Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Latest haps

As most of you know, I was very much looking forward to the plethora of food that is normally on offer in Malaysia. The variety is still evident and probably even increased. However, I have been sadly disappointed...

I don't know if it is just me and my standards/expectations have gone up or the the care and quality that goes into preparing a dish has gone down the drain! I think in some occasions it is me but more often than not, the care factor is definitely no more there. Very sad...

For a country with such incredible food to offer, why is it that they can't even get that right?! *sigh*

Anyhow, despite a few sub-par experiences there have been a couple of meals that have been rather good. Last nite I had dinner with my cousin, his new girlfriend and Auntie Jacqie and the family. What we had was a typical Chinese meal where you order an array of dishes to share and it is to be eaten with rice. We had 1 large crab tossed in a spiced salted egg sauce, vege medley in spicy shrimp paste, a whole chix just light poached serve with spring onion/ginger oil, bbq pork, red wine braised pork ribs and a traditional Chinese New Year dish (this I can't explain..). I forgot to bring the camera out but we will be back there again when my friends are up in KL. I will make sure I don't forget it then!

Earlier in the day, dad and I headed into the city-something I hate with utter passion-but it had to be done. We needed to go into the bank to sort some stuff out. But we then headed to a Japanese restaurant a little while away. This place was called Wa-Raku. It is supposed to be a fine-dining Jap restaurant. It's prices definitely reflected that but the food, though not bad but for it's prices, I expected a little more...

We've yet to battle the shopping malls again as today is a public holiday, I told dad I'm not even attempting that feat. If you think Botany and Sylvia Park are a nightmare....multiply that by 20 and that's what it's like here!

On Mon, I spent a few hours at the hairdressers and treated myself. The photo will come, Mrs O...I promise. Just be patient.... :D It's much shorter, which I really wanted and it has been thinned out. It is also no longer copper/goldish rather light brown with a redish tinge through out. I quite like it though it wasn't quite what I expected. Actually, I didn't really know what to expect since I told the hairdresser that she could do whatever she wanted but within reason. A rather interesting experience, I must say...You proud of me, Melissa...?

Well, only a few days to go before I'm off to Vietnam and catching up with the gang.

Til the next adventures...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

OFFICIALLY and finally on holiday

Well, well, well...As of yesterday, I am officially on holiday. By this, I mean that I am many many miles away from receiving calls from work asking me to fill in when I'm supposed to have finish work on NY eve. (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my new job but when you are suppose to be on holiday and have to go into work..that's not so cool).

Anyhow, I flew out early arvo yesterday and arrived safely in KL later that nite. There is a 5hr time difference and currently still running on NZ time. Thus, haven't had much sleep; actually, sleep has been rather lacking all week. The 10hr flight was torture but nonetheless, I'm off the plane now. Since being in Melb, I've had quite a strong hatred for flying. Every year for 3.5yrs, I flew back and forth between Melb and KL 4 times a year with each leg of the trip taking 8hrs long. So now, the thought of flying really fills me with dread.

So, dad and Auntie Jacqie (a long time family friend of ours) came by and picked me up from the airport and we headed for supper. It was good...I'm looking forward to more food to come. Tonite, we are having dinner with my dad's sister and the family. I'm looking forward to seeing the kids again and just reconnecting with them. They have grown up HEAPS....and of course, I'm looking forward to the food too! I'll try and remember to take photos.

This past week was originally assigned for me to get a whole heap of cleaning, organising and packing done before I left. However, for those of you whom I have told bout my boss and his arm, I ended giving him Mon & Tues. But me being me, I sucked myself into working Wed as well and somehow managed to say to him that I'll give him a half day on Fri. So, I pretty much worked all week. How do I always get myself into situations like that?!

Due to the work situation, I was rather stressed out and rushed when it came to organising my packing. It did get done and I remembered everything that I needed to bring too. Oh, and I came in under weight!!! Considering how much I had to bring back as prezzies, I was VERY surprised.

I can't really say in one word how I feel bout this trip coz there is no one word to describe it but rather many words; excited, nervous, apprehensive...I'm excited to reconnect with family that I haven't seen for many years and had very little communication with them too. I'm excited about my trip to Vietnam and Singapore. I'm excited about being able to travel with friends. But I am nervous and apprehensive because everything is different. Nervous coz I don't know what to expect. Apprehensive coz I am away from my home (I never thought I'd say it but yes, NZ is home) and my support system for 5 weeks. It's the longest I have ever been away from my friends, whom I so heavily rely on to stay sane. (If I have never said how much I appreciate you...hear it now: I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU!!!). I'm nervous and apprehensive coz I feel like an outsider, a foreigner in my country of birth-will elaborate on this at a later time/day/post.

Despite this though, I will definitely make sure I enjoy this trip. It is a much needed break from work, uni & cooking in general. I guess what I hoping to gain from this trip is some perspective. Having had a rough year last year, I'm really hoping that with this break I'll come back refresh and ready for what the year has installed but also to be able to handle the bad as well as the good with greater strength and knowledge that in the larger scheme of things, ALL IS GOOD.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

More painting

Rebecca and I have been talking bout getting a piece of painting done for a while now. And tonite, she came over and we finally got it done. It's similar to the one that I did yesterday but obviously slightly different. Enjoy...

The finished product

I'm really enjoying this painting business...Hopefully, it's something I can keep at when I'm back at uni and have a manic timetable. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I'm bored!

Yes, what else is new?!! Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying my time off but with nothing much to do I get bored easily...

I have found something to entertain myself...PAINTING! Now, I'm not a painter nor am I artistic in any way but it's something I've always wanted to dabble in. So here is my first...It's not great but I guess it'll do for a first go.

The writing on it is people, places, events, things that all have speacial significance to me

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Back to reality

The past month has been a rather mad one, filled with many (ridiculous) hours at work and lack of sleep.

As most of you would know I've started a new job at Merediths. It's been bout a month and a half now and I have to say...I really love it. There's no feeling of dread of having to go to work each day and no counting down the hours til the end of the shift and I get to go home. The rest of the team are brilliant-not just as people but at their work too. It just makes it so much more enjoyable when others that you work with know their job well too. We work together like a very well oiled machine.

I've had a few nites (Xmas break and New Yrs Eve) where I'd be the social bunny and have a few drinks with them and it's been great getting to know them on a slightly more casual level. (I am otherwise very 'unsociable'. I refuse to have a staffy coz I've got to drive home and would much rather hit the sack then stay up any later).

It has however, been extremely hard work. The hours more than anything else. I did 2 weeks of full time work and clocked up about 60+hrs each week. But it's been worth it, esp with being able to pick up things a little faster than if I were to only work 2 days-which was the original plan.

Apart from work, I've been house sitting out in Sandringham and am back home now. It was nice to be closer to work and save on the travelling but it wasn't a particularly nice house so you won't see me back there in a hurry...

I managed to get Xmas off last yr and I had a good Xmas too. Mom got a few invites and so we had lunch at the Fussner's and then dinner at the Lee's. All in all, great food and awesome company. I was also able to spend Xmas eve at the beach to start the tanning process and the weather permitted it!!! Boxing day was pretty low key considering I was back at work the following day.

My New Yrs Eve plans went out the window real quickly when I found out I had to work. Oh the things we sacrifice when working in the Hospo Industry...It didn't actually turn out too badly though. We ended up finishing work bout 11.45pm. We then popped some Champerz and had our own lil' countdown. We then just chilled out at work for the next few hours over numerous bottles of opened wine, which obviously wouldn't keep over the 2 weeks that we would be closed. Hunger started to set in and we made our way down the road to some Chinese shop which opened til 5am and had supper. So it was a nice way to usher in the New Year with some very decent people.

We are now officially on holiday-we are closed til Jan 15. And I'm totally digging it! It's been great to have some time off. I've spent 1 day at the beach already and have a few more planned before I head away. I've also been able to catch some movies and will be catching a jazz gig this Friday. I'm really looking forward to that, seeing as I've been working and haven't been able to go to any. Should be good.

So what's install for this coming year for Jean? A lot!

For starters, I'm going away for a much deserved 5 week holiday to Kl, Vietnam and Singapore. Then back to uni for 1 final yr (and this time it really is the last year!). In the midst of the madness of uni, we'll be starting plans for competition and maybe trying to fit in a few more small competitions on the side. I'm also hoping to make a weekend trip to Melb for my 5yr reunion at PLC.

I guess most of all, I really want this year to be a year where things start to come together and make sense. For me to build a better relationship with God. To be able to call Him "Father" and really mean it. To be able to REALLY lean on Him. To be able to REALLY trust Him. To be able to just TRUST that what will be is what is...

2007 was a particularly trying year and I can't say that it was my favourite year. But, I'll try and learn from what the year was to make this year a better one...

Here's to 2008! Happy New Year, all...