Thursday, June 30, 2005

Check-in in 3 days time!

Heya everyone...

Just dropping in a note telling everyone that I'm still alive and breathing. Sorry I haven't been updating much, but life hasn't been as exciting as it was 2 weeks ago.

I'm feeling heaps better now...sore throat all gone and perhaps, I have luckily scrapped through another saga of bad cough and cold...phew.

Tomorrow I'm off to the ski fields for a 3 days 2 nights short trip!! CAN'T WAIT to get on the board and fall on my bum MANY MANY TIMEs...see...Raine is staying optimistic.

Well...I'll drop an update once my life has picked up it's interesting pace.

Actually it's been pretty fun the past few days, with all my uni mates on break after slogging so hard for their exams and assignments, catching up as been fantastic! Spent last weekend just chilling and hanging out. I really enjoyed myself thoroughly so actually, my life hasn't been a boring tiny bleep on the radar. It's been pretty happening.

That's all from me today...better finish up this entry and let Nigel get to bed - Laura's friend who is bunking in the family/computer room tonight.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

My Trusty Tumbler

I'm falling sick. I can feel it in my throat. It's sore and I know this is going to be the start of a pretty serious cold or cough (don't know which yet - wait till I get diagnosed, which is probably when I start sniffing or coughing). Right now, my throat is just very very sore and I am taking all precautions!!

I've taken active 15+ honey straight as it is (apparently it's suppose to be very good) and I've drunk tea to sooth the throat. I've taken one of those vitamin C efferversance tablets, the ones where you drop it in a glass of water and it starts fizzing up. And I've just taken 2 panodols. Yes, I took all of this in the course of ONE DAY (of course spread out through out the day - not going to suffer from drug overdose, not to worry). On top of all that, I started carrying around this large tumbler (the ones used when playing sports). I think it's about 2 litres, and it sticks around with me wherever I go so that I would keep drinking water.

And now, I'm going to sleep - yes, at 9.30pm. Hopefully I would wake up tomorrow with a much better throat, feeling all refreshed and healthy.

Kiasu? I reckon!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Disappearing Act of Lorraine Houdini

I'M BACK!! Did anyone miss me whilst I was gone? Or did anyone even know I was gone? Anyway, the MIA Raine is BIA and along with this comes a long blog entry of her past one week. So sit tight and get comfortable (don't worry, there will be intermissions) and stay tunned because you are going to be in for a vivid description of Raine's mini-holiday.

Caution: This blog entry is VERY LONG - record breaking - so if you don't have patience or isn't a fast reader, just scroll on to see the pics.

Day 1, Saturday 11th June

It all started when my friend, James, from Singapore decided to visit me in NZ again. He's visited 4 years ago and he decided another visit was due. At 10.10am on Saturday morning, he arrived. At 10.12am, I rushed out of the house, speeding to the airport. Like the little white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I was screaming "I'm late, I'm late!" I got to the airport, just in time to see the Singapore Airlines pilots and crew leave the airport. I thought to myself that I was on time, no worries since the crew is always the first to check out. But as time dragged on and on and still no sign of James, I started to worry. I started telling myself off for leaving late. He could be somewhere in the airport, waiting for me and my eyes were failing me, I couldn't see him. I started to think that maybe I couldn't recognise him after so long, maybe I had missed him coming through the gates coz he looked different from what I remembered. Finally, after about 45 minutes of waiting and worrying, he came out. I recognised him straight away, phew. He got randomly stopped and searched. Haha. You see, with this new terrorist threat around the world, airport security has picked up the pace and they randomly select people to be searched completely. James was just unlucky.

We headed off home, unpacked, relaxed a little before going off to mission bay for lunch. I got chauffeured!!'s always nice to have friends with drivers licenses, who doesn't mind driving and I definitely didn't mind being chauffeured! After lunch and a stroll along the beach, catching up, we headed home. My phone battery ran flat while we were in the middle of making dinner arrangements with another friend of ours who lives in NZ as well. Had to rush home to charge my phone up and we just relaxed the afternoon away. He ended up sleeping on the couch while I watched TV.

For dinner, we met up with this other friend, Zhiquan, and the 3 of us went for Japanese. They were secondary school mates from The Chinese High. After that, it was still early so we headed off to this pool place for an hour of pool. I am not good at pool, but I made several impressive shots, and I won a couple of games, because of the other's misfortune of hitting the black ball into the slots. After pool, we headed off home where James and I did some last minute planning of our Sunday activities.

Day 2, Sunday 12th June

At 9am in the morning, we woke to our alarm clocks. I wanted to sleep in more but we were catching the 11am ferry to Waiheke Island down at the city. I have never been to Waiheke before, I didn't think there was much civilisation there. I thought it was basically a tiny tiny island, with pretty beaches and some cafes. I didn't think it was a town with about 8000 people living there. I was impressed and I needed the tourist to introduce Waiheke to me! We rented a car and headed straight to Stony Ridge Vineyard for lunch. The guide books recommended that place and it was a devine lunch! Thumbs up! The scenery and ambience was gorgeous and as the sun shone down, it felt so warm, inviting and comfortable. We almost didn't want to move! We could have sat there all day if not for the fact that we are on a holiday and have not explored any part of Waiheke yet.

Picture: Stony Ridge Vineyard

We drove out to the other end of the island, to this place called Stony Batter. It was a World War II site, with guns pits and underground tunnel networks. However, NZ was never attacked so this site was never used. But nevertheless, we went in to explore, with a flashlight in hand, we explored the pitch black tunnels. It was kind of scary because we were the only ones there and it was completely black. Looking back down the tunnel at the way we came from was SCARY as it was utter darkness. I think I scared myself a little with my massive imagination. After a quick tour around, we headed back out, relieved to find that we weren't locked in, that the entrance door I left ajar was still as it is and some light shone in.

We continued on with our journey, visiting the gorgeous Onetangi Beach with long stretches of beautiful white sand, clear waters and blue skies and visited the town before heading back to catch the 5pm ferry back to Auckland.

Day 3, Monday 13th June

On Monday, I went to work because it is my busiest day in the week and I wouldn't have anyone else to take over my work as the other coordinator has a busy Monday schedule too. Plus, I know I would feel bad if I take Mondays off as well, on top of my TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY leave. Work was plain and boring, did as much as I could so that there would be minimal work for the other people and when I get back on Friday.

James treated my family for dinner that night because his dad would 'kill' him if he didn't (strict instructions that he had to thank my parents and me for our hospitality since he was staying with us). After a filling dinner, we headed over to Zhiquan's house as his parents had invited us over for desserts and tea. When James visited 4 years ago, he stayed at Zhiquan's.

That night, I had to pack my bags for the short 3-day trip we were going on. It was a pain to pack as I had to wreck my brain and think ahead to what I was going to wear for the next 3 days. "It's not a fashion show" James pointed out BUT to a girl, what's a holiday without a fashion show?! And the other worrying thing was we had not even planned our daily itinerary, and our accommodation as well. We knew what activities we wanted to do and the places to visit (Waitomo, Rotorua and Taupo), but we had not booked anything in advance and didn't know the times to each activity. We were so last minute and of course, motels and adventure tours don't have 24 hour phone lines so ringing up at midnight was out of the question. Thankfully, by 1am, I was in bed, packed - the hard part was over - and we decided to give them a ring tomorrow morning while on our way and plan from there.

~~ INTERMISSION (lunch time now, stay tuned for more after the break) ~~

Alrightie, we are back, live with BJ (Blog Jockey) Raine. Now everyone, get strapped in because the following 3 days are full on activities. Some of you might argue that Raine was possessed in these following 3 days and that the one doing all the activities wasn't really her but I'll let you be the judge of that.

Day 4, Tuesday 14th June

Punctually at 6am, my alarm went off. Hitting the snooze button, I lied in bed, too lazy to get up (completely Raine). Another alarm went off (sound travelling across the corridor from Jame's room), followed by a door opening and another door closing. That was James getting up. I lazed around for a while, getting adjusted to the breaking dawn. It was still quite dark outside. I headed upstairs for a tiny snack and water, boiled a flask of water to bring along and grabbed some quick snacks from the cupboard. I did some last minute packing of toiletries and we were all ready (to my surprise) by 7am!! We were on schedule. We rang up Waitomo Adventures (our first destination) and found out that the activity we wanted to do was starting at 10.30am! We made a booking and rushed on our way, stopping at Manukau MacDonalds for a quick breakfast. I drove the first stretch, till Hamilton, before James took over for the rest of the trip to Waitomo. Taking the Odyssey was a good move as we drove in comfort and for once, Raine didn't fall alseep. I was tempted, but I held on, being a sole navigator and I felt the responsibility to keep chatting to James so he wouldn't fall asleep on the wheel (first time ever in History - Raine always falls asleep on long trips).

This is the first sign of Raine not being Raine.

We arrived at Waitomo Adventures, with 20 minutes to spare. I have to admit, we kind of drove very fast. All I can say is that Singaporeans don't keep to the speed limit and sometimes, it was a worry for me, a cop-fearing and safety-fearing citizen. You see, in Singapore, no one really keeps to the speed limit. Sometimes, there's no speed limit to tell you what speed you are supposed to be travelling at. But here in NZ, they are pretty strict and I was constantly worrying that James might just get too comfortable with driving that he forgets he's in NZ...

Picture: My Chauffeur what activity did we do? This is a completely NOT RAINE activity. James actually intended to do black water rafting. It's not like white water rafting, where you are in fast moving rapids on a raft. Black water rafting is a relaxing activity where you sit in a rubber tube and float along the river running through the caves. However, we ended up deciding on doing this other activity at Waitomo caves. It's called the 'ULTIMATE LOST WORLD'.

Here's a very brief description of this activity:

100-metre abseil
7-hour epic
Minimum age 15

Here's the brochures' description:

Abseil 100m into Lost World THEN take the WET way out! This is the most dramatic abseil of its kind in the world. The descent takes around 10-15 minutes, it's truly awesome! Once down, lunch is served before heading off upstream, walking, swimming and climbing through cathedral-sized vaults. See waterfalls, fossil oysters and whalebones, as well as untold glow worms. Emerge several hours later and head back to Waitomo for a well-earned dinner (all included).

Duration: approx 7-8 hours (approx 4-5 hrs underground)
Times: Departs daily am only
You need: Swimwear, towel and attitude
RAMBO Rating: 8/10
Glowworm Rating: 10/10
Cost: NZ$355.00
Minimum Age: 15 years old

And now, here's my description. They apparently left out heaps on the brochure!!

We departed at 10.30am for a shack. There were 10 of us together, 2 professional guides plus 8 inexperienced people who have no clue what's in store for them for the next 7-8 hours! Out of the 8 of us, 2 blokes were from the UK, 5 Singaporeans (one was James while the other 4 of them, 2 girls 2 guys, were friends who just finished their Engineering Course at NTU and were on a graduation holiday - see, we got pretty cosy in that 7-8 hours of being stuck in each other's company) and ONE KIWI (me...haha...told them I have been living in Auckland for almost 5 years).

We got to this shack where we were told to get into our bare necessities - togs (swim wear). Then, we were given our wetsuits (cold and TIGHT). I had massive trouble squeezing myself into the wetsuit!! It made me feel so FAT! Then, us 3 girls, all small sizes, were given an extra long-sleeved shirt to wear under our wetsuits - not forgetting the fact that I was squashed under the TIGHT TIGHT WETSUIT - coz apparently we were too tiny that we would freeze in the cold. That was uncomfy and yickish coz the shirt was still a little damp. YUCK. Anyway, I guess I would sacrifice looking nice for being warm. Then we were taken to this other shack where we got geared up - harnesses and helmets with flashlights. And we were off. We had a crash course on keeping safe and we got to see a quick glimpse from the edge of a cliff into the cave we were going to spend the next 6 hours. It was a long long long long way down and the only way down was to abseil.

The start of the actual adventure involved a 100 metre abseil (Nikiyoko, don't kill me. you are screaming at me right now in jealousy).

You don't think a 100 metres is a big deal until you look down and see the depth. We couldn't see the end, our landing coz of the sheer depth and the thin layer of mist. Imagine this. A 100 metre running track, but vertical. That was how high up we were and how far down we had to go. But the scenery was breath-taking. We finally saw the cavern - the massive vaults of the LOST WORLD and it was spectacular! It was amazing. As I sat at the edge, depending only on the rope that held all my weight, I was nervous and also in awe at the vast greenery and beauty that awaited for me below. The descend was slow but it was relaxing. I got less afraid and admired the sight even more as the 4 of us plus 1 guide went down first.

Picture: My life is in this rope!

After a gruelling 15 minutes of descend (which seemed like forever as my butt started aching and my left arm - the useless one which could just be left dangling - ached from holding on too tightly), we finally touched ground. We waited for the other group to join us at the bottom. During this time, we all admired the greatness of nature around us. We were tiny, looking up at the towering cliffs that surrounded us. As I stared up at the gigantic caves, I just felt in awe, as if really in the Lost World. I could almost imagine a dinosaur appearing from those caves. We were just lacking that Lost World instrumental theme song playing in the background. Once the other group landed, we had a quick lunch - sandwiches and drinks - and then we were on our way, into the mighty caves.

We trekked a while in the caves until one point. There was a ladder upwards to a high opening. That apparently was the exit for those who took the DRY Lost World Tour. That point marked the start of our insane journey which to sum it up was WET WET and more WET! We gave daylight a silent wave and began the freezing 3-4 hour journey out the hard way.

Picture: Goodbye Daylight!! (Yuck, I look fat here.)

Water reached waist-high as we made our way through the caves on a 2km hike. It was insane. The fact that it was WINTER made it even more crazy. The water was FREEZING and the wetsuit didn't do a great job of keep the water out. The moment we got into water, cold chilling water seeped into our wetsuits, sending shivers down our entire bodies. But it was cool...I liked the feeling of being wet as opposed to the dry where I felt utterly uncomfortable squeezed in the tight as wetsuit.

We trudged on, walking against the current, sometimes swimming against the current with the help of the side walls as guidance to pull our bodies onwards. Our finger tips started getting numb and grabbing on to the rough walls became a painful process as the roughness of each tiny protruding sharp edge amplified.

At some points, we had to go through tiny waterfalls, which collapsed heavily on us as we made our way through it. The guides' voices "Reach here! Reach here!" drowned beneath the loud clashing of the water against the rocks.

Picture: Waterfalls Galore!

The other 2 girls could not swim as well, one couldn't swim at all, so the guides and friends had to assist them in getting across parts where swimming was required and for many activities, they sat out, waiting for us at the other end. These were the activities that made the tour worth every single penny I paid for!

We did several big jumps from a considerable height to the deep waters below. With the help of the guides, we climbed up some rock walls till we got to this platform and one after the other, on the count of three, we jumped down, plunging into the waters below. But the fun part was when the turned out the lights! You see, the guides reasoned that it was scarier with the lights on. Coz you can see how far below the water is and how big the jump while counting, they would turn off all lights and it would be pitch black, you don't know when you are going to hit the water. It was so cool. When I did my first jump, when the lights went out, I wasn't prepared. It was so quick, I told the guide to count again. On the second count, I gave it my all and jumped into darkness, a second later, there was a big splash and I found myself swimming to the surface. It was so cool. Then the lights came on and I swam to join the others and waited for others to jump. There were several of these big jumps and I was the only girl among the guys. The other 2 girls sat out as the waited for us. The guides and the other English blokes called me the crazy kiwi!

They reasoned all New Zealanders are crazy! If you realise, NZ has all these crazy activities, like this caving experience, sky diving, bungee jumping and all that. It's high-risk galore, tempting death. And I was the crazy kiwi. One English guy applauded me for my strength and courage as he point out that it's not easy. At some point, he was struggling as well and maybe coz I'm a small sized girl, that made me even more daring.

It was a fantastic experience and to cut the story short - I can go on and on as you can see from above, but anyway, when we finally came out of the caves, it was getting dark and we hiked another 20 minutes on dry land back to our car. I felt so disgustingly dirty. When you are in the caves, doing all that activity in the water, you don't feel dirty, but the moment you get to dry land, the disgusting wetness, together with the squishing of water in our boots with every step we took made it yickish. I felt so dirty and who wouldn't, after 7-8 hours of trekking.

It was 6.30pm when we went back to the shack, where we showered and got freshen-up before heading back down for dinner. The steak was great, food was good...feeling clean and dry was even more fantastic - the sane Raine returned.

After dinner, James and I decided not to hang in Waitomo, deciding to drive on to Taupo straight, finding a hotel there and sleeping in the next I rang up a few hotels and booked our accommodation. We travelled along the PITCH BLACK country roads - he drove of course, I'm not comfortable with driving at night while he likes driving at night - and only got to Taupo at 10pm.

Day 5, Wednesday 15th June

We woke up at 9.30am (slept in a little) and rushed to pack as we had to check out of the hotel at 10am. We headed over to the information centre to enquire about activities in Taupo and Rotorua. We actually wanted to do an activity (keeping it a secret for later) but because the sky wasn't looking too clear, we postponed that for Thursday and instead, we went to sit the Huka Jet. It was a half an hour speed boat ride and the boat did several 360 degree turns. It was heaps fun, but we came out all drenched and dripping wet. I wasn't too bad coz I wasn't at the edge, but James got drenched. He looked like he peed in his pants!

Picture: Huka Falls and Us

We also went to a thermal wonderland on our way up to Rotorua, apparently the most colourful thermal park in Rotorua. It was alright, but the sulphur smell was a straight turn off.

Picture: Stinky Sulphur!

We arrived in Rotorua, checked in to the Millenium Hotel (James is high-maintenance) and after resting for a while, we left for dinner. We were having Hangi for dinner. That's the Maori way of preparing food. It was a complete package, including a bus ride up to the Tamaki Maori Village, we had several performances, which included Maori singing and dancing before having our buffet dinner. It was a great and authentic experience. By 8.30pm, we were back at the hotel. James was tired and went off to bed after watching Lost at 9.30pm while I went for a spa and swim. I was aching from the previous day's LOST WORLD EPIC, I wanted to stretch my limbs so that I wouldn't ache so much. Also, I had not swum in ages, so it was real nice getting into a heated pool, having the pool to myself.

Last Day, Thursday 16th June

We woke up early, at around 8am that day after a nice comfortable sleep in a 5 star hotel, checked out, had breakfast at the big M and headed back to Taupo for our last exciting activity and also the most expensive one!

We got there just in time. This was one activity I have been looking forward to all my life and one that's on my death bed check-list.

What is it?? Let me answer with a question. What involves paying a lot of money to jump out of a plane?

Bingo!! I've always wanted to SKY DIVE. I was so looking forward to it. I wasn't scared at all. I was so PSYCHED!! We signed up for the 12,000 feet jump (there was 3 options: 9,000 feet, 12,000 feet, or 15,000 feet which is oxygen assisted in the plane). After watching the first group depart, we started thinking. James said that even if he has done the 12,000 feet, he'll still want to do the 15,000 feet in future, why not just do it all at once, so it was decided. 15,000 feet it is. The newest and highest sky dive height available. We were also the only ones in our flight group (6 in total) who were doing the 15,000 feet (everyone else did 12,000 feet) and having our own personal cameraman (of course you pay more for that, almost double coz you are paying for the cameraman as well but it's a once in a lifetime experience - so I thought - so totally worth it, got to capture it).

We got all dressed up in our red overalls and ready to go. I was so excited. I couldn't believe it either. I wasn't scared at all. Not that much nervous either. I was more PSYCHED. More excited. I was looking forward to this. I've always wanted to do this and I finally could. I wanted the pink parachute while James wanted the blue. I saw someone come down with a pink one so I knew there was one.

Picture: Red and Ready

Finally, it was almost our turn. My tandem professional diver, Glenn, came to greet me. He wasn't too bad looking...heehee. He was very friendly and nice. Then we all boarded the plane. It was so squeezy! Imagine, there were 6 of us sky diving, which means an additional 6 tandem professional divers, plus James' and my cameraman, that's 14 people squeezed in a tiny plane. It was so cram but that couldn't bother me. I was having fun, even on the plane ride up. The plane just went up and up and I was admiring the scenery of Lake Taupo beneath me, Mount Ruepahu in the distance and the little houses beneath. It was so cool. I was so stunned that I wasn't feeling too nervous.

Picture: There's no turning back from here on out!

We dropped off the 4 others at 12,000 feet, the doors shut and we continued flying up and up and up. This time, the cabin was almost empty except for us. I was jumping first, before James. Glenn and I inched forward to the doors. When we got to the right altitude, my cameraman, Brenty, had lifted up the draw doors. As Brenty climbed outside, I sat myself down at the door. Actually, I wasn't really sitting. My tandem diver was sitting by the door and I was dangling out, attached to him like a siamese.

Picture: Siamese twins - Raine and Glenn

I wasn't even thinking about the jump. The funny thing was, I was more concerned about how I was looking on camera. I was constantly looking at my cameraman! Haha. When you are attached to a professional, you don't have a chance to wimp out and cry and say NO, I want to go back. That was it, no turning back, except that that never occurred to me. I was too psyched to think about the height. I wanted to look good on camera, even when we FELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. It was so fantastic!!!!!!


Glenn was so so so cool. The moment we leaped off the plane, he made us go on a spin. I was twirling upside-down. It was COOOOLLLLLLLLLLL!!! Then we levelled ourselves. The feeling was exhilarating!!! I was having so much fun and I wasn't screaming at all. I thought I would be screaming in fear, "OH MY GOSH, WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO?!?!?!" But instead, I was screaming, "OH MY GOSH, THIS IS SO FANTASTIC!!!!" I was actually enjoying myself and my heart didn't feel like it was at my throat (you know like how some amusement park rides are). It was so COOL. The feeling was amazing but a little too short! Thank goodness we decided to go on the 15,000 feet dive, where the free fall is for 1 minute, as opposed to the 12,000 feet 45 second free fall. It wasn't enough.

Picture: WoooooohhHH!!

The moment the parachute came up, I wanted more. It was too short, though the lady down below said it would feel like forever. Nevertheless, the smooth descend (actually not very smooth - read on) was amazing. The scenery was breath-taking - so pretty. And of course, some parts were not so smooth coz Glenn decided to play around, spinning us round and round (using centrifugal force to spin us). It was so cool!!

The irony: I got the blue parachute, James got the pink. Poos!

The moment we touched down, I knew I would be doing it again!!! I LOVE IT!! I want to do it again and I know this won't be a once in a lifetime experience. Plus, it would be cheaper the next time around coz I won't need a cameraman. I can even do it 2 times with the money I spent this time around. The DVD turned out excellent and I had such a ball, that $414 spent on that short 1 minute free fall and 5 minute parachuting was completely worth it!!

I'm really happy with my first sky diving experience!! Anyone planning on going - don't forget to call me! Haha.

After the sky dive, we went back to Taupo to develop the photos. James developed his, I thought I would just wait till I get back up to Auckland to develop it. We had lunch and went to this Volcanic Activity Centre to kill time as we waited for the photos to be developed. After that, we headed back to Auckland, arriving home past 8pm at night. It's good to be home. Miss my lovely bed.

James left that Thursday, on a midnight flight. I've had a fantastic holiday with him, did things I never thought I would ever do (Lost World Epic) - Nic, I recommend this to you, you have to go with your friends, YOU'LL LOVE IT! And I did things I have ALWAYS wanted to do (SKY DIVE). It was an awesome break and on Friday back at work, I was feeling completely recharged!!!

Well...we have reached the end of this blog entry. I apologise for it being so long. Now you have a little taste of the emails Pear and I exchange. Hey babe, this long blog entry is dedicated to you!! Hope the pictures in-between have kept you all entertained.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Complain Queen (said in the Singapore Accent)

Complain 1:
It's so hot. It's so hot. It's so hot. AHH...IT'S SO DAMN COLD! How come reverse psychology doesn't work!! CRY. I'm FREEZING here. I need to go shopping for more long sleeve tops...and buy them in a few sizes so that one layer can be worn over the other loosly so it won't be uncomfortable. LAURA, return me my yellow Rip Curl pullover. I'm freezing here.

Complain 2:
I can only hit golf balls with ONE CLUB: my #7 driver. Just one!! Today, I went to the driving range after work and I started off with the #7 driver and that went well...but basically, I can't seem to get more than 110meters. FRUST! That's such a short distance. Cry...but yes, anyway, I was happy that at least I was hitting well, constant and straight-ish. And then I decided to attempt with the #5 driver. SUCKS. But, with some determination, I stuck to it and kept trying and I did manage to do a little better. Not as constant - which was frustrating at certain points - but it wasn't as bad as *drumroll* ANY OF MY WOODS. I suck at woods. SOB SOB SOB! Everytime I swing, there's this PAK sound (sound of club topping the ball). Normally if you hit it well, you would hear a gorgeous PINGGGGGG. But here's how I sound with my woods as I attempt to improve:

SWOOSH (missing the ball totally).
PI (a fairly good attempt that got the ball floating JUST above the ground for a distance of about 20 metres).
PA-SHH (sound of the ball being topped and then hitting the side net of my driving range cubicle).

You get the picture. It's so FRUSTRATING! Every single PAK is one wasted ball. GRRRRR!

Complain 3:
This morning, it was freezing cold and driving is such a pain. Coz my windows are frosted and everytime you use the wiper to wipe it off, it slowly starts fogging up again. ANGRY. So scary as well! Finally, the heater managed to clear it entirely and here comes the next part. In one stretch along the way to work, there was FOG. Actual FOG. I couldn't see beyong 50 metres. At one point it was so bad, I couldn't see beyond 20 metres, which is around 3 cars' length from the traffic light. Can you imagine? You have to eye the front car to make sure you didn't fall back too much until you don't see it coz then you don't know when it brakes or something and you can't go too close either coz you have to be ready to stop anytime. TERRIBLE WEATHER! But, an was pretty. FOG - you can't see anything, it's like a layer of clouds and you are right in it.

Complain 4:
Well, the day's not over so you never know what other complains I might have.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Pretzels Poozels!!!

Sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks!! Yesterday I went on a mission to find the only pretzel shop in Auckland - yes, I have been eating heaps lately and don't get me started on my weight - today, my main aim is to CRAP about NZ and it's pretzels - or lack there of!

I don't believe it and I am sure you won't believe it too, but the entire Auckland has no pretzels!! pretzels...and for you kiwis who think I'm talking about those pretzel biscuits you have with beer, well, that is no standard compared to the REAL PRETZELS! And yes, in the entire Auckland, I have yet to find a place that sells those yummy pretzels, and you'd think ang mohs would know and frequently make those pretzels. HA. This is completely a NZ thing as well because, look, our neighbour, our friendly competition, the Auzzies, they've got those YUMMY PRETZELS - isn't it time the kiwis buck up and do something about it?

Just a couple of days back, I surfed the NZ yellow pages online and guess what? There were two hits when I typed in pretzels (2 hits in the entire NZ, which is like MANY MANY MANY times the size of Singapore and yet Singapore is filled with many pretzel outlets) - one in Auckland and the other in Pauanui. JUST TWO. How pathetic. So what did I do? I followed up on the Auckland hit that sells pretzels: Pretzel Cafe and Restaurant at Blockhouse Bay. Yes, we drove out there to hunt down this pretzel shop and guess what? When we get there, the name of the place has been changed. No longer is it called the Pretzel Cafe and Restaurant, it's now called Jagz Cafe and Restaurant and of course, it no longer sells pretzels! POOH YOU! Hey NZ Yellow's time to update your online site don't you think!! Leading people on like that and then *PHLAT*

AHHHHH. I want my pretzels!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Yesterday OT, Today UT...but most importantly...TOMORROW IS THE START TO THE LONG WEEKEND!!!

It's freezing!!! I've got my gloves on, my thick winter jacket, with my hood over my head, a blanket over myself and it's STILL FREAKING COLD!!! HELP!!!


Anyway, according to the LONG title above, yesterday I worked OT ('overtime' for those who don't live in Singapore to know this term)...but it's not coz I had heaps to do. I was helping my colleague out coz she had heaps to do due to the early deadlines and also coz she had to attend to some personal business for 2 hours during office hours. I only got home at 6.30pm, just in time for dinner.

Today, I worked UT (figure it out) just coz it's the long weekend coming up and my manager was being nice. Actually, I reckon it's coz he wanted to leave early. You see, when a long weekend comes up, we have early deadlines for our advertising copy, and on Fridays it kind of gets boring in the afternoon coz the mad rush is basically, I had nothing to do, along with so many other colleagues. I was even sketching when my manager entered our room to inform me and Bish that we can go back if we have finished everything. Oopsy. Haha. It's good getting back a good hour earlier than usual. now I'm home and in a GETSET-READY-GO mode to welcome the long weekend!! I CAN'T WAIT! This is a long overdue long weekend. I really need a break from my busy life...feeling all psyched up about doing NOTHING over the weekend. Ha...

And to start off this long weekend, I shall go off now and watch a movie right now (on vcd that is - haven't thought which one, but I'll find one) and tonight, I've invited friends to my place for a horror movie - JAPANESE VERSION of THE GRUDGE...hope the turn out will be great!