Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Now for something completely different, I totally did a stupid white person thing the other day, or perhaps just a stupid white American thing. I went out for Mexican food. Nah, that's not the stupid white person thing. There's a fairly decent Mexican take away near work, so I've been three times in the past week:) The first day I went there was this black guy behind the counter taking orders, and when I heard him talk, I was like..."Oh wow, a black African-American!" Now, this was simply because I've been living in what I feel is mega non-diverse land for over 9 months and although there are tons of Asians here, I miss the diversity of being back home. I miss black people, and I miss Mexican people, and Adelaide especially, where I'm going to end up, feels super white and like it's lacking something. But back to the Mexican restaurant...I think the "oh wow, a black African-American!" showed on my face because although the guy smiled when he asked me what I wanted, as soon as I spoke...he turned me over to someone else and stopped smiling:/ I could be totally over-reacting out of my white person guilt or whatever, but I felt like a total schmuck.
"It's one thing in politics to cite an opponent's record when criticizing him.
But it’s quite another to cite his Permanent Record—the legendary, indelible and largely mythical account of all that we do as schoolchildren.Yet that’s just what the campaign of Democratic presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton did Sunday, issuing a spitball of a news release that alluded scornfully to an essay that primary opponent Sen. Barack Obama wrote when he was in kindergarten.Referring to an old Associated Press story that quoted Obama’s former teacher, the release informed us that, “In kindergarten, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled ‘I Want to Become President.’"
By the way, I'm reading Barak's book, Dreams from My Father, which I'd highly recommend.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
The Christmas season is gearing up here, and while someone mentioned to me yesterday that the day is in fact about three weeks away, I'm not feelin it. It's getting warmer here and the days are longer so I'm home well before dark and don't even notice any Christmas lights. Then again, I've had no sense of what time of year it is for about 9 months now. My workplace does now how to celebrate, and we had our Christmas party on a yacht last week! And...we can call it a Christmas party and put up trees in the office (I forgot about how everything changed from 'Christmas' to 'Holiday' in the US a few years ago). The one thing which the workplace is doing for the season I don't agree with. We all got an email last week with the subject "Ladies Christmas Shopping" saying something to the effect of:
"We're again giving all the ladies in the office half a day off to do their Christmas shopping. Please advise your manager when you will be taking your half day."
WTF?! I was told this is due to the fact that most of the 'ladies' are in lower level positions and the men get taken out for golf etc by their clients. Hmmm, how about re-working the hiring processes instead of a 'throw the dog a bone' half day off. And why do they think I need half a day to do my Christmas shopping, as opposed to something a bit more worthwhile??
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Saturday, 24 November 2007
Thursday, 22 November 2007
- Eden Gardens (which I totally agree is one of Auckland's best kept secrets and one of the must do things here)
- Mt Eden
- Sky Tower
- Downtown Auckand & Viaduct area
- Waiwera & nearby areas on a Saturday road trip
- Mission Bay
- Auckland Botanic Gardens (a SERIOUS disappointment to me, although Mom liked it, but I put that down to her not seeing the Sydney & Adelaide Botanic Gardens first)
- Newmarket & Auckland Museum (the Museum being another Auckland must do)
- Waiheke Island on a day long vineyard tour (where by the end Mom was "make sure-ing" her glass was empty)
Amazingly, the weather has been the best it's ever been since Steve and I arrived here, with almost no rain after a week of rain every day. I'm learning what the sun down here is really like, as I burned bright red after two days of being out and about in it minus suntan lotion. Won't make that mistake again.
Pics, from top clockwise are: my sexy husband and I, a view of the city from Mission Bay, the view from Sky Tower, two photos of the Botanic Gardens, Eden Garden, and four pics from the vineyard tour.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
Sunday, 4 November 2007
The other night, I was introduced to a new hostel stayer who is from the East Coast and told he was another of my country-men. About 50% of the Americans I meet on the road are horrendously annoying, and this is one of them...talking about how much money he makes, asking others about their financial situation, being too loud and know-it-all, etc. This being said, it still hugely pisses me off when people make comments about all of us Americans based upon their experiences with a few. I've had a few of those experiences this weekend, and it's really just enough already.
Monday, 29 October 2007
Happy Hauntings Ya'll!!
Friday, 26 October 2007
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Wait in lobby of building until 8am
At 8am, make mad dash to lift as all others waiting, even those who arrived after you, will be rushing ahead of you (tip: last one in, first one out!)
Get in line for security on 3rd floor (see above re: mad dashes)
Take out mobile phone and any electronic devices before putting bag through xray machine, and hand to guard to keep while you are inside.
Put bag through xray.
Walk through metal detection machine.
Go upstairs anytime (they open at 9am) and get a number.
Go back downstairs until 9am and have a coffee.
Go back upstairs, wait til you are called...and take care of yr business.
Monday, 22 October 2007
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
In response to your comments regarding the customer service you have received recently, we have this to say:
Your staff is ignorant.
The answers to the questions asked of us are something they should already know, therefore we saw no need to reply.
Your handover from leaving staff to new staff was crap, and as a result your new staff have no idea what they're doing.
Um, I'd hate to say this is an accurate example of customer service down under, but....
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Monday, 15 October 2007
My old man won't let me call him my old man because he says that would mean he's my dad...and he calls his dad his old man and his mom his old lady, the latter of which kinda weirds me out...
He also doesn't want me to call his mom and dad...mom and dad...the only time I've ever seen him be possessive;)
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Saturday, 15 September 2007
We're just back yesterday from our honeymoon (and marriage) in Rarotonga. Everything was fabulous and much better than I'd expected. I was nervous about speaking/vows in front of other people (even though there were only 4 - the marriage celebrant, two witnesses and the photographer) but to be honest, when it came time, it was all good.
We had our wedding night dinner at the Crown Beach Resort down the road, in a private gazebo. The waiter would come by in a golf cart with each course, then leave us completely alone for a half an hour or so to eat etc. As you can see, when we came back from the wedding ceremony, there were beautiful flowers in the room, shaped into a heart on the bed. It ended up, all in all, being mellow, pleasant, and just overall perfect.
Just a note that the photos have been reduced in size, so if anyone is interested in having copies to print, just leave a note in the comments or email me and I'll send you what you need.
Here are some pics from the holiday in Rarotonga. Pictures, clockwise from top, are: our accomodation, myself on the balcony, Island Night entertainment at the Staircase , a pic from Steve's diving, Steve on the bike, sunset in front of our accomodation, a pic from Steve's snorkelling, a Cook Island Christian Church and cemetary, another snorkelling pic, Muri Beach from Wedding Island, having drinks at the Crown Beach Resort (where we also had our wedding dinner), Steve and I overlooking the lagoon while on the Raro Safari Tour, and Steve cooking dinner on the bbq.
We spent two glorious weeks here, renting a bike to get around the island (it only takes about 45 minutes to drive around the entire thing). When we first arrived in the middle of the night, I was a bit concerned as it didn’t look like much, and the only thing you could hear was roosters crowing (to my surprise, they do it more than once and not just at dawn!). The hostel we stayed at was fantastic, and our beachfront unit was more flash and gave us more privacy than a lot of the other places we saw when going around, at a quarter of the cost. Mt first piece of ID in my married name ended up being my Cook Islands driver’s licence. I got it for the novelty factor, rather than practicality, as I suspect many tourists do. It’s obviously just a ploy to bring in more tourist dollars.
Burials here often take place on resident’s personal land. I was struck by this at first as I wondered what happens when the land is sold, as it would seem unusual for the same family to own the land generation after generation. They have a different system, however, for land ownership. Land can only be leased for 60 year periods from the original owner, with the option to renew, but not the right. This is quite brilliant as it ensures that this place can’t become overrun with tourists buying up holiday homes and pushing up costs for the locals.
Having an entire two weeks on a beach island was incredible. I definitely like the attitude towards taking vacation time in this part of the world. People go on ‘holiday’ for anywhere up to a month or more…and workplaces are ok with it! It’s actually a bit sad to be back in Auckland now, as it has yet to warm up much and we just miss the beach. We went snorkelling (me once as I found it a bit alien feeling and scary…hey, I’m a city girl), Steve went diving (note the underwater pics in a deeper blue are from the dive), did a ‘safari tour’ and got far up in the hills, and just hung out on the beach. What struck me about Rarotonga was the fact that it so much less built up and touristy than any other beach holiday I’ve gone on. At first, I thought it might not be all that, but as time went on, I enjoyed it more than anywhere else I’ve been, largely due to this aspect.