house with many tenants, I'm just not sure if I am willing to let go of the company I have here with the Cheahs. Because I dont think I can live alone again...

Run Auckland was a fun event. I found it a lot easier to run than Round the bays actually despite it being 10 km. But for some reason my timing was a lot slower - 59:01 for 10.15 km. Maybe it's because I haven't been well. And maybe it's because I haven't been training. And maybe it's the hills. But whatever the reason it was a good hour's worth of exercise. Had a good time. =)
Till the next race on the 19th! =)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a thought of you

so sweet as it appears
faint, yet dominant
like a ripple in the waters
a vision of you, so apparent

a blooming warmth
as i see your smile
a comforting gesture
even if for a while

an unavoidable smile
as i remember your laugh
haven't heard it in a while
oh, this is tough

but it will do
these shallow dreams
yes, it will last
better than it seems

then the bus pulls up
and the thought vanishes
and a sense of longing
it temporarily quenches


how is it, that i managed to get an ulcer beside my tonsil when the weather hits a high of 18 degrees and a low of 8 degrees, and the season is well on its way through autumn to winter, is beyond me. boo.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

the forbidden truth

i think most students studying abroad fail to admit this to their parents back at home. perhaps because they fear that poor mum and dad might start to worry. they may think that after all that money, obscene amounts of cash which can be used for so many other things (like buy 3 other cars my dad always says), can go down the drain just like that.

what happened to focus? what happened to not straying? what happened to "don't worry, i'll be fine!"

alas! life in a foreign country, devoid of the comforts of your warm humid climate, protective air conditioned car, comfy patch-work blanket carefully crafted by grandma, soft cuddly bolster and cheap teh o panas in the night at your local mamak joint, is a tough journey. one can definitely go astray.

but i took the brave step today. i spilled the forbidden truth to mum and dad via Skype video call.

i looked them straight in the eye and said...

"mummy, daddy, I'm SICK. Got cough, got cold, got sore throat"

And suddenly it felt like I was 6 all over again. Just over the internet. =)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tearin' it up!

I was walking home from Uni when I saw from a distance something going on in the Merton Reserve (a little park) just outside my street. I squinted and noticed it was a BMX park and bikes were zooming up and down mounts and hills so i decided to go check out.When I got there I was thrilled to see that a little race was going on. So I stayed and watched and took some photos. They were pretty good.But that wasn't what thrilled me the MOST. What caught me totally by surprise and amazed me even more was this.These KIDS are but tiny little children measuring up to my belly, aged 5-10 years old.

My kids are gonna learn to BMX. so there!

#4 love the way you go wild over sports and adventures

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St Paddy's

Conversation between me and Tara, my Irish classmate.

Tara: Happy St Paddy's day!
Me: wh..? come again?
Tara: St Paddy's? Saint Patrick's?
Me: Oh Saint Patrick's Day! Is it today? I thought it was in October.
Tara: That's Halloween, silly!
Me: Oh...wait...nope nope. That's Oktoberfest.
Tara: *glares* That's German....
Me: Oh..
Tara: *shakes head* You won't do well in Ireland...tsk tsk tsk...

What...they both involve heaps of good beer. *shrugs*.

Happy St Paddy's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

semana dos - Round the Bays

Week 2 came and went. Living with the Cheahs have been pretty good and for one reason - food! Dinner with the Cheahs brings something new every day. From barbecued steak and pork and lamb, to nasi lemak with chicken curry, to lamb shank! I feel like I'm not losing any of the kilos i put on during summer. Oh! and there's wine! red, white, sparkling! One glass almost every dinner. Still think I'm not overly pampered here?? =) And it's so nice of aunty, uncle, and Lily to listen to my random ramblings of the day. See, I need that outlet. I need people to pour my daily do-derrings onto else i'll go bonkers. *grin*School has been pretty alright. I somehow don't exactly feel the rush of exams and assignments yet. Nothing too intense has been happening except for a Spanish assignment which I just finished yesterday, handing it in tomorrow. This week should be slightly different though because I'll be going into the cadaver lab.

Work has been okay. I managed to meet some of my former clients and they all seem pretty happy to see me. An old colleague even popped by on Saturday to say hi and it was so nice to see her! Man I miss all of my former colleagues. But life hasnt exactly been all that bad at Configure. It's quite alright. I get less responsibilities when I work only once a week. =) I'm going for interview sometime this week at Unisports - the gym on campus just right outside where I'm staying. If I get that job it'll be really really convenient.

Round the Bays happened this morning! And it was super duperly fun! My only regret was I didn't have my phone with me to snap pictures! There were people in costumes - bunny ears, furry suits, medievil, halloween, angel wings, u name it! And because it was such a huge corporate fundraiser affair, lots of companies send their employees with t-shirts made JUST for this run. And these T-shirts have some really funky words on them. There was this group who sprinted past me and their shirts had "Sprinting for Safe Sex" on the back of them. haha! Must've been Durex or something. And there was a couple of live bands playing in one of those convertible trucks which turn into a stage...just along the route. So nice!

The run itself is 8.4 km. It started pretty late, at 9.45 am. And the sun was pretty hot then. I had sunscreen on, don't worry. =) I did pretty alright, completing it in 45:21. The entire route was by the bay and it was really windy and sunny. Really nice scenary and all. I loved it!

After the race we all walked to the corporate tents which oddly were all on a field like a kilometre away. I kept thinking if it were that way with Malaysians, nobody would walk to the darn field. Malaysians are just too darn lazy and Malaysia is just too darn hot. Even though the field was bursting with the smell of grilled bratwurst, lamb, turkey and what nots. Heaps of companies had tents there, a few 100 of them I think. And lucky for us, Yin, is part of Ernst & Young. So she scavenged some food for us, and a couple bottles of beer. yum! =)

I ended today with dinner together with Abby and Lily. Caught up with the girl. Was good. No pictures tho. owell...=)

Long fun day. Tomorrow week 3 starts. I honestly think time isn't moving fast enough. Sigh..

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gossip Girl

If you asked me, Gossip Girl is overrated. It's one of those really annoying shows where situations happen precisely how you know it is going to happen. And it happens again n again n again because these silly people meddle too much and never learn from their mistakes. It started off really good but as all good shows, a city, region, town, can only have so much drama before it becomes completely ridiculous...

The script isn't half as clever as it should be seeing that it is the Upper East Side. The storyline just swirls n swirls n swirls around without ever getting anywhere.

I like One Tree Hill heaps better. =) And Jenny Humphrey should straighten her posture.

Friday, March 06, 2009

semana uno

Hola! Que tal? =)

It's been one week since I landed back here in Kiwiland. And things have been looking great! I have pretty much been adopted by the Cheahs and they have taken extremely good care of me. Especially when it comes to food. I think it's Aunty Jane's mission to fatten me up. This was tonight's dinner.looks pretty darn yummy huh? her seafood sambal mussels were awesome. =) Living with a family really makes a huge difference. Oh, did i not tell you? I'm staying here for a semester. Figured I'd try it out. I'm loving it here, but already regretting it. I'm just as pampered here as I am back home, if not more. I get all my meals cooked for me and even my clothes folded. geez...the plan is to find a place to stay this winter before i turn into one of those pampered students who has everything done for her, and fails to learn nothing.

Studies wise, week 1 just finished. I'm taking Spanish this semester, hence the title (which means week 1) and the greeting (which means, Hello, what's up?). And Spanish is pretty fun! Biosci isn't too bad. But i have a familiar feeling this is just the beginning and i foresee more hair pulling moments in the near future over this subject. And my Sportsci papers this semester are pretty boring. 102 and 103 are all theory based. Except for one small part of 103 which involves looking at cadavers! ooh what fun! =) Apart from that, my 102 lecturer is a feminist. meh.

I signed up for some runs, and then i realised that i've been scheduled to work on those sundays. bummer. Gonna try and reschedule my work, which by the way has good and bad news to it. Good news is I got a pay raise. =) bad news is, they only need me on sundays. they've got enough people for other days. now I gotta look for another job.

umm...yeah. thats all ive got for week 1. =) till next week...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

just thoughts.

slept in today till 9. felt rejuvenated.

met a friend from last semester. chatted all through the 30 min bus ride to the city. felt like "hey, I've got friends".

did pretty okay in my first lab. helped out 3 other students in calculation. felt pretty proud.

walked through Albert Park with a bounce. saw a guy sitting on the grass, sketching the city panorama. it was pretty darn good.

saw a couple hugging on the grass. thought of D. missed D.

waited on Queen's. saw a girlfriend get into the car and receiving a kiss from the boyfriend. thought of D. smiled.

hopped into Shaun's car. chatted all the way. felt like I'm part of a group.

had dinner with Shaun and friends. thought of Sher Mayne. thought of Kauri Run. thought of hols. thought of summer approaching. thought of going back. stopped thinking.

talked about movies. thought of D again. missed D again.

came home. found D online. told him everything. felt loved.