Archive for ‘bonding’

July 8, 2018

A day at Patricia Beach. πŸ–

Usually when I am invited to the beach, I always tell people I am not a “beach” person.

And I truly am not. Reasons being, it’s too hot, it’s too much sand, I don’t swim and I don’t have a great bikini body to show off. 😏

But of course, there are exceptions. Like when my awesome flatmates invited me to join them at the beach on the weekends, (which is rare since they normally work on weekends), I couldn’t pass on this opportunity.

So off we went! 😜

Before heading to the beach, we stopped by the “original” Pancake House to have brunch. I tried Pancake House at The Forks before, it wasn’t that great of an experience but I was very sure they served terrible coffee. But since the majority wanted to go there, why not?

I had the ground beef streak with eggs, recommended by Fer, and I must say she was right. The beef tasted good, and of course the pancake served with it was just so-so. But again, I was right about the coffee. Somehow it has a “sour” hint to it’s flavor.

After brunch, a quick trip to Walmart to get some snacks and water supply. I took the opportunity to get more sunscreen and mosquito repellent just in case. I also bought another set of the $10 pajamas that I got before, but this time with a different design. I just really wanted the sleeveless top for the beach since I didn’t bring any extra clothes to change.

It was only an hour away from the city. So by the time we arrived there, it was 2pm. It was damn hot and humid! The beach wasn’t so scenic really, and it wasn’t really a beach, it was actually part of a really large lake. But hey, for Manitobans that’s as good a beach as you can get.

The place was not too crowded but I would say it was busier than I would prefer it to be. Lots of room to sunbathe in of course and not get in the way of other beach goers. Some heads up if anyone is planning to head there: no alcohol allowed, dogs are to be on leash and not allowed in the water, the toilet has no water flush πŸ˜“ The toilet thing was a big turn off really. All the beaches I went to in Auckland had wonderfully maintained toilets and ample water supply. I suddenly missed New Zealand! 😒

Our first spot when we arrived at the beach was not too great. Because it was so hot and humid, we wanted to find a shaded area. The place we got was not too shaded but was good enough for the time being. But we realized that there were too many flies and insects around there maybe due to the bushes behind that area. After Fer and Yuri went for a walk around the beach, they suggested we move to another location which was right in the middle of the beach with no shade, but the wind was blowing more frequently so you wouldn’t feel too humid.

I was basically “baking” my body under the sun for a good 4 – 5 hours throughout the time we were at the beach. Because I didn’t plan to swim, I didn’t bring extra undies and so I stayed out of the water. Just dipped my feet and knees in them at most. I was very glad I brought my Banana Boat 110 spf sunscreen! I didn’t get red burns but just a nice tan for my arms and my very pale chicken legs.

I spent most of my time just lying around the sand, listening to my favorite jam until my phone battery died. Chit chat with Erico, my non-beach person buddy. Had a few times where I had to run after the float ball that Yuri bought for the beach but couldn’t use it since it was too windy. It was a good excuse for me to run around the beach to catch something since I wasn’t doing much anyway.

We finally decided to call it a day around 7:30pm. It was still very bright out at the beach of course around that time. But the sun was not too hot anymore and was starting to set. I was secretly glad the day at the beach was coming to an end, but of course, I did enjoy the company very much. Sometimes it’s really not about what you do together but who you do it with. And just being around them was satisfying for me. Obrigado and arigato, flatmates turned friends! ^_^

June 17, 2018

Outdoors kind of Saturday.

Thank goodness for good weather! Although it wasn’t sunny, the cloudy day was just right for a casual outdoor Saturday at The Forks and a downtown Jazz Festival.

My English language partners and I set aside this day to hang out at The Forks. It was only my second time at The Forks and this was my first summer here. The last time I was here it was still winter. Summer has a really different vibe here. The place was very crowded when I arrived at 2pm. There was an orchestra playing out at the tent which was lovely.

Kaho, Nauen and myself went around the mall, just looking around at the stores and things that they sell there. Besides the “food-court-like” stalls, there were also some retail shops selling locally made goods which I gave me some ideas for souveniers in the future.

Of course, there was also the regular international shop that sells all kinds of souvenirs and international items. In one particular shop I found a cute little keychain with my name on it!



Kaho was craving for waffles so when she saw The Original Pancake house there, she suggested we have dessert for our late lunch.

Certainly would not recommend this place, not because of the service, but the amount of cream and nutella they put on their food just seems excessive.

I ordered the pancake with Banana and Nutella, but they’ve put too much Nutella that it ruined the wonderfully made Banana pancake. Both Nauen and Kaho ordered waffles but they also agreed that the cream was too much. I also did not like the coffee at all! It was terrible πŸ˜“

It was about 4:30pm that we noticed the crowd was dwindling down. I suggested to the girls that we stop by at the Jazz Festival downtown just to see what it’s like. Thankfully, they both didn’t mind the Jazz music and was game for it.

We didn’t spend a long time there since Nauen had to leave around 5pm when her host family invited her for dinner. So we all ended the day then.

We’ve still got about 5 hours to complete for the language program to get out certificate and references but I do hope they won’t give up on me. They’ve been such a pleasant company and I really hope I have helped them with their English learning to some extent. πŸ˜…

May 7, 2018

When you can hang out with people you live with. #awesomeflatmates #sundaynightchronicles

With Yuri, Erico and Fernanda at The Toad in the Hole pub just walking distance from our apartment. Spontaneous Sunday evening outing with my cool and awesome flatmates. I feel really blessed that I get to live with people that I actually like and enjoy having conversations with like this bunch.

Highlight of the night was when Yuri asked me,

“do you have friends in school/university?”Β 

I thought she was about to say that she might know one of my friends, but given the many times I tend to misunderstand her, I asked her what she meant by that, and she said that she hardly see me going out and I am always at home. Which was why she asked if I had friends in university that I actually hang out with and go out with. It was just hilarious. I know, writing it out now, doesn’t make sense why that sentence would sound so funny, but if you know Yuri and the way she talks, you’d understand why.

Of course, I had to explain that I indeed had “friends” in university, but I am a homebody and would rather spend most of my time at home than out at bars or drinking in pubs. Occasionally, like tonight, I wouldn’t mind giving some time to spend with friends and especially people I hardly get to spend time with since everyone gets so busy with work.

Erico didn’t like the warm beers that they served at the Toad, so we moved on to the Cornerstone after just one drink. Glad to have the chance to try out a new place and their food. Since I hadn’t had a proper dinner, I took the opportunity to try their Lamb Shank for $18.00. It came with spinach, risotto and mushroom and it was not too bad at all. Wouldn’t mind having it again in the future. Actually, I spent about $42 dollars in one night and I would do it again if it was with this bunch. Time spent with them is worth the money! Erico and Fer had some meatballs while Yuri ordered some good old honey garlic chickin’ wings. >.<

Surprisingly, one of the topics we talked about was having religion and a belief in God! Yuri is an atheist so she explained why she didn’t believe that God exists. Fer did most of the explaining, and said how God exists but He gave us the freewill to make our own decisions although He does have a plan for our life. I guess we did share the same values even though she’s Catholic.

It is never a dull moment with this bunch. We can talk about anything and everything and the conversation can just keep going. I like the fact that we are all in our 30s and so kind of have a common thing so we are not a bunch of millennials that just want to party all night. By the time it was 12:30am, we were all either too sleepy or too tired to continue on and all agreed to retreat and call it a night.

This is by far one of the most memorable flatmates I have lived with. I can’t thank God enough for sending them in my path…

May 3, 2018

Mid-week day off

It’s only the second day of May, but boy am I glad I already get to take a day off for the week. Since we didn’t have classes for a day, the ladies said we should get together anyway for Wings Wednesdays. As it turns out, people weren’t really up for chicken wings as I thought they’d be πŸ™„πŸ˜’, so it was just RJ and I that went ahead and not let the wings deal go to waste.

We didn’t stay for very long at The Pint, just a bit over an hour and at a non peak hour too. One o’clock in the noon time was when everyone went back to their office so it was nice not to have the place overly crowded and noisy like how it usually is. They even played No Doubt songs today! Spiderweb!

RJ had some errands to run, and I had plans for the rest of the afternoon too so we went our separate ways after indulging in our chicken wings. I took a stroll down Portage, passed by Dollarama and as usual, just had to buy something and couldn’t leave that dollar store empty handed! πŸ˜… At least I got food stuff so it was not all to waste hehehehe

Arrived back at the Buhler Center to volunteer for the new Spring intake PACE students. Didn’t have to do much except help with serving the food and just talking to the students. I ended up talking with the university staffs more than I did with the new students. I suppose new students were shy too. They were asked to play a game of Bingo, had to talk to and take the names of people with some criteria according to a list. Apparently, everyone was hoping I was from Hong Kong πŸ˜’


They were more excited about getting the list completed rather than eating! There were lots of leftover food, mostly sandwiches, and there was a bit of a drama about the non-veg and veg sandwiches getting mixed together. Anyway, the bunch of new students looked more like mature students than our winter batch did. This was a group from the Human Resources Program and the Project Management Program. Everyone looked very serious and professional, certainly doesn’t look like young hipsters. There was one creepy black guy sort of staring at me though. I tried to avoid eye contact. Urgh.

The event went pretty well, just simple and straight forward. The bunch of students just looked like they wanted to get this thing over and done with as fast as possible. I don’t think they were very interested in networking although it was the main purpose of the meet and greet. However, I am glad that I went to this volunteer thing even though I was initially planning on bailing and just go off to watch Avengers. Little did I know, I was actually meant to be there. Because I got freebies!!!

After the whole event was over, there was about 5 of us who volunteered: Avinesh, Harsh, Azhar and Navdeep. Rhonda and Stevi, the coordinators, got us all an “I heart pace” T-SHIRT! Which was exactly what I needed to add to my very limited wardrobe. On top of that, the ladies got to have the plush Beaver. Awwwww… now I really do ❀️ PACE!

May 2, 2018

We feel Pretty!

Spontaneous movie date with my bunch of lovely ladies from class!

After last weekend’s hectic preparations for two consecutive tests and exams, this unplanned moment gave us a bit of a break to have a student/life balance :-p

With Nozomi, Xinyue and Cristina outside of the ScotiaBank Theatre at Polo Park after the movie ended. Funny story, we had planned to go to the movies right after class, and Xinyue backed out saying she was not in the mood to watch a comedy today. Little did we know, we were to bump into her at the cinema hall itself! Apparently she changed her mind at the last minute after we left and decided to travel solo to the cinema hoping to meet us there. Good thing we didn’t change OUR minds! πŸ˜†

It was too dark inside the cinema before the movie started but that’s Xinyue beside me.

Now, on to the movie review. I must say that the moral of the story was good. Girl power and all that celebration of being different and imperfect is trending right now so good on Amy Schumer to tackle this growing market. On the other hand, I felt that there wasn’t enough “laugh out loud” moments though. There were some funny parts, but it was just more like a little giggle but like halfway laughs that were meant to be loud but it didn’t quite got me there. But nevertheless, it was alright. Like a 2 star out of 5 for me. Although, I must say that I was surprised at Amy Schumer’s serious scenes which I wasn’t used to seeing her being so serious. I have to say that, in comparison, “Snatched” was probably more entertaining than this movie. Just sayin’. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Anyways, it was good to have Cristina back among us, and look what she brought for us “muchachas“! We actually had to randomly pick the bracelet without looking at the color so we wouldn’t fight over it I think, but it turned out alright. Everyone seemed to get the color that somehow suit their skin and seemed “to be the right color” for each one.

Guess which hand is mine? Hehehehe..

April 29, 2018

Dinner at Jeba’s

So after canceling on Jeba for two weeks, (met Jeba through Kijiji, and I now live in her former room!) we finally got to visit her and her husband Sajib at their new home.

To be honest, I was really expecting to eat some authentic Bangladeshi food that night. Unfortunately, it was not in the menu for that night. Understandably, Jeba explained that most Bangladeshi food were spicy hot and she was worried that my Brazilian flatmates Fernanda and Erico might not be able to handle the heat. Fair enough.

It had been a loooong day of just practicing and revising for a Math exam that I was about to have on the coming Monday. Although I was initially not really keen on going due to the stress of exams, I felt it was just time to get it over and done with. Plus, I had a free ride with Erico and Fernanda so it was all good. Hehehehehe.

Jeba made us lots of wonderfully baked chicken drumsticks!!

Aaaaaand, the menu for the day was spaghetti! Which was her first try too and she did amazingly well!

And this starter was the reason I couldn’t stuff myself silly with more yummy chicken drumsticks and pasta! Jeba served chips, pretzels, cheetos, honey dew and grapes before the main course so we were not exactly famished when we started dinner.

It was a simple dinner with no awkward silences thanks to Mr. Chatty Erico. It was a lovely night spent with very mature adults and covered topics of conversations that I was able to relate to. Talk about getting into the golden ages .. urgh..

I thank God for this divine appointment really. I am blessed to have met strangers that are so kind and willing to welcome me into their homes with open arms and these few bunch of people I hung out with this night are the very rare ones. Thank You Lord for these strangers that became friends πŸ˜‰

August 31, 2017

Road to 50 kg. #weightloss #healthfirst #herewegoagain

So… this happened. Finally got the courage to get back on track with my weight and health issues. I don’t even recall the last time I was at the gym or working out. I vaguely remember playing rugby and basketball with a bunch of NTec people after work and that was unpaid work back in summer 2015. This was a long time coming.

Ever since I got a paid job in a chartered accounting firm, it wasn’t easy to fit exercise and work out into the schedule. Late nights and long hours in the office was a sure deterrent. By the time I get off work, I was mentally already drained and didn’t have the motivation to work out physically.

Since getting back from Palmy on August 12, I made the decision to start watching my calorie intake and working out again. I couldn’t let myself go again to the point of no return. So I downloaded myFitnesspal app which I previously used for calorie counting and started my diet.

Used an online BMI calculator and sure enough, nothing surprising, but I am frickin’ OBESE!!

Urghh!! So now I need to really work on getting back to 50 kg. Even if its not 50, at least to the ideal weight of 53kg. Entering the 70s range has been my all time heaviest. I have never been this heavy in my life! It’s the ultimate wake up call.

So here’s to me, hoping I could pull this off once again as I did before. With lots of work out, getting into an active lifestyle and most importantly watching what I put into my body, and lots of meal prepping and planning, I will be able to reach this goal before Christmas this year. Yep, that’s the plan.

I did a 5 day free trial before actually signing up today. They had a 50% joining fee discount just for the access key, and then it would cost around $15 bucks a week for unlimited access as well as 24 hours access. Which is cool really, I haven’t heard of any gym that is open 24/7 back home or even in the Philippines.

Before I signed up today, went on a late lunch date with Ana my second Colombian friend (the first was her partner Jason of course).

She’s such a cutie, petite little lady with the so sexy accent. Despite not being very close with her (our mutual link was really through Jason) we managed to talk about every little thing about life. Sometimes I get that she finds it hard to express herself in English, but I’m glad she made the effort. I really should learn Spanish again!

After lunch we went to Gloria Jean’s to have some coffee and chat a bit more. Talked about what we are passionate about and what kind of business we would dream of starting. How cool is that huh?

She had to go off to work soon so by 4:30pm we headed our separate way. I felt so guilty about eating so much calorie in one seating I went off quickly to the gym to burn off at least 300 calories!!! I really should learn to cut down food portions from outside so I can control the food intake.

Ok, cheer me on guys. I got this πŸ’ͺ🏼πŸ’ͺ🏼

June 28, 2017

The end is here. #finalexam #diplomacompleted

Two years just went by too fast.

Today marks the end of another chapter in my 34+ years of life on this earth.

It hasn’t been a breeze, although it must have been easier than being in High school though. But of course, life as a teen and life as a middle age adult and still studying is two different things really.

It was such a burden off my shoulders when I finally finished my final paper for the final term. Audit was a lot of theory and not quite like all the calculations we’ve had in other subjects previously. I’m sure I would pass, its just a matter of getting a good result.

My little ‘squad’ comprising of a Korean girl and a Ukranian guy waited for me to finish my exam so we could go have lunch together for probably the last time. Of course, Saj just had to tag along 😏

Instead of the usual Food Alley, HeyG brought us to a place called “Tab” and obviously it was a bar which also served food so at least a place where we can have drinks to loosen up too.

I went for the Traditional Fish and Chips and boy was I disappointed at how little the fish portion was πŸ˜’ 

But as you can see from my expression here, I was more relieved about the Diploma coming to end than I am about the food that I didn’t care how my double chins were popping out like nobody was there πŸ™„

Had a good chill session with these guys, although Saj had to leave by 2pm to head back go work, Sergii, HeyG and I just sat around, have our drinks and just savored the last moment we get to sit around and talk about life just like that.. 😊

Yep, I’ll miss seeing these two seatmates sticking around me in class 😝

June 23, 2017

Final Class in NTEC DBA level 7 Diploma in Business Accounting

It is finally here. And it didn’t really dawn on me until Arun mentioned the obvious. He said he was also not feeling well today, as we were talking about why Linda (his seatmate) was absent the past two days. And he said that he was not about to miss the last class of his final semester in NTEC.

It’s too bad that we didn’t have Ken, our favorite tutor with us this week. He was away on a business trip back to Malaysia and so we had Asif as our replacement tutor and we just had to do our own self study so it was a pretty boring class. But hey, all is well nevertheless.

How could we leave the class without one last groufie??

This was taken from Asif’s iPhone 7 so the resolution was very good and took a very good shot of everyone. Well, not the complete group but at least the ones that have stayed behind.

L-R : Venika, Dinesh, Jaspreet, Ashok, Nisan, Arun, Ruwan and Hyeji. Danuka and Sergii right at the back.

This bunch has annoyed me all semester to be honest 😏 especially the group from Sri Lanka cos they talk too much. But I think they weren’t as bad as the group from Punjab in the last class we had a few semesters ago doing the Performance Management paper.

After our exam next Wednesday, I may never see some of them ever again. Well, it was good to have crossed paths with them anyway πŸ˜‰

May 28, 2017

Ladies Night.

The last time I had a catch up session with Rain was two month’s ago when I went to her house. This time, we met up in the city in a newly revamped restaurant called 1947 Eatery (formerly called “Handi”) and she also invited her friend Ritu and this sassy lady Analyn whom I have not seen since she graduated from our college.

It was a simple night of drinks and Indian food, girly chit chats of work, life, Ms India NZ, immigration issues and love life! I spent more time talking to Analyn this time, I guess being that we didn’t manage to catch up when I went to visit Rain the last time (they were flatmates). So now that she’s moved out of their place just recently, I guess she also took the opportunity to catch up with Rain.

Rithima was sweet, she’s also a sassy one and it was nice to finally meet her after seeing lots of photos they had of going out etc. I didn’t stay long though, met up with them around 6:40pm and then I left by 9:15pm. It was a Sunday night after all, a bit mellow mood since people are preparing to go to work the next day.

I told Rain that we should catch up next after 5 weeks when I finally finished my course and have a bit of a breather. And she should also organize that looooong overdue house warming party that I told her about!