Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fisherman Story

I heard this story this morning at my church's Malaysian Cell Church Conference (MCCC). Dale Gallaway from New Hope Church in USA spoke on visions:

There was this fisherman who was fishing for hours when he noticed a nearby boat with a couple who were also fishing. Although he was there for hours, they seemed to be catching many fishes and he started to change his fishing rod, baits or whatever he could think of in order to lure in the fish. All to no avail.

He then observed the couple and noticed they were throwing back large fishes back into the waters and keeping the smaller ones. Frustrated and confused as to why they would do such a thing, he shouted out to them to ask why they were doing so.

The guy in the boat whipped out a small frying pan and said "The large fishes won't be able to fit into our frying pan!".

This was the coolest story I learnt over the whole 4 days of the seminar. Sometimes we get larger fish but because it doesn't fit into our pan (plans), we simply throw it out. God may have a bigger plan for us yet we only take what is convenient which fits comfortably into our daily schedule.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Star Wars III - at last!

Not that I'm a great fan of Star Wars, but as my friend Adrian puts it, we watch it under obligation since we've already watched the other 5. Man! Lucas is earning millions due to obligations!

The movie was, in many scenes, unconvincing and corny. I wasn't convinced Anakin's real desire to join the dark side was strongly portrayed. And neither was his grief on hearing Padme's death portrayed his supposed anguish. The script was a little hilarious at bits "... because I'm filled with love" and also Obi-Wan's warnings of "Watch out" to Anakin when they were avoiding droids why piloting their planes displayed none of the urgency while going through a war.

But I managed to see the trailer for Narnia.... oooh I can't wait for that one but I'll try to keep my expectations low. Try.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Front Pages

Have you ever taken a good look at the front page of your local paper? I've never taken notice until one colleague pointed it out amidst hearty laughs. I swear the most-read English paper does this on purpose. They link their headlines to the pictures although the picture often refers to some other story.

For example, there was this headline once that said "Tougher Sentence for Serial Rapists" with a picture of someone culling chickens during the bird flu scare.

Yesterday was quite hilarious too, "Hunt for Tax Evaders" with a picture of a soldier taking aim with a rifle. I didn't read what the picture was refering to but I had a good laugh in the morning.


Over the last couple of months or so, KS has been lamenting about this witch he had to deal with in this bank. She would call him every 10 minutes or so to find out irrelevant information "to prepare herself in case the bosses ask her". This resulted in frayed nerves and a very short temper by the end of the day.

I listened sympathetically and had once talked to her on the phone when we were on our way to work as he was driving. Of course, she did sound like a total witch, insinuating that if she doesn't get that information, they would cut off the deal. Resigned, KS tried and tried to accomodate her.

Then as we went to NZ, his boss had to take his calls and she was frazzled with the witch's calls. His boss finally understood his moans and pains.

Today, on the way to work, KS gets me to call the witch to inform her of a postponed meeting. He whipped out her business card and I started calling but after a few rings and no answer, I chickened out and hung up. Toying with several suggestions of how to leave a message so she won't get mad, I decided to take a proper look at the card. The name jumped out and I gasped and exclaimed so loudly KS nearly swerved.

"What? WHAT?" he demanded.

"I KNOW her!"

"What do you mean?"

"She is from our church and she was my partner for one of the courses we took together!"

"Are you sure?"

"Yup, and I've been keeping in touch with her off and on"

"Oh God.... NOOO!!!!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My nephew, James

Here's a picture of James my nephew, taken some years back. Here he was modelling for an Isetan ad in Singapore.

James is now past 3 years and is a great boy to be with. My mum would lie down with him while he tries to go to sleep and he would then murmur, "Poh Poh, you're the best!".

He has an obsession of staring at the wheels of his toy cars as he rolls them across the table/floor.

Blue Black

Placing your clock on the top of the bed is not a good idea. Try craning your neck as you wake up sleepily and try to focus on the clock upside down. It hurts your neck and you often read the clock wrongly.

This morning was one of the times when I read it wrongly. I literally catapulted from the bed as I thought I was extremely late. Jumping in and out of the shower, I then made a quick selection of what I thought was my black trousers. It is one of my loosest ones and when I slipped it on, it pulled at my hips and thighs. What a way to start the morning thinking your pants are beyond salvation of your fat bum.

It was not until I reached the office and had a really good look and realised it was my dark blue pants which has always been tight (yeah, right from the day I came back from my holiday).

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Ex PM

Yesterday we drove from Melaka back to KL after spending a good long weekend there eating, watching tv, eating, sleeping... what a fabulous itinerary!

I swear the clock showed 4:10pm as we backed out of the driveway and because I was feeling sleepy, I slept the entire trip only to be woken up when we neared the toll and the clock read 5:22pm! Now, it apparently takes 1 hour 15 mins toll to toll so I reckon KS must have really stepped on it while I was sleeping.

Anyway, we decided to hang out at Berjaya Times Square as we had to wait for my sis to arrive from the Pudu bus station nearby. I must say this is a really large and tall shopping centre and since I'm not used to the layout, gave me headaches just trying to go around the shops.

Finally we decided to step into Borders (cited to be the largest in Asia) but we then realised they didn't claim it to be the biggest bookstore in Asia, merely the largest BORDERS in Asia. Ah well, they got us fooled.

I grew up on books and love reading. Going in there rekindled all my reading desires and I badly wanted to pick up at least 3 books. But since I was broke, I already signed a contract with KS for him to stop me from buying anything. Belatedly, I eyed the rows and rows of deliciously enticing stories, wrapped behind each cover waiting for me to unfold each story.

Suddenly, there was a tinge in the air. Everyone started moving a bit more cautiously and attention was directed towards a small framed man who had just stepped in. Tun Mahathir. People started drawing close with several people actually going up to him, asking for his signature and shaking his hand. The staff were in a flurry, flushed with excitement as they hovered in groups while throwing glances his way.

I've actually met him before and got his signature. That time he was surrounded with a whole battallion of guards with Rafidah Aziz beside him so I merely shoved my item into his hands to sign it. No words. However this time, he looked so much smaller and well, older.

I asked KS later what he would have said to him, "Thank him for bringing us to where we are now" but otherwise we didn't know what else to say. Mine would have been a simple "Eh, you're working on a public holiday ah? You're in your uniform!".
What would you say to him?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Rain Dance

Ask my close friends. They'd all solemnly swear I have the following "gift".

It all started when I was much younger, in my teens perhaps. It used to be so hot that I would take a bucket of water and sprinkle water on the cement driveway, watch it evaporate and repeat. This could be any time of the day but it must be HOT.

Then I'd notice that it would rain thereafter. Believe it or not, I convinced myself that I could do it but never shared it with anyone.

Until I grew older, I would simply do this off and on. Slowly I revealed it to those closest to me and of course there would be disbelief and laughter as people started looking at me like I were some crackpot. Then I'd prove it to them and they'd thereafter keep quiet and ocassionally request for rain.

One memorable incident was when my friend Adrian declared it was the hottest day that year and I slanted him a look and said, "You want rain? I'll do my dance if you'd like". He laughed and laughed and poked fun of me but I kept quiet. Then, just before I left his place in the carpark, I took out some water and trickled it onto the road.

That afternoon, dark clouds gathered over his apartment and a storm erupted. I was passing by the area again and triumphantly looked at KS (who is a believer) and gave a grin. Shortly, an sms came through from Adrian "I am not worthy!" with further requests for making it rain purple-haird Japanese babes.

More recently, my friend G didn't want to go to a function she was obligated to and begged me for rain so that she'd have a great excuse. When rain did come at 3pm, she shook her head and said it didn't qualify as the function was late evening.

Surprisingly, the rain stopped although it was still cloudy and then rained again later on in the evening! She had already gone home and was preparing to go. She sms-ed me giving thanks for the great thunderstorm over her area.

Do you now believe? *evil laugh*


Why is it that I can lose interest in everything in my life and yet I'm still glued to Neopets?? It beats me that I've been playing Freaky Factory eversince I was introduced to it during he Christmas holidays. I was even playing it the night before my wedding!

I wonder if I baked and baked and baked as much as I played, I'd still be obsessed with baking. At least if I were, I'd be able to make real money by selling them and not just neopoints!

On the Spot

Have you ever encountered getting a smart answer to a question you got 10 hours too late? I get that all the time so much so that I've given up trying to retort my "perfect" answer on the spot.

However, these last couple of days, I find that my tongue and brain started to be in sync and have said a few things which would have taken me hours to come up. It feels gooood...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Speaking of Spits...

My eldest sister told me this story so this is not first hand. She was sitting in a train in Melbourne and there was this attractive girl sleeping on the crowded train. Just as this scruffy looking guy was about to step out at the next stop, he cleared his throat and drew up phlegm and spat it out. Unfortunately it landed on this girl's hand (I think it was somewhere near her wrist or something). Anyway, she suddenly wakes up, sees the spit and proceeded to lick it up thinking she had drooled while she dozed!

Now go drink something.

Public Toilets

Yes, that was our topic of conversation at lunch. We tend to have very interesting topics and those with a weak stomach may never want to eat with us again. Ask KS.

Anyway, we were discussing about the Malaysian mentality and why we're "not there yet" with our first class facilities. Of course, the best example was how we used our toilets. Cross a small strait into Singapore and their public toilets are generally such a pleasure to use. We pay to get into some of our toilets and yet never experience the same cleanliness we get overseas.

Some public toilets here have bars placed above the bowl to prevent squatting on the bowl. In Australia, my sister told me there is a signage in their toilets often used by Asians to request the users not to stand on the bowl. How embarrassing! We're famous for squatting on toilet bowls apart from being the best people to forge credit cards.

In fact, in my office toilet on my floor where people are supposed to be more "educated", I often find a watery blob of spit on the floor in the stall. If it's there long enough, the perimeter of it will be lined with small red ants happily drinking it in. I mean, how difficult is it to spit into the bowl in that small room for cryin' out loud??

My proposal is that we get rid of all squatting toilets at home so that everyone learns how to use a sitting one properly without taps. Our toilets always has a tap with a hose for washing up although it really beats me how one does that. I can't imagine using water as opposed to using toilet rolls to clean yourself up and then wear back your underwear. Wouldn't your clothes get wet?

Hmm... I wonder what's our next topic of lunch conversation.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Layer Cake

It is cited to be one of the most tedious cakes to make and yet I ventured into making one yesterday. It took me almost 4 hours to make the darn thing and when it finally came out, I'm glad to say it tasted sort of what my Mum's when she made it.

Also, now that I know what actually goes into the cake, I'm a bit more worried about eating it. Man, if you've got a cholesterol problem, DO NOT EAT LAYER CAKE!

It still is painful to simply give it out though. Yes, it would be horrible if I ate it all (see paragraph above) and that I can't keep it forever so I eventually have to give it away. Sigh.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

NZ pictures

Here are more photos from my NZ trip.

The entrance to my faculty Management Studies, Waikato Uni.

Enjoying a short break along the Waikato River with Kenneth, who hosted us in Auckland and brought us to Hamilton. NZ was where I learned that ducks can really fly great heights and distances. Malaysian ducks can't.

Single scoop in my right and double scoop in my left. Yummy Tip Top ice cream! And so cheap! Who cares if it was freezing cold then? This is a ritual stopover for travellers between Auckland and Hamilton.

KFC burgers are HUGE in NZ! This is my fav, Tower Burger.

The busy street of Oamaru (where we spent a night) on a weekday at 10am. Oamaru is famous for the penguin landings. Used to be a thriving town but now...

Larnach Castle, Dunedin (pronounced Duh-nee-den (as in "then"), not Doo-neh-din), the only castle in NZ. Very tragic history.

Blue Pools. We would have missed them if we didn't meet an American lady who pointed it out on the map to us. Gorgeous, crystal clear blue pools. I'd have dived in if it weren't so cold then!

Sunset facing Australia

Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World, Wanaka

Part of the Puzzling World. Both guys on left and right are of same height. This optical illusion was used in Lord of the Rings to differentiate the hobbits from the rest.

Tired even before climbing the glacier behind. Franz Josef Glacier. KS wanted to give up even before touching the ice. Do this only if you have the energy.

My all time fav NZ cookie, Cookie Time. Bought so much at the Christchurch Headquarters that another customer stopped in his tracks, looked at the pile I was carrying and said, "They're THAT good, are they?" which made me put back one more pack onto the shelf in embarrassment.

THE Christchurch. Love the blue sky.

KS's version of taking me with Christchurch. Spot me.

A flower which looks like a ballerina

Flaming Tree. I love the colours of Autumn.

Our South Island travel route in 8 days

Friday, May 13, 2005

Belly Dancing

It's hot, it's new.... it's stupid.

I felt so stupid trying to follow the video. Somehow the fact that the instructor did not have a super slim waist contributed to my suspicion on whether this really works.

Heck, I'm still going to try it again and make KS do it with me so I don't feel so ridiculous.


As mentioned earlier, most of my stuff is precious to me. But yesterday I experienced one of the worst I've-lost-it-and-the-world-is-going-to-end hours. I lost my Recipe book.

A Recipe book is a handwritten list of recipes accummulated over a period of one's lifetime. Although mine is only a couple of years old and relatively few recipes compared to my mum's Recipe book, it was heart wrenching when I couldn't find it ANYWHERE! I enlisted the help of my sister Jan to look for it in PJ, I even asked my mum if she took it back to Alor Star by accident and asked her to look for it there too.

Rushing home, I frantically turned the kitchen upside down and the pile of boxes and bags I just brought back from being kicked out of the PJ house and waited anxiously for KS to come back so that I could ransack his car too. When his car proved to be clean and empty, I nearly burst into tears in desperation.

KS slowly searched the house for me while I fluttered from one end to the other and he finally found it. What joy! The relief was immense and I vow to reward him with a nice slice of layer cake this weekend.

Keep Left

As I was driving home yesterday along the many highways, I realised that many people despite signboards and common sense tend to keep to the middle lane of a 3 lane highway even if they're crawling at 50km/hr. Okay, I must admit I do it too at times although I'm usually at the rightmost lanes speeding along.

So I decided to see what it would be like just to stick to the leftmost lane and there was hardly any traffic on that lane. I overtook vehicles after vehicles on my right but heck, I'm going at a steady speed according to the speed limit and they should be the ones on the leftmost lanes.

This is also another fact/tip. When there is a jam in KL, always keep to the leftmost lane. Somehow, it moves the fastest.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


It's always been playing at the back of my mind as to HOW to increase my income. Of course, if only my neopoints COULD actually translate to real money, I would easily be a millionaire now.

There's a friend doing part time reporting, another doing part time work for an international company on the internet, another one on the verge of deciding to set up a .com and here I am, still trying to think of what my hands can bring me.

There's this big insecurity, what is people don't like my stuff? Where do I sell it? How do I sell it? Would I actually love doing it day after day even if I currently love doing it on weekends? I'm talking about baking here if you hadn't picked up the vibes.

This weekend will be a stepping stone for me, I hope. I plan to bake my mum's layer cake secret recipe. Growing up with it, it simply cannot compare to any layer cake out there, even if they bring it back all the way from Indonesia where it originated from. Of course, this will be my first time making it but hey, I've got to start somewhere don't I? *glup*

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Culture Shock

Today in the papers there's mention of this guy from India who marries an Iban girl in Sarawak. He's now suing her family for shifting in with them as he didn't realise that culturally, that's what Iban girls sometimes do, they bring along their family to stay!

I found it so hilarious, albeit on the guy's expense. These are the sort of things one should discuss prior to getting married. So so glad that my church has pre marital counselling.

Malaysian newspapers can contain humourous tales sometimes.

Pile of Clothes

Yesterday I had a good long conversation with one of my colleagues. She was describing how her sister-in-law is so lucky that her husband can tolerate her. Why, her laundry skills would have chased any decent guy away, according to my friend.

This lady apparently line dries all the clothes and when she collects them, she just dumps them into the cupboard in a heap. And when the husband wants to wear one, he opens the cupboard, pulls out one from the pile and irons them himself. My friend described how she was there and opened the cupboard and all the clothes fell out.

Moral of the story is, never invite this friend to my house.

Melting Plastic

Many moons back, I attempted an orange butter cake recipe which required a tablespoon of orange rind. After grating 2 oranges, I scraped enough to fit one tablespoon of my plastic measuring spoon. Then I had to go out for lunch so I left everything as it was, rind in the spoon.

When I got back, I happily continued baking and it was only when I was washing up that I noticed a strange texture inside my measuring spoon. It had melted from the rind! I blamed myself for leaving it in there for too long and decided it will never happen again.

Then, a couple of months ago, I made another orange butter cake. Why not use the half tablespoon measure twice instead of the melted one? And this time, make sure it's in there for half a sec only. To my dismay, even half a sec was enough to damage the spoon again.

At this point, I must explain that things are very precious to me. I keep all my old t-shirts although they're faded and with holes. When KS broke a wooden stool, I was more concerned about the chair than of whether he was injured. And these measuring spoons are even more precious to me as I love baking and it's an essential part of the process.

Miserably, I kept them into the cupboard (but I must say it didn't stop me from ever wanting to bake orange butter cake again). Then when I got back, my darling aunt from Canada actually bought me this gorgeous set of measuring cups and spoons! I was delighted beyond words and now am inspired to bake this weekend. Cookies or cake, anyone?

Long distance call

In January, my aunt packed up her luggage and left for Vancouver to help out in a church there. I tried contacting her via her email but never received a reply. I was only informed that she called once to tell my grandma and cousins that she had arrived safely.

Then today, she calls my office line. It's good to hear from her as I was getting a bit worried as to what's been happening to her. Funny thing was, she was already feeling cold before she left and Malaysia is summer year round and she was going smack in the middle of winter in Canada of all places! I was really worried that she might have just frozen when she stepped off the plane and the authorities had to defrost her while wondering whom to call.

Lesson learned: always remember to call home once in a while when you're away just so that your loved ones know you're still alive.

Monday, May 09, 2005


My email is subscribed to a yahoo group that links all my uni mates and today, I decide to clean up my yahoo mailbox. First there is an announcement of someone getting engaged and after reading emails after emails of congratulations, suddenly there's one email to say that one of our uni mates passed away in an accident last Saturday.

I'm a little stunned by both news. To be honest, I don't remember this girl, perhaps just remember her name faintly mentioned here and there. It is sad to see someone at 27 have her life end in such a tragic way.

As for the engagement, it's a little quick for this guy but hey, it's his life. What gets to me about it is that he easily shares about his engagement to everyone in the uni while I quietly get married without announcing it to any of them. It makes me wonder why I don't share the same openess with my uni mates and I realise perhaps we all run on different circuits and it's difficult for me to openly say what's going on in my life to these people whom I hear of but hardly interact with.

Realisation will hit me soon enough to say that I am who I am. Bear with me...

Another lovely Sunday

"This is the first time I have tasted your cooking!" Janice exclaimed over dinner. I gave her a what-rubbish-are-you-talking-about glare. Of course I have cooked before... the last time being er... then it hit me. Yup, I don't think I've really cooked for my family before and later on, my mum was called and informed of my successful tom yam baked chicken and I was ordered to cook the next time they come down to PJ.

It was a good meal ending a good day. We hung around home, tidied up the place, cooked instant noodles although we've consumed so much MSG during our NZ trip our heads are almost bald followed by a good movie of Bourne Supremacy and then we started cooking for dinner.

Eric came over and we had a good time catching up and using glasses that haven't seen daylight and partially consumed a bottle of shiraz which was starting to become vintage just quietly lying in the fridge.

As we prepared for bed, I just started to reflect on the day and decided I've landed myself a great husband. He did the laundry, cooked lunch, cooked 2 dishes out of 4 for dinner, took the garbage out, weeded the garden, trimmed a dying tree just outside the house, cleared up his car... What a gem.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Work is goooood...

I actually like work. Yes, I'd rather be super busy instead of sitting down waiting for people to get back to me. It's more fulfilling and I feel like I deserve my neopet game now.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


I recently met up with a friend who is owns a business. What startled me was the way he ran it. He promised a client he would be able to deliver his product in a few days although he did not have a supplier at that point. After promising his client, he then only proceeded to call his supplier to see if they would be able to meet this demand. Defies all my common sense but he's the one owning the business while my darn common sense is telling me all the risks I would take if I were to start my own.


As much as we'd like to deny we are not, all of us have some form of prejudice. I have plenty and have made a couple known to the world, of course only to those on my side of the fence.

Somehow, I've let one slip on numerous ocassions on this particular person who is not on my side of the fence. It's horrifying to realise after I've said something and try to eat back my words.

And recently, I've also started categorizing people who own a certain type of dog, say RSB. I met someone recently whom I would categorise under RSB but she didn't share if she had a dog. As I was fitting her neatly into my prejudices, I had to stop myself from carrying on. Yikes! I'd better go confess to KS...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Missing Jay

Jay has been missing for the last 2 weeks. I don't have a good feeling about his disappearance despite people trying to assure me he might have found a girlfriend and shifted off somewhere for a while.

I got home all excited wanting to hug him but he wasn't there. Sad way to end my holiday.

Franz Josef Glacier

It's hard to picture someone like me who never exercises would want to go climb a glacier. And climb we did.

But wait! First we had to walk to the bottom of the glacier - for 2.5kms! That was tough enough but we finally made it. Then, we were told we had to climb this hill beside the glacier in order to get to a part of the ice where we could start our climb - for 20 mins on very steep loose rocks and stones. By the time we reached up there, KS was ready to give up and just stay put there. A couple more minutes of rest and we were once again motivated to move on.

Clipping on our "claws", we took our first steps on the glacier on steps created by the guides followed by an extremely steep drop on the other side of 2 feet steps going down vertically. We hung on for dear life in these areas for a slip would have easily caused a bone to snap, especially your spine.

All the way up and we rested halfway up the glacier. At first we were adviced to go for a full day of climb complete with pickaxe but God was kind to us and gave us enough wisdom to select the half day route instead. Again, nice view but we were so exhausted we couldn't really concentrate on anything but catching our breath.

The worst part was, we had to go all the way back from where we came from. I mean, climbing up was hard enough but having to gingerly step on the loose rocks was really trying. THEN the 2.5km walk back.

My recently discovered muscles on my legs protested for 4 straight days with us hobbling and moaning every time we had to sit down or take a step up or down. This is something I would not really recommend to those who do not thrive on such exertive activity.

Monday, May 02, 2005

South Island - Milford Sound

It was a challenging time for me for the first day. We rented a manual car and the last time I drove one was when I just got my license like 8 to 9 years ago! There were a couple of instances when the car simply died on me in the middle of the street but bless the souls of those behind me who waited patiently while I tried to sort out my first gear.

The first night on the South Island was spent in Oamaru right after we drove to Lake Tekapo. Gorgeous sights of snow capped mountains cascading into still lakes.

Lake Tekapo. Blue clear waters, snow capped mountains and crisp fresh air.

Church of the Good Shepard, Lake Tekapo. You can imagine many weddings take place here.

The view from inside the church looking out to Lake Tekapo. Sigh, blue waters and snow capped mountains!

Oamaru is a quiet little town and the backpackers we stayed Swaggers was really cool. I loved the bathroom and spent a considerable amount of time there trying to bring the coldness out of my bones. The attraction there was to see blue penguins and yellow-eyed penguins returning home from the ocean. We didn't go as I've seen them in Philip Island, Victoria, Aust years ago and KS wasn't too keen as he wasn't able to touch them. Dinner was instant noodles, one entire head of broccoli and yummy fresh mushrooms.

The next day we went to visit Dunedin. Didn't have much time there just visited the only castle in NZ. Not worth it. A very sad place since the owner shot himself over family problems. And later, his son also shot himself. What a tragic history!

Stayed the night at Te Anau called Grumpy's, the most expensive backpackers of the whole trip. It was beside the Te Anau lake and had an en suite. Maybe that's why the price. Met this American there who took upon herself to be chatty and had told us where to go, what to do for the next couple of days. Bless her heart! We would have missed out the Blue Pools if it weren't for her!

Te Anau Lake. While waiting for the bus to take us to Milford Sound

So off we went to Milford Sound the next day. It was a beautiful bright sunny day and we could see hardly seen peaks of mountains. Milford Sound receives the most rain anywhere in the world of an average of 80m. The record was 90m over once and the amazing thing about this creation of God is that the whole area just soaks up all this water and runs it to the sea. Trickling streams will turn into gushing rivers and rivers will swell without flooding the area. Many breathtaking sights here although I was told that it would have been more spectacular if it were raining then I'd be able to see more waterfalls. Ah well, the bus guide/driver said we were lucky to be seeing Milford with clear skies.

A beautiful stream of melting ice along the way which I drank from. Ice cold and refreshing!

Waters so still that it's called Mirror Lake

Milford Sound

Sterling Waterfall, Milford Sound

The boat ride into the open sea was fantastic too although it's a little bit difficult for me to top my expectation of Milford anyway. So I was neither blown away nor too disappointed. Great trip and also highly recommended. Just don't let your expectations get too high and lose the exhilaration of viewing the gorgeous scenery there.

Black Water Rafting

Now, if you have a natural resource that is exploited for the benefit of the tourist, one would assume that there isn't just only 1 company doing so. Anyway, we booked for a Black Water Rafting (BWR) trip with this company by dialing 0800 WAITOMO.

Upon reaching Waitomo, we stopped by the first one we see and I marched up to the counter and demanded they tell me what to do next since I've already booked via phone. Not finding my name on their system, they then discovered I was at the wrong company. Shame faced, we moved on to the next shack down the road.

Unfortunately, it was the same company as the first one so again, we had to back away apologetically and discovered the right one in the end.

All in all, BWR is really fun. KS has done it 3 times now but the first 2 were with another company. According to him, this was the best one. On my part, I thought it a little strange that they called it "Tumu tumu toobing" when the portion of time spent actually on the tube was just very small. Most of the time we were crawling into holes which I thought I'd never be able to squeeze through and balancing on crevices and rocks or swimming in the icy dark waters in the dark. Thank heavens for the wet suit otherwise I would have been scraped, bruised and frozen.

I'd recommend it to anyone who thinks of going there but perhaps not this one that we went for. Reason being was because as we were getting ready to go back, one of the guys in the team mentioned seeing an advert for 5 hours, doing 5 things including abseiling for just $4 more! We paid a good NZD95 for half the day!

Anyways, I won't compare but I did feel a bit cheated. Plus, the rest also discussed that the parts we were on the tubes could have been skipped as we could have easily waded in the water since it wasn't very deep anyway. The glow worms were pretty cool. Highly recommended.


I'm back at Changi and have several hours of wait. NZ time is now past midnight and I'm feeling a tad sleepy.

Our flight from Singapore to Auckland was horrifying as the seats wouldn't recline from a sitting position to a still sitting position and I had nowhere to park my lolling head as I tried to catch 40 winks. But the worst part of it all was that 2 rows behind me, there was this kid who was experiencing some kind of pain (I hope that was the case otherwise the 10 hour non-sleep marathon for all of us on the flight would have been really wasted).

When we reached Auckland, we just crashed out at Kenneth's for a couple of hours. That night, we met up with Joanna and Graham. It's a strange thing, having to have flown all that miles and to hear news on Caroline (who's in Sabah) that she married and is now a mother! How ironic.

I'll write each significant episode of my trip in different headers for easy reference.