Archive for September, 2015

September 26, 2015

Beautiful Saturday Outdoors.

Audrey invited me to spend the Saturday with her family and friends outdoor if the weather was good. And it indeed was a beautiful day to spend outside! I made my way to her home by bus, good thing it wasn’t too far, and was about 20 minutes away by bus. I did get off a little too soon and had to walk about 10 minutes from where I got off the bus from. But it was all good. Good weather, bright sunny day so it was good exercise for me!

I rode with Bronson and his dad, stopped by the sushi place and got some food for the little picnic. At about 11am we arrived at the Little Rangitoto Reserve, which was a little park nearby Audrey’s home. There were a few other people there too bringing their kids out and it was nice to see how the park is fully utilized by the surrounding community.

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We were stationed right in front of the play ground, so the twins could play and enjoy themselves. I just sat at the picnic mat, ate and basically basked in the sun and enjoyed the fresh air and my surrounding. It was so peaceful and homey, made me really wish I had my own family although I thought that was crazy of me to think of having my own kids knowing how terrible I’d be at parenting. But I guess seeing all the family around me just made me miss my nieces and wished I could enjoy that moment with my sister, my mom, my brother and their families and kids around.

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I was glad that I wasn’t the only one without kids around there. Audrey’s friend, Grace came by and brought her dog Dalfy (short for Gandalf) along with her. So I was not alone! Yehey! But yea, I was so impressed that her dig Dalfy was quite the smart one! Could do tricks and all, and most of the times, he was pretty obedient too. Except for times where he gets overly excited about seeing other dogs around him.

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So we all just hang out, had some sushi, some eggs with snapper that Grace brought along with her. Chit chat, and just enjoyed everyone’s company. Audrey asked Grace and I if we wanted to walk around and that we could just go ahead. So Grace gladly took Dalfy and I for a very long walk! We walked all the way down to the Orakei Basin where it was formerly a volcano that eventually became a lagoon.

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We just walked along the walkway and Grace let Dalfy loose and enjoy the nature around, and even let him go for a swim in the lake! There were a lot of other people passing by the walk way and lots of them brought their dogs along too. I mean, even if I’m not much of a dog person, this place really made me want to have a dog!

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Audrey and the fam went home while Grace and I walked around the area and the Orakei Basin. They got rather lost and couldn’t find the place and hence decided to meet up with us later. Thing is, Grace’s handbag where her car keys were is with the Chin family, so we couldn’t get the car anyway when we were thinking of walking back to the park. So after we were done with the Orakei Basin walk, Grace suggested we walked to her house while we waited for Audrey and the fam to get settled and perhaps meet up a bit later in the afternoon.

Grace’s house was about 20 minutes walk from the Basin, and her house was just so lovely, red bricks and all. Even if it was an old house built in the 1950s it was still a beautiful house. Good thing she had a spare key so we were able to get into the house while waiting for the Chins. It was nice to have spent time with her and got to know her a bit more.

By about 3pm, the Chins came and brought Grace’s car to her house. And we all went to Sun Rise restaurant in Newmarket for a late lunch. Which also turned out to be a very expensive lunch for Grace cos her car almost got towed away for parking on a hydrant. So she had to pay the fine of about $117. Good thing they haven’t towed her car away and she got there just in time! 😜

After the little incident, we went on to Kohimarama Beach to hang out just a bit more. I was just as surprised as Grace was when Audrey and her husband was very willing to bring the kids to the beach even after a very active morning! We thought they’d be tired and all, but nope! Guess all that energy from the twins sort of transfers to the parents too 😉

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We were at the beach very briefly, not too long anyway cos it was getting pretty cold. The twins got to play a bit in the sand, and we ended the day with some Gelato from The Shop around the corner.

I feel so thankful and grateful that I get to know very kind and awesome people! Thanks Audrey and family! And also to new found friend Grace, she gave me a ride home even if it was out her way! Awww! So blessed!!

 

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September 24, 2015

Piha Beach. #westSide #Auckland

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I got to go to the Piha Beach out west! And though I must say I am not much of a beach person, the weather today was just nice, not at all hot and was wonderful for me to be at the beach. Not to mention the fact that the beach was practically empty!

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Audrey is just such an awesome human being!!! She brought me out all the way to the beach, even with an almost empty tank of gas in her car and she just winged it! Almost 40km away from the city center, it took us about 30-40minutes drive to get there. Not too far really 😉

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And my favorite part of the brief but breath taking trip, is that I get to do a mini hike/climb up the Lion Rock! Wooohoooo!!! My first hike in Auckland! hahahahhaa

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I love how New Zealand takes pride in their love for nature and environment. Look at how pretty this little monument is at the top! Well, this wasn’t exactly the summit but it was as close to the top that we could go to since the rest of the hike up was closed.

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Still, I wasn’t expecting to climb up that Rock cos I thought we were just going to walk around the beach with its black sands but its so cool that we actually get to climb it! 😁😁😁

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With the goofy Audrey!

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I am just soo soo thankful and overwhelmed by God’s grace and blessing for the kindness of people around me. I get to see His beautiful creation! Thank You Lord You are so amazing!! 🙌

September 24, 2015

Wa Tan Ho in Auckland! #MalaysianFood #homesick

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Audrey took me to this Malaysian food place down at New Lynn and I was so impressed by the food there I made sure I took a photo so I can locate this place again even on my own!

Malaysian Noodles & Rice house
57D Wolverton St, Avondale.

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Had our lunch here with Audrey’s hubby during his lunch break and the specialty there was supposed to be the 炒果条 chao kuey teow but I just really wanted something soupy with egg, so I went ahead with the wa tan ho.

“This place is special” Bronson said. And I totally agree. It doesn’t taste at all different or tailored to local flavor, it was legit. And I think my dish was about NZ$9.50 but that it quite a large serving so I was very pleased! And so thankful for Bronson and Audrey’s generosity! 😁😁😁 So blessed!

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The place itself is not very fancy and the space inside the resto is quite small and not many tables for dining. But you know a place is good when people are willing to place a takeaway order even if you would have to wait almost 30minutes for it! It’s definitely a small family business with only 2 cooks at most. But yes, worth the try! Food there made me homesick! (in a good way though heheheh)

September 22, 2015

Catching up with another Audrey! 😁 #orangKK #Sabahan

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With Audrey and her one month old baby Mikayla!

It was really nice to hang out with people from my hometown and hear them familiar Sabahan slangs. I totally miss it and Audrey made me feel so close to home!

Its been 4 weeks since I’ve been here and I didn’t realise that she’s based in NZ all this while. I always had this idea that she was in Australia! It was only until she pm-ed me on IG that I found out she was actually so close here! So awesome!

And it was so kind of her to take me out to the Auckland Art Gallery which I had planned to go but didn’t manage to find the time yet. So I was glad she offered to take me there!

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These were the memorable shots and art work in the gallery for me personally because they didn’t bore me 😝

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There was this hallway that was such a simple expression using words and repetitive color bases of grey, white and black and it was just so simple but yet so interesting and something really “modern” about it.

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I like sculptures. Art forms like these always makes me want to look and touch the pieces and especially take silly photos with them.

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This was something really out of the ordinary and weird. I guess most times, weird works for the art world. “NO NO!”

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This was another fascinating one. From afar, I really thought there was a guy lying on the ground trying to soak in all the art around him, like that was how the art around him should be experienced. Until I got closer and realized it wasn’t a real guy. It was just a life size doll. Nyek…

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These were another interesting art work on stones and the different feelings or comments I guess of what kind of emotion that these stones awaken in the artist.

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This one says “Urgg” which I totally agreed.

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This one said “Um no.” and I thought, yeah so true!

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And of course, who wouldn’t love crystal like stones??

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Audrey helped take this shot of me with a wall art that sort of looked like a thought bubble and I really think it was a cool photo!

image I just thought this horn like creature was just so cool especially with the contrast in colors of the rope, the red and the blue.

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This area of the art gallery had a lot of interesting this, but what struck me was the 3 white dresses hanging from above which I thought would scare the crap out of someone at night when the hall is all dark~!

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After the art gallery, Audrey took me to Newmarket and we had lunch at a Chinese place that still manage to serve food at a reasonable price. NZ$5.80 for this Beef Tomato Noodle soup that came with a glass of coke served with lemon slices!

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We also met up with her husband Bronson there during the lunch. Then we headed off to a countdown somewhere to grab a few groceries, then just went by her home in Remuera to chill while getting her baby sorted out.

Initially she wanted to take me to the beach somewhere and the dog park but the weather was acting funny so we just ended up going to a Mitre 10 shop at Henderson to grab some lettuce seed! I couldn’t find these in the city centre so I was really thankful that she was so kind enough to help me out. I can finally try to grow my own indoor veges!

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Audrey also invited me to have dinner at her home and Bronson cooked a really nice enchilada type of beef mince meal and it was delish!

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Thank You Lord for this beautiful family and their hospitality. I pray for favor and blessings in their homes and their lives God! 🙏

September 20, 2015

Rotorua Day 2. #springOuting2015 #cityHarmonyConnectGroup

06:00am – Day 2! Rise and Shine! I must say the room’s heater worked so well for me that I didn’t even needed my blanket to sleep in! Nice and warm, which also made me want to stay in bed longer. But I just waited for the shower to not be so crowded before I decided to get off the bed and start the day. It also rained really hard and I was just wondering how we were going to proceed with the rest of the trip for the day.
06:30am – Finally got out of the room to shower & change, I also got to do my number two business in peace. Phew! 😝
07:15am – I was the last to arrive in the breakfast hall and yes, I am a spoiled child, didn’t do anything to help with breakfast but I did made sure I helped out with at least wiping the clean dishes dry. We had instant noodles, bread with ham and eggs, scrambled eggs, corned beef for breakfast. Thanks to all of them wonderful people who prepared food and everything! I am so blessed!! Again, no photos from me cos I was late and I was too hungry and ashamed about being late that I didn’t think of photos.
08:20am – We were suppose to start sharing of the word around 8am but since most of them went on to pack up, we started a bit later. It was just a good time starting the day with devotionals and the Holy Spirit’s presence was really felt at the time. I was asked to pray for healing for people just before we ended the session but didn’t manage to end the session with a closing prayer as I thought someone else was going to do it 😛
09:40am – By this time, we packed all our bags and returned all the keys to check out of the BackYard Inn. Onward to the first program of the day, Redwoods!
10:00am – It was still raining and drizzling as we arrive in Redwoods. But of course, our God is so faithful and loving that whenever we got out of the car and started wandering around, He stopped the rain for us!
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We didn’t actually followed the walk way into the forest but just went for a photo session right beside the Visitor Information Center.
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This was by far my favorite highlight of the trip. The forest was so beautiful!!! God is soooo amazing and wonderful! I mean, only He could think of such an amazing color for a forest! The trees had sort of a red maroonish tint to the barks and the ground was all covered with red leaves. As they say, it looked like a scene from a Twilight movie. 🙄
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11:15am – Next after Redwoods, we headed to Hamurana Springs. It was quite a long drive away from Redwoods which is already quite near the city centre. There wasn’t much to see there and the springs reserve was a bit of a hike away so we decided not to continue the journey and just took some scenic photos of the view from the entrance and the bridge. I mostly enjoyed seeing the ducks and swan swimming along the lake and dipping their head underwater to look for food. It was so interesting to see how they do that!
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The water was reaaaally clear though, you could see whats underneath it!
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12:15pm – We arrived at the Okere Falls after leaving Hamurana Springs. It was only 1 minute away from the entrance but there was nothing fascinating about the falls except that it was used for hydroelectric power generation back in the days. We also saw some whitewater rafters braving the violent waves for some adrenaline rush.
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We were told that there was a cave down the trail by some passer-bys but it was about a 15minute trail so we also skipped that and decided we should make a move and get some lunch.
13:10pm – Before Josh, Eunice, Gay and I head over to the lunch place, we stopped by a tour agency place to get discount coupons for Sheep Shearing Farm Show. This was a pretty spontaneous decision too. It just happened that Josh asked if we wanted to watch the sheep shearing show and it was initially only for our car ride passengers, but since everyone else was also game for it, we had to rush our lunch to make sure we meet the schedule at 2:30pm.
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13:30pm – I was surprised to find that the infamous Best Fish & Chips ever is actually owned by a Chinese! Oppie’s Fish ‘N’ Chips Chinese Takeaway is an award winner!
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Groufie at Oppie’s!
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I must say, the Fish N Chips is really fresh and the fries are less oily than the normal chips I have tried. I only wished they served ketchup with it. Even the Tartar sauce cost NZ$ 2.50 per small tub! But yea, definitely would recommend this to friends and come back here with my own big bottle of Ketchup!
14:20pm – Arrived at the Agrodome just in time! Used our discount coupons and got 10% off from the regular rate which was NZ$ 32.50 per adult. Better than nothing eh?
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No idea why they put a reindeer in the ticket design cos there wasn’t any reindeer during the show. And I didn’t realise it was a “world famous” farm show until when I got inside, people from all over the world came to see it!
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The stage setup for the 19 breeds of sheep! We got to sit on about the 4th row in front of the stage. Just the right position for a nice view of the show!
14:30pm – Sheep Shearing show started, and the guy who hosted the show was totally cool and awesome! He was very entertaining and so were the 19 stars of the show!
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He talked about each of the breed, where they originated from and what their features are like and what their furs or wool are mainly used for. He even had a demonstration of how a sheep dog works and used ducks as props to show how the dogs guide the sheep.
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After a demonstration of how a typical sheep shearer would shave off the sheep’s wool, he gave us some samples to touch and feel. He even explained what the wool produces like Lanolin oil and it was really informative. He even added trivia and said that a typical sheep shearer would work on at least 200 – 300 sheep a day! And a record breaking of fastest sheep shearer could do 700+ sheep in 9 hours, averaging about 1 sheep every 45 seconds. Whoah!
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Aside from giving us a demonstration of the sheep shearing process, he also asked some volunteers to milk a cow, and feed milk to lambs! It was a really fun show and I totally enjoyed it. After the show ended, we even got a chance to go up to the stage and take photos with the stars of the sheep. Funny story, one of them even tried to eat my tissue packet! It took my tissue from my bag! Tsk!
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16:06pm – We finally left for Auckland from Agrodorm after lots of photos and it was time to get home before it gets too late. Josh drives really fast, I mean even while its raining, he could go up to 100/kmph!
18:50pm – Finally arrived in Auckland city centre, and in the comfort of my tiny and humble apartment. Thankful to God for such a wonderful experience and blessings from so many people by their act of service and love. ^_^
Thank You Lord for this Spiritual Family!
September 19, 2015

Rotorua Day 1. #springOuting2015 #cityHarmonyConnectGroup

06:10am – Got picked up from my apartment, took a ride with Kuya Alfred & Ate Bea as well as Gay in the car, and we sent Jayne to work at Remuera.
06:30am – We arrived at Kristin and Herbert’s crib which was the meeting place. Gay and I had to switch to another car and ride with Josh and Eunice just to balance out the passengers and drivers for each car. After a brief gathering and prayer for a safe journey, we went onward to the next stop.
07:00am – We arrived McDonald’s Bombay, everyone had a quick breakfast before going off to Rotorua! Group photo at McDonald’s taken from Kuya Alfred’s phone!
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07:30am – And after breakfast, off we go to Rotorua!!! The journey was shorter than I had expected, and I was actually really sleepy but tried to stay awake since I was not very familiar with everyone in the car. I felt it was only polite to try and stay awake and especially to stay awake for the driver :-p
10:20am – We reached the Lady Knox Geyser! This natural phenomena is supposed to erupt at 10:15am every morning but when we got there, it hadn’t started yet and the presenter was still explaining about how they discovered the Geyser. It was only after he dropped in a cube of “crystal soap” that the eruption happened. I actually dropped my Lumix Lens cap here and lost it. 😦 not a very good memory but oh well, stuff happens :-/
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12:13pm – Our next program in the itinerary was to try “Hangi” at Kiwi Kai. It was the only shop that allowed tourists to have a taste of Hangi without having to go through a whole cultural show experience. So it was more cost effective for budget tourists like us! NZD8.00 for the Chicken Hangi which Gay and I shared just to have a taste. We all bought it for take out as we wanted to have a lunch Picnic at the next location.
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Here’s a photo with the Kiwi Kai shop owner!
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12:51pm – We got to the Kuirau Park and ate our fill of the Hangi there, some of the other people brought Adobo with Rice, and so we had more than enough food to fill our stomachs. After we ate, we went around the Kuirau Park and saw the boiling mud pools and steaming lakes. It was the main attraction there and honestly there wasn’t much to see at the park aside from those natural phenomenons.
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02:15pm – After the Kuirau Park, we had to check in at the BackYard Inn before going to our next program. I forgot to take photos of our room but yes this was a backpacker’s style lodging and there is a common bathroom for the ladies. I shared the room with Gay, Jaycel and Eunice, the only single ladies of the group. It was too bad that there wasn’t any free Wifi, but you could pay NZ$5.00 for 100GB for 24hours. Other than that, the place was alright, nothing fancy and kitchen was a sufficient place with all the essentials provided.
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03:12pm – Leaving the Inn after settling our baggage and checking in, we arrived at Rotorua Museum area. It was a beautiful park in front of the museum with lots of blooming flowers and weird looking trees, but we didn’t go in to the Museum itself. As I said, we were on a really tight budget so we decided to skip the entrance fee and just took a nice scenery shot of the beautiful architecture to show that we were indeed in Rotorua!
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04:20pm – Arriving in Skyline Rotorua, I was asked if I wanted to join the Ludge, which was just an activity of going down the hill in some mini race car. I decided I should skip that and set my priorities straight since sight seeing was my goal during this trip. However, entrance to the skyline and to be able to reach the peak, we would need to pay for the Gondola (or the cable car) which was NZ$28.00 per person. I was so blessed by Kuya Alfred and Ate Bea cos they paid for my share!! Thank You Lord!
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At the top, we get to see a view of Rotorua City but it was so freeezing cold! Took a few photo shots while waiting for the others who went on the Ludge ride before my camera battery died. After enough of photos out in the cold, we stayed inside the souvenir store and  looked around. I also visited the dedicated Jelly Bean store they had up at the hill and it was so cool! They had paintings made of Jelly Beans! At this point, I really wished I had a spare battery for my camera!
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06:00pm – We left Skyline Rotorua after I had successfully gotten my souvenir coin that I paid 3 bucks for at the top of the city view but the machine was busted and it ate my coin without giving me the souvenir. Eunice got a souvenir coin for herself so I wanted to get one for myself too. Good thing the customer service staff was really kind enough to give me back the souvenir coin without much hassle.
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06:15pm – Josh, Eunice, Gay and I went to Pak n Save to get some ice cream and more bread for the rest of the people since they were all cooking tonight and figured we could chip in for more food. I really didn’t have to fork out much and just bought Chocolate Coated Raisins for myself! Aww.. so blessed to have such a generous spiritual family with me!
07:00pm – Dinner time! Everyone was so hungry and famished from all that activity & program throughout the day we didn’t even bother to take a group photo! Plus the light was busted from the table we were sitting so it wouldn’t be a nice photo anyway. We had Shin Ramyun Instant Noodles in a big pot, and everyone had a share, some Chicken Adobo cooked by Kuya Alfred, and bread with ham and pineapples. Lots of food and it was enough for the 14 people!
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09:00pm – By this time we were all sitting down at the lounge area, just chit chatting and fellow-shipping after the simple but wonderful dinner, and just had a short briefing of what to do the next day. I didn’t bother to shower since it was too cold, so I just brushed my teeth and get ready for bed!

09:30pm – lights out, zzzz………..

September 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Jill! #flatmates #studentlife

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At the 2A unit at Albert’s street. With Jill, Rein and George (Rein and Jill’s current flatmate)!

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The two ladies hard at work, preparing the Bacon Carbonara Pasta for dinner! And of course, I was just there to eat and was not much of a help 😛

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I got Jill a Chocolate Mud cake from New World Supermarket just so we could have a cake for her to blow the candles out.

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And whaddya know? There’s another surprise! Thai guy Ma came and brought some Brazillians with him to wish Jill a happy birthday!

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Our ex-flatmates from Luau Accommodation, Andrea, Jill, Ma, Gustavo, Diego and Rein. I was of course, holding the camera.

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And so I made sure I was able to get a group photo with me in the shot!

With Rein, Gustavo, Ma, Diego, the birthday girl and Andrea!

Twas a very simple birthday celebration and I am just glad Jill gets even just a simple little party to celebrate her first ever birthday away from home.

God bless you Girl!

September 11, 2015

Bonding with Jill. #studentlife

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Had very late lunch with this beautiful soul!

I had asked her for a favor to help me carry a 4 drawer plastic storage box for my room. She was really kind to help out and in a small way, I got to learn more about her in the process 🙂

We ate at the international foodcourt down in Queen Street. Nothing super, just had some Fried Tofu with eggs and shredded pork in a sizzling plate.

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Jill had some fried crab meat rice worth $10.00 which was a large plate good for two person. Mine was a pretty large serving too and it was for $12.00. I didn’t manage to finish the whole meal so I saved the leftovers for some other time.

Thank You Lord for really kind friends like Jill!

September 9, 2015

Current Crib. #studentlife #flats

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Today I get to move in to my permanent place (for now).

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The very tiny living room (with no tv) and its a combo! Living room, dining room, kitchen and even the laundry lining are all in one 🙄

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The bedroom after much hard work of vacuuming the carpet floor.

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And my bedroom door is just beside the kitchen stove counter. Yupp. Its that tiny.

Although I really shouldn’t complain, for 215 per week with unlimited internet, and utilities already included in the rent, its a pretty good deal for having the room all to myself.

The location itself although is only a 15 minutes walk to school, it is a tad bit further from the main food streets and such. At night the place can be rather quiet because the main road in front of the building is already the entrance to the highways.

Well, for now, this will have to do.

Thank You Lord for this place!

September 8, 2015

Hooked on another show! #beautyandtheBeast

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I am so hooked to this show! Went on another crazy all nighter marathon and watched 13 episodes overnight foregoing my usual early 9pm bed time 😅😅😅

I just love watching Kristin Kreuk because of her exotic features and look. Although I must admit this didn’t seem like a suitable character for her to play but I guess everyone likes to watch a sweet-lookin’ tough girl! #girlPower

And girl power is very much emphasized here because she made all the initiatives and was even the first to ask the Beast out on a date. Tsskk..

I am excited to see how this series will progress and tell their story though. I have seen a few corny and cheesy scenes, also unrealistic ones but hey, its what science fiction is for right?