Archive for November, 2015

November 29, 2015

Belated Birthday Gift from Ate Bea and Kuya Alfred. #spiritualFamily

I got a little surprise today when I got to church! Ate Bea gave me a little package for my belated birthday. Awww.. so thoughtful of her!

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TBH, when I saw the Sunglass Hut paperbag, I was almost hoping it would be sunnies since Summer is near and I don’t have a pair of good shades yet for the blaring sun.  But no, not shades, at least not this time 😜

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The paper bag also comes with a birthday message for me from Ate and Kuya.

Psalm 33:4

For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.

Happy Birthday, Pam! May the joy in you be filled by the Holy Spirit as the Lord unfold and reveal to you His sovereign will. ❤ Ate Bea & Kuya Alfred

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Inside the paper bag, a red L’oreal make up bag! See? Already liking it because its a brand I normally use and I like the color red!

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But wait, there’s more inside the make up bag! Rose Hip hand cream, Kimmidoll Soap that comes with a pendant and a Fridge magnet! How nice!

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The Kimmidoll soap is a Vanilla Orchid triple mild soap and comes with the “Kyoka” doll. The “happiness” themed doll. So sweet!

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Thank You Lord for the surprise Gift and for Ate Bea and Kuya Alfred’s kindness and thoughtfulness! 🙌

November 27, 2015

God is GREATER. #word

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My messy table and outdated study notes on my wall. I admit that I am such a slob when it comes to organizing and keeping my room in order.

I started putting up scriptures on my wall to remind me of God’s promises. One of the verses that caught my attention and spoke to me very loudly during my quiet time this morning was this,

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 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. – 1 John 3:20

I’m a very visual person and despite the lack of color in my wardrobe, I really do like colors on my walls and papers. Fuchsia may not be my favorite color but it sure makes this scripture writing stand out!

I know I don’t have mad calligraphy skills but hey, this will do 😜

I definitely relate to this verse so much, especially the word “condemn”. I feel like I give myself such a hard time sometimes and put myself down a lot for so many things in life. Cos I know the condition of my heart and know how sinful I can be.

But that’s exactly it! GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING! And He is GREATER than my heart! So He can handle it, I just got to surrender it to Him and not try to have control over my heart or keep condemning myself for the things I feel in my heart..

November 24, 2015

New Toy for 33-year-old self! #ukulele #musicworksNZ

 

So I made an online purchase here in Auckland for the very first time. I was rather disappointed that last Saturday when I went out to try and buy that Ukulele I been eyeing for so long wasn’t available anywhere at the 3 music shops that I dragged myself to. When I got home, I thought I should check out the website and see if they have an online store, and to my great joy, they have it indeed!

Off I went and placed the order on Sunday, and even though the website did say overnight delivery, I figured it wouldn’t be immediately the next day since they would only receive my order on Monday when everyone actually works. 🙄

I deliberately had it delivered to my college since I knew I’d be there most of my time anyway. Didn’t want to go through the hassle of having to pick it up from the post office again and even so, it would probably be closed again by the time I could get there after my classes. Good thing the reception at college allowed me to do so as I wasn’t really sure if it was ok to have packages sent there. Turns out it was not encouraged, but tolerable anyway. As long as I don’t do it frequently. Yay!

So I got an email from the Music Works store that told me my order was processed and sent for delivery and I could track the delivery from the NZ Courier website. Wow! So awesome. By the time it was Monday evening, the uke was already sent out from the Epsom store, to Auckland CBD post branch. By this morning at 5am, it was already going on its rounds around the city. Finally arrived in my college by 9am!

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Fresh off the student services reception! So excited! Most of the time I was just worried it would arrive all ruined and damaged or perhaps the store would pick a lousy one for me. But so far so good! All wrapped in bubble wrap and came in a box. 👍👍

 

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I was just too excited to wait until the end of the day, so during lunch break, I quickly took it out to inspect the goods. The uke is a Mahalo brand Soprano. Also came with a little black bag for the uke.

 

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Blue colored NZ Flag themed Ukulele! How appropriate right?! That’s why I was soooo keen on getting this particular Uke. Not to mention with all the controversy about the flag change soon, by the time the NZ flag officially changes, this would become a classic or vintage item! 😎

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My first photo with my only birthday present this year, courtesy of Arun my classmate who always stays in class during lunch break. And me wearing my J’adore Mon Chat sweat shirt for the first time even if it was so warm out!

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Yaaaay! Thank You Lord for making this product available to me! The uke is only worth $49 but because I had to pay for the delivery costs of additional $4, total paid for the uke was $53. Worth it though 😆

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November 22, 2015

Being 33 and more. #collegemates #studentlife #chickencurry

Visited Rain and Aadi’s flat this evening. I wasn’t expecting to go for dinner at their place tonight since we postponed it last week. I thought we’d do the dinner thing like some time in December or something. So it was nice that I got Rain’s Whatsapp message in the afternoon and I thought, sure, why not? And I could also bring along some wine and cake so they could help me celebrate my belated birthday.

The siblings recently got a place at Zest Apartments, which is only a few blocks away from my flat. But this was the amazing view they have from their balcony! So jealous! They get to see the harbor and not to mention quite a close view of the Sky Tower too!

It’s almost the end of Spring and I find it very odd that the days are longer now. This photo was taken around 8:40pm and the skies have not yet darkened!

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Of course I had to take a mandatory shot of myself with the view of the city lights behind me and the lighted bridge to the north as well. Photo courtesy of Aadi and his steady hands.

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Sky Tower peeking at the right side of Rain and Aadi’s balcony.

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The host and the guests! Aadi, Juhi, myself and Rain while Sanjay took our photo in front of the balcony view.

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With the ever so elegant and polite Rain, my Indian friend from Pink City!

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Aadi’s chicken curry! He’s quite the cook! Although he didn’t make it too spicy this time cos he thought I didn’t eat spicy food but oh well. I love how Indian dishes put yoghurt into the stew instead of coconut milk. Seemed like it was so healthy!

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Photo credits to Aadi who is awesome at taking photos and took this wonderful view of the moon and Sky Tower below it. Instagram worthy shot!

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Dinner on the floor and sitting like the Indians. So cool but not cool on the calf muscles though.

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I brought along with me, a $14.99 Toi Toi New Zealand Gisborne Merlot 2014. And dessert of course, Sara Lee’s Chocolate Cheesecake.

I was shameless really, brought my own candles and cake so I could have a memorable photo of my 33rd! The siblings didn’t even realize that I just turned 33 days ago. But they were really cool and more than made it up to me!

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Groufie~!

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I was actually surprised at how much fun I had with this bunch. We were talking mostly about India and their culture (of course right? I was the only non-Indian there!), and talked about anything that came to mind really. I felt such a chatterbox that night which was very unlike my usual self in a social setting. But then again, it could’ve been the wine talking. But I loved the small crowd we had. It was a good number. Just 5 of us, talking about part time jobs, Malaysian employers here, stereotypes and what not.

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Isn’t this lovely? My 33rd birthday made so much more memorable with these cozy number of friends and the Sky Tower behind us!

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I mean really, they tried very hard to make the party felt lively. Even hung banners and streamers up! We were switching off the lights and even dancing just the 5 of us as if we’re in da club, being silly and just having good clean fun!

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We didn’t even stay too long, we were actually making quite a lot of noise at around 10:30pm and I was worried our noise might get them in trouble. By 11:20pm we decided it was enough party for a Sunday night and I myself have classes at 9am the next day, and so did Rain.

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And finally I got a photo with a cake and a burning candle on it! Yay!

 

November 21, 2015

Pizza Treat! #belatedbirthday #spiritualFamily #ENAC #CityHarmony

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Attended the Encounter Worship and Prayer night at The Hub, Every Nation Auckland Central office around 7pm. I was late really, it was suppose to start around 6:30pm but I guess I sort of took it for granted that The Hub was so near like 5 minutes away, and I didn’t expect people to start on time. I mean, 6:30pm was a really weird time to start any event, I thought they did it just cos they expect people to arrive at 7pm. Ooops, guess I was wrong!

Worship and Prayer night was just wonderful, lots of worship and singing praises to God, basking in His presence, drawing near to Him and just prayers and sharing of testimony. It was a small gathering of the spiritual family and not a big crowd, just cozy enough to fit about 30-40 of us.

The program ended at about 8:40pm, and then the rest of the City Harmony people were asked to stay back because we would be celebrating the November babies with Pizza! Yay! I was actually already thinking that I’d cook rice when I get home after the program for dinner. Yahooo! Free food!

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Gay got Pizzas from The Pizza Club down at Eliott Street. Butter Chicken flavored pizza! The dough was nice and soft and fluffy! I thought the butter chicken tasted a bit like how Indian cuisines normally have spices in them, so I wasn’t a big fan of too much of it (although I think I had about 3 to 4 slices), but yeah, I might want to try out their other flavors when I get the chance to next time. According to Gay, one box cost about 15 dollars! Pricey but it was good pizza though.

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They even got us Cheesecake! Sponge Cheesecake that is, but surprisingly it wasn’t too bad. The cream was not oily and it tasted really light and fresh. Candid shots of everyone going for the food!

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Of course, we had to sing the birthday song first before that. More candid shots Kathleen took of the birthday girls (including yours truly) singing along!

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With Abby, Gay and myself, the November babies. Although it was also Jayne’s birthday but she couldn’t join us for the night. Our birthdays are practically next to each other. Me on the 19th, then Gay on 20th, Jayne on 21st and Abby about a little after a week, on the 29th. It’s also Gay’s final farewell before she goes back to the Philippines for now, since she has completed her Post graduate studies for about 1 year and 6 months.

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Group photo! Adrian holding the camera though, we should’ve gotten more group photos but I think everyone was kinda hungry at the time and just wanted to get the photos done and over with so we could dig in!

Praise God for my spiritual family!

 

 

 

 

 

November 21, 2015

The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 2

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Finally! Finally! Finally! Waited a whole YEAR to find out what happens next!

I wanted to watch this on my birthday, the day it came out in the cinemas here in Auckland. But God had a surprise for me, and gave me an internship instead, which came in good timing as well. I wanted to watch it the day after turning 33, but the weather was not very motivating. It was rainy and I felt like just going home and relaxing after quite a productive week. And when today came, I was still contemplating if I should push this movie aside to the next week, the weather was cloudy and rainy again today, but I managed to push my lazy butt out of the door and go catch this movie and get it done and over with!

Did a few things before reaching the cinema too, got some groceries, returned library books, more retail therapy as well (I can never NOT spend anything when I go to Japan home, GOSH!). I wanted to get myself a birthday gift that I have been eye-ing for weeks now, the Ukulele with the NZ Flag on it, but I went to at least 3 music stores and they ran out of stock, didn’t realize that was such a hit. Bummer. Guess I’ll just have to wait for the next time they have stock for that.

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Ok, back to the Mockingjay. I loved that it was a happy ending (sorry for the spoiler) but I will say it again and again, any movie that has a happy ending, get’s extra points from me. It was sad at some parts where some characters that we have grown to love had to die, but I guess as long as the main character of the story doesn’t die, its all good? There were moments though that I thought, how the heck they are getting out of this mess this time?? And there was one part too where I thought it was ridiculously crazy how they managed to dodge every bullet! And suddenly creatures from under the sewers?? Ok that was a bit over the top. But I just love the relationship between Peeta and Katniss. I’m just a sucker for sweet and adorable things, even couples.

And of course, there were moments that were very predictable, especially the execution of President Snow part. Like duh! Who couldn’t have seen that coming? But yea, alls good.. hehehehehe

So I am glad I finally get to the end of this Hunger Games saga, and unlike Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, I think I wouldn’t mind watching this saga all over again even if I just recently watched it already.

November 19, 2015

Thirty Three.

Started the day with a Subway Breakfast and then along the way to college for my internship day two, I dropped by the Fondue Café at Auckland City Hotel and got myself two slices of Carrot Cake. I was going for the brownies really, but the cute guy who makes them brownies, Jerome, says that they weren’t ready yet. Aww.. next time then. For now, the carrot cakes will have to do. And I even gave one slice to my boss/tutor Aimee and she commented that it was good and so did my colleague Pavel! So it’s really good!

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I know, what am I doing with a photo of an almost finished Subway takeaway sandwich right? I was just so hungry and excited to try the avocado extra that I ordered to go along with my ham and cheese flatbread sandwich I forgot to take a photo. So here’s what’s left of it, and better than nothing right? Nyeh.

Of course, I could have Carrot cake as part of my breakfast, it’s my birthday! And though you can see bits and pieces of actual carrot on the cake, I thought they could do with more cream cheese icing. It tasted good, but I think it could be better, it was slightly on the dry side but will have to do for now. I mean really, it was like a 7 out of a perfect score of 10 I’d say. But Jerome was cute, so maybe I’d give him an extra .5 for that! hahahahaha

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Wow. Very flattering photo of myself with double chin and looking to devour that carrot cake! Oh 33, you’re just too cool for school XD

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We sort of celebrated another person’s birthday in the office too, it was the big boss’s birthday a few days ago and the office staff bought two cakes, a green tea cake and a mango cake to celebrate. We just had a quick gathering and I got to shake hands and meet with the director Isaac. But of course, being the newbie and shy me, I didn’t tell people it was my birthday too. So I would’ve taken a photo with the cake, but it would be too weird. Plus, I was more concerned with how I was going to calculate the P.A.Y.E account for some company’s employees.

Everyone was busy with their own lunch, and I took mine at 12:30pm and went off down to that Food Court at Albert Street. It was only my second time there and my first was on the first day I arrived in Auckland city. Wow, 3 months sure went by fast yet feels like it’s been a long time. The price of the meals here ranged from 10 dollars and above but the serving was quite large though. I was so stuffed by the time I was done with my curry laksa! It was a Malaysian Noodles stall but was operated by Vietnamese. How strange but still kudos for making curry laksa taste authentically Malaysian!

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After going back to the office/college by 1:20pm, I was quickly tasked to do a lot of other things I didn’t expect to do really. I didn’t expect to be given so much things to handle where instructions were not even clear and you just have to try and figure it out sometimes. I try as much as I can not to ask too many questions, especially stupid ones, cos my colleague looks like he’s got lots on his plate and I felt kinda bad for taking up his time!

The rest of the afternoon went by pretty quickly when you are occupied with looking through receipts, filings and checking on accounts but I guess I liked that the time flew by really quickly. And then it was time to go celebrate!

Met up with the sweet Noelin for dinner at a Ramen Place by Lorne Street called Mentatz! It’s been a while since we last caught up and I wanted a one to one time with her to get to know her more. The last two times we got together it was always with her family and so it was nice to just talk to her and get to know who Noelin is.

We ended up talking about music, movies, Sabah, and her 2 years in London, and talked about marriage and kids, and that’s when we talked about age, and I wanted to be sure she was my age and then I ended up telling her it was my birthday (X-P) and she insisted that dinner was on her!

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Then for more catching up and just talk and hang out at a Taiwanese bubble tea and shaved ice dessert place just a few blocks away from the Ramen house. It was also her treat and since we were both so stuffed from the ramen place, we just shared a bowl of cold Herbal Jelly and Taro with red beans dessert. It was a pretty big bowl really and just good enough for two 🙂

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Didn’t take too long and just talked for a little bit more before we decided it was time to head home. By that time, it was almost 9pm! I mean, how fast did the time go from 6:45pm to 9pm?!

This was my birthday attire. My gosh I look like a granny with those glasses huh? I was in a hurry really to get that shot because the elevator door was opening as it stopped. I still really dig my coral tee though 😉

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Oh come on Google, you can do better than using an Old Birthday doodle for the same one again two years in a row?!

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I also got a really pleasant surprise from my sisters in Christ back in the Philippines. The “To Wit” girls made me a birthday video!! Awww.. I can’t say how much I am so blessed by this group of ladies. Their prayers, their fellowship, their support and encouragement just amazes me at how God sets up divine appointments. I love these people!!

I initially wanted to go climb a short hill or mountain again this year to celebrate my old age, but nothing of that sort was near enough for me to do in a day trip. I even considered going up to Rangitoto Island which was really just a volcanic island and not very high but I read that you could see the whole Auckland city from there. Then the internship came up, and I guess that was good for me anyway, so no hike this year, but will definitely try to plan one for my thirty fourth!

Thank You Lord for 33 years. You’ve been so faithful, and I so don’t deserve Your love, but You do love me! It’s mind blowing! And I thank You for who You are..

Isaiah 49:16 (NIV)

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

November 18, 2015

Pre-Birthday Bonding. #spiritualSister #ENAC

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It’s the Food Truck Garage! Behind me of course when I tried taking a photo to prove that I was there.

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Met up with Merina, my Samoan Discipleship leader to catch up and have some bonding moments and I’m glad we finally get to know more about one another’s lives.

We were suppose to meet up at 7pm but she got stuck in traffic so it took her a while to get there and I was there before 7:30pm hence the bright evening photo of the place.

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I just ordered the Lamb burger but no photo to show cos I was just too hungry and forgot to take a shot of it. It cost me a whopping $15.50 and not a very big serving I must say.

Merina had a late lunch so she didn’t order anything to eat and I felt kinda bad cos she had to go home to cook dinner for her brother and sister in law. I sort of anticipated this was not gonna be a short time but more of a long talk. I told her my life testimony and how I had turned my back to God and found myself going back to church in the Philippines. It was a lot of “moth” moments but I think it was good enough for now.

Thank You Lord for this wonderful sister in Christ. Can’t wait to get to know her more and share this Christian walk with her 🙌

November 16, 2015

French Milk by Lucy Knisley.

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Finally finished reading this cute graphic novel by cartoonist Lucy Knisley. Loved that the novel was about Paris and despite it being a comic book technically, there’s quite a lot of word to read too. Which I suppose is the reason it took me some time to finish.

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Her art work is relaxed, simple and adorable! Makes me feel like I can totally relate to her. If I were a cartoonist, this is the kind of work I’d like to be known for too!

Its one of those “feel good” kind of story and I also really liked the “journal”/”diary” style of the story. And I really learned a lot about Paris from just reading her comics! It’s also very awesome of her to use lots of French word too!

Real sad to hear about what’s going on in France 2 days ago with all the terrorist attacks and I guess it sort of prompted me to finish the book as a tribute to the French.

All seriousness aside, I think I am being a bit too ambitious with all these books I borrowed from the library. I have 6 books and 4 comics to finish reading. Hopefully I can manage to finish them before the due date in about 2 weeks!

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November 15, 2015

Parnell Festival of Roses.

 

After church service today, went to the Parnell Festival of Roses to have lunch and just chill with the City Harmony Connect Group family. I’m not crazy about roses or flowers in particular, but I was curious to see what festivals are like here in Auckland and since it was really near the city, I thought I’d take the time to experience and venture out of my comfort zone.

Took a ride with Abby and Ash in their green mobile and didn’t take long to arrive there but it was hard to get parking because there were a lot of people! I didn’t expect this much of a crowd but well here we are.

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Interestingly, they really value the community’s feedback on the organization of the festival. There’s a booth there just for evaluation of how the festival was run and if the people have any suggestions for next year’s festival.

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Coming into the park area, first thing we saw was these two tall creatures! I think they are suppose to be the garden or some Rose fairy or something but they were walking on those tall stick things. I don’t know what they’re called but yea they must be very good at balancing themselves to be standing on those tall sticks!

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Very interesting costume though and I guess it becomes part of an entertainment or “accessory” if you will, to the festival itself.

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There was a long street where all the food stalls and trucks were at, and around the green slope hill and grass area was where we sat down and had our street food. It was too crowded when we got there, and it was about 1pm and so everyone was trying to get food so the queues were long, I couldn’t be bothered to look around and see what other food they were selling and just went with the majority of the people around me. They all ordered the 15 dollars Brazilian meal that came with 3 different meat, and rice, with beans and salsa. It tasted good really, just that I thought the serving was too small for something worth 15 dollars.

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Look at this, chicken meat, lamb, and sausage. With very little rice underneath those meat. 15 dollars? What a rip off!

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Aside from food and of course, displays of Roses, there were also some street dancing going on. Traditional English/Scottish dance that is.

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There was also a booth that housed classical music played by the Aotea Youth Symphony which I thought was really cool and the sounds of the strings and violins just made the ambiance of the whole place so relaxing!

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Where we sat and had food, this whole display of roses in white are right behind us. There were a few pink and red ones further at the back.

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Kuya Alfred took this photo of us single ladies, Jayce, Laarni and yours truly.

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We left the place at about 4pm, I didn’t do much except stand around the area, observing people, talked to some guy from Malaysia named Chee Wei who attended Every Nation Malaysia and was here in Auckland for a Working Holiday. Turns out he knew Jude and Bryan who were my homies from way back in my home church. What a small world we live in huh?!