Archive for March, 2016

March 25, 2016

More snail mails!

image

I got mail from Kevin and Grace all the way from the states! So lovely to still have pen friends the old fashion way.

A few weeks ago I sent them a post card from Hobbiton cos I thought of them when I was there. I figured if anyone could relate about going to Hobbiton, it would be Kevin.

image

Dear Pam,

It was great to get your card yesterday, and a belated Happy New Year to you, too! Sorry to hear Hobbiton wasn’t really as idyllic as it was in Bilbo’s day. We’ve had an unusually mild winter here, though still chilly by Philippines standards. I guess it’s your turn now – since it must start turning cold in NZ just as it’s warming up here.

Anyway, hope your time in New Zealand is great and brings you everything you want and need. Keep in touch and God bless.
-Kevin

Dear Pam,
We received your post card yesterday. What a pleasant surprise! Thank you for thinking of us! My sister-in-law is a Tolkien fan too. We were thrilled to know you visited Hobbiton (minus the crowds!) How’s New Zealand? I heard it’s the land of tasty dairy products! Keep posting photos at Facebook. ­čĺÖ

Sincerely,
Grace

——

I find the snail mail services nowadays are surprisingly efficient. Or maybe its just here in NZ. They sent this card on March 17, and I receive it in just one week! Wow.. and I thought it would take 3 weeks for them to get my snail mail.. Impressive!

Advertisements
March 23, 2016

Shared lunch party turned Farewell. #sad

P1030809

So today we had sort of a “last minute” shared lunch party. One of the classmate, let’s call him Harry, proposed that we have a little party at the end of the term as a class together with Natasha, our Business tutor.

They talked about this about a week ago, but only confirmed that we were actually gonna make it happen like yesterday. And because it was sort of last minute, I had to think of something easy but not too hard to consume in a not-so-dining setting. After giving it much thought, I went with a finger food that would also serve as a regular meal. Chicken wings! Well, without the wings though. Just the drum-ette and the other part of the hands.

I went with a quick recipe search online, and found one that I could make crispy chicken wings by baking it in the oven instead of deep frying. The secret ingredient is just Baking Powder! Who would’ve known?

A quick drop to the New World Market down at Victoria Park, good thing they open till 12 midnight! By the time I was done with all that cooking it was already past 12:30am. But good thing I didn’t burn the chicken even if they smelled like they were. So I had quite a decent dish brought for the class.

Before Natasha’s class started, we had EP’s class. She dropped a big bomb at us at class and told us she has resigned from NTEC. My heart sank. I didn’t think she was leaving NTEC so soon and was hoping she’d still be there at least until I finished my two years. Unfortunately, the grass is always greener on the other side. She was given an opportunity she couldn’t refuse. Aaaaawwww.. she even gave the whole class Easter chocolate treats!

20160323_104703

We ended our lesson by 12noon, and prepared the classroom for a little party with all the tables lined up, and all the food we brought from home placed and displayed nicely on the table tops. I had to microwave my chicken wings for a bit and did a favor for Dishant and did his chicken curry dish too. The others just bought food from outside since they either couldn’t cook or just didn’t have the time to do so.

P1030810

P1030811

There was also┬ároti, waffles, potato pancakes and lots of chocolate muffins! I thought it was a good enough amount but perhaps the boys were not eating as much since they didn’t bring their own plate and spoons. I was well prepared and brought my own container equipped with plastic fork and spoon so yea, I had a good fill of all the food there is!

20160323_120539.jpg

The boys writing their messages on the white board.

P1030813

Harry also invited EP to the shared lunch get together so it was a good timing as well to bid her farewell. Natasha even set up a little display on the projector to wish her all the best and told the class to write a little note up on the whiteboard for EP. When she came and join us at 12:20pm, we shouted “SURPRISE” and it was just so nice to see her face lighten up and all smiles.

P1030829

As any loving motherly figure does, she gave us a little pep talk about doing well in the coming exam and how much she cares and loves us all. Aaawww.. am really gonna miss her and it’s the truth when I say the college is not going to find anyone else as caring as she has been with us students.

P1030836

Natasha being all cheeky in the background while EP gives us her pep talk.

20160323_121437

20160323_125631

20160323_121818

The classmate groufie, Dinesh, Abijeet. Anu, Arun, Sergii, Natasha, Dishant, HyeJi, EP, Harshit and Danukha. Missing Linda as she just went out for a bit when I took this shot.

The whole party went well I suppose, some awkward silences in between were nicely overshadowed by the background music Dishant was playing from his phone and the mini boom box he brought to the class. I think out of all the girls AND boys, I probably ate the most food around there!

And the little party ended right on the dot at 1pm, which was just right timing for everyone else to clean up, pack up and head home. EP asked me to drop by her office after that, and I got an extra special treat from her. The Oki Doki Easter Marshmallow Pops!

20160323_14081220160323_140832

I asked her to spill the beans on why she decided to leave, she said she didn’t really expect to leave but because the shipping company was prepared to pay her very well, she took the offer. I think there is probably more to it than what she meant to say, and I personally see a lot of changes happening in the management of NTEC so perhaps that was a factor to consider on whether she would’ve stayed. Oh well, life goes on, but surely we will be in touch with this lovely and caring mama!

wp-1458713017998.jpg

 

 

March 21, 2016

Samsung Newbie. #newtoy #note5

image

Bought myself a new smartphone! Finally!!!! After a few days of going back and forth between a few Samsung models, I finally settled with this one. Which was really what I had my eyes set on from even before I was even considering to buy a new phone. I’m talking about the Note series of course.

My Cherry Boom Boom is┬ástill working fine really. I mean, I just finally had the excuse to get a new phone after waiting for Cherry to be outdated. Smartphones nowadays are really quick to “expire” and you reach a point where you keep updating the apps and the OS itself can’t keep up with the apps anymore. Cherry still works fine in terms of the apps, the only problem I had with it was that the SD Card suddenly stopped working. I couldn’t take any photos since it wouldn’t allow me to save the photos to the memory card. I tried reformatting the card, and when I pop it back in the phone, all the deleted files just magically came back! Even after factory resetting the phone, the SD Card was still not working for me. I gave up. So I had to compromise and even if there was no expandable memory for the Note 5, I just have to deal with it and find alternative solutions.

image

Fresh out the box! Woot Wooot~!!

image

The box came with a European charger so the sales lady gave me an extra NZ socket for it. Also has a headphone too!

image

It’s been a while since I last took a good selfie, my hair is getting longer too. So here’s a selfie with the box.

Specifications on the Note 5:-

4G LTE
64-bit Octa Core Processor
4GB RAM
143.9 mm (5.7″) Quad HD AMOLED
16MP(OIS) / 5MP
Wireless Charging (Charging pad required)
KNOX Protected
32GB Memory

 

image

image

I’m so eggzoited!!!!

image

The price tag on this baby? NZ$1,079 inclusive GST. And I paid an additional 10 bucks for the screen protector. Pricey? Well, kinda, but I think that’s the best option for me for now. Not too high end that it burns my pocket too much, but yet not too low on the tech scale that it would be outdated too soon. I was this close to crazy buying and wanted to just go for the recently released Samsung S7 Edge, but I kept going back and forth thinking I really didn’t like the EDGE part of the screen, and not to mention that it was just a 5.5 inch display and not a 5.7 inch display. I mean, people will say that’s not a big difference but when you have old people eyes like mine, a bigger screen makes all the difference!

My first choice was really to go for the A7-2016 model as recommended by a friend. But I could’t handle waiting for the stock to arrive. Apparently it was a very popular phone around here and it’s always sold out. I would’ve wanted to wait for it if it was not because of my Cherry’s micro sd function failing me. But then again, I was also still drawn by the Note 5 being so suited for how I use my smartphones as my planner and life manager. Like really, I even record my period days using a period tracker app!

So yea, I think the Note 5 will be good for me. ┬á­čÖé

March 18, 2016

Legally 18. Plus more.

Look what I got in the mail today!

P1030708a

My NZ Evidence of Age document, a.k.a 18+ Card.

I mean really, with all that wrinkle on my face and clearly mature appearance, I still need to be checked before getting some good old fashion wine? Besides, youngsters don’t drink wine!

I heard at least two person telling me how good it is to get a hold of this card, firstly, for booze, and secondly it sort of acts as an identity card here in NZ so you won’t have to carry your passport along with you all the time. And I completely agree. So on the 9th of March, I went ahead and got my application processed in the NZ Post Office.

P1030706a

I hate that photo of me, I look so chingky. Can hardly see my eyes. Ugh. See, when I went to the Auckland City library and waited over an hour to have my form signed by the Justice of Peace, (that’s so awesome by the way, free JP service at the library!) I didn’t realize that I needed a photo that he had to stamp on it as well. I thought I could just have him sign the form and then bring a photo with me once I had the time to take a more updated and pleasing looking one. I don’t recall they mention anything on the form that says the photo I provided had to have a stamp on it.

Anyhoo.. it took only 10 days and finally I got my card in the mail! So yay! I feel so much more part of NZ now… hehehehehe..

March 9, 2016

A lesson on Motivation and Teamwork. #DA101 #BusinessEnvironment

So today we had a fun activity at class. This is our tutor, Natasha. She’s cool, she’s Malaysian and everybody in class likes her. I personally think she’s such a cutie pie. And most of the things she says and the expressions she uses I can so relate to. Like “dude” and “man” .. hehehehe.. i would think we’d get along really well if we met outside of a professional setting.

image

Since it was only a 2-hour session for today, Natasha just gave us a little project to work on which relates to the topic she was teaching in class. So yay to no one-way communication learning. Hehehehe. Sitting down, just listening and paying attention is hard maaan..

image

This is the group members I had to work with. Hye Ji, Dishant and Sergii. Naturally, the boys had all the say in the matter. Sergii was appointed as team leader, and I’d have to say he wasn’t such a good leader. Hahahahaha.. He didn’t give us any instructions and practically just “winged” it.

We were given about 15 spaghetti pasta sticks and about 10 pink heart marshmallows to work with and build the tallest and steadiest tower. There wasn’t much other rules of the game except that if you want to snap and break the pasta, we’d have to work with it and can’t request for more pasta sticks.

image

The class was divided into 3 groups, the other group of boys were harshit, danukha, and two other guys whom I can’t remember their names. This semester I admit I am kind of a snob in the class. Didn’t bother to make new friends and just stuck with people I was already familiar with.

image

Unfortunately for 1 team, because one of the classmate was absent, they had only 3 members in the group. Arun, Anu and Linda (from Slovakia). I could hear the tension they had in the group especially between Arun and Linda as they couldn’t agree and decide on whats the best action to take. I can understand completely how that could happen, knowing how stubborn Arun can be sometimes.

image

Tadaaaa! This is what our group managed to come up with.Some kind of square box base and then a pointy tower. Nyeh. It wasn’t really stead on the base, but we managed to secure the corners by putting more pasta when Natasha was able to give us extra sticks.

image

Presenting the masterpieces in front of the class!

image

So obviously our team was second place and not to mention it looks like crap. But hey, there was not enough motivation for our team to put more effort into the game. The final prize was just more marshmallows. So eh..

The whole activity took about an hour and a half so pretty much no theory lessons at all for the day, and that’s a big plus. Really appreciate the effort Natasha takes in making this subject more interesting for us even though it’s mostly a theory based subject.

March 5, 2016

Three Wise Cousins. #samoaculture #moviereview

After coming back from a Driving information workshop, went to the office with Saj to help the ladyboss out with loading some boxes into her car for storage in her home. While just chilling and hanging out at the office waiting for her, she suggested that we could go catch a movie in the cinema since we were already with her for the rest of the Saturday. As usual, I am always game for movies, so she didn’t have to ask me twice!

I heard about this Samoan movie from the ladyboss perhaps a week ago, and I figured she was really excited to watch it too. Coming to New Zealand, aside from noticing that there were a lot of other Asians that I am already familiar with, I didn’t realize that there were other cultures here that brought diversity into the country and made it what it is. I kept hearing about the Pacific Islanders and I always assumed they were talking about the Maoris. Boy was I skooled today!

Since we left the office quite late, it was about 6:30pm when we finally reached Silvia Park to get to the Hoyts cinema and catch the 7pm screening. We opted to catch the movie first and leave the boxes till later. There was quite a long queue at the cinema when we got there, but I guess it’s the weekend and its when people get to catch the rest of the movies that were showing, like Deadpool, Zoolander 2 etc. Tickets were $19.00 per pax, (and I was even hoping for a treat from the ladyboss but nope, not today) but we still managed to get a center seat in the theater hall since it wasn’t a full house yet.

P1030703a

Oh I loved the movie! I’d call it a Bro-flick, and a cute funny one too! And personally for me it was informative and gave me an insight to Samoan culture and it was a “Feel good” movie. It was rated PG though so there were a bit of green jokes here and there.┬áStoryline was pretty simple and straightforward. Nothing complicated or dramatic or anything like that. But I thought some scenes invoked the feelings spot on where they needed to.

I especially LOVED the music and songs they used!! Tried to look for their soundtrack online but don’t think its got enough media reach yet. Definitely recommending this movie to people interested in knowing about Samoan culture, and surely will talk about this movie to my friends here!

Check out the official movie website here: http://www.threewisecousins.com/