Monday, July 18, 2005

Well i had a wonderful dinner at Fish & Co. at the airport with the gang. Love the New York Fish & Chips at Fish & Co, awesome stuff.

Flight was both wonderful and terrible. Wonderful not just because i have just discovered the wonders of the personal entertainment system, but also because the food was pretty good, seats were pretty comfortable, service was good and hostesses were yum yum. Terrible coz we flew through alot of turbulence till i've almost mastered drinking tea that doesn't stay still, and i didn't get ANY sleep on the plane.
Alicia was very sure i'd be playing the video games on the plane for most of the trip, boy how wrong her prediction turned out to be, coz the arcade games were lame, the nintendo was an emulated version with 2 games of which both were really old, and somewhat laggy coz it was emulated till it was lame too.
Landed and straightaway got a taste of the beautiful New Zealand weather. Nice and comfy 15 degrees or so. Until the winds started picking up. With the winds the 15 degrees felt like -304,958,293 degrees, no that wasn't a typo.

Kinda depressing coz when and IF you wake up at 7am, it feels like 7am in Singapore, but somehow the sun takes shortcuts across the sky down here and by 5pm it looks like its 8pm in Singapore. So days are really short, over and above the fact that NZ winters are mainly wet, so seeing the sun's quite a sight for sore eyes. Ironically, when the sun is out it isn't exactly good news coz there barely is any ozone protecting NZ, so the sun's UV rays are even more harmful than they would be in Singapore.

Day 1 was outright misery. Didn't sleep on the flight. Landed on NZ in the morning, so it was straight off to orientation. Boring administrative briefings aggravated by my lack of sleep, the multitude of things we have to worry about upon landing in a foreign country didn't help. Thankfully met some fellow Singaporeans pretty easily, no offense but Singaporeans have a knack of sticking out like sore thumbs when they're together in groups, loud and critical about things that're different from their country, and that unmistakeable English but not English Singlish. They were really nice people, and its perhaps another Singaporean trait to treat other Singaporeans (like me but yet not like me since technically i'm NOT Singaporean) like family when they meet overseas. They had done their scouting and told us which cellphone provider was the best, which bank had accounts for students and where to get cheap necessities like bedsheets and stuff. Really grateful coz it saved the then tired me ALOT of work. I had no choice but to do all of those mentioned even though my brain was screaming for sleep because these were necessities. Trouble started when we all went to town, and then realized i didn't know how to go home. I had meet-&-greet from the airport who dropped me at the Village then to school so i had NO idea where the Village was, so i had no choice but to take a cab home which i already knew were REALLY expensive.
I asked the first taxi at the stand whether he knew how to get to Parnell Student Village. Nope. 2nd. Nope. 3rd. Nope. 4th. Nope. 5th. Nope. Okaaaaaaaaaay... so thankfully i had just came from the administrative briefings so i had the documents on me, so i dug out the school's number and tried to call them to get the Village's exact number. Number not in use. HUH?!?! WTF?! I called the rest of the Singaporeans whom i had seperated since they lived in a different part of town to see if they knew why i couldn't call out. None of them knew. My patience was growing thin, shortened by my fatigue. I then called customer service to ask what was wrong and found out i had to dial 09 before any Auckland number since that was the area code. I quickly proceeded to call the school before they closed and begged them for Parnell Student Village's exact address.
Claybrook Road. I then went to ask the 1st taxi at the stand who was by now previously the 3rd taxi when i last asked. Claybrook road? Nope. Erm ok... 2nd taxi.
"The first taxi knows."
"I just asked him, he said he didn't."
"No he knows."
"I JUST asked him he said he didn't."
"No no i know he knows."
"Err i just came from there and asked him, he said he didn't."
"NO he knows, he just doesn't want to take you."
"Then can you?"
"No. Tell him i told you and he'll take you."
"Err... what am i supposed to tell him then?"
"I dunno."

No surprises for guessing i slammed the door. The fact that ALL the taxi drivers were Indian and their replies to me were thick with the stereotypical Indian accents didn't help. I've got nothing against Indians since i live with 4 of them, but when you're wet, cold and tired, and they're ALL replying to you in that accent telling you they DON'T KNOW or DON'T WANT TO take you home i swear if you weren't wet, cold and tired you'd have gotten in and educated them on pain & misery.

I didn't even bother with the 3rd taxi since he'd be stuck in the middle and couldn't get out of the stand even IF he knew where Claybrook road was. The 4th taxi was another Indian, and though he didn't know where Claybrook Road was he didn't mind finding out for me, only that because he was 4th in line he expected to not have a customer for a while so he had proceeded to eat dinner in the car, and here i was interrupting him begging him to take me home. He finally did, and i was at the back thanking every deity i was familiar with.
The starting taxi fare was NZ$0.59, $1.81 cheaper than in Singapore. The catch of coz came that somehow after a while it jumped to $0.99, and from there onwards the fare jumped by dollars. $1.99, $2.99, $3.99...... $10.99. Ouch. I was fumbling with the coins to pay him the remaining 0.99 and when i took out a 50cent coin he must've gotten fed up and said that'd be sufficient so i got a ride for $10.50 instead. Most people'd be happy at getting away with a 49cent cheaper ride. You wouldn't if the ride was only for no more than 15minutes, INCLUSIVE of the peak hour jam.

Home. Everything was still in the luggage. Tired. Wet. Room didn't have a heater. Just bought sheets. But no food. Great. Thankfully the "head" of Flat 10 which i was in was this Iranian guy called Aryan. He offered me dinner and kept saying it was alright even though i kept apologizing for freeloading since i didn't have a chance to buy any food of any sort at all. Boy was he an AMAZING cook. His cooking would put ALOT of people to shame. And he was a REALLY cool guy and all. He'd cook a huge dinner, and invite neighbours or friends over to eat, so for quite a few days now we've been having little dinner get-togethers, and i've known quite a few people just from these dinners, such as (no you don't have to use this as a threat or blackmail coz my gf already knows this) this Canadian girl called (coincidentally) Alisa, catch is her mum's Japanese... BANZAI!!! =) *drool* best of all she's in Flat 6, four away from me... *snigger*

Anyway that's up to day 3's worth of blogging. In the meantime enjoy yourselves to my first week's worth of photos. Apologies for only 1 week coz the internet here's really slow...

Dr@n|xX at 6:35 PM