Archive for March, 2012

Ahh… Kiwiana Stuff

In the weekend, I read an article on the net about how there was a Marmite shortage and that it may possibly go out of stock for good causing a nation wide Marmite scare. I can’t say that I’m really a fan, but I don’t mind having a Marmite spread on toast now and again…
Anyways, they listed their 10 things that New Zealanders can’t live without and if NZ were to lose one of these things, it would be as devastating as losing a finger. These were their top 10 (they actually only listed 9… so fail… =.=) and my own feelings about them as following:

1) Sauvignon Blanc
I can’t say I really enjoy the NZ SB… The taste is meh… I’ve had white wine from other countries that are much better, but I think that’s just a personal taste preference. I do know that the average NZ household usually has a glass of this with every dinner meal at home or out.
2) Heinz Tomato sauce
I never actually noticed a difference when I was younger. I just thought that all ketchup and tomato sauce tasted like this. I do say, it does make the food that your eating taste slightly different and I will always remember the taste. But I probably wont die from not having this again. But it is good nonetheless… haha…
3) Kumara
Yeah… NZ kumara is pretty damn nice. So is the ones here… lol.. but I think Kumara is just one of those veges that would be sorely missed if it were gone…
4) Milo
Boy do I miss this stuff. Yeah… I’m a Milo’s kid… >.< I admit it. Over here, they only have Ovaltine.. and by comparison, this stuff is sh#t… seriously… people think it’s a good substitute for a quick mix chocolate drink, but it really isn’t. There are so many hot chocolate varieties in NZ. I miss them a lot!!! Most are better than the good stuff they have here. But I can’t complain, this place isn’t known for its Hot chocolates.. but milk tea? mmm….
5) Vogel
I remember as a kid, I used to hate this stuff. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe because all the other kids in my class also hated this stuff, BECAUSE it was healthy. But I think one day in high school, I was sick of white toast so I decided to try one of these. What do you know… I really, really liked them… Coupled with a dab of butter and your favourite jam, it really made what you were eating feel wholesome and meaningful. But that’s just me.
6) Hokey Pokey
I wasn’t actually going to mention it here, but I decided I should spread the joy of one of our classic family stories.
It was a bright summer weekend when our grandparents and our aunty Patricia decided to take us (Me and my Bro) to Mt. Maunganui for a trip out in the sun. It had become customary that after every trip around the mountain, we would stop by at the ice cream shop, Copenhagen Cones. They really had the best strawberry waffle ice creams. I must have been about 8 and my brother 6. His favourite flavour was Hokey Pokey ice cream and mine my Goody Goody Gum Drops (you know, with the wine gum lollies mixed in the funky green ice cream… yeah that’s the one).
Awaiting eagerly outside the ice cream shop, me and my brother stood with our grandparents watching the beach-side view. Our mouthes were watering in anticipating the creamy sweetness that was to be ours very soon. Our Aunt walked out with the cones and gave each our respective flavours. When she gave my lil brother his, she looked down with a frown on her face and said, “sorry… they ran out of Hokey Pokey, so I got you vanilla instead.” Immediately, he began pouting, knowing very well that it wasn’t what he had wanted but there was no other way of getting it. I looked over at my brothers cone and noticed the yellow Hokey Pokey colouring on the sides and above. At first I was a bit confused. “Aunty, Aunty… you did get Hokey Pokey ice cream didn’t you?” whilst pointing to it and thinking that it was just my aunt not knowing what Hokey Pokey ice cream had actually looked like or that she wasn’t completely sure of her English and had mistaken what the shop clerk had said. The whole family gathered around the ice cream with puzzled expressions. Sure enough, it was covered with yellow and milky substances.
We all looked up towards Aunt Patricia. Looking quizzical she told us she was pretty sure that’s what the people in the store had said and that the ice cream she had was completely white before…  (*Arrrg…. Arrrg…*) and it was only then when we realised that there were seagulls flying above us. I looked at my grandparents, I looked at my aunt. I saw there were more yellow and white colouring on the sleeves of my brother’s jacket. Putting the pieces together in my head, I was unable to hold in my hysterical laughters and I bursted out laughing at my brother. I told him, ‘you said you wanted Hokey Pokey… well you got it~’ hahaha… My brother could only cry as the grown ups all began laughing too while they helped wipe his tears and cleaned him up. Aunt Patricia got him a new ice cream cone as she threw away they spoiled one. My Grandma sat my brother down and looked him in the eyes. “Don’t cry dear, it means you have good luck! See…”

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

7) Bluff Oysters
They’re okay, but I wouldn’t say they are FANTASTIC! Mmm.. okay… maybe I need to be convinced by them again. Where are they at? Yes.. I know they’re in Bluff… but where can I try some now?
8) Marshmallow Easter Eggs
Marshmallow didn’t occur to me as such a big thing until the other week when I had a couple of marshmallows in my hot chocolate the other day. God I miss it. I know it may be too sweet for some people but chocolate eggs and marshmallow just go so well together that some kind of festive magic spring from the combination of the pair. Envy!?! I think so…
9) Marmite
Ahh… Marmite. You either love it or you hate it. Or you can think it’s okay and you don’t mind it once in a while like me.  Marmite is really unique and I don’t think I’ve ever had anything quite like it. I heard that there are recipes out there which in fact add Marmite as the secret ingredient in their recipe. Funny thing is when it’s cooked thorough, you cannot taste the actual Marmite… only the sweet bliss of the food melting in your mouth. (Oh, so I’ve heard).



Woot! 30 down, 30 more to go…

Today, I just realised something important…

I’ve just done 30 weeks this week ending, and I have 30 more to go.
In other words… I’m half way!

I’m not sure whether to be sad or happy about this… but this calls for a celebration regardless!

*American Indian rain dance~*

Rawr Rage!

I think that I am normally quite a nice and friendly person.
No, let me rephrase that… say if I come across a stranger, and if I had accidentally bumped him/her, I would politely apologise. Regardless of whose fault or carelessness it was. Or say if I had been walking towards a doorway and I noticed that someone was on their way in/out, I would more than likely give them the righter way either by showing an open gesture or by holding the door open for them to allow them to pass through first. I definitely would consider myself to be a polite and considerate individual…

HOWEVER!!! Not sure if it’s just my primal instincts rearing its ugly head, but when I’m driving… (that is when I’m on the roads in a motor vehicle), I demand people to abide by the road rules and not the imaginary one that had somehow magically popped into their heads. When I say this, I use the term loosely, cause sometimes I understand that you sometimes have to watch out for your own safety… and if you need to go first, then you go first. If you need to let the poor little Nissan March pass by or it’ll get hit by the oncoming 2-tonne truck even though you do have the righter way, then you let the little March pass (considering there isn’t a train of cars travelling at 100 kmh behind you). What I’m saying there are minor exceptions in situations being terminal close calls or extreme disasters. But it is too often that I’ve seen cases which must cease… unless showing off your ignorance on the public roads is your thing. I must admit, courtesy sometimes goes out the window here, but the road rules are supposedly there to guide ones own safety. I mean everyone’s safety, if everyone did abide by it.

But look here, people. Too many clueless/careless individuals are out there on the roads. They’re just catastrophes waiting to happen eventually! I don’t care if your excuses to drive at ultra-speeds bypassing cars mere centimeters from yours as if you’re in some kind of racing video game on the public high way, because whether:
a) Your girlfriend is pregnant or you need to get home to get her to be
b) Your house is on fire
c) You don’t know how to read the speed signs or your speedometer (either/or)
d) The Apple store is having a free giveaway
e) You wet your pants, and you need a new pair from home
f) You’re driving the latest Ferrari and you need to test out its POWA!
g) You need to make it home before your favourite drama series is about to air
…you better be rethinking your actions cause you may cause some serious injury.

Whatever!  Subsequently, you could possibly be driving gawd awfully slow (like 40 kmh in a 100 kmh zone and no one can pass you cause your car can magically block three lanes on the expressway) because:
a) You can’t read a map while driving or understand what your GPS is saying
b) You can’t multi-task when you drive and text/call at the same time, (you shouldn’t be texting while driving in the first place… get a bluetooth set)
c) Your kids are bugging you while asking when they’re there yet and playing with your ears
d) You think you’re Goody-two-shoes and a rule-abiding citizen and that by not driving fast, you automatically assumed that you need to drive slow, snails pace even… and since more is better, crawling is the optimal speed for winners~
e) You’re dreading to see your in-laws so you take your own sweet time as well as the hundred people all grudgingly rolling behind you
f) You want to talk to your buddy who is in the other car so you drive parallel with him just to have a golden gay time with each other
g) You simply have no empathy… or common sense… or anything related to the theory of logics
…and understand that by purposely driving exceptionally slow and blocking the entire way means you’re delaying the entire UNIVERSE!

But NO!!! The horror doesn’t stop there… I have seen people blocking your way on purpose just cause they’re driving a truck/bus, you have people making a U-turn in the middle of an intersection cause they obviously own the road. Then you have people who stop in the middle of the street, somehow in their own brilliance blocking both lanes with their car to check whether if they’ve dropped their own pacifiers under the seat or they’re triple checking their maps to make sure they have the right address (which takes a whole 2 minutes) or you get people who attempt to pass cyclists on the side of the road by driving all the way into the oncoming lane and expecting the other lane to dodge and make way for them with no space to go. There are also people who have their headlights on full blast, believing that it’s safer to be on the roads where they can actually see it in the dark oblivious to the fact that no oncoming traffic can actually see what’s in front of them. You may also find some extremely brilliant people who believes that the best and fastest way to make a left turn in a busy intersection is to drive all the way to the far right lane, then attempt to dodge and cross three other middle lanes and make its way for a left turn.

The amount of stupidity that I’ve found on the roads here really astounds me… to a point where I’m sometimes left speechless. My only wish is that I survive this circus of driving acts and come out unscathed. Touch wood… touch wood…

The face humanity… Looking pretty doubtful to me…

Normally, as opposed to taking lunch time siestas, Ken and I would usually take our lunchtime strolls around town because:
1) it helps digests our lunch
2) we’re getting our daily doses of sunlight
and 3) we’re like old men and we enjoy our own private rants about our workplace as well as the things we see on the streets. Surprisingly, it never gets old…

However, todays post isn’t about me and Ken as he had to stay back at camp… One of my other good friend named Will dropped by and asked what I was having for lunch. Having already ordered umm… lamb noodles wassit? I told him I could accompany him for lunch after I’ve finished if he wanted to, to which he replied, ‘alright’. I had felt he wanted to… ‘talk’ about something from his exasperated expression.

I took Will on my usual lunchtime stroll route after lunch. A few friendly small talk afterwards, he began to divulge something which had upset him that morning. It was earlier that morning, around 10.30am, there had been loud tire screeches with the sounds of a car crashing followed shortly after. Will described how the people in his entire department all stood up immediately and rushed over to the closest window to see what happened. All he could think about was what if the people were hurt. Wanting to dial 119 (the emergency number here) in haste he reached for the phone listening to a dial tone but he couldn’t get the details straight in his head. In his panicked state of mind, he asked nearby colleagues by the window what the address of that intersection was and where the accident happened.
Everyone was so absorbed by the drama that was unfolding that they had all ignored him. One of the aunties said it’s on Chongxing Road… which he already had known, but he wasn’t sure on the other one. It had felt like hours until he eventually had gotten all the details, but that was several minutes too slow he had felt. All that had gone through his mind was what if that had been someone he knows or even worse… a family member. It was also possible that it could have been a fellow colleague or someone who they knew also… all those people could do was just watch… how many of those precious minutes had been wasted because people were too busy watching the accident take place. He cursed them all in his thoughts right then and there.

After he had made the emergency call, in a fit of frustration and anger, he took to social media FB to express all his rage at the heartlessness of his colleagues as a whole. He’s quite a down to earth person, good natured, and definitely cool-headed. But this event really pushed him over the edge. How can his colleagues, people who he sees day-in, day-out, be so cold-hearted. He felt disgusted. He did not name them by name, but directed to them as an entire stereotypical profession. And with all his vent up angst all put on-screen, he pressed the ENTER key to publicise it. It wasn’t before long that he had gotten many replies. One of them being his Sister. She immediately called as soon as she saw and asked him to take it down a.s.a.p. She told him she understood how he must have felt, but putting it the way he had, made it made the whole situation quite detrimental to his image as a person and his ethical value. Whilst standing up for what he believes full-heartedly is commemorable, but badmouthing a whole syndicate of officials wasn’t the most mature way to go about it. She urged him again to please take it down and tried to appeal to him the seriousness of the situation. And he did after some careful thought, but he was still quite disturbed about what had happened.    

I spent awhile trying to digest everything he had told me. I asked myself the same questions and I was surprised. Even though I do feel similar about how the event had evolved, I don’t think I have met someone who seems as honest and pure. I can see he really cares about the eco-system, he really cares for being environmentally green, and he really cares for humanity.
We had reached a park and I sat him down at the bench. I told him some of my experiences, some of my thoughts, and some of my perspectives of how things are and how they should be. I gave him examples of what I meant, I told him that it was okay to actually get pissed off about things like this. I also told him how things can be seen positively and that it may not be so grim.
He sat there carefully listening to what I had to say, never interrupting, but a sincere look about his face and agreeable nods.

Will sat there for a moment… silently pondering to himself. He looked up at me and then smiled.

“Thanks, I feel better now…”


UPDATE 21/03: It was just reported this morning to us that the girl that was hit in the accident had died from internal injuries from the accident. When I heard it announced, I looked over at Will and he had a forced smile on his face, but I could see a bit of sadness in his eyes. I walked over to him and said, ‘you did your part already. Good job!’ He looked back at me and tightened his lips and replied… ‘thanks!’

Web Shares #1

Occasionally from now onwards, I think I will post and share some interesting things I’ve come across on the web.

Following a thread which asked, what’s the nicest thing a stranger has done for you, this was one of the most compelling. 

Until about 5 years ago, I had always been the slow child. My parents were unforgiving of my short comings. When I was seven I was in a bad state. My parents were always calling me retarded because I was seven and I still couldn’t read. My brother and sister could read well before then and I was always in their shadows. I was at school another terrible day, as I had been kicked out for acting up. The teacher had called me retarded and I ended up throwing a can of pens at her. She told me to go in to the hall. I sat there crying because I knew this would get back home until a women in what must of been her early 30’s asked me why I was crying. For some odd reason I poured my soul out to her. Every last frustration came out and all she did was nod and listen. She went to talk to my teacher and I was allowed back in class. She was a parent that was just visiting but, I feel she was a true savior. Everyday after that day she would call my mom and I would stay after school where we started reading lessons. It was hard but she was nothing short of an angel. In the span of 3 weeks I was reading Frog and Toad, my first chapter book by the end of the class I was reading Alice and wonderland without a single flaw. On the last day I ever saw this women who had shown me more kindness then anyone blood related she left me with presents. She had gotten me All of the lord of the rings, All of frog and toad and as a joke she got me On the Shoulder of Giants. To this day I have every single book she gave me but I also have something more. I got the gift of knowledge and the chance to learn from her. It’s a shame I don’t remember her name because, I would repay her 10000 fold. She worked with me and later in my life I was no longer considered slow. I don’t see my family much anymore but, she is always on my mind because, I feel she was the only person who truly loved me. Kindness is mankind’s only redeeming factor. Do not underestimate it.

~ DoubleClicker (Reddit)

And an interesting quote I came acrossed…

 The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people are so full of doubts.

~Bertrand Russell

Well shit happens…

Actually… I like my version better…

If shit doesn’t happen… it means you’re constipated!

Cool tips to check out

Found this site which has some really cool and interesting life tips.

Very clever if I say so myself. Check it out~ Smart tips to make life easier

Hi there, nice to meet you~

As I slowly drifted awake from bed this morning, I swore what I actually had been dreaming was reality, and what is now was actually a dream. I had in fact had the most interesting dream with this person, who I have never actually met. I had been talking over the phone to them as they were an old friend, yet conversing with topics such as what they do normally for a job and also what their favourite sandwich fillings were.

Bizarre as it seemed, I felt an affinity and kinship to this person whom I have never met. It was strange as the reason I had made the call from the beginning was to confirm a time to meet for a concert with my brother and his friends. Because he was busy, he had asked me to make the call on his behalf. What had eventuated from an incorrect number followed an amiable discussion. This person apparently was an astrophysicist who lived in America, state of California and loves large helpings of veges with a relish of sauces on the side (not to mention the well roasted chicken breast in the centre). Enjoys using paint on Microsoft Windows, listening to Jazz music and most obviously, watching the starry night sky in a cloudless open area. Hates people who are not punctual, people who cannot seem to tell when they should stop talking as well as people who can’t seem to stick to the point of the topic and not talk on a tangent about how pouring tea should be done when the water isn’t boiling hot when you asked them where they had left the stapler…

As we had talked, I felt comfortable talking to this person. We agreed on many things and laughed at our difference. They had a mellow and non-confrontational yet engaging tone when they spoke, the type similar to meeting an old friend. I have no idea how I found out so much about someone who I have never met…  
Overall, an odd… VERY odd experience.

But as abruptly as I made the random call, I was woken by the earthquake shakes to my bed caused by the sleeping junior next to me as he rolled in his slumber… sigh… I want my sleep/dream back….