Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Little Penang, Wellington

One of the first cafes that I saw when I was exploring Wellington a day after I arrived here is Little Penang heart was dancing with joy when I saw the menu ..they offer asam laksa in their menu! How happy I was coz it is one of my fav food hahaha ...fav food in a long list of fav foods hahahaha ..the day I found this small cafe I did not eat there, as I already had a late breakfast ...but last Saturday, I went there for lunch ..and guess what did I order??? of course, it is my favourite dish ...the assam laksa 

it wasn't that spicy ...but I love it will be one of my favourite places to visit when I am down or stress ..i know it will be my place to drown my sorrow or to cheer me up ...coz everyone who knows me know that I am easily cheered up with food :-)

Amongst others Little Penang's menu also include nasi lemak, karipap, teh tarik, ais kacang, bubur cha cha ..bubur pulut hitam ..char kuey teow ....just to name a few :-)

I always carry a paperback with me read while waiting for my lunch ..while waiting for the bus etc current reading is this paperback by Jonathan Kellerman ... makes a change from my heaps of journal articles and books ...

anyway, so far I have tried the assam laksa at Little Penang ...and before this I had tried the char kuey teow at Cinta ...maybe i should try Satay Kajang House for my next meal??? Watch this space ...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Student life

It is a huge change for me ..usually I am the lecturer and giving advice or guidance to students doing their final year projects ..but now the table is turned..I am on the other side of that table now is a bit weird ...and now, I am on my 3rd week as postgraduate student here in Wellington many changes many things I have to learn ..and life as I know it is basically gone ....

gone were the days where I go to work, and had lunches at Pinang Bistro with my friends ..gone were the days where I just work and then come back home to yummy home cook meals ...gone were the days that I spend time with the kiddos is now such a lonely existence ...I study ...go to my office ....go to the library ...discuss with my sv ..go back to my flat ...and looking forward to video talk with my family ...and at the back of my mind - I want to finish early (well, who doesnt?) so that I can be home soon ....

well there is a saying that says "If life give you lemons, make lemonade..", I am making a promise to myself that I will enjoy my NZ experience ...whilst at the same time study like mad (afterall, this is the main reason I am here...)..i am not focusing all 24 hours of my day 7 days a week on my study ...I want to know more about Wellington - its tourist attractions ..its best kebab shops ..or best fish and chip places ...just to name a few ....i did that last weekend - exploring the city on my own weekend, I will go to different place ....and the weekend after that .....i dont want to be holed up in my office or my flat ...I want some me time ....

view from VUW

I was given an office space - sharing with 3 guys ...I dont really like my office coz at first glance, they are not so friendly ...but my sv persuaded me to try the room when i told him that i prefer to do my work either in the library or my own flat sv said, it should try the office (even though he know that I was hinting for a change of space) ..and I did give it a try ...and a week on, I find that I can work well in the office ...there is no noise as everyone is busy with their own thing ...but now the guys are talking to me, so I dont feel like I am an outsider anymore, I got to know where things are - like the pantry, the toilet (hahaha this is important!), the vending machine and so on starts to feel familiar ...

I suppose what I am trying to say is that, I miss my "old routines" and I have become very complacent and comfortable in that environment ...but coming here and becoming a student is a new challenge for me ...I cant be complacent anymore ...been struggling hard to fight the black dragon in order to come here, so I know I have to work hard ...but, i am a postive person...will be working smart instead and spend some time for myself if life gives you lemons, make lemonade people ....and that will mke us enjoy our life ..and be stress-free :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Wellington Sunday Market (Willis Street)

I have to face the fact that I need to do a lot more cooking if I were to live within my budget when I am here ..Unlike in Malaysia, where food are cheap and easily available, here things are more expensive (considering the exchange rate and all) ...last Wednesday, I went out for a dinner out with my flat mates to Cinta - one of the Malaysian eateries here in Wellington, and I can roughly estimate how much a meal out would cost ..the portions are huge, mind you!  It is a treat to be able to eat out and not having to cook ...but, honestly, if I were to keep to my budget, i will not survive long ..hahaha as the cheapest main mean there is between NZD10 - 12 ...i had done a posting on that outing in the other blog (check it out!)

So, I was introduced to the Sunday Market by my flatmates ...Maryam loves fruits and veges and she took me to the Sunday Market on Willis Street Car Park last week ...the prices are very much cheaper than the fruits and veges at the supermarket ...but if you want to get a fresh produce, come early they say, early birds get the worms (eeewwwwww!!!!)

you are free to pick and choose whatever you want here ..and bring the chosen items to the front where the sellers will calculate your purchase  very different from my experience in Newcaastle, where you have to tell the seller what you want, and they will weigh and get the items for you ..and most of the time, i ended up with fruits and veges that are not that good anymore, you can choose for yourself- which is great!!!

and unlike in Newcastle, I can easily find veges like in Malaysia - sawi, labu air (though I dont eat it), morning glory (kangkong), lemongrass, galangal and herbs like basil (selasih), kesum and so on is great ...these are also widely available in Asian Suermarket, albeit at a higher price (that's what I am told coz I have yet to go to the Asian Market)

a bunch of morning glory (kangkong) is NZD2 a bunch ..last week I saw there was a stall which sell it at NZD1 ..i guess, depending on the seller

there are really cheap stuffs here a head of brocolli (very fresh) is only a dollar ..similar prices for cauliflower, celery etc ...coz different stalls have different prices, it is a matter of going round the stalls to check out the prices ....there are also stalls which sell a not so fresh item, and of course they are much cheaper last week i bought a bag of button mushroom for NZD1.50, but if i were to buy the most fresh mushroom it is NZD8.99 a kilo ...huge difference! so, take your pick ...and Maryam got a huge celery today for only a dollar, and when w went to the Metro on Willis, a similarly size celery is NZD4.99 ...again, huge difference ...

love the vibrant colours!

Judging by the advantages of buying fruits and veges at the Sunday Market, you can definitely bet that I will be shopping here every sunday! I need to save money - as Fendi said - save money for my travels! By the way, there is another Sunday Market here in Wellington, the other one is near the harbour and a bit far from my flat ...but maybe, I will check that one out one of these days :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Week 1 in Wellington

I am in Wellington now ...finally! I have been here for over a week, and during that time have already met my SV twice :-) but as i said in my shared blog with my friends, so far so good ..and I am hoping things will go smoothly for me....

Anyway, left Kuching on Monday, 29th Jan for a morning flight to Singapore, and after an 8 hour transit in Singapore, I left for Sydney using a British Airways flight ..the long 8 hour journey was comfy as I was given a business class seat (woot woot!!!) and managed to sleep for almost 7 hours! Arrived early morning to a wet and cold Sydney, and after a two and half hour transit, got into the connecting flight to Wellinton. A flight that took about 3 hours landed on a hot sunny Wellington at 2.30 pm Welly time ...and by then I was so tired I could barely think straight was about 28 hours since my flight left Kuching ..and the journey was long and dragging!

I had requested for a pick-up at the airport before that, so I was not worried about how to get to my flat, to see this lass holding a placard with my name on it was a great relief ....and an hour later I was sent to my flat at Wai-te-ata ...found out i am sharing a flat with an Iranian PhD student and n Indonesian Master students ...both are nice and welcoming ...when Maryam knew I had just arrived after a long journey, she even made me some tea ..and gave me a plate of fruits! How nice of her  ..and she is the one in the room opposite me :-) ..then Anita came home from her class ..and she cooked extra noodles for me ..coz she said  should eat something and not bothered about going out to find food that day I was so tired, after a quick dinner with Anita, I slept like a log and woke up late the next day ....

Now it has been over a week ...Anita has taken me shopping for groceries at Pak & Save at Kilbirnie ...had shown me Asian Market behind Pak & Save ...and how to use the bus  ..and Maryam had taken me to Sunday Market at Willis Street ..and the New World Supermarket nearby ...I explored the uni and the surrounding a couple of times ...and so far everything is ok, this is going to be my home for the next 3 years ...

leaving them was hard ...and they miss me too apparently ..and Thank God for skype, viber and Talk!

 on a nice sunny day

 did I mention that Wellington is such a hilly area?

but with awesome view of the sea and the harbour :-)