Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Let Go

Today was unexpectedly quite an eventful day.

I was dropped off this morning at the Westfield here. I figured I'd spend a couple hours, max, walking around and getting the things that I wanted. Ha! How wrong I was. I bought more stickers for the scrapbook, along with a sharpie, a mouse for my laptop since it currently hates the one that I have now, and bug spray for my insectophobic paranoia. I also tried to figure out how much it is to print photos. The "Kodak" store is ridiculously expensive. If only printing out 1-30 prints, its 99c. The cheapest price is 69c, when you print 100+ photos. Camera House is cheaper, but still pretty expensive: 59c a print for regular members, 39c if a gold member, and 29c if a gold member printing out 100+ photos. Hopefully The Warehouse will offer cheaper prices.

When I called the pastor to have him pick me up, he told me that Pastor Yang called so I should probably stop by his store, which is across the street from the mall. So I went over. Pastor Yang wasn't there, but his wifey was. Apparently Joseph, a guy from church, was going to come and meet me since Pastor Yang feels bad that I don't have any friends to go out with and so yelled at him to take me out somewhere. Joseph, however, apparently has no sense of time so he actually ended up coming over two hours after he was supposed to. I was going to just go back to the house and have lunch and apply for jobs, but nope. Ended up staying, having lunch when the pastor got back, and then getting a job.

Yes, you read correctly. A job. Well, a part time job. And I'm not keeping it.

What?! Yes, quite confusing, I know. It's working a cart-esque store in the mall that sells socks. The owner had asked Pastor Yang and his wife if they knew anyone who could work there, and the pastor's wife ended up bringing me over there. They want me to work from Mon-Wed until Christmas, and then Tues-Thurs afterwards. $9/hr in cash to start, eventually to go to $10. Apparently that's good money here. RIDICULOUS. I have realised, again and again, as I look through job ads and talk to people, that it is impossible to earn decent money in New Zealand. Job ads searching for marketing people with 3-5 years experience usually offer around $40-50K. Do you realise that $50,000 NZD is not even $37,000 USD?! For 3-5 years experience?! It boggles the mind.

Anyway, being incapable of saying no to older Korean people, I accepted the job. But I didn't want it. And after talking to my mum, I am definitely going to go back and say no. I feel really bad, but I can't take that job. Apart from transportation issues, It's quite a thankless job--sitting there by yourself for hours just watching to make sure no one steals anything. Not my cup of tea. Even if I am desperate for a job.

But I am grateful that I went over and talked to them, for I learned one quite important thing. I knew that the government didn't want people holding a Working Holiday Visa to work in one place for more than three months, but I thought it was just a.. strong suggestion. Apparently not. It's actually illegal for an employer to have a Working Holiday Visa holder work for them for over three months. NO WONDER no one wanted to hire me! I always thought it was weird. I know the visa's only good for 1-2 years, but I could always want to stay longer.. and the company could always get me a work visa later on. But now I get it. Why even look at a person who can only stay up to three months?! And they wouldn't give work visas to just anyone~

My mum told me to just give up. Not entirely, just my dream of finding a good job in New Zealand. Of making decent money while I'm here. To just let those dreams go. We have decided that I am instead going to find a temp agency to work for. Do temp jobs and travel in between jobs. Just make enough money to support my travels and adventures. So that is what I'm going to do.

She also wants me to return to LA in May, before students graduate from uni. So I can apply for jobs before the students take them all from me. Which is a good point. Except.. I don't know if I want go to work in LA so soon. My dreams here have shattered, but I am still entertaining thoughts of working in Korea. But then again.. who knows what I'll be thinking next year. My mind is in a whirl.

But anyway, today does not end there. After all that, Joseph finally kept his promise to take me to Mission Bay, which is something he was supposed to do a couple weekends ago. Mission Bay is really nice. It was sprinkling, so the weather wasn't very good, and the beach isn't actually all that nice, but I still really enjoyed it. I was feeling really shitty after that sock shop stuff, and going to Mission Bay helped. It was very refreshing. I felt like I could breathe again when I was there. It was nice ^^

Pictures, what few I took, will be uploaded later.. probably tomorrow. I'm still in a daze. I really hope things will finally start to work out.

Holy Sheet!

I follow up my productive week with a not so productive week. It's only Wednesday, so perhaps it's a little early to say that, but I've been spending a lot of time in my room. Just wasting time. I have gotten through quite a few episodes of Korean dramas and anime, so that's good. Haha.

Monday was a sad day. Well, at least the first half of it was sad. Why? Because Aquent called. And I didn't get the job. It's at times like these that I feel like God plays with me. Why dangle a position in front of me and then take it away?! I know He's not playing with me.. but still. I want a job gosh darn it! So I went online and applied for more jobs. There are less and less jobs that I can apply for now, since I've applied to pretty much everything available. There are only so many new jobs that can get posted up every day. Quite depressing TT_TT But for dinner the whole household plus Pastor Yang and his wife went out to dinner to say goodbye to Jeffrey's mum. We went to a seafood + Korean BBQ buffet. Pretty nice. So that lifted my spirits a bit. You know how I love food :P

Went in the morning with the pastor to take Jeffrey's mum to the airport. She was nice and gave me some money *^^* I was sad to see her go. I'm going to miss that lady. Now I'm back to being by myself. It was so nice to finally have someone to go out with.. and now she's gone. The only other significant thing I did that day was watch the Korean movie Soo. That was tragic. My poor Ji Jin Hee. But alas, not a recommendable movie.

Today I went out into the city! The pastor's wife is now working. Yes, the lady who does not care about working has gotten a job, while I remain unemployed TT_TT Haha. She's helping her friend out for the next two months because her store is really busy. She's in charge of inventory or something like that. Not a job I would care for. But it means she will be heading out into the city--well, to Ponsonby, a neighbourhood near the city--for the next two months. So I headed out this morning with her.

The LINK bus goes through Karangahape Road and Ponsonby Road, so I've seen the main streets before. Told myself I would have to come back someday and see the stores, so I decided that today would be the day. The pastor's wife was actually just working until 1pm today (she starts working full-time tomorrow), so I had a little more than 3.5 hours (we arrived around 9:15am). So I walked all along Ponsonby Road until I hit Karangahape Road (aka K'Road), walked all along that until I hit Queen Street, and then headed back.. on the opposite side of the road of course. The two streets weren't as great as I had hoped they would be. Although, I think K'Road is supposed to be more lively at night, since most of the businesses there were nightclubs and bars. Anyway, I got back to where I started a little past 11am.

I decided to kill time by going to Starbucks, but that only killed around half an hour. So I decided to go into the city, which is something I should have done before. I took the LINK bus, the long way around, so I didn't arrive at the Westfield until 12:30pm. For time's sake, I should have taken the other route, but I'm glad I went the way that I did. Riding the bus and looking around helped me put into perspective the routes that I walked and saw on the map, and now I'm truly getting a map of the city centre and the nearby neighbourhoods in my head. Quite helpful. So I ended up just staying on the bus and going back to Ponsonby. Turns out that a complete circle takes an hour. I then headed over to Gifts 2 U, which is the store that the pastor's wife is helping out at, and actually bought some stuff there. I bought stickers for the scrapbook that I am planning on making. Now I just need to actually get some photos printed out..

I spent most of the time in my room today doing stuff on deviantART. Uploaded a few pictures, created a new ID. Check them out~ ^^ But what has the most impact on you guys is that I changed the album name for my pictures. So the URL is now

I didn't think ahead when I first created the album. It seems like I will be needing an album for each month that I will be here. So if you ever just go straight to my pictures, there is now a NOVEMBER at the end of the address. Let me just say, it was quite a pain to go back to all my past bloggings and change all the URLs for the pictures. Not fun.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Productive Week?

I have been lazy and not posting about my week! My apologies. ^^# Not like you guys care, but still.. I am self-centered and must share my life with the world! :P

This week, I have been quite productive in watching stuff on my computer. I finally finished Season 1 of Burn Notice and am looking forward to the next season next summer. It's nice to see Jeffrey Donovan in a happier role here than in his tragic role on The Pretender. As I blogged about earlier, I had also finished watching the Korean drama Resurrection. And last night I finally watched Ocean's Thirteen. Brad is still oh so hot *^^*

But I've also gone out a lot, thanks a lot in part to Jeffrey's mum being here and wanting to go out. Haha. What am I going to do when she leaves?! TT_TT

Went out to Newmarket with Jeffrey's mum. Walked around, she did some shopping, then went back to the city for lunch. After we came back to Henderson, we went around with the pastor's wife running errands.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! Except we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. TT_TT I finally started to watch the Korean drama Queen of the Game, which stars my love Joo Jin Mo. I was so happy watching the beginning because it was shot in New Zealand!!! I recognised the parts that were shot in Auckland, such as the Sky Tower, so that made me happy. And then they went to Queenstown, and the shots were so beautiful. And wow, I had forgotten how hot JJM was. IS. He is so heartbreakingly hot. And this drama will break my heart. Which is why I'm currently stuck on episode 3. It hasn't gotten to the heartwrenching part yet, but I know it's coming! Haha. I'm such a chicken. TT_TT

Went out to Newmarket again with Jeffrey's mum because she wanted to make an exchange at Ralph Lauren. I'm constantly reminded of this, but Jeffrey's family must be really well off. Not only does she talk the talk, but she walks the walk. She bought a one piece from Ralph Lauren for $200-something, a dress in Newmarket that was on sale for $150, a very expensive bag from Louis Vuitton, and a wallet from Gucci. It boggles the mind. Anyway, we had Subway for lunch and I was so happy. It made me nolstagic ^^# I then blogged, uploaded pictures to Picasa, and also uploaded some pictures to deviantART. I am trying hard to be more active on dA. Next I must edit and upload pictures from Muriwai Beach. I also finally went to the church's Friday night service since the other pastor called and asked me to earlier that day. It was.. not something I want to go back to. Not that it was bad, just not my scene.

Yesterday I went out to the city with Jeffrey's mum.. and Jeffrey! We spent quite some time at the Westfield, where we also had lunch. I had McDonald's again, but this time I ordered it LARGE! And it finally came out the way I was used to seeing it back home. I also finally bought a scrapbook. I am determined to scrapbook my time here in New Zealand. Now I just need to get my pictures printed and buy stickers and do all that scrapbook stuff. Haha. Man, there's a reason why I didn't do this stuff before. Too much work! Wish me luck~

We also went to DFS Galleria, where I discovered that not only is Jeffrey's mum a high roller, but that Jeffrey is like that too! He wants a Ballys bag (which is priced at over $1000 at duty free!) and clothes from Ralph Lauren and Burberry. It's odd to see a boy who does not flinch when he reads that the price tag for a shirt is around $150 or more. Being around them makes me think that the $305 LeSportsac bag that I want is not all that expensive, since LeSportsac is pretty much the cheapest brand I have looked at in the Galleria with them. Which is horrible! I buy $15-$20 bags! I need to go back to Korea where I'm not only surrounded by like-minded people but where I can also actually buy the cheap stuff that I want~

This morning Jeffrey and his mum had to go back into the city because Jeffrey's mobile, which he bought yesterday, is malfunctioning. Today is actually going to be the Santa Parade in the city, but it's at 2pm and so will be during church service. Damn. But it's okay--the city is doing a lot for Christmas. And since this is Jeffrey's mum's last Sunday, she is buying everyone pizza after service. I look forward to that. Yum. ^^

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Take a Walk of ART

Tuesday was my art gallery day. I had picked up two guides about art galleries in Auckland and decided to go to all the ones near the city centre. One guide was called The Auckland Gallery Guide and showcased "visual arts across Auckland City from central to north, east, & west." I just went to the eight that were near the city centre. The second guide was called Take a Walk of Art: Auckland's Art Precinct Map and listed 13 galleries for me to go to. Since one of the galleries overlapped, that made a total of 20 galleries for me to go to. Warning: this is going to be somewhat long and detailed, so be prepared :P

I decided to start off with the Auckland Gallery Guide and do the galleries listed there first, and then do the galleries on Take a Walk of Art.

Kura Contemporary Ethnic Art (#20 on Auckland Gallery Guide)
"Contemporary ethnic art and design specialising in Maori art." This one was across the street from Westfield Downtown and was more like a shop than it was an art gallery.
Aveia Gallery (#22)
"A Pacific Journey of Art, Wine and NZ Cuisine." This one was actually a pretty nice gallery. Wanted to take pictures, but was under the impression that it wasn't allowed so I just looked around. The pieces displayed were quite expensive. It was also connected to a café in the back.
The Gus Fisher Gallery (#16)
The map was misleading so it took me a while to find this one. The Gus Fisher Gallery is actually a part of the University of Auckland. There were three exhibitions going on: "From the Architecture Archive: Vernon Brown," "Speaking Truth to Power: John Reynolds," and "I Tell You Solemnly: John Reynolds." I was actually able to take pictures of these. I really enjoyed the two John Reynolds exhibitions.

The Lane Gallery (#42)
Was going to go in, but their entire gallery was their exhibition. And what was their exhibition? "Ngaro/BlowFly." I am insectophobic. I don't do blowflies. Ergo, I just walked on by this gallery.
Fingers Contemporary Jewellery (#8)
"Featuring work by New Zealand's leading jewellery artists." Sounds more exciting than it actually was.
City Art Rooms (#18)
There were two exhibitions here: Aidan Law and Cruz Jimenez. Cruz Jimenez was okay, but Aidan Law blew me away. I think Gardenia would have really enjoyed this exhibition because his art was totally her style. Too bad she isn't here because they're currently having a juried competition for recent graduates.

St. Paul St. Gallery (#40)
A "suite of purpose built galleries and project spaces run by the School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology." They had one exhibition going on: "Sigmar Polke: Music from an Unknown Source." It was interesting.

Auckland Art Gallery (#3 on Auckland Gallery Guide, #1 on Take a Walk of Art)
Has "the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand." Went to the New Gallery first. They had a "Making Worlds" exhibition, but I was upset at them for being mean about my camera, so I refused to pay for it and just looked at the free "Likeness & Character" exhibition. I then went to the Main Gallery, where the staff was much nicer, and saw their three exhibits: "Hei konei mai: We'll meet again," "A Lighter Touch--19th and 20th Century European Art," and "Love Chief." The museum is about to undergo major development, so only the ground level was open. My favourite exhibition was the "Love Chief" one, which "explores the comic tension between 'high' and 'low' culture." I enjoyed the American works ^^

Gow Langsford Gallery (#2 on Take a Walk of Art)
They had one exhibition: "Frank Nitsche and Eber Havekost | Discipline." A bit disappointing and the gallery was much smaller than I expected.
John Leech Gallery (#3)
Exhibition: "Patrick Reynolds--Two Bodies (In One Car)." The gallery was small, but the photos were quite nice. And I am so jealous of whatever camera and lenses the man has! Very high quality.
G2 (#4)
Was unsuccessful as this had turned into the Tim Melville Gallery, which shows new Aboriginal paintings. Thought about going in, but it looked quite small from the outside and the paintings were not of interest to me.
FHE Galleries (#5)
Had an exhibition from Chris Charteris. The gallery was smaller than I expected from the website. There was one work that I wanted to take a picture of, but I decided against it since the lady had glared at me as soon as I walked in the door.
Oedipus Rex Gallery (#6)
Exhibition: "As I Stepped Out Into The Bright Sunlight: Richard Lewer." Quite interesting, but definitely not my style. Very.. weird. I was surprised that it wasn't fully set up until I saw the flyer, which showed that the exhibition was not only just starting that day, but the opening preview was from 5-7pm, which was still a few hours away. Haha, oops.
Judith Anderson Gallery (#7)
I tried to find this, but it ended up having the exact same address as City Art Rooms, so I guess this got replaced as well.

I then decided to take a walk through Albert Park, where there were supposed to be sculptures "including works by Andrea Lucchesi, W. Parkinson, Francis J. Williamson, Chris Booth, Walter MacFarlane, Reg Nichol." It was quite a pretty place. It would be a nice place to go for a stroll or just to hang out.

Milford Galleries Auckland (#9)
Small, no current exhibitions.
Ferner Gallery City (#8)
This was closed down.
Vavasour Godkin Gallery (#10)
Also small and I accidentally walked past it on the first try. Definitely modern art.
The Lane Gallery (#11)
Also closed down.
McPherson Gallery (#12)
Exhibition: "Gary Freemantle: Fight Night." Interesting works, all oil on canvas except for a few oil on board.
Sue Crockford Gallery (#13)
The last one on the list. I wanted to do this just so I can say I went to every single gallery, apart from the ones that were closed (which I still actually went to though), but you need to actually request access, so I decided against it.

And that was it for the art galleries! As always, all my pictures are in my Picasa album, so you should go check them out. Before I headed back, I went to the ATM to withdraw money for the bus and also for the rent, but it gave it to me in all $50 bills. I needed change! So I went to a small 7/11-esque store and bought OJ and Cadbury Crunchie (has Hokey Pokey pieces)! I then came back to the boarding house and finished watching the Korean drama Resurrection (aka Rebirth). Quite a bittersweet ending. And that was my Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving. Not yet back home, but here it's Thursday, which makes it Thanksgiving. But they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. Which is understandable. What do kiwis care about pilgrims and Native Americans?

I knew before I left that I would be missing the holidays. I didn't think it would matter too much. But now I see that it does. I miss Thanksgiving. I miss the mashed potatoes. I miss my broccoli cheese casserole. And I miss home. There are many things about Thanksgiving that I don't miss, but there are the things that I do. And it makes me sad. Can you imagine what a wreck I'm going to be at Christmas?! O.O

I called my former coworkers at TOKYOPOP today. It's the last day for one of them, so I called to say goodbye. And talk to a few of my other friends there. It was nice talking to everyone, even though apparently I sound like I'm really far away (which I actually am, haha). But at the same time it made me sad and made me miss them even more. It's hard to go from working with people everyday from 9am-6pm and then.. not. At least when I was back home I would go by and visit them occasionally. But now.. nothing. I guess I feel their absence more strongly because we don't exchange emails.. at least not very often.

At least with my school friends, we have Facebook and email, so I don't feel so.. detached. But with them.. I feel like our lives are going on more and more separate paths.. and its saddening. I hope we can stay friends, who actually keep in touch. I hope it stays that way with all my friends.

I guess I feel very sentimental today. It is Thanksgiving after all. And I'm so thankful for all of my friends. I'm so thankful for you. Thank you for being my friend.

Photographer Wannabe

I want to be a photographer. Maybe not for a living, but as a side gig? And also as a hobby. Seeing people's works on deviantART, in art galleries, at art shows, at the exhibition such as the Touring Prints one.. it stirs something in me. I want to be like those people. I want to have their cameras, see what they see, be able to take those pictures. It hurts to not have those skills and to not have the monetary funds to follow this path.

But I still try. Pathetic amateur attempts, but attempts nonetheless.

Like I blogged about before, Saturday I went to Muriwai Beach. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Seriously.

And I have finally uploaded the photos to Picasa! In an attempt to be, for lack of better vocabulary in my head, "concise".. and also non-repetitive, I've only uploaded 56 out of 197 images. I didn't realise I had taken so many pictures! Hahaha. These photos have little or no work done on them. If they have been edited, it was probably to crop it a bit. The pictures do not do justice to the beauty of the place, especially during the sunset, but hopefully it will at least give you an idea of how amazing it was.

I will also be posting some of my photos on my deviantART account as well. Some of them I'll probably post as is, but some I want to Photoshop to make them even.. better? Which presents another problem.. I suck at Photoshop. Another area where I wish I had skills! I would love to be an artist of some sort, whether it be in graphic design or a similar field. If only this was The Matrix and I could just put in a call to the operator to give me such skills. There is so much potential for these photos, but I feel they will not get far in my hands. And that makes me sad. I want them to go far.. and I want to take them there.

Anyway, I am rambling. Just wanted you to know that the beach pictures are up. And COMMENT, people, COMMENT! I know it's incredibly selfish of me to ask so much when I give so little back, but still.. I would love it if you commented~! *^^*

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Artsy Fartsy

This weekend I've been in an artistic mood. Or a wannabe artistic mood, haha. I've been Photoshopping some of my images and uploading them to my account on deviantART. It was nice because I hadn't done that in a really long time. I hope I will do it more often from now on.

Anyway, the rest of Thursday night was spent watching London, a movie with Chris Evans and Jason Statham, and finishing Saiyuki. That anime has no closure, which I guess is incentive to watch the sequel anime Saiyuki Reload. I think I left that on another hard drive at home though. Oops.

I woke up to another earring fiasco. This time the backing to my left earring was gone! Thankfully, the earring itself still remained in my ear. So I held that into my ear for dear life while everyone was in my room trying to find the backing. Finally found it and Jeffrey's mom put it back on for me (did I blog that Jeffrey's mom had come to visit for two weeks?). I am now very paranoid and check my earrings pretty much every hour. And they're on the verge of getting infected again, so I'm taking antibiotics every day to try and save my ears.

I then went out to the city to go see the two exhibitions at Aotea Centre. Since Jeffrey's mom also wanted to go into the city, we went together. It was nice having someone to travel with finally. Our first stop, of course, was the Aotea Centre. We first went to the Touring Print Exhibition, which was not what I expected. Small and slightly disappointing in presence, but the photographs were amazing. Truly worthy of their awards. Some of the photographers were Peter Eastway, Dean MackKenzie, Steve Sharp, Gerry Leibbrandt, and Cinnamon Crane. Truly amazing work. After that we headed upstairs to the AUT Graphic Design Exhibition. Those students are AMAZING! I took quite a lot of pictures of the different exhibits, so you should go check them out~

We then headed outside, where they were having the farmers market in Aotea Square since it was Friday. Walked around a bit, but didn't really get a chance to see everything since Jeffrey's mom didn't really care for it. I will probably try to return on another Friday or Saturday. We then walked around the city centre, walking into different stores and whatnot. Smith + Caughey's had nice Christmas decorations, which I took pictures of, and we also went to the DFS Galleria since Jeffrey's mom's friend requested a bag from Louis Vuitton. We had lunch at Minato Sushi, a Japanese restaurant owned by Koreans (of course), at the Westfield and finally headed back to the boarding house around 4:30 in the afternoon. It was fun walking around with her and it definitely made me feel a lot better after all that alone time.

Jeffrey's mom was nice enough to make us rabbokgi for lunch! It wasn't as good as my cousin-in-law's, of course, but it was still quite yummy. And later in the afternoon we went to the mall to walk around. I got hokey pokey ice cream which was very yummy. And finally figured out what hokey pokey is! It's butterscotch with honeycomb. Yum *^^* After dinner, the pastor's wife took us to Muriwai Beach to see the sunset. It was breathtakingly beautiful. So beautiful. I took heaps of pictures (kiwis tend to use the word "heaps" a lot), but have yet to go through them. I'm putting it off because the place was so beautiful and I took so many pictures and now I feel pressured to edit the pictures in a way to show you how truly beautiful it was. If only I had a DSLR and skills~ Hopefully later this week I will get around to it.

Since this is the last Sunday before Thanksgiving, we had Thanksgiving service at church. Some people went up to share what they are thankful for this year, and afterwards we all had a meal together. It was all food people had cooked and brought, so it was quite yummy! I knew I was going to miss the holidays, but now that Thanksgiving is almost here, I'm sad to not be at home! My poor mum will be spending Thanksgiving without me TT_TT

Back at the boarding house, I wanted to call people, but I don't know where I put my mobile phone from home! So I don't have anyone's phone number O.O I have my wonderfully cheap calling card (only 3c a minute! Which makes it so much cheaper to call LA than anyone in New Zealand~) so give me your phone number if you would like me to give you a ring sometime. *^^*

For dinner, since we had a coupon, we got Pizza Hut! (hoot!) Meat Lovers and Hawaiian. Plus garlic bread. Very yum. Spent the rest of the night watching Korean dramas.

Today I was awoken by a call from AQUENT! I don't know if it's because they felt bad for rejecting me for the other position, but they have found another position for me! It's another marketing position and it's for some publication company, apparently it's been in New Zealand the longest out of all the publication companies. Again, they're presenting three candidates to their client, and I am going to be one of the three! YAY! There's no guarantee that I will be picked, but it still made me happy. I hope this is a sign that things are going to be looking up. I hope I get the job. Pray for me!!!

And I just realised that some of you might not realise that Gmail=Google=Picasa (Google=Blogger as well), so since most of you guys have a Gmail account, there is no excuse for not commenting on my pictures! I am a comment whore, so make me happier by commenting on my pictures please! *^^* (And thank you to the two people who have been commenting! Yay!)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Yay, it's finally time for my post about my visit to the museum! You should probably be looking through my pictures while reading this.. I think that would be better than looking at just one or the other. Makes more sense this way, especially since most of my pictures don't have captions.. or have captions with more information than here ^^# Warning: this is going to be long and detailed, so be prepared :P

So on Wednesday, I paid a visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The admission "suggested donation" is $5, but since I paid for the Maori Cultural Experience I didn't have to pay that. I just paid the $15 for the show (yes, I got away with student pricing because I showed my UCLA ID ^^). I arrived around 10:15am and I paid for the 11am show. So I spent around half an hour walking around looking at the galleries.

The museum is split up into three levels. The ground level is PACIFIC PEOPLE: Maori, Pakeha, the peoples of Oceania and other newcomers. The first level is NATURAL HISTORY, which tells "New Zealand's evolutionary story and describe[s] [their] unique environment from mountain top to the ocean depths." The second level is SCARS ON THE HEART, which tells "the story of New Zealand's involvement in wars from the New Zealand Wars to East Timor. On the walls of the Sanctuary and Hall of Memories are inscribed all the names of New Zealanders from the Auckland Province who died in these wars."

I first went to the PACIFIC MASTERPIECES room and spent some time in MAORI COURT before it was time to meet in the foyer to go to see the show, which took place upstairs in the auditorium. The Maori Cultural Experience is amazing. The performance is "recognised as being one of the leading Maori cultural experiences in New Zealand" and the performers "are the face of Ngati Whatua O Orakei, the home tribe (mana whenua) of Auckland--(Tamaki Herenga Waka)." I took a lot of pictures and quite a few videos. Picasa is mean and won't let me upload any of my videos, even the short ones, so I will have to try to upload them onto YouTube.. someday.

After the performance, I returned to the MAORI COURT. Walked through it and then walked into part of the WILD CHILD exhibit, where I took pictures of Rajah (the elephant, not the Disney tiger). Then I returned to MAORI COURT for more pictures. And then went back to WILD CHILD. Then I went to PACIFIC LIFEWAYS. Then off to one of the temporary exhibitions, LOLI-POP! I thought it was amusing that they called it loli-goth instead of Goth-Loli like we do in the States. Loli-Pop is "a downtown Auckland view on Japanese street fashion" and showed from 15 Sept to 18 Nov. The exhibit is curated by a senior lecturer at AUT's School of Art and Design and the garments displayed were created by AUT University Fashion staff. After the exhibit, I was starving (didn't eat breakfast), so I had lunch. Then I went to the ENCOUNTER exhibit, then the MUSIC, walked through WILD CHILD again and MAORI COURT, and then it was time to head upstairs.

Upstairs, I headed into the WEIRD & WONDERFUL exhibit first. I was not able to get far, however, because then I encountered the insect section and had to run away. So I headed to the COASTAL exhibit, then OCEANS. Then, where I had expected to find the "Ancient Americas" exhibit, I found "The Arts of Korea Gallery." Interesting! Then went to the ANCIENT WORLDS exhibit, VOLCANOES, ARTS OF ASIA, and MAORI NATURAL HISTORY. Saw the Mackelvie Collection and then went to ORIGINS and LAND. Then it was time to head upstairs.

I first went to the Pictorial Gallery, which also had a temporary exhibit: "NUCLEAR FREE," protest photography by Gil Hanly. Taking photos was prohibited, but it was quite an amazing exhibition. He is a really talented documentary photographer. Then I took pictures of the HALL OF MEMORIES, which was quite saddening. This whole floor was saddening. Then it was time to enter WWI, which led to BOER WAR, then NZ WARS, ZERO, and AUCKLAND 1866 (which was set up like a town, quite cool!). Then it was the SANCTUARY, which was again saddening. Then onto HOLOCAUST, COLOURS (history of the museum), ARMOURY, SPITFIRE, and then WWII and LATER CONFLICTS. And that was it for the museum!

Afterwards, I rested for a while downstairs in the atrium. I had a guide to the Auckland Domain, within which the museum is located, and I considered exploring it. There were a lot of cool things, such as duck ponds, gardens, groves, and more, but I wasn't up for it. I was already going to be leaving the museum at 2pm (three hours before closing!) because I was feeling like crap from my PMS and depressed from being by myself (there were cute picture taking opportunities that I couldn't do because I was alone!). So I asked for directions to the Newmarket train station and walked there. Apparently, Newmarket is the fashion district of Auckland and somewhat like our Beverly Hills. I could definitely tell by looking at their Westfield mall, which looked a lot more upper class than Henderson or Downtown. Anyway, took the train back and then walked to the boarding house, where I proceeded to spend the rest of the night watching TV.

But I loved the museum. I am just sad that I didn't give it all the love it deserves, because after lunch I didn't really pay attention to most of the galleries. Just kind of walked through all of them. The museum really does have an amazing collection, and I wish I was able to take pictures of everything. Oh, and in case you're wondering, I actually didn't post all of my pictures online. Just ones that I thought people wouldn't mind looking at. Haha. Anyway, this post is long enough as is. I will shut up now. I hope you enjoyed reading about my day at the museum! ^^

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two Weeks

It has now been exactly two weeks since I have arrived in New Zealand.

What have I done in all this time?

Counting all my job applications today, I have applied for over 80 positions. I am still unemployed. Oh, and I heard back from Aquent. I didn't make the cut TT_TT

I have supposedly made four "friends". I will keep in touch with two, maybe. The two Korean ones, of course.

I have yet to see all of Auckland. Then again, Auckland is pretty much a state. Although it differs, sometimes I have to put my address down as City: Henderson and State/Region: Auckland. But I have also yet to see all of Auckland City as well. But I have explored the city centre. And parts of Grafton, Parnell, and Newmarket. And yesterday I went to Auckland War Memorial Museum.

I am trying to be healthier. I'm not eating as much food, or as much unhealthy food, as I was back home. And I walk a lot.. when I go out. Today I spent all day in the boarding house. Applying for jobs and watching TV. But yesterday I walked a lot.

I feel like I'm stuck in a rut. Trapped. Just waiting. Waiting for.. a job? Will that be the answer to all my problems? My mum sent me an email today, again telling me that I need to go out. But it's so tiring. And after yesterday, I got depressed and discouraged. I like to say I'm an independent person, and yes I can go out on my own, but I miss having a friend to go out with. Taking pictures by me lonesome is hard and not fun. Especially when I see places where I could take cute/fobby pose-y pictures, but I need someone else to take the picture. And I have no one.

But I will continue to try! Tomorrow I'm going to go to Aotea Centre, which is where The Edge is putting on the AUT Graphic Design Exhibition and the Touring Prints Exhibition. They probably won't let me take pictures, but I am recharging all my batteries just in case. I hope tomorrow will be fun. HWAITING!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I hate being a girl

Today I went to the Auckland Museum. I feel like shit. I started my rag on Monday, which is when I spent the entire day following Sandra around the mall, while cramping, and then walked from the 3p Advertising office to Sky Tower to take a bus back to Henderson to walk home. That was not fun.

Then yesterday was more walking. And then today, walked all around the museum. I even left the museum 3 hours before closing (at 2pm) because I was in such a shitty mood. My PMS can be before, but usually it's during. And its a bitch. I was sad because the museum is really nice, but after a couple hours I just lost all motivation and enthusiasm. I kind of just walked through the exhibits. And didn't take many pictures because I was afraid my batteries would die on me. And that just made me feel worse because I'm (1) in an amazing museum and (2) in an amazing foreign country, and I'm just being so.. ehhhhh. If I met someone like me, I would slap her.

And to make things worse, I have EIGHT new mosquito bites. So in addition to my cramps and PMS crankiness, I am so damn ITCHY! Which makes me even more pissy. ARGHHHHHHHHH!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Things To Do

Like me mum told me to do, I'm finding out things I can do while waiting for my job eggs to hatch and finally feed me. Last week when I had gone into Sky City, I had gone to the Visitor Information Centre and taken many, many brochures. Today I decided to go through Jasons Auckland Guide: What's On November07.

* Ellerslie International Flower Show: what seems like an amazing flower show, but it's $35 for one day admission. 14-18 November.
* New World Netball World Championships: Since netball is the sport here in NZ, would have liked to go see this, but it already started and I'm too lazy to try to get into the middle of it. 10-17 November. Too lazy to look up the prices ^^#
* Queen of the Whole Universe: A beauty pageant with a difference: drag queens representing 32 countries and 2 planets vie to receive the coveted crown. Sounds interesting, but I refuse to pay money to go to this by myself.
* Parnell Festival of Roses: Would have loved to do this, but it was last weekend TT_TT

* Farmers Santa Parade: Looks amusing, but being by myself and kid-less, I don't know if I will check this out. Especially since there's church at 1:30pm. 25 November.
* Parnell Village: I feel like this is the area where I killed three hours on Friday, but it seems like I missed a lot. There's the Parnell Rose Gardens, St. Stephen's Chapel, Holy Trinity Cathedral, and Old St. Mary's Church. I might go back to go to these places.. maybe.

* Auckland Art Gallery: Several interesting exhibitions. Three of them end 2 December, so must go there before then.
* Auckland Museum: Will do this TOMORROW. Have several interesting exhibitions going on at the moment ^^
* AUT Graphic Design Exhibition: This show includes work in all areas of communication, graphics, illustration, photography, multimedia and digital design, by students from AUT’s Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours). It's only from 15-19 November, so I don't have much time~
* Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World: This place seems amazing. I guess I will have to pay the $29.50 to get in. They're having their Extreme Antarctica exhibition for the next month, so I want to go try to see that.
* New Zealand National Maritime Museum: To do before January 2008 for exhibitions.
* Stoneleigh Sculpture in the Gardens: sculpture exhibition at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Somewhere I was planning on visiting anyway, so will definitely visit during the exhibition (4Nov-31Jan)
* Stardome Observatory: The Sky Tonight: a journey through the stars, their most popular show, is playing all November. Will try to go see it. $14.
* Touring Prints Exhibition: This exhibition features 150 of the highest scoring prints from the Epson/NZ Iris Professional Photography Awards 2007, including that of the major award winners and the NZ Photographer of the Year 2007, Dean MacKenzie. An outstanding showcase of New Zealand photography. Sounds amazing, yes? It's until 21 Nov.. must go see it before it ends!

Okay, now I'm being overwhelmed by the amount of information in this guide. Too many places!!! This is where I'm going to stop for now. I have left the middle of the guide (pgs24-48) alone.. to be returned to one day. Haha. But wow, this guide is pretty damn useful! It has info about transportation, rental cars, accommodations, restaurants, and more. It has maps.. and coupons! I heart this guide ^^

Does this make you guys want to come visit me in NZ yet? ^^ It's crazy how much stuff there is to do here! All this, and I haven't even gone through half of this guide. The first guide out of many! Did we have this much stuff to do in LA? o.O

Quick Response

Yay, three comments! That's more than I usually get.. I feel more validated knowing that people (besides Gardy, who I force) actually do read this blog! ^^

The thing about Aquent is that they will let me know by the end of this week whether I made it into the top 2-3, who they will present to their client Video Ezy. I really really hope to make it into that second cut, but even that isn't a guarantee. Let's say I do make it in. Video Ezy can still pick the other person over me. Sigh TT_TT

I know negative thinking isn't good, but I'm a paranoid person. I've been searching for more jobs today, and marketing jobs are really difficult to find. I found mostly receptionist jobs. I might end up applying for them, but I still cancelled the Alpha appointment anyway. And after a long tearful talk with me mum, I'm going to cancel the 3p Advertising one as well. I really am putting all my eggs in one basket: the Aquent basket. But even if that doesn't work out, I will not give up! HWAITING!

And even though $606 may seem reasonable, I still think it's really expensive. And no, the internet is not limitless. I can't download here! So Gardy, I am bitter too. And don't ever forget the bugs! And I have also yet to see Hershey's. I never even realised it because I was too dazzled by all the Cadbury. MMMMMM. Another incentive to get a job: I'm promising myself the Cadbury Banoffee Pie as a reward when I get a job. Haha.

I hope it's soon. But on a happier note, I got my drivers license today! ^^ I had also gone to the mall, since the pastor's wife wanted me to see if I could get a job at the Westfield office, and bought a calling card! It is 3c to call to the US, which is good! Except that means if I use my cell phone, it's 52c a minute. But using the landline here would eliminate the 49c since it's free to call local. So if you ever need me to call you for some reason, just let me know and I'll call! ^^ I also went to the library today and got a library card, good at all Waitakere Libraries.

My mum yelled at me to get out of my room and explore since that's what I came across the ocean to do, so I'm going to try to look up free/cheap places that I can go to (since all my money will be spent on transportation TT_TT) and try to do something tomorrow. We'll see if it works out, or if I end up just staying at home. Haha. Wish me luck!!!

A Rock and a Hard Place

Happy Birthdays (and non-Birthday~) to everyone to whom November 11th is a special day! I hope you all enjoyed your wonderful birthdays~

The rest of Saturday night was pretty uneventful. I returned to a Korean drama I hadn't watched in a while, Time of Dog and Wolf, and managed to watch two episodes before getting to the next uber-dramatic point, so that's been put on hold again. Haha. I can only take so much drama at a time.

Church, of course. Met with a fellow LOTR fanatic! Well, movie fanatic. She has yet to read the book TT_TT But she has watched all three movies, has the special extended editions, and has watched the commentary, and--most importantly--has gone to all the locations!!! So I talked to her about it, which was very nice. She tried to be encouraging, but I actually got discouraged. Most of the locations are on the South Island, and she says that she and her mum took a lot of driving trips down there. And how beautiful it was. And how dangerous the roads. That the driver goes through hell, but the passenger is happy because the scenery is so beautiful. Now that is good for her, because she's the passenger, but that's bad for me. I'm the driver!!! And I have no one to go with TT_TT But driving's the only way to get around down there. SIGH. I don't know how to solve this dilemma. But I will think about that later. Don't have the funds to even think about it right now. Anyway, we exchanged phone numbers and emails, so she is a useful acquaintance that I have made ^^

For dinner, the boarding house household took me out to dinner for jjajangmyun (the black Sino-Korean noodles) because that is apparently a welcoming tradition and we weren't able to do it last Sunday. That was nice. And then afterwards the boys and I got dropped off at Pak'nSAVE and I finally got to browse it at leisure. And look what I found:

Beautiful, yes? ^^ It's the Cadbury section in case you can't tell ^^

Today I got up early and got dropped off at 3p Advertising for my follow-up "interview" which was basically following one of the employees around all day. I was assigned to Sandra Fan, a team leader who also has Richard and Sandy on her team. Ironically, we headed to Henderson for the day. Sandra took the Westfield mall and assigned Richard and Sandy to the area around it. The task is basically to go from business to business promoting the product, which this time was a Netflix-esque company with a really nice promotion (25 DVD rentals for a total of $15!). I followed Sandra around all day, observed her, and took notes on the "sales system" that Sandra would tell me about. She is really nice and friendly and has become my new friend! She is also quite the businesswoman: she has her own company in addition to climbing really quickly within 3p Adversing and is planning on opening another company. I can definitely learn a lot from her. At the end of the day, I returned to the office, Sandra told the manager (Marcus, who I had met on Friday) her thoughts about me, and then I met with him and was "tested" on what I had learned. Sandra really liked me, so they offered me the job. I will go in on Wednesday for 2 hour training and prep and then I can start my 6-day trial period next Monday, which is when I will go out and try to sell our next product.

The problem is, I don't think this is something I want to do. But, especially in the situation that I am in, I don't think I can say no. The way Sandra spins it, it sounds really cool. But when it comes down to it, no matter how much she hates putting this title on it, it is being a sales rep. I don't want to go door to door and advertise and try to make sales, even if it can be lucrative if you're good at it. It kind of reminded me of that insurance company I interviewed at before TOKYOPOP. I can see myself doing this and making money, but I would rather work out of an office. Besides, there are no guarantees that I would be good at it. Sandra, the "pro," sold 8 today. But Sandy only sold 2 I think, and I don't think Richard sold much either. But what if I don't get a job elsewhere? I did get called by Alpha Recruitment today. They didn't want me for the job I applied for because it's permanent (people here seriously have issues with my working holiday visa), but they do want me to temp for them. So I have an appointment to interview with them on Wednesday. But all their temp jobs will be reception and secretarial stuff, so I don't know if that's something I want to do either. I'm probably going to cancel that appointment. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place TT_TT Why is it so hard to get a job that I want?!

To make things worse, I found out that this boarding house is really expensive! My mum told me that it would be around $250/month, so I thought it was quite a deal! I mean, shelter and food, and they drive me around sometimes. Granted, there are bugs which make me want to cry every time I think about it, but still.. $250/month! But today I called the pastor's wife from the city because I was going to stop by the ATM before heading back, and she told me that it's $200/WEEK! Ah, that's another interesting fact about NZ: housing prices are calculated weekly. So when I look up flatmates wanted ads and other housing ads, the prices are all listed by week. But wow, $200/week! Assuming there are 4 weeks in a month, that's $800/month! Converting it, it's around $606, which sounds a lot better. But that is still more than I would have ever been willing to pay. There are so many BUGS here for crying out loud! And I have the smallest room.. which I have to fill up with foul-smelling insect killing spray so I don't kill myself out of paranoia. RIDICULOUS.

I don't know what to do. I have a job offer to be a sales rep that I don't want to be, an interview with a reception/secretary temp place that I don't want to go to, and no job offers or interviews for actual marketing positions. And I live in an expensive boarding house with bugs. SIGH.

If only that Aquent job comes through.. that could potentially be the answer to all my problems..

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Truth Game

Korean boys are amusing. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but there are two students here at the boarding house with me. They're both 16 and go to a private all boys' "college" near here. Apparently, if the school houses junior high and high school, it's called a college. Anyway, the more talkative one, Jacob, is in 11th grade. The really quiet and shy one, Jeffrey, is in 10th grade despite being a few months older. Jacob came here for three years when he was younger, so his English is the best out of all the guys, while Jeffrey's is much weaker, which is why he elected to be put back a year. Before today, Jeffrey had spoken exactly one word to me, and that was a "hi" when I first came here. Jacob's definitely the most outgoing, out of all the guys. Last Sunday, when I said I hung out with the guys, it was with Jacob and his two friends Ryan and Jack. Jeffrey and his friend (whose name also starts with a J) were in the other room doing puzzles. Haha. Apparently Jacob doesn't hang out with Jeffrey at all. Interesting.

Anyway, Jacob leaves Tuesday morning to go back to Korea for 2 months summer break. The summer break here is actually only 1.5 months, but Jacob has decided to not take his exams and therefore repeat 11th grade next year. Another interesting thing: high school goes up to 13th grade here! I'm glad I did not go to school here. I would not appreciate that extra year XP So anyway, there was a BBQ here at the boarding house for him and all the guys were invited. It was quite amusing listening to them talk. And since I was there, they attempted to use more English in their conversations. It was quite cute and hilarious.

And then afterwards, we went to Jacob's room to play Truth Game. I just watched, because I had no idea what was going on, but wow--hilarious. Jacob is definitely the leader of the group, and I feel a reporter-esque future for him since he questions the guys so.. enthusiastically. Basically you play rock-scissors-paper and the loser has to answer any four questions the group asks. It was basically questions like when was your last girlfriend, why'd you break up, how far did you go, etc. Seeing them get so excited asking the questions and hearing the answers was so cute! Although it was sad--they've all had girlfriends, and they're only in high school! Jack has even had 8.. in one year. Although, they never last long. Apparently his longest relationship was 4 months, and his shortest was 7 days. I was glad I wasn't involved in the game, because I have yet to have a boyfriend TT_TT But apart from that, quite amusing. Very amusing indeed. I will miss Jacob when he leaves, because then the house will become very very quiet. And Sunday's will be quiet too, since Jacob was my link to these hilarious guys. And the reason why they were funny.

It was fun. All I basically did today was waste time, apply for jobs, and watch Skinwalkers, so that was an improvement. And now I must return to watching stuff on my computer. Probably a movie. I know you guys are probably WTF about this post, since I think I'm the only one who found all this amusing and interesting, so my apologies. You'll have to wait until I venture out into the real world again for something read-worthy. Hopefully I will blog Monday night, since I am doing that 9-5 "interview" thing that day.

I keep on forgetting that we're 21 hours ahead of LA. Which means more likely than not LA's a day behind. My mum told me she would call me Friday night, which resulted in my staring at my mobile all last night wondering why she didn't call. She called tonight. When I was not by my mobile, so she had to call the house. I was so confused. Haha. Silly me. Okay, that's it for now. Cheers!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hunter and Explorer

Job hunting is hard. I had greatly underestimated the difficulty. I don't know--I feel things were easier back in LA. I had my shares of rejections when I was applying for internships, but overall the process was easy. But here.. no. I guess it's my fault for quitting TOKYOPOP after only four months and then flying to another country. In the time I've been here, I think I've applied to 60+ jobs. And gotten rejections or no response from most of them. But yesterday, amazingly enough, I was called by FOUR places!

The first place was an immediate no on my part. I had applied to a call centre (I didn't realise it was a call centre!) and they said that many of the workdays would be 6am-3pm. Getting off early is nice, but there is no way I am reporting to work anywhere at 6am! So I rejected them :P

The other three places all called when my phone was out of battery (and I didn't yet realise this) so they all left voicemails and I had to call them back.

One place was Curno Consulting, a recruiting agency, who I called back today. The job was titled "Personal Assistant/Marketing Extraordinaire." But I don't think I'll make it. The lady got really hesitant when I told her I was here on a working holiday visa. Apparently they want a NZ resident, someone who will be committed for more than 12-23 months. She didn't totally cross me out, but it sounds like it's not going to work out. Oh well.

Another place was 3p Advertising. I'm not sure what to think of this position. In the job posting, they wrote that they're "launching a brand new campaign for one of the largest cinemas in NZ" and that their key objective "is to create a high volume of customer exposure for the clients we represent. This is done by speaking to customers directly on a daily basis." I had an interview with them this morning, and the guy kept on stressing customer service and person skills. I'm not sure how much of a fan I am of this job, but I've been called back for a second interview, which is basically travelling with one of their agents all day on Monday (9am-5pm) so they can see our skills first hand. Or something like that. I have no idea what I will be put through on Monday o.O But they said that we'll find out at the end of the day on Monday whether we make the cut or not (and thus get hired).

The third place was Aquent, Total Staffing Solutions for Marketing, Communications, and Creative. Apparently they're an American company. The job position is "Marketing Co-ordinator" and while this one sounds the most challenging (and scariest!), this is the one that I want (out of these three at least). Basically I would be on the marketing team for Video Ezy, which is apparently huge. But I would be working really closely with some ad agency that is apparently down the street, and I would have a desk there too! It sounds like a really complicated job, but I still want it. Right now Aquent is interviewing all the applicants they liked, and then they're going to choose 2-3 candidates to present to their client, who will make the final choice. They said they would notify me by the end of next week whether I make the second cut. SIGH. I really hope I do!!! But I'm a bit nervous, because in their email they said the interview would take 1.5 hours.. and it only took me about 25-30 minutes O.O

Apart from that, I explored the city today! And did a lot of walking. The pastor's wife was kind enough to take me to the first interview location, which is in Grafton. The second interview was in Parnell, which was the next neighbourhood. There was a free shuttle there, but the first interview ended at 10:15am and the second interview wasn't until 2pm, so I decided to just walk (I had printed out maps via Google last night). By walking slow, I managed to get to the interview location around 11am. That still gave me three hours to kill. I ended up walking up and down Parnell Road and going into shops for about an hour. Then I bought a book and went and got lunch at this cute place called The Strawberry Alarm Clock. It was expensive (as is everything in NZ), but quite yummy as well! ^^

After lunch and killing about an hour or more reading the book (just some stupid romance novel that I bought), it was 1:30pm and I went to my second interview. After that, which ended around 3:10pm, I walked to downtown. On the way, I passed by the University of Auckland. Explored downtown by walking up and down a couple of the main streets and took several pictures. Also went to Westfield: Downtown, the Atrium on Elliott, and Sky City. Sky Jump (at the Sky Tower) is 192m!!! The bungy jump in Korea was 45m, so this is CRAZY! It's probably really expensive though. Sky Tower is the world's tallest tower in New Zealand and the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Craziness. Pictures and captions of my explorations can all be found in my Picasa album. If you want to know more about my day, that's the place to go!

Some pictures to entice you:

Around 5pm I boarded the bus and came back to the boarding house. It cost $6.50NZD! I was appalled. I haven't taken public transportation in LA for a long time, but I did look up how much it would be to take the metro from home to work, and it was only $1.50 I think. Or $3.00. Either way, a lot cheaper, even after taking currency conversion into consideration! NZ prices are crazy.

On a side note, I watched Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit on Wednesday. The good thing about being lonely here is that I'm getting a lot of movie-watching (and TV-watching) done!

Anyway, please pray that I get a job that I want and love! And then get a convenient apartment. And make friends *^^* I miss you guys!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

West is Best

I went to the shopping centre today! Apparently, Westfield is everywhere. They had taken over Arcadia, and they have taken over Henderson as well. I went to the Westfield: WestCity mall and explored. There were cute clothes, but I was unable to do any shopping because (1) I need to lose weight, (2) it's all summer clothes but I feel like I'm going to freeze, and (3) I wasn't in the shopping mood. But I noticed quite a few American stores there, but with tweaks. For example, they had a Bed Bath & Beyond, but the logo was different from ours and the store was pretty small. But they also had a lot of their own stores/restaurants (of course), and they had a Nando's! Most of you probably don't remember, but there was a Nando's down the street from us at Downing College (in Cambridge), and so seeing it reminded me of that summer. Anyway, the shopping centre also had a big supermarket called Countdown, which was pretty nice. I made a very happy discovery there!

I did not buy it, unfortunately, because--as we can all remember--I am fat and not allowed to eat such things. But I will return to it, someday, after I start walking regularly and losing weight.

I also spent a lot of time at Whitcoulls, which is their large bookstore chain. Whitcoulls and Borders are the largest bookstore chains in NZ I think. I read the prologue to Tolkien's Children of Húrin and flipped through the Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook. There are so many places to go, although many of them are set-less and so may not immediately make one think of LOTR. At the end, there's a suggested 23-day journey to take to visit all of the sites. I'm thinking of doing that before I leave. The locations are all so far that I don't know if it's practical to try to do them one at a time on the weekends (which would also require the purchase of a car). But I'll figure all that out.. later.

I had McDonald's for lunch, because I heart the place, and was shocked by the differences. First off, my all time favourite, the #2 meal, is $6.50. AND it was smaller. I was sad.

You can't tell so much in the picture, but the drink and fries were both quite small. Literally. In America, we would categorise them as "small," and not medium. What does this say for Americans? o.O

And on the table:

That was pretty much my day. Got dropped off around 10am, picked up at 1:30pm (yes, that involved walking around to kill time.. a lot.) A couple more pictures are in my Picasa album. I wanted to take more pictures, but being there by myself and not wanting to totally stand out as a tourist, I didn't.

Anyway, yesterday was a pretty big day too. It was spent indoors, but still. The big drama was that my right earring fell out in the shower. Normally, not a big deal. But I couldn't get it back in! The pastor tried, but all he got was blood. And his wife was too squeamish to even look at my ear. So I had to wait for Jacob (the English name for the more talkative student that lives here) to come back. Apparently he's even pierced his own ears so he was the expert. So I waited for about five hours for him to come home from school, and then freaked him out by giving him a big welcome when he came home. You wouldn't think the hole would close up so fast, but apparently it was pretty closed. But he managed to get it reopen, and with pain, blood, and a lot of patience, he managed to get it in.. after half an hour. That was not fun. And ever since then, my right ear has been in a lot of pain. Bright red and swollen. I just hope it's not infected. I seriously don't want to go through this.. again. I have been instructed (by Jacob) to not even think about touching this ear for the next two weeks. Sigh.

I then spent the rest of the day/night watching movies because I was sick of watching so much TV (mainly all the episodes of Bones that I was behind on) for the past week. I finally finished watching The Boondock Saints (love the movie!) and The Pacifier. I also watched Transformers. Quite productive, yes?

Well, that's all that's been going on here. That and a couple more job rejections. Sigh. Why won't anyone say yes?! TT_TT