26 Aug: Airport Day

I spent almost my entire day at the airport today meeting up with the airline representatives and knocking on their office doors.  Since i came back, i have been calling up airlines to open up new accounts for my business.  So far, i've called more than 30 airlines, and met about 10-15 of them.   I just need 10% of these to give me some revenue. = )

I met up with B for lunch today.  Coincidentally, he had landed from his Dubai / Cairo trip in the afternoon. 
We went for Swensen's at Terminal 2, and chit chatted until about 230pm, long after the lunch time crowd had came and gone.  B had wrote an email to me earlier, saying that he will try to buy a mummy doll for my baby from Cairo.. Haha.. He never fails to make me laugh..   We went through his photos of Egyptian pyramids and camels from his Cairo trip, then B gave me a bag of Pumpkin Patch baby stuff that he had bought for my baby in Dubai. My baby's first set of clothes!  So cute right!  I love the mouse booties..

B had a strong hunch that my baby will be a boy, so he bought blue clothes.. haha.. then again, i'm sure baby Bria will look good in blue too.. = )

24 Aug: The Day Little K was Born

4:05 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Exactly 28 years ago today, little baby K was born.. = )

We didn't really celebrate this year.   Basically, K and I spent the entire day at home, watching movies and eating in.  We had the fried bee hoon from my mom's place the day before, some vegetables from the coffee shop downstairs, sausages and fruits.  I started sneezing and having a runny nose in the afternoon so we decided to just stay home.

In the evening, K and I met up with my sis and mom in law for dinner at Crystal Jade @ the airport. K had wanted somewhere quiet and not crowded. The waitress at the restaurant even offered me a cushion to support my back, which i thought was a really nice gesture.  So far, it's been great being pregnant.  I've had lots of seat offers on the MRT.  One guy even gave up his seat so K can sit beside me!  Then there was once i was buying fish balls at this stall.  I dropped one of my coins while digging for change inside my purse, and this young man behind me quickly picked it up for me.  Having said that, there are of course some not so nice cases where i can stand wobbling for ages in front of an occupied seat in the MRT and still get no seat offers..

Oh well, i guess the world is not perfect!

Good on you Marine Parade Town Council!

3:55 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
My town council sent some workers to clean up my window ledge last weekend. I must say this is a very pleasant surprise, given that i had not expected to receive any response, let alone action on my email complaint about the litter that has been accumulating on my window ledge.

When I was in NZ, I was so bored that i wrote an email to complain about the litter on the window ledges outside my kitchen and bedroom. I had read an article on Today Online about HDB cleaniless, and that kinda triggered off the whole email. An officer from my town council actually replied and said that he will send some workers to clean up the litter for me.

Last week, when i came back, the litter was still there. Plus, i seem to be having a lot of bugs in my house, which i attributed to the litter outside (which was ridiculous, but i just wanted to blame something / someone anyway). So i sent another email to complain, this time attaching photos of my terribly littered window ledges.

This is how my window ledges look now after the cleanup.
Basically, the cleaners just sweep everything off the ledge and let the litter fall to the ground floor. I could have easily done that myself!! But if i get caught, i will be fined for littering.. haha.. Anyway, i guess this is better than nothing, although it's only a matter of time before the stupid people above my unit starts throwing stuff down again.. Sigh.. what is wrong with all these inconsiderate people!! Because of them, nobody dares to hang their laundry out to dry anymore..

23 Aug: Family Day

3:45 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Sunday = Family day. K and I had breakfast with my parents in law and K's grandma at Chinatown this morning. The plan was for my to buy some ingredients at the wet market for the BBQ party at K's auntie's condo tonight.

We had chwee kueh, chee cheong fun, fish porridge, you tiao and soya bean milk.  How i miss the you tiao here! K and I had such a hard time looking for you tiao while we were in NZ..

The wet market shopping wasn't too appealing for me. We walked around the various stalls selling live and dead fish, meat, live frogs and crabs in cages.. it was lively, but i didn't really like it. Plus, the smell kinda makes me wanna puke.

After our little adventure in Chinatown, K & I headed home and took a nap. This was followed by lunch at my parents' place. Mom had cooked black chicken soup and fried bee hoon for lunch. Not forgetting the various accompaniments for the fried bee hoon such as fish cake, prawn balls and tofu cakes..

We hung around at my parents' place and chit chatted till about 4plus before heading to K's auntie's condo for the BBQ. To me, the BBQ was quite a failure.. Firstly, the BBQ started too late, so when everyone arrived, the food was not cooked yet and there was a long wait. Secondly, the food wasn't too nice. And there were no curry or fried bee hoon, which usually comes with a BBQ.. = )

Anyway, we played Taboo again with the cousins after we have had enough food. That was when i got my daily dosage of laughter. The family also went up to the condo to tour the place. It was huge, about 2000 sq meters i think, but K and I didn't like it. We feel the bedrooms and kitchen are both too small. Whereas the living and dining is too big. Plus, the place had no privacy at all cause the blocks were so close to each other that we can watch the TV of this unit in the block next to us! To me, the kitchen and bedroom is the most important in a home, cause that's where we spend the most time in. But nowadays, the condos and HDB flats seem to emphasize on big living and dining rooms. I guess some people prefer to have more "face" with a big living room to entertain their friends and relatives.. I rather have a big bedroom and kitchen for myself.. = )

22 Aug: Welcome Party

K's cousins, sister and auntie came over to our house for our welcome party tonight. K's auntie and the boys went to the Old Airport Road hawker center and brought back a sumptuous hawker buffet spread for dinner. We had my favourite big prawn noodle soup, fried kuay teow, fried carrot cake, fried oyster omelette, deep fried meat prawn balls, po piah and roast duck.

We played a few rounds of Taboo and Citadels after our dinner, and I laughed my heart out playing with them. Dear old Taboo never fails to make me laugh.. It's really funny how people give the funniest descriptions when they are under time pressure and competition. = )

We ended the night with a surprise mini birthday celebration for K.. I had collaborated with K's sister to sneak in a Bakerzinn cookies and cream cheese birthday cake when he was out buying dinner. It was absolutely yummy..What a nice way to end the day, and also our 110th monthniverssary.. = )

I miss having parties in my house!! = ) There shall be a lot more to come..

21 Aug: A Day @ TMC

12:25 AM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
I spent half my entire freaking day at Thompson Medical Center today. I met mom for lunch (for the first time since i came back) at her office, then took the train to Novena, before taking a cab to TMC for my second attempt at finding myself a good gynae.

This time round, it's Dr. Lim Ah Leng, Jasmine's gynae. Actually, TMC has been my first choice all along, but K didn't like it cause it's far, plus the parking there sucked. Plus, all my friends who delivered there had male gynaes, and K prefered female ones.

Anyway, when i arrived at TMC around 2pm, there was already a long queue. There was this wealthy (or at least wealthy looking) Indonesian Chinese family there. The 3 ladies all had made up hair, LV bags and super glittery high heels. The guy wore polo tee and checked bermudas, and there was this chubby little girl, presumably one of the ladies' daughters making so much noise at the clinic. Actually, she is not little anymore, about 7-8 years old, but very very spoilt. Feel like slapping her.. = P

After registering and taking my height and weight, i waited for about 30 mins before i was told by the counter girl that i had to go for a scan before Dr. Lim would see me. The scan was to look at my baby in details to see if everything was normal. And it would cost me around $150.. I was quite reluctant to do so, and called K to discuss. First of all, we didn't understand why the normal ultrasound scan can't do this, since the consultation would include an ultrasound anyway. Second of all, i had earlier asked the counter girl about the scan for Down Syndrome's, but she told me it's too late now cause the baby is too big, and even if there is something abnormal, i won't be able to abort. So then, i asked her why there is a need for this $150 scan which is to see if baby is normal. Cause to me, whether or not the baby is normal, i can't do anything anyway.

To cut the long story short, i was unwilling to pay for the scan, but if i didn't, Dr. Lim wouldn't see me cause from his point of view, he don't have much information about me and my baby based on my New Zealand scan results, so he's not comfortable doing the consultation.

After about another hour of contemplation, calling K to discuss and then crying inside the toilet by myself because i felt so lost and confused, i finally went for the scan. The queue for the scan took me another 2 hours. By then, it was close to 5pm, and I had gotten so hungry waiting for my turn that I went downstairs for some peanut pancake and warm soyabean milk. The technician who scanned me turned out to be extremely unfriendly at first. So unlike my ultrasound technician in NZ who was so talkative and talked me through the entire scan. This one actually asked me to keep quiet and wait so she can concentrate when i kept asking her questions and making small talk. I ended up lying on my back and staring at the ceiling for at least 20 awkward minutes. The worst thing was i couldn't see the monitor at all, so i can't see what she was scanning. I could only hear the constant beeping of her monitor and feel the cold device rolling all over my tummy. But alas, after she was done with the scan, she suddenly changed into a whole different person and became very friendly. She turned the monitor to me, and showed me the different parts of my baby. She even printed out 3 images of my baby which i had selected, although that was an exception. This girl is really serious about her work man!!

I took my scan results and went back to the clinic to see Dr. Lim, who turned out to be an extremely patient man despite me being one of his last patients for the day. He explained to me the scan results, and then did an ultrasound. He told me to eat more meats and protein and cut down on sweets and carbohydrates (which sucked cause i am so into sweet stuff these days!). And to lie in bed for at least 9 hours a day even if i don't feel sleepy cause of my back ache (Horray!). He also did a blood test on me cause the one i did in NZ was apparently not good enough. Sigh, i also don't know if he is just trying to make more money, first the scan then the blood test... I walked away with my first 12 sample packets of Anmum and Enfa Mamma milk powder though, so I was quite a happy mamma.. = P I finally left the clinic around 730pm when K came to pick me up. So Dr. Lim will officially be my gynae, and TMC will be the place where Bria shall be born.. = )

20 Aug: Her name is Bria

K and I went for my first check up in Singapore today at East Shore.. We had an appointment with Dr. Heng, my sister's gynae for her first girl.

We were at the clinic at 10am, registered and waited for 15 mins before we were asked into Dr Heng's office.  Dr Heng is a nice and very energetic lady in her mid 40s.  Not more than 5 mins after we met her, she received a call on her handphone, and had to rush out to deliver a baby, thereby leaving us alone in her small office.

20 mins later, she came back in, we talked, then she did an Ultrasound on me.  Halfway through, she asked if we wanted to know the baby's gender.  I looked at K with a cheeky grin, and he nodded.  We were going to have a little girl.  And her name will be Bria Lim. = )

When i heard that I was going to have a girl, something inside my sank.  I know that i should be thankful for a healthy and normal baby, but i would be lying if i said i didn't have a gender preference.  That's what people say as lip service.  That they don't have any preference.. Deep down inside, i am sure there is a preference.  And mine happened to be a boy. So i was actually a bit disappointed, although i kept telling myself that it's not confirmed 100% until the baby is born, and if it really is a girl, i can dress her up. = )

After the check up, K also confessed to me that he was disappointed. Which surprised him actually, cause he thought he had no preference.  But something inside him sank too when Dr Heng said it was a girl.  haha.. human nature!

We did a 45 min tour of the hospital  with a Parkway Shenton lady after the check up.  During the tour, i saw this nurse pushing a baby in its trolley towards the nursery.  As she approached the door to the nursery, she released the trolley to open the door, without making sure the trolley had first come to a complete stop.  So the trolley ended up rolling towards the wall and crashed lightly into the wall with the baby inside.. K and I looked at each other stunned.  It was then I made up my mind i didn't want my baby at East Shore.. Plus i didn't really like the gynae.  I felt she was too fast for me, like a bit haphazard you know.. I need someone who is patient and who would sit down and explain everything to me like what a first time mom would expect. So i told K i wanted to look for another gynae and hospital..

After the hospital, K drove me to the airport where I had my lunch meeting with my customer from SQ at Crystal Jade.  Lunch was yummy minced meat noodles and Xiao Long dumplings..  = )  We ended up talking about my pregnancy and girl talk more than business .. haha.. but it was a good lunch...  I'm sure baby Bria enjoyed it too.. = )

19 Aug: My first herbal soup

7:20 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
I had my first herbal soup for dinner today: Black chicken soup.  That was during dinner with ST to catch up and take over Vivatech matters.  ST has been helping us with the business since we left for NZ, and doing a great job.  Although we lost a huge tender, we still made some profits.  Now that we are back and I am jobless, I will need to focus more time and energy to generate more sales for the business.
Dinner was at Soup restaurant at Compass Point.  Everything on the table was basically healthy yet delicious.  Definitely a plus for a pregnant woman! = )

18 Aug: Home Sweet Home

7:14 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Today we leave New Zealand and head home. EK and S drove us to the airport at 8am in the morning after squeezing all our 3 months worth of luggage into whatever boot space we had.
As we wheezed past the streets and people going to work and to school, I can't help but think if i will miss this place and when we will be back again.  We reached the airport about 20 minutes later, and said our goodbyes.  By the time EK and S comes home, my baby will be 1 month old. = )
K and I checked in our luggage and headed straight to the lounge for breakfast.  After changing seats twice, we got ourselves a good spot in a secluded corner with a big round table.  Food was nothing impressive.  I had salmon potato pie, banana, apple juice and this really cheesy thing called "Mousetrap." Cute.  
So far, the best lounge is still the one in Singapore.. and Tokyo!!  I still remembered taking a lot of the lounge food on board the airplane when i was in Tokyo.. My neighbour on the plane must be wondering how come i got more food than her.. haha.. = )
We spent almost 2 hours in the lounge, K using his laptop whilst i flipped through magazines, before finally boarding the plane at 1030am.  We tried to change our NZD into SGD at the boarding area, but changed back again when we realized that there was a transaction fee of NZD16.  hahaha.. complete waste of time..
Our 10 hour flight was uneventful.  I watched 3 movies and played mahjong. Didn't really sleep much.  Kept asking for water and going to the toilet..  Food was so so, although they had really nice chocolate ice cream for dessert.. = )
We finally landed home at 5pm , 1 hour ahead of schedule.  As predicted, K's mom had not arrived at the airport yet when we came out cause of the early landing.  So we strolled to the food court at T1 for my first meal in Singapore after 3.5 months.  I was so looking forward to my favourite Hokkien Mee.   But as luck had it, the stall was closed.. Sigh.. so i had teriyaki salmon, soya  bean milk and kuay chup instead.  Still nice lah, but would have preferred Hokkien Mee.  K's mom and sister came and we caught up with each other over dinner.  I bought my favourite marble cake from Bengawan Solo for breakfast over the next couple of days.  
We finally reached home around 7plus, then had to leave again to go to K's auntie's house to collect our car, say hi and distribute the kiwi fruits we bought.  K's auntie made a passing remark that my baby is a boy when she saw me.  Interesting.. = )
Our long day ended when we came home around 10pm.. By then, i was exhausted and still in New Zealand time zone (i.e. 2am).   I was so glad that the house, despite my fear, was spick and span.  Apparently, my tenant had cleaned the floor before we came back.. Sweet!
K and I slept like babies throughout the night in the comfort of our bedroom, and with air conditioning to mimic the cool NZ weather we have gotten so used to..   = )

17 Aug: The Last Dinner

6:18 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
We had our last dinner in Christchurch at the Jailhouse.  It was, as with the past few nights, a feast.  In fact, I had one Hawaiian girl who is also staying at the Jailhouse telling me that we had every else jealous just by smelling our food every night.. haha.. = )

Tonight, we had stir fried kai lan with cashew nuts, sausages, cream of mushroom soup, cheese omelette and chicken wings.. The sausages were really yucky, but because we had bought a big packet (it was cheap), we had to finish it. K tried to make it taste better but cutting them into little rounders and adding herbs and melted cheese on top.. But it didn't help much, although it looked really good!

I went to bed early after our heavy dinner, so i can wake up early tomorrow for our 11am flight.  K chose instead to start clicking furiously on his mouse in another game of War Craft with EK.

Half of me is looking forward to finally going home, but the other half is starting to miss NZ already..


Why can't we ever have a proper conversation? Every time we talked, either my blood pressure or yours goes up. The volume of our voices shoots up too. For every bad thing that happens, you blame me or someone else. Everyone else except yourself. What is the point of blaming? If you can't provide a solution or help, just shut up. Empty vessels make the most noise. Don't make everyone feel worse than they already are feeling.

Every time you talk to me, you never seem to be interested in my response. Rather, you just blabber on and then get all worked up for nothing. If you want to have a conversation with me, you need to listen. Otherwise, go talk to a wall instead.

You keep asking me why I hate Singapore so much and don't want to come back. How I wish I could tell you straight in the face that YOU are the main reason. That I want to escape from you and go far far away so you cannot reach me. Especially now that I am pregnant. I do not wish to agitate myself or raise my blood pressure any further by talking to you. There is a saying that you are the sum average of the 5 closest people around you. I need to surround myself with positive people so I too can be happy and positive. It's really sad that you are not in my list of top 5 people to surround myself with. EVER.

Sometimes, the very “Support System” that we so terribly need are also the exact same one that causes us the most problems. How ironic..

15 Aug 09: Markets & Museums (M&M)

6:33 AM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Today was M&M: “Markets & Museums” Day. The 4 of us went to Canterbury weekend market, the Canterbury Arts Center and the huge Canterbury museum.

I had fresh milk and my 2 Japanese buns for breakfast today. Actually, I am supposed to be drinking milk every day, but I have not been doing so. Rather, I have been drinking Milo and adding a dash off fresh milk into my Milo for taste. Unfortunately, I have run out of Milo and K refused to let me buy more so I am drinking milk now.. = (

After breakfast, we drove to the city for the weekend market, with the hope of finding a few crates of cheap golden kiwi fruit, so we can bring some back to Singapore. We didn't. Instead, K and I bought a dutch almond cake for breakfast tomorrow after tasting the yummy sample that the stall owner offered us .. We tasted 3 types of home made cakes which were all very yummy. But we only bought one.

It was the arts center after that. We were expecting to find art galleries inside the center, but found instead numerous arts and crafts shops selling all kinds of stuff ranging from food, beads, $10 earrings to $35,000 oil paintings. We spent about 2 hours there before leaving for lunch. On the way to our car, we saw the warden issuing us a ticket. EK tried to call out to him that we are leaving, but it was all too late. We got a hefty fine of $60 for being just 15 minutes late. Sickening! Our plan for today had been to look for free stuff to do, but looks like we just paid $60 for the “entrance fee” to the otherwise free entry arts center. Sigh..

Lunch was at the same cafe that K and I went to yesterday. This cafe sells really cheap food. A big plate of fried rice for $2, and one big honey chicken thigh for another $2. So one can have a decent lunch for $4 which is really cheap.

After lunch, we walked to the Canterbury museum and spent the next 3 hours there exploring the huge place. K and I walked until our feet ached. But we learnt a lot of interesting things like the Antarctica, Asian arts, birds and marine life, ancient Egypt mummies, astronomy and colonial costumes etc. It was a massive library of knowledge. We also spend a lot of time at this children's section, where the museum had turned an entire foyer into a huge playground for kids to learn about their body and its functions. Like the functions of our nose, the eyes, the heart, the intestines etc. There were fun games to play like balancing yourself on a machine, 3D tic-tac-toe, puzzles etc. That was the only place in the entire museum that was bursting alive with kids running around and screaming. That was also the place where I laughed until I teared twice just by watching the kids. Once was when I saw this really cute baby all wrapped up in winter clothes in his pram falling asleep. Like one of those videos we see on “America's Funniest Video”. The second time was when I saw this little boy who was running towards the stair case screaming and his pants falling down. He was like climbing up the staircase and pulling his pants at the same time. It was hilarious.. = )

We explored the museum until we got chased out cause the museum had closed. Don't think we managed to finish touring the entire museum. I am beginning to wonder if this museum is as big as the Louvre, although it sure doesn't look like it from the exterior.

Left with less than an hour of sunlight, we decided to head to the supermarket and buy ingredients for our dinner. Dinner was a sumptuous feast of stir fried vegetables with mushrooms, pan fried hoki fish, cream of chicken soup and sausages with steamed rice... It was delicious and so homely!

After dinner, the 4 of us played 2 rounds of “Cluedo”. EK won the first round, while I won the second. = ) Halfway through the game, my parents called me, and we spoke about whether I will be returning to SG etc. Mom seems to be so worried that I won't get a confinement lady cause I am not experienced and will definitely need help. Mom mentioned something about me not suppose to touch water during confinement etc. However, with me losing 5 months of income, I am not sure if we should spend the money just to get a confinement lady for 28 days. After all, I still need to do everything myself once the confinement lady leaves.

EK and K are now playing “War Craft” on the laptop LAN, while I am locked up in my cell blogging and listening to classical music with baby. I wonder how baby is inside me. It seems to be more active at night, cause I can feel more movements every night just before I sleep. 2 nights ago, I felt the strongest movements from baby. It was like he is using his finger or elbow to poke my stomach from inside. Yesterday night, I asked K to lie beside me and put his hand on my stomach so he can feel baby move. But baby did not move. Haha.. so naughty.. = )

In less than one week, I will know my baby's gender. Really looking forward to it. Somehow, I know this baby is going to be a really special one (in a positive way). = )

14 Aug 09: Staying in Christchurch Jail

The Jailhouse accommodation is actually an actual jail that has been converted into a backpackers hostel. I must say the owners did a very good job at the converting it into a modern accommodation and yet maintaining the original look and feel at the same time. We actually slept in actual jail cells with bunk beds and heavy iron doors. And the toilets are all shared. Even their toilet seats have like barbed wire designs on them. They also have this little board for you to take pictures with and pretend you are a prisoner. Cool right! The downside is, the room is so cold that even the blankets and our portable little heater didn’t do a good job keeping me warm. I ended up sleeping cold at night and waking up cold in the morning.. Plus, we cannot use the wireless internet inside our room cause there is no reception at all due to the thick iron door. We can only get wireless connection in the main living lounge area. Which makes sense cause inmates are not allowed to have any forms of communication inside their cells. = )

Today was a slow and easy day for us. K and I went to the immigration center in the town center, while EK and S started their job search. For the past few days, K and I have been in deep discussions about whether we should stay in NZ and have the baby or go back to SG. My mind has been a big puzzle mess because of this. Anyway, our trip to the immigration office was pretty much a fruitless attempt. Basically, we need to either get a job offer here, invest half a million here, or study here. So far our best option is to study here. But that costs money. We visited a Taiwanese immigration lawyer’s office after that, and spoke to his secretary. The lawyer wasn’t in, but we left our number and he called us back in the evening. The lawyer sounded pretty positive and confident, like he knew some loopholes in the system. He said he could get us a permit based on my educational qualifications, and asked us to send him our resumes and he would revert back to us on Monday. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

We headed back early today, and had leftover pizza for dinner, plus honeydew, instant noodles and fried omelette. I bought myself some Japanese bread for my tea snack in the afternoon, and it was delicious. Will have the remaining 2 for breakfast tomorrow. = )

Bad News

7:52 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
My boss called me from Fairfax yesterday night to discuss about my returning to work earlier than planned. It was all bad news.

2 months ago, when I had informed her that I will be going back to Singapore earlier cause I had become pregnant, she had kept my hopes high by saying that she will get me a short term project assignment so I can work for a few months before having my baby in December.

After 2 months of no news, I was finally told yesterday that I won’t be able to go back to work in September. Because the HR guidelines in Singapore doesn’t allow me to shorten my unpaid leave application, and it doesn’t allow my bosses to “create” a short term project work for me just because I want to shorten my unpaid leave. To cut the long story short, HR did not want to set precedence for other employees by being lenient with my case. I had applied for unpaid leave until 31 Jan 2010. So that was when I could go back to work. Which means I will be jobless for more 5 months when I get back to Singapore next week.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I was further informed me that I won’t be eligible for my 4 months maternity leave. Because the government regulation is that I need to work for 90 continuous days before I deliver my baby in order to qualify for the leave. There goes another 4 more months of income. So total I will lose 9 months of income. Which is a whole damn lot of money!! Sigh..

K and I are exploring the possibility of having the baby here in NZ and not going back to SG.. Initially, one of the main reasons why we wanted to go back to SG to have the baby is because of the 4 months paid maternity plus my job. But now there is one less reason to go back.

If I am to go back to SG, I will definitely have to change my lifestyle. No more social life and meeting up with friends for coffee or shopping. No more nice fancy meals at restaurants.. The baby will also cost us a bomb so need to save up for that. Talk about going back to the harsh reality of life! I don’t want my holiday to end!! = (

13 Aug 09: Franz Josef

It actually stopped raining this morning, so the 4 of us decided to pay a visit to the famed Franz Josef Glacier while the good weather lasted. We had breakfast, loaded our luggage into the backpacker storage room, and drove off to the glacier. We chose the shortest 20 min return route to the glacier lookout and strolled leisurely, enjoying the nature and the fresh air.

I was quite disappointed when I finally saw the glacier.. The glacier was gorgeous, but the lookout from where we were standing was too far away from the glacier to truly enjoy its beauty up close. I’ve always wondered what a glacier is and how it is formed.. Learnt all that from the look out point. I also met a young family with their really happy little baby. Their baby was smiling all the time. Absolutely adorable! I hope my baby will also be like that. = ) After taking some shots of the glacier, we headed back. On the way back, we saw another family, this time an Asian family with their little son and daughter. The little girl was running along with her mother following closely behind her. All the while, she is smiling and laughing to herself. Very very cute little girl. And very pretty too! It‘s really interesting how we human beings tend to pay a lot more attention to certain things when we are in the situation ourselves. Like how I am noticing more babies on the streets now that I pregnant, compared to before..

We had wanted to visit Fox Glacier after Franz Josef, but it started to rain again, so we headed back to the backpackers. On the way back, we stopped by at a Mobil kiosk to pump some air into our car tires, then went back to the backpackers and checked out.

Next stop: Greymouth. K drove the 2 hour leg to Greymouth. We stopped over and had lunch in a small town called Hokitika. The rest had burgers and fries, while I had hotcakes with banana and bacon on maple syrup in this little cafe with a whole collection of really cool tea pots. Felt like bringing some of them home myself!

After lunch, we went to the information center to see what there was to do in Greymouth. After 10 mins of browsing through the brochures, we decided there was nothing to do in Greymouth, so decided to hit the roads again and drive all the way back to Christchurch.

We started droving from Greymouth at 3pm and only reached Christchurch around 7pm. For dinner, we bought 2 boxes of sushi for $10 and 2 Jumbo pizzas from Pizza Hut in a small shopping mall. While waiting for EK and S to pay for the sushi, I fooled around with K in the mall and pressed my palms on the sides of his face. 2 guys walked past us and started to make these really loud funny noises to tease us. K got pissed and shouted to them: “What's your problem man?!" I was so worried they will get into a fight. But luckily the 2 guys just looked at us and walked away. I think they both looked quite shocked at K‘s reaction. After the incident, I talked to K about it, and asked him not to do that again cause if a fight really break out it will be a mess. But he just said his arms are itching and that the 2 guys were just bullies who were too fat to fight him anyway. =)

We began our search for our accommodation for the next 4 nights: The old Addington Jailhouse, and found it after driving around for 15 mins. Not wanting to have our pizza cold, we headed straight to the kitchen and tucked into our dinner without even checking in or unloading. So far, I think this is the coolest place we’ve stayed in!

Glacier town

The alarm didn't go off today at 7am as planned. We had forgotten to set the alarm, and all 4 of us got up only at 830am to have breakfast.

After checking out of Colonial Village motel and loading our luggage into the boot (which was quite a feat cause it was raining), K drove the 4 hour leg to Fox Glacier / Franz Josef. It rained non stop all the way for the next 4 hours. As we drove up the mountains towards Cardrona at Wanaka, we had snow fall. It was beautiful. I tried to take pictures and a video shot, but it cannot justify how beautiful the real thing looked and felt.

Along the way, I started on a book by Ellen Degeneres, which tickled me so much i actually enjoyed it. Lunch was fish and chips and a bowl of deep fried stuff (nuggest / spring rolls, samosa etc) at a small city called Haast. For some reason, I felt so tired after lunch that i fell asleep with my mouth open for most of the drive after that.

We finally reached the town of Fox Glacier around 3pm. The town is so small we only took 15 minutes to drive around before deciding there is nothing there, and continued driving to Franz Josef about 40km away. Franz Josef is a much bigger town, and we found our accomodation at a backpackers with free 24 hr internet access. It was still raining by the time we checked in and unloaded. And there is practically nothing to do except go for glacier walks and glow worm caves. But since it's raining, none of us wanted to do either of the two.

Having unloadedour stuff, the 4 of us walked to the nearby (and only one) supermarket to buy ingredients for dinner. We had pan fried egg with ham, mushroom and cheese, fried rice with chicken and vegetables, and maggi instant curry noodles. Everything turned out very nice except my instant noodles, which was soggy and does not taste anything like curry at all.. = )

K and EK are playing War Craft on their laptops again now.. EK and S have just returned from their glow worm cave exploration with 2 other Taiwanese we met at the back packers. I wanted to go but K advised against it cause it was (and still is) raining and the caves / paths might be slippery. Well.. too bad!

Since there isn't anything to do here, and weather forecast is still going to be rain tomorrow, we will most likely check out and drive again to god knows where.. = )

Exploring Doubtful Sound

Our alarm went off at 630am today. K and I had breakfast, packed our subway and peanut butter sandwich for lunch and stood outside our motel and waited for our coach to pick us up at 715am. There was another middle aged Korean couple making the same trip to Milford Sound as us. While waiting, the man suddenly started doing push ups by the side of the road in the carpark where we were waiting.. Strange man.. = )

The bus finally came about 10 mins later, and it was quite full. Our guide, Bruce stopped the coach less than 5 mins after we boarded, and told us the bad news. Milford road was closed due to heavy rain, thereby increasing the avalanche hazard levels to medium. He gave us the option of alighting there and then and getting a refund, or taking the risk and driving to Milford, which was another 2 hours ride away. He told us he was pretty confident the road will re-open. He even said he was 70% sure. But, he said, in the event that the road is still closed, the tour company will take us to the glow worm caves exploration tour. K was totally not comfortable with that. He was pissed that the tour company was even thinking of replacing Milford Sound with the glow worms cause the latter only cost $51 per person, whereas our Milford tour had cost us $150 per person. A few folks left the coach, but I wanted to take the risk, so we went ahead.

K and I slept most of the way, having only slept less than 6 hours the night before. About halfway through the journey, Bruce updated us with good news: that the tour company managed to get a replacement with a cruise to Doubtful Sound instead of the glow worm caves. But we had to pay $14 per person., which was supposed to be a bargain cause the usual price was more expensive. Plus, lunch won't be provided cause we are last minute transfers. So those who didn't bring their own lunch had to buy from the cafe at the port before boarding the boat.

And so, that was how our trip started. From visiting the (to-be) 8th wonder of the world, to its supposedly inferior cousin. Some people say Doubtful Sound is much nicer cause it's more natural and less commercialized. I can't really judge. Cause it rained throughout the cruise, and we can't really see much except for lots and lots of super high waterfalls cause of the rain.. Everything around us in the fiord was so misty i felt like i was in a dream. Except for the noisy sound of the boat engine!

We had our lunch and tidbits on board the small boat and the cruise boat. When we boarded the cruise board, we were told there would be free muffins and soup for us.. So everyone started to queue up eagerly. Then, after doing a quick headcount, the staff there realized there weren't enough to go around, so we went back to our seats empty handed.. = (

The only highlight of the cruise was when the boat got really close to this huge waterfall and provided an excellent photo opp. We were so close I could feel the water splashing on my face! Other than that, i think we kinda wasted our money. Plus the whole journey was really exhausting. We had to take the coach, then a small boat, then another coach before finally boarding the big cruise boat. And then repeating the whole process on the way back. = ( Getting there basically took up the entire day already. The actual cruise in Doubtful Sound was only 1.5 hours.

Nonetheless, it was a nice cruise and I breathed in a lot of fresh misty air along the way. Another romantic activity for K and I in Queenstown! = )

Before boarding the big boat to cruise Doubtful Sound

The huge ass waterfall that we got really close to..

The misty / dreamy Doubtful Sound

Tomorrow we check out and leave Queenstown. Next stop: The icy Fox Glacier! Hopefully there will be free internet at our accommodation so i can continue to blog..

Romantic Queenstown

2:46 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Queenstown is supposed to be THE city of adrenalin pumping activities. But K and I did none of those extreme sports like sky diving, hang gliding, rapid jets or bungy jumping. Instead, we had a rather romantic time in the adrenalin pumping city going for gondola rides and a walk in the gardens. How ironic!

Yesterday, the 4 of us drove up to the nearby Arrowtown for a look see. K loved the little quiet town, but I soon got bored of the place cause it was totally not happening at all. We strolled around, went into their gold mining museum, went into their "Remarkables" sweet / candy shop, took some random photos, and went to the post office to transfer ownership of the car to EK. Our initial plan had been to visit the Lord of The Rings location site, but we couldn't find any info on it. So we headed back to Queenstown.

Me pretending to lick a giant lolly at the "Remarkables" candy shop

For some reason, I was rather moody yesterday and got into a minor argument with K again. I was quite upset with the fact that there was no plan to do something for today, cause I didn't want to just wander around aimlessly again like we did yesterday. K said the plan was to explore the place and just walk around. But I wanted to DO something. I mean, we are in bloody Queenstown! I wanted to ride the gondola, go and see a kiwi bird, whatever. Cause obviously, i can't do any of the extreme sports. = (

Anyway, we went to Queenstown, had lunch. The 4 of us split up cause i wanted Japanese while they had Chinese. We met up after lunch and headed to the Queenstown Gardens to check out the place, take pictures and see how the game "Frisbee golf" is played. Basically, it's like golf with 18 holes and all, except the holes are targets on a tree truck or a metal basket that you have to aim / throw your Frisbee at to score. After the gardens, we stood around a skate park and watch people skate board before ending up at an ice-skating rink where we parted again.

My Lunch: Grilled Salmon Teriyaki Don

K and I went for the gondola ride while EK and S went ice-skating. We were to meet in town in the evening for dinner. My mood improved when we took the gondola up and took in the spectacular view from the hill top. The place also offered luge rides, and i would have done that if i wasn't preggie. These ones definitely looked much better than the ones in Sentosa! We saw people bungy jumping (and screaming their lungs out) there, and took pictures of the snow capped mountains, which looked totally 2-dimensional to me. We also chatted over a muffin and cappuccino at the cafe. It was nice. = )

The 2-dimensional postcard view from the hill top

Us on the way uphill in the gondola..

K and I had planned to catch the sunset before going down hill again, but somehow missed / couldn't see it. So before heading down, we shopped at their souvenir shop and checked out their $55 dinner buffet spread (which looked really good!).

The ride downhill somehow seemed much faster.. = ) We met up with EK and S around 630pm, had Macdonald's for dinner, and headed back to the motel after that, with the intention to turn in early cause we had to wake up for our Milford Sound excursion tomorrow morning at 715am. We ended up using the net and only turning in past 12 midnight with only 6 hours left to sleep.. Sigh..

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Happy Birthday Singapore! Today marks the 44th birthday of my country, and also the 64th year since the city of Nagasaki was bombed to pieces.

We are all in Queenstown now, the land of extreme sports. Just had dinner 2 hours ago, same stuff as yesterday. EK and S are on talking terms now, so everything is back to normal. = )

EK drove the 2 hours leg to Queenstown this morning and we arrived slightly past noon. We checked in the first cheap motel we could find, a 2 bedroom apartment at "Colonial Village". Our landlord for the next 3 nights is a Korean man who keeps thinking Singapore is in China.. Sigh..
The apartment is pretty decent with electric blankets, good heaters, TV and a nice kitchen. Plus they provide FREE wireless internet! Yay! = )

When we checked in, K also booked our tour to Milford Sound on Tuesday morning. Hope everything will remain normal for the next 2 days so our trip don't get disrupted!

We explored Queenstown city after checking in and unloading our luggage. For lunch, K and I went for Mexican, while EK and S went for Thai. Lunch was delicious but a tad expensive for the small portions they served.. I had Enchiladas while K had Quesadillas.. = )

Me wearing a bright pink Mexican hat that the restaurant provided for their customers..

After lunch, K went back to the apartment to take his handphone, while EK, S and I went shopping at a small mall.. We got bored after a while so decided to shop outside on the streets instead. We ended up having award winning waffles with 2 scoops of Gelato. haha.. K joined us not long after the waffle was served.. otherwise he would have missed out on the delicious dessert! = )

What followed after was more aimless wandering along the streets and window shopping. I was looking for maternity clothes, specifically a new pair of pants to make me feel less uncomfortable. In fact, I have been desperately trying to buy some new pants. I have reached the stage where not only can i NOT button my pants, i can't even zip them halfway. So basically, i am wearing all my pants without buttoning and zipping. So half the time, it's like falling off as I walk. So uncomfortable!!

K and I popped into a few shops but to no avail. Either too expensive, or too ugly. I was finally saved by Glassons, where I bought a pair of stretch elastic black leggings for a cheap $25. I wasted no time at all and wore it on the spot. What a big difference!! Looks like i am stuck with this one pair of leggings for the next one week before i go back to Singapore! = (

7 Aug: Bored in Te Anau

7:09 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Before embarking on our road trip to Te Anau, the four of us popped by the Otago weekend market in the morning for a look see. And boy am i glad we did.. It's by far, one of the better weekend markets we've been to so far. We bought eggs, plenty of apples, some vege and chicken meat for cooking dinner tonight. I also bought myself this chocolate hazelnut cake cum bread looking thing called a brioche, whilst S bought herself a pie. Both turned out awful cause they were too cold and hard. K and I were so happy to finally find a stall selling fresh soya bean milk that we bought 3 cups at $1 each. We also bought 10 steamed dumplings which tasted so good we decided to buy a whole frozen packet of 50 pieces from the delighted stall owner.

S and I picking our $1.50/kg NZ apples..

Steaming hot dumplings and fresh soya bean milk!

K drove the 2 hours leg to Te Anau. On the way, we stopped for lunch at KFC in a small town. EK and S had an argument over lunch which turned physical, and ended with S crying. So the entire drive to Te Anau (and after) was rather awkward for both K and I..

Our accommodation in Te Anau was a decent $50/ night hotel called Fiordland Hotel. Each couple had an ensuite bedroom with a fridge and free tea, coffee and 3-in-1 milo! Plus they had a big kitchen and a lounge area with a pool table, comfy sofas and a huge TV!

After checking in and unloading our luggage, K and I drove out to check out the small town of 1800 people. EK and S both stayed in their room. We went to the information center to check out the conditions of Milford Sound, and were told that the roads will only open on Monday after the whole avalanche mess has been cleared. And the tours for Doubtful Sound were fully booked. And there was nothing else to do in Te Anau except their glow worm caves tour. Which meant that we basically had nothing to do. Bummer..

About 30 more minutes of driving around, and K and I were back in the hotel. We did our laundry, lazed around in bed, crunching on our cadbury chocolates and watching a video on the laptop for about an hour before S came knocking on our door, suggesting dinner time.

So the 4 of us made dinner in the common kitchen: pan fried dumplings, mee sua, stir fried spinach and kai lan, and steamed rice. And the 3 of us discussed about our plans for the next day while S remained mostly silent throughout and looked like a lost puppy.. = )

After dinner, we headed to the lounge area and watched "The Last Samurai" on the huge screen TV, while the boys played pool.. We all turned in after the show about 1130pm after our first long and boring day in Te Anau...

7 Aug 09: Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

4:43 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Despite having a good heater to warm up the room and a comfortable bed to lie on, I did not sleep well last night. K's heavy snoring totally kept me awake. Plus, I got up several times to adjust the volume on my windows media player, which I had set to play classical music MP3s throughout the night. The stupid thing about classical is that every piece can go from very soft at the beginning to very loud in the middle, then suddenly soft again. To put it short, I don't think I slept much at all.

Today was chocolate and theatre day for me. The 4 of us skipped breakfast and indulged ourselves in delicious dim sum in the city center. Regardless, this is still the second best compared to the dim sum we had in Wellington. After dim sum, EK and S went shopping around the city center, whilst K and I rushed off to the University of Otago to catch a short play called “Paper Cut”, performed and produced by their theatrical students. The play tells 3 different short stories about the brevity of passionate love, coffee and baby Jesus. As we walked through the campus which was buzzing alive with students from all nationalities, I suddenly felt a strong urge to go back to my studies again. I missed campus life so much!! We paid $10 for 2 tickets for the play. It was all very good acting and production given that the cast and crew are all students, and the limited budget they had. The only props they had were 2 chairs. And the play didn't even take place in a theatre or on a stage but in a lecture hall and on the floor. Nonetheless, we thought it was good.

After our play, we met up with EK and S, who had bought themselves some sandals and boots from Number 1 Shoes. We walked towards the Cadbury chocolate factory and spent the next 2 hours there touring the factory and learning about chocolate making and the history of chocolate... During the short 1 hour tour, we were given about 4-5 different types of Cadbury chocolates. Plus extras that the guide gives out to those who answers her questions correctly during the tour. My favorite Cadbury chocolate now is Snowballs: Marshmallow coated with chocolate and sprinkled with coconut on the outside. We also witnessed a whole tonne of pure chocolate cascading down like a waterfall into a huge bucket for 30 seconds. That was so cool! Too bad we can't take photos during the tour!!

Me with thousands of gold foil covered Cadbury chocolate bars

K and I posing with one of the earliest Cadbury delivery trucks.. Its top speed? 20km/hr.. = )

We bought ourselves more Cadbury chocolates after the tour, and then walked around the visitor center and immersed ourselves in the history of chocolate before heading out for dinner. The 4 of us split up again for dinner, cause I felt like having Jap food whilst S wanted Thai. Because we were the first customers, the restaurant gave us a complimentary plate of Gyoza. So nice right! Between the 2 of us, we had Japanese vege patties, 8 pieces of sushi and a teriyaki chicken bento set with tempura, more Gyoza, spring rolls, salad, fruits and miso soup. I think I am hooked on miso soup these days.. Always feel like one bowl is simply not enough!

After dinner, the 4 of us met up in one of the shopping malls and planned our trip tomorrow. As of this morning, workers were still clearing the 1 metre thick snow from the avalanche at Milford Sound. So most likely we won't be able to go. But we are still heading down South anyway cause otherwise we have too many spare days left before K and I fly back to SG. I bought myself a cookies & cream and chocolate ice cream cone at the mall, and ate it in the cold as we walked along the city streets. So shiok!!

After walking around aimlessly, K and I decided to head to the public library which closes late at 8pm today. EK and S had split up from us by then, and we were to meet back at Hogwarts. After about 45 minutes of free internet browsing at the library, K and I strolled back to Hogwarts. Tomorrow we will all wake up early at 7am and start our next road trip to the town of Te Anau. Goodbye Dunedin, I'll be back!! = )

6 Aug: Commemorating Hiroshima

4:38 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
Exactly 64 years ago today, the entire city of Hiroshima was bombed to pieces. 64 years later on the same day, something inside me too exploded. And to me, it felt like the entire city of Hiroshima exploded inside me. I have not felt so much anger and hurt inside me for a very long time. Once again, I do not wish to blame it on my changing hormones. But I must admit I am becoming really sensitive and touchy these days.

Once again, it's the whole thing about me needing attention much more than ever now that I am pregnant. Attention I have received, but not as much as I had hoped for, especially from the one person I truly needed attention from.

Today we checked out of Wanaka and drove another 3 hours to Dunedin – “A City of Firsts”. Dunedin is home to NZ's first University (Otago), first chocolate factory (Cadbury), first daily newspaper, and also the place where the first telephone call in NZ was made. We also have here the world's steepest street (Balwin St).

After having Japanese Bento sets and seafood Udon soup for lunch, we set off on our search for accommodation, and settled at a backpackers called “Hogwarts” - the former home of a pretty wealthy bishop. This place is actually the best of all the backpackers we have stayed in so far, with a huge double room, good heater, and decent facilities. My bedroom even has a small staircase leading to a small reading area with a large comfy sofa facing the window.

After checking in, the 4 of us headed to Otago Peninsula for some penguin and seal watching. We had to go down and climb up steep sand dunes just to watch a few ugly seals and one pathetic penguin which kept coming onshore and diving back into the water when he saw us. Quite cute these flightless birds! = ) But I didn't like the seals. Seals / sea lions remind me of some people I know – So ugly but yet so full of themselves and complete show offs.

The one pathetic penguin that we saw. We had to stand at least 20 metres away from it, hence the small image..

My Hiroshima bomb went off at Otago Peninsula when we climbed up the steep sand dunes back to our car. Since nobody cared whether I am pregnant and might hurt myself while climbing up and down the steep sand dunes, I had to depend on myself and climb up without any help. I forced myself to climb up even though I knew I was not in the best of physical shape. I was panting so hard along the way cause it's so difficult to climb up on sand that just keeps slipping off beneath your feet. I fell on my hands a few times and once just fell. At one point, it was so bad I felt all the air being knocked out of me, and got so dizzy that I nearly fainted. But I continued on. If nobody cared, why should I? Perhaps I should just run all the way uphill, fall a few more times and have a miscarriage along the way. All the better... I cried to myself in the car on the way back..

After Otago Peninsula, the 4 of us headed to the library to use the free internet for browsing. We had to pay if we wanted to check our emails. So stupid. At about 730pm, all of us got hungry and headed to this Korean restaurant for dinner. I had BBQ chicken with tofu stew and side dishes.. The rest had kim chi stew and spicy seafood noodles. Everything was so spicy that I ate until I teared and sniffed.

S had a craving for ice cream after dinner, so we went to Macdonald's for their 50 cents ice cream cone. S bought one for me, not realizing that I should not be eating soft serve ice cream while pregnant. So K ended up having my ice cream instead. We headed back to Hogwarts after picking up a few apples from the supermarket.

Tomorrow we plan to visit the Larnach's castle and the Cadbury chocolate museum. So far I really like Dunedin. It has a really young population so it's not like a ghost town after 5pm (unlike most of the cities we have been too), many beautiful cathedrals, and lots of shopping and restaurants serving decent and cheap food because of the large student population here. Plus, they have a huge hospital, a castle and penguins. = ) Dunedin is definitely on my list of cities to stay in NZ when we move here for good.

5 Aug 09: Puzzles & Shots

4:34 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
I made French toast for breakfast myself today. I went to bed hungry yesterday night and woke up hungry. K was supposed to make the French toast for me, but I ended up doing it myself while he watched “Iron Man” with EK, and that pissed me off totally. I started to imagine things, and visualized how this is going to repeat itself when I am under confinement. I would tell K I am hungry, and he would ignore me and continue watching whatever's good on TV instead of attending to my needs. Out of spite, I didn't make any toast for him, and didn't acknowledge his presence thereafter.

After breakfast, we headed to the post office to send back all the ski wear and the car steering wheel lock (together with a Thank You card) we had borrowed from Tony's family in Auckland. After the whole blizzard experience and tiring first timer lessons yesterday, we all figured we won't be doing any snow sports for some time.. = )

We headed to Puzzling World after that and spent the next hour or so exploring the weird puzzles and illusions there. It's actually a pretty interesting place and we took quite a lot of pictures. There are different rooms with different themes, like the Hologram room, a room full of famous people's faces that seem to follow you everywhere you walked, a room that can make you look like a giant and a midget, and a room that throws you out of balance completely. The last room was very unique, but K and I felt so giddy inside that room that we got out as soon as we could.

K and I trying to balance the leaning tower of Wanaka..

K's the giant while I'm the dwarf

Now it's the other way round.. = )

This was taken in the room that threw us out of balance..

Me with Mother Theresa. At a certain angle, her face pops out and appears convex. When you walk from side to side, it changes and becomes concave..

Amongst all the photo taking and exploring, I kinda became less pissed off with K. He didn't seem to realize I was angry with him, and kissed me couple of times, so I guessed that helped..
= ) When we had some alone time, I told K about my unhappiness over breakfast, and he had a very good explanation, so we were fine after that..

We left Puzzling World after exploring all the rooms, and decided to head off for lunch before going back again to try out their Giant Maze. Lunch was chicken parmigiana, beef lasagna and battered fish & chips at a restaurant called The Reef. Everything was average except the beef lasagna, which tasted worse than those frozen ones they sell in the supermarket.

The 4 of us went back to the Giant Maze after lunch, and had a Maze Challenge to see which couple finds all the 4 colored towers and get out of the maze first. We spent nearly 1 hour in the 1.5km (think we covered 3km at least!) confusing maze walking on uneven ground and climbing staircases, and that got us all totally tired out after that. K and I lost to EK and S, and our forfeit was to clean the car. = ( I actually blamed K cause we lost some valuable time when we were on one of the towers and he offered to take pictures for this Ang Moh family even though they didn't ask. Being the competitive person I am, I was really disappointed that we didn't win. But it was all still good fun. = )
Me at some point in the extremely confusing maze

We were the first to reach the finishing point, but still lost cause we only found 1 out of 4 towers!

K and I taking a dump roman style.. = )

By the time we finished, it was almost 4pm. We decided to check out this place called “Have a Shot”, where EK and S did the rifle range, while K went clay bird shooting, which is actually more difficult than it seemed..

K and I after 30 shots at claybirds

After that, we headed to the supermarket as usual, and got ingredients for dinner. I did fried rice with chicken, egg and mushrooms, while EK and S did instant spicy noodles, and stir fry vegetables. And K pan fried crumbed fish fillets. My fried rice turned out terrible, totally unlike what I had cooked for K before at the Hastings motel. It was too salty. So sad!! I kinda give up trying to rescue my fried rice, so K ended up re-frying the rice for me. Sigh.... I think I am losing my ability to cook. Cause my French toast tasted bland as well this morning. = (

Tomorrow we will check out of our motel and leave Wanaka. Still not sure where we are heading. The plan is to go to Dunedin, then Te Anau / Queenstown before heading to Milford Sound. But Jeremy told us yesterday night that Milford Sound has been closed due to an avalanche, so maybe we won't be able to go after all. We intend to go and check the conditions at Milford Sound tomorrow morning before deciding where to go next. Really hope we can still continue as planned cause I would REALLY like to go to Milford Sound, after hearing so many good stuff about it from others! My sister actually told me that I MUST go there before I come back to Singapore.. haha.. Keeping my fingers crossed for good weather this week and next!

K and EK are still playing computer games beside me now. Think S went to bed already, and I too, am getting sleepy. These 2 boys have been playing this battle strategy game called “Quake” (something like Counter Strike) for the few nights. Think they are reliving their poly days.. = )

4 Aug: Skiing & Snowboarding @ Cardrona

3:42 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
We woke up at 7am today. I had garlic butter toast for breakfast. While we were having breakfast, Jeremy (K's cousin) called and told K that his car just spun out on the snow mountains. He advised that we put chains on our wheels before going up. We managed to borrow the wheel chains from our land lord at the motel, and left for the ski slopes around 830am. The drive up took about 30 minutes.And because we have never done it before, the boys had difficulty fixing the wheel chains. As it turned out, the chains were not the right size for our wheels, so we took another set from the shed at the stop point, and EK and K managed to fix those on.
As we drove uphill, we saw more and thicker snow. It was beautiful.

When we reached the ski slopes, the 3 of them bought $100 passes each for 4 hours of skiing and snowboarding beginner lessons, while I bought a $20 pass for unlimited rides on the chair lifts. We took a really long time to prepare ourselves for the sport. First, the 3 of them had to change into ski / snow boarding clothes, then rent and put on the equipment before we could all walk out into the actual ski / snowboarding areas for the lessons. There were already so many people there when we arrived that I was half worried I will get knocked down by some skiing or snowboarding people rushing down the slopes.

The snow was about 15cm thick, and temperature was -4 degrees C. But there was sunlight so it didn't feel that cold on top of the mountains.

I hung around and watched and took photos for about an hour, then got bored eventually and went inside the cafe, where I ordered apple juice and freshly baked chocolate muffin for myself. = ) I sat at a table for 4, and people watched.for about 45 minutes before hoards of people started coming into the cafe. I looked out the window and realized that there was a blizzard. So I switched on my walkie talkie and paged for K.

No response. So I walked out to the ski slopes, where the wind had gotten so strong that the snow kept hitting my face hard and visibility was so bad I couldn't see anything at all except a thick fog of white snow blowing across. Before I walked further out into the blizzard, I asked a girl along the way if the snowboard / ski lessons were still ongoing. She said she didn't think so. So I U-turned back to the cafe and walked up to the second floor of the cafe. I got pushed around a lot in the crowd, cause I don't think I looked very pregnant in my winter jacket. I even walked back to the toilets near the car park to look for K. The whole time, I kept pressing the comms button on my walkie to page for K, but still no response. After about 15 mins, I actually panicked a bit, like a kid who has just lost his parents in a crowded shopping mall. I walked back to the cafe again, cause I had told K I will be there when I left the ski slopes earlier. By then, there were even more people. It was kinda impossible to do anything in the blizzard so EVERYBODY was in the cafe. Then, I finally saw EK and S, and heaved a sigh of relief at seeing someone I know. About 2 mins later, my walkie rang. Apparently, K's instructor was crazy enough to continue lessons cause when K paged me, he was still in the ski field and his lesson had just ended. The 4 of us finally met up and had lunch at the busy crazy cafe.

After lunch, EK and S went back for their 2nd ski lesson, while K and I sat in the cafe cause K didn't want to learn snowboarding in this crazy weather. We sat for about an hour before we got bored and went out to play with snow and look for EK and S. By then, a lot of people had gone back to the slopes. The wind was still really strong though, and a lady was walking around the cafe and shouting to everyone that the chair lifts were all closed. Which meant people couldn't go up the slopes and won't be able to ski or snowboard down either.

The 3 of them snow boarded / skied a bit at the foot of the slopes while I stood at one corner and watched them. The 4 of us had a mini snow fight before we were told that the slopes were closed cause the blizzard didn't subside. So we headed back, returned our gear, changed shoes and clothes, took some last minute pictures, removed wheel chains etc.. So troublesome right! I think only EK enjoyed himself. S kept complaining, and K simply cannot understand why people would go through so much trouble for the sport.

Penguin mascot at Cardrona

EK and S on their first ski lesson

K on his first snow boarding lesson..

My boots after walking around in a blizzard with 15cm snow

After our snow experience, we went to the supermarket (usual thing). Dinner was minced chicken porridge and steamed egg. Plus leftover pizza. It was my first time preparing the steamed egg, but it turned out quite nice I think!

After dinner, K and I met up with Jeremy for drinks. We were running late halfway through preparing dinner, so EK and S cooked the remaining stuff: Stir fry spinach with carrots and mushroom, and leftover spaghetti from yesterday. We had drinks with Jeremy at a bar in town called Shooters. Turned out it wasn't just Jeremy, but some of his friends as well. And his friends were all guys, his girlfriend didn't even turn up! It was rather awkward for me at first, but after a while I warmed up and started chatting with them. We left around 930pm, headed home, showered and slept.. Tomorrow is our last day in Wanaka. And we are going to Puzzling World and Toy and Transport Museum. I am already planning French toast for breakfast!!

3 Aug: First Snow Sighting & Lake Wanaka

3:39 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
After having our breakfast in a very crowded kitchen, we checked out of “Tailor Made” backpackers and started the day with a drive up to Mt. John university observatory. We saw some decent snow for the first time since we came to NZ, and took plenty of photos. I had a cup of “Orgasmic Organic” chocolate ice cream, while K had a cup of hot cappuccino and a slice of carrot cake. We all sat on the bench outdoors with the beautiful view. It was sooo nice!!

K drove the 3 hour leg to Lake Wanaka. We reached there around 230pm and started searching for accommodation. Went to the i-site to collect a few brochures, started calling up a few motels, drove down to a few more to see the actual rooms, and finally settled with a 4- bed studio unit at Fairway Motel, which is just 5 mins drive from the small town center. By the time we finished unloading our stuff, it was already 3plus and I was so hungry. We drove to the town center, parked and started walking around in search for food. After walking for about 5 mins, we finally settled on Da Vinci's pizza, and ordered 3 large pizzas to share. The very hungry 4 of us managed to gobble up 19 slices of pizza altogether.. = )

After lunch, we headed back to the i-site to collect brochures and information on the ski slopes for our trip up tomorrow. I learnt from the lady there that there were no snow tubing or snow sleds on the slopes, which meant I couldn't do anything tomorrow except watch the rest of them ski and snow board. That upset me quite a lot. We had walked over from the pizza place to the i-site while K went to collect the car. We were done in a jifffy, and ended up having to look for K in the cold wind, which kinda pissed me off even more. K arrived a few minutes later. Turns out he had been driving around for a look see while we were searching for him.. By then, I wasn't really in the best of moods. The 4 of us drove around Wanaka to see if we could do anymore sightseeing or touristy stuff.

It was already 5pm, so a lot of the places were closed. The 3 of them ended up taking pictures at this place called “Puzzling World” while I stayed in the car and waited. I was in no mood at all to take pictures or do anything else for that matter. And being the ever so “transparent” me, my emotions showed. K asked what I was upset about, but I didn't reply.

After “Puzzling World” and another 10 minutes of aimless driving, we finally decided to go to the supermarket to buy ingredients for our dinner. After much deliberation, we settled on EK and S making spaghetti for dinner. Again, I wasn't in the mood for the whole supermarket shopping either. And EK and S kept asking me what food to buy and what I wanna eat, cause K was outside parking the car. But I wasn't in the mood at all to think about what to eat, so I just asked them to decide.

Dinner was simple but delicious. Spaghetti with minced chicken in tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. = )

We went through the ski brochures during dinner, and when we finally had some time alone, I burst and told K what I was upset about. I know it's really silly to be upset over the fact that I won't get to ski / snowboard tomorrow cause I am pregnant. But I couldn't help it. At that point, I was totally pissed off at my pregnancy and the baby, cause it has caused me so much inconvenience, and because of it, I am missing out on all the fun stuff.. Sigh.. Crazy right!

Anyway, I felt so guilty for blaming the baby after that that I apologized to it before I slept that night. I hope it doesn't feel unwanted.. = (

2 Aug: Picturesque Lake Tekapo

3:36 PM by Adeline Woo 0 comments
I had some problems with my key deposit after checking out of Cokers this morning. The stupid lady kept insisting that it was written in their log book that only $20 was collected, but I had paid $40 for 2 keys. I told her a guy named Chris had taken the money from me when we checked in. But she told me there's no such person. I was dead sure the guy's name was Chris. So I described the guy to her. She said she knew who I was talking about but his name wasn't Chris. So I asked her to go and check with this guy. Then she said the guy is too drunk to remember anything so early in the morning. Wah Lau!! I just kept repeating my stand and gave her this “don't bully a pregnant woman” look, and she finally relented and went upstairs to check with the guy. And I got my money back. = )

After we left Cokers, we went back to West Field mall because EK had left the light soy and chilli sauce at the ASB bank. We encountered more irritating people there. There were already staff loitering around inside the bank when we arrived, but they had insisted we come back half an hour later at 10am cause that's their opening hours. That was despite us having told them that we just want to collect something we left behind, not do banking transactions.. We ended up wasting 30 mins hanging around and waiting outside the bank. Sigh.. Why are these people SOOO freakin rigid??

EK drove the 3 hrs leg to Lake Tekapo today. Along the way, we were stopped by a traffic jam caused by some sheep being chased along by a sheep dog while we followed close behind. This was a first time for all of us and we were all totally amused by it. The sheep are all so obedient and so cute!

We stopped for lunch at a small town called Geraldine. Had lousy smoked chicken and mushroom fettuccine, while K had lamb that tasted like liver. Only S's fish and chips were good. We finally reached Lake Tekapo around 3pm and started looking for accommodation in the very cold wind! Finally decided on “Tailor Made Backpackers”.

There weren't anybody staying there when we checked in, so we kinda had everything to ourselves. The place even had free minestrone soup in the kitchen! I wanted to drink some but K was in a hurry to make use of the sunlight so he told me to drink when we come back in the evening. So after checking in and unloading our luggage, we drove to the lake for some breath taking scenery. I was overwhelmed by the gorgeous view of snow capped mountains and pine trees surrounding the clear and serene blue lake. The whole view looks so fake I felt like I was in a postcard! Just standing there made me feel so happy and peaceful. There and then, I fully understood the meaning of “picturesque”..= )

After that, the 4 of us drove to this Ski Park and explored around. We saw kids snow tubing and people ice skating and having hot spas. I had terrible contractions (or whatever it was) while walking downhill back to our car from the ski park. Think these are the worse ones so far. It's like I am having really bad stitches but below my tummy.

In the evening, we headed to a small “4 Square” supermarket and bought chicken and fish fillets for dinner. We cooked mee sua and instant noodles with fish fillets for dinner. When we got back to the backpackers, a lot of people had checked in, and there was no more soup! I was so sad cause I had been looking forward to it. We played Monopoly and listened to classical music in the lounge after dinner. EK emerged the winner with the most money and most number of houses on the board. We ended the game at 930pm, bathed in the common bathroom and then turned in for the night...