When Food and Fit Collide

I woke up early and feeling excited to join very first CrossFit Box. CrossFit Infinate. First class was at 8.15am. I drove there and for some reason my phone decided to give up on me. My GPS wasn’t working. That didn’t stopped me. I direct my way trying to remember the route that Lissa goes to work. I even took a longer route passing through Marc’s daycare center. Finally I arrived on time. When I got there I was a little nervous of who to meet up. Then I met Sal. He’s mid size guy, black, great smile and a definitely pro cross fitter. We chat a bit and shortly we started our warm out. For pre-WOD (Work Out of the Day) was a 65% of body weight dead lifts. I love dead lifts but I couldn’t count. So I went roughly 35kg. Which turns out I’m right. 3 X dead lifts every minute for 10 reps. Sounds awesome. Plus my form was perfect :) Next is the actual WOD. 1-10 then 10 – 1 of Kettle Bell Swing, Box Jump, Push Press and Wall Ball. I had trouble with the Wall Ball, cause back home in the gym the balls are actually smaller. I managed and survived. I even got Sal to teach me the tricks to do Double Unders (jumping rope twice instead of just once). That one I can’t. I suck at it. Spoke to a couple of cross fitters and they were real nice. They even allow me to come for free the next time. The girls are all actually pretty buffed up. So jealous. I too get a shirt as a souvenir.

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When I get back from the Box, Lissa brought me for a quick bite at Burger Fuel. It’s a fast food kind of restaurant but with a gourmet experience. The burgers are made fresh and it taste great. When I looked at it closely the item that they use is really healthy. The meat is Halal though.. but you can request bacon aside. The best thing about this is the Beer Battered Fries. It was superbly good. This is better alternative than McD people.

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In the evening, Lissa and Marc made Potato Curry Puff. The flour was fluffy and the potatoes were soft and spicy. For dinner Melvyn did Briyani. It was so freaking good. If they cook like this daily I wouldn’t miss Malaysian food. I would miss their food. It’s been a lovely Saturday for me.

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I Want to Live Like Animals..

Today is a little interesting day. Melvyn suggested us to go the ZOO!! I love animals and now that I get to see a different kind of zoo I’m pretty excited. Melvyn and Lissa has a yearly pass to visit the zoo. Pretty much anytime that they wish to visit. Melvyn thought that I should try to walk in with Lissa’s pass although there’s her picture on it. If we got stopped, well.. I have to pay for it. We got scanned and yup!! I got through. “Have a nice day!!” FREE!! I save $25. Love it.

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The very first animal that I encountered was the Giraffe. It’s beautiful and tall. The fact that we are on a platform it is much cooler. At least you get to witness as the eye level with the Giraffe than to sprained your neck looking up. The Zebra and Ostrich are in the same habitat though. Witness an Ostrich pee too.

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It was supposed to be the feeding time for the Giraffe but since Rukiya was recently born and not ready to be humanly publicly exposed, the show is canceled.

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That’s Rukiya and the mum.

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 A not crossing Zebra cause it is eating.

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Here is a lioness, I don’t see any lion around but their feline genes are playful, that they need a ball to play with. Here’s my Instagram for the sort vid.

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A Rhinoceros and a Springbok/Antelope/Gazelle (which I just know)

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A Flamboyant Flamingos

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Melvyn was impersonate the flamingos. Also there was supposed to be a Cheetah. I guess I was being Cheat-uh.

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A nice place to chill

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Marc gets to sit on elephant. Well at least a stone made of elephant.

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The daily life of Burma. Almost like mine, just that mine involves coffee.

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That’s Burma. Those people paid a huge sum just to take pic with him. I love the time when I was in Thailand. I get to ride on them. Cheaper..

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Awwww… Cinta Monyet (like “puppy love” but in Malay we use monkey)

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Two Hippopotamus spooning one another in the mud. Lots of Love in this Zoo.

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I love that there’s river in the Zoo. How lovely.

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Marc was too lazy to walk most times.

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 No picture of the Kiwi bird. It’s too dark. The kiwi bird hunts in the night. It is a nocturnal bird, which means it sleeps in the day and searches for food at night. It chooses to hunt at night so that it can hide in the dark shadows of the trees, since it cannot fly to get away from it’s predator. (this is from Wiki Answers). Also they are shy…

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This is the common Maori Culture carving.. but.. I’m confused of what it is called. So lets name him “Adam”.

IMG_5113Seal is sealing lazily..

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Meerkat having lunch. In the box appeared to be some sort of insects.

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Yeah don’t ruin their diet. Although they look fat and slow.

IMG_5123 It’s nice to see my fellow Malaysian.

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I’m telling you man.. there’s too much love in this Zoo.. Even for the Alligator.

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Beautiful park to lay around.

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A giant Galapagos Tortoise.

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A Cockatoo…

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Black Pacific Duck with her chicks in the Japanese Garden.

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Look how close we are to the Emu.

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It’s Wallaby!! I really want to pet them. They are so cute but they are all so far away.

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Hey ya sister.. nappy time eh..

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They just enjoy sleeping.. oh well they need to stay up all night to party!!

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Check out this pig… Kunekune Pig. Apparently they are like dogs. Easy to train and often keep them as pets. No wonder they stare at me for quite a while. Thy look really cute though. So FLUFFY!!!

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Stopped for a bite at the Zoo Cafe and they serve Robert Harris coffee. Lovely..

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Picture on the dragon tongue.

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Marc and I on the Gekko

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I made dinner again today. It was Pizza. Lissa bought pizza bread and asked me to do it. So I did. I use the meat balls from yesterday, minced it. Top it off with Salami.

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Give A Little Bit

I am given the opportunity to drive around with the spare car at home. With my phone GPS I tried to drive around the Handerson area which is about 10 mins away. I stopped for breakfast at Burger King that served pancake, hash brown and bacon with coffee. It was alright. Couldn’t compare to the big breakfast that I had in Gold Coast.

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Right after breakfast I drove to Rebel Sports to see if I can find any good sports stuff for me. They do have the discounted rack but it is just wasn’t that good. So I didn’t get the chance to get any. After a few mins walk I went into Kmart. Here there’s a lot of discounted items. Lots and lots of them. I got myself a couple of undies, gym shorts, t-shirts that short of things and a Green Froggie for Marc. Most of the stuff that I bought was under $10 so I went nuts. Close by there a mall called Westfield. Ideally was just to take a short walk around until I saw more discounted stores. One of it is Valleygirl. Most of the clothing starts at $7.99 only. So I ambushed, and looked for a couple of office wear and casual. I probably spend in the store for about an hour or so. Also this is the best time to buy boots as they are clearing off their winters collection. And you think shopping at Cotton On is good?? This is way better. After hours of shopping I realized I got hungry. Bought a pack of sushi and had for lunch. Oh the Salmon..

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The next day I thought it would be good if I could returned a favor to my fellow temporary housemates. So I decided to cook for them. Back home I’ve always wanted to make meat balls spaghetti but the grind meat are just a little too pricy. But here it’s too darn cheap. I shopped at Pak’nSafe got all I wanted and then stopped for coffee at their local coffee store. Even at $3.50 the Latte is good.

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When I got back I started my cooking. I mashed the meat with bread, egg, onion, seasoning, salt and pepper and then bake it till it is golden brown. I even made a smaller version for Marc since he loves tomatoes so much. Right about then, I made the sauce too but separately.  March loves it, Lissa enjoys it cause she loves bolognese while Melvyn add Cili Padi in it.

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My version of spaghetti and meatball.

New Discovery

Today is a little more adventurous. Woke up early to follow Lissa to work then off I walked to check out the Crossfit Infinate near Takapuna area. I had my data plan with me by 2Degrees and I believe it is the cheapest in the market, so i’m ready to venture the world… or maybe just Auckland. The map brought me through some trail, sort of a hidden path, in the beginning I was a little worry until I see a couple of people walking about that area. It’s like a short cut from Huron Street to Barry’s Point Road. Shortly after I arrived, but it was closed. I even saw a cool coffee place that I might check it out when I’m there.

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It started to get a little drizzle and then stopped. So I just walked all the way to the nearest bus station which is about 10 mins away from the Crossfit Infinate hoping that I could get to Auckland City. I was very confused at first with their whole transportation system. Efficient but confusing. After a long stare at the board and my phone directory, I managed to get a bus to town. $4.50. That is like RM12 per way. That’s a lot. I kept on thinking “Stop converting everything!!”

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Rental space for bicycle storage.

Saw familiar route and I stopped at the Custom Street near Train Station Britomart. I figured I should get the a pass while in I’m here. It’s called HOP card. Works like Touch & Go. Can also be used at merchants that accepts it and special discounts. Buying the card itself cost $10 and I top it up with additional $20. Going around the city with is free with the card but limited. I was also told to register my card so just in case if I loose them. The card will be block and can’t be able to use by anyone and new replacement will be sent to me. Also there will be an upgrade go the card known as AT and HOP will be decommissioned. That one can be use even for parking or at wherever it is being accepted.

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Keep Calm and Eat Hot Dog!!

I knew that the street along Queen Street is long and uphill, so I stopped at the Mayoral Drive. I walked towards the Queen Street and the Real Groovy store caught my eye. I went in, and there are so many cool collectibles and novelties, junk and vinyl. Also a coffee shop. I planned to just walk around the store and have a look. I even asked if I could take a couple of pictures for just being polite. In the beginning I wan’t planning on buying anything until I see this whole lot of small vinyl for sale. $1 each!! I went a little nuts. Found a couple of good records but all are one song on each side. Oh and I don’t own a Vinyl player? I thought of buying them just as gift or something cool to make as a decoration until I got a chance to listen to it. I thought they wouldn’t allow me listen to them as they’re all from the bundle area. But nah.. the people here are awesome, they wouldn’t mind a lot of things as long as to keep them considerate and careful. The attendant guy even thought me how to use it and the first time that I listen to it I fell in love with the crackling background sound with the beauty of the tune. I even bought a couple of large Vinyls for just $3. They’re all old or used vinyls. Now that I bought them I can’t wait to listen to it. Will be getting the player when I get back.

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Real Groovy is real cool

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Need some boobs or balls??

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It’s real cute cup and saucer.

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Lots of awesome novelties.

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By the time I was done with my shopping it was lunch time. I walked out and looked for the Food Truck Garage that is aired on TLC. (90 Wellesley St W, Auckland) I knew I had to try it out as he is introducing a healthier food which doesn’t mean it taste bad. Boy was he right. I had a hard time walking up and down the Auckland Street looking for it, but I didn’t give up. I searched high and low. When I was about to crossed the street I could smell the greatness of the food. I knew that could be it. When I found it, it was a delight. I got my seat. It is a small restaurant and can probably cater for small group. Since it is lunch time, the restaurant is full and packed with people from the nearby offices. But heck I got a place since I’m alone. I shared my table with some office “mate”. I requested to seat outside so that I could face the cute truck and making me taking my food picture perfect. The price is affordable and the food is delicious. I wish that I could taste more of their food since my food buddy (Rita) is no with me just one meal then. By the way it’s worth the try. I might go back again.

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Bagel Store, Best Ugly
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Food Truck Garage
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Such a cute truck

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The Menu

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Chicky Dog with Pomegranate Juice

After lunch I headed for a walk around town looking and discovering new exiting things. Lots of souvenirs shops that I even made a friendly chat with one of the local.

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Sky City
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Next I need coffee before I head back to Takapuna. Stopped for a cappuccino at Movenpick Quay Street overlooking the Quay. Then I pick up a Travellers’ Co-op Discount Card for my traveling benefit. Doing the “Best of New Zealand for Less”. That’s their tag line. I need to travel smart ya know…

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Oooo… the Coffee Gadget!!

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Bellman Stovetop Steamer.. I want one.
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Neighbour cat came for a visit

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My first Vinyl collectionsIMG_20130910_191342[1]

Fried Rice for dinner.

A Short Day Out

Marc goes to school as early at 7.45am while Mellissa get to work about 8.00am. So I had to get up early if I want to join or to go down to town. Mellissa wasn’t feeling very well since morning and she thought of dropping off Marc at school and herself to work to settle some stuff and then back home. Since I had to follow back I just spend my time in the morning around Takapuna for coffee, breakfast and a walk around the beach. IMG_5035

Along the Takapuna Beach IMG_5036

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Cute little candy store.

Had my Latte at Jam Organic Cafe at 33 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna. The same place that Lissa intro to me 2 years back. Yeah I have a good memory with places that I’m familiar with. Got myself a Spinach Feta Cheese bread at Bakers Delight 3/4 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna. The bread is so soft that I don’t mind sharing with the birds.

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Lots of bread selection

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Feta Cheese Bread, Latte and Beach. Couldn’t ask for more.

Later we head home for Lissa to rest while I work on my plans to do in Auckland. Where everything is expensive and budget needs to be set. In the evening is pick up Marc time. After the pick up we went to shopping at Countdown at Westgate. I went nuts and got myself a carton of milk, two types of cheeses, ham and Ciabatta. Dinner we had homemade Beef Rendang.

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Beef Rendang with Rice by Lissa

Very Asian

Sunday Morning

I was woken up by a child voices. It’s like Christmas morning where Marc gets to see all his gifts from his grandparents and aunts got for him and started playing with them. He loves the Red dragon that Rita gave him and choose Red to sleep with him.

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Sunday is church day but for some reason we skipped and went to the Farmers Market at the Buckley Avenue And Hastings Crescent, Hobsonville Point. The lovely Catalina Cafe serves lovely latte. (It’s not like I’m complaining any cafe in NZ is bad but seriously there’re all good). At the Farmers Market there’s all great range of local homemade products like bread, chili sauce (which I bought), vegetables, poultry, cakes, cupcakes, flowers and of course coffee. The fact that the place is in a barn is such a lovely spot. Mellissa got Marc a cotton candy. We went nuts. Right after we had a short walk to the play ground. I did my fair share on the swing.

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Coffee To Go??
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Getting a cotton candy.

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Old Sifu…
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Charming dude by my side.

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Swinging with Marc

For lunch we headed to Try It Out Vietnamese Restaurant at 20 Torrens Road, East Tamaki. Great huge portion for my tummy to digest. Tasty with MSG. Overall great. I had the Lemongrass chicken with noodle and the chicken is superbly soft and juicy.

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After Marc’s nap time we headed home for awhile and out again to Westgate shopping center. Great place with lots of store like The Warehouse, Farmers, Noel Leaming, Dunkin Donuts, Robert Harris, Starbuck.. bluek.. Burger King, to name a few. Later that night Melvyn made Bulgogi Beef, Onion and Cabbage with rice for dinner. Did I mention this is a very typical home of a Malaysian. Their pantry have more Asian seasoning than mine back home. We have more Italian. For movie tonight is World War Z with the popcorn that I bought and Melyn homemade cendol. For real.

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Beef Bulgogi for Dinner

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Garrets Popcorn with World War Z

IMG_20130908_212135[1]NZ homemade cendol.

The Journey Begins.

Excuse me for not blogging in awhile.  I don’t  know if people would actually follow my updates, but I guess blogging is more towards sharing experiences and for self benefit, sort of like a personal diary for others to read freely. I’m on a month break from work, and the long waited journey begin. My vacation to New Zealand with a quick stop to see Australia.

The Departure..

When I left home, my apartment was a huge chaos and a mess, as my house tiles were broken due to faulty construction when the house was build. Dust is everywhere while my living room furniture is all over the place. It made me heart felt to leave home in such condition but I had to go anyways.

So i’m all packed up 23kg. 3/4 of the stuff in the luggage is not mine. Well you now how Asian travel, we travel with our home and our relatives gifts and foodies. I wouldn’t mind the carrying just that I get a little stressed out with the baggage excess. This is the first time i’m traveling on my own. Alone for a month. It’s different. It’s adventurous?? I’m a budgeted traveler. Rita and Shereena sent me off the airport. My flight was at 9.45pm, boarding at 8.45pm and 8.25pm is the last call for luggage check in. With the crazy idea that I wanted to visit One Utama for the last time having my favorite last meal and also to buy Garetts Popcorn for my cousin and nephew. Rita even got Marc an adorable Dino Stuffed toy. Once all shopping done, we left at about 6.40pm and to my shock the traffic had already started all the way from home to USJ area. I was driving on the fast lane that was barely moving. Right after Shah Alam I had no choice but to use the emergency lane. God was I praying and finger crossed all the way that I wouldn’t missed my flight. Cause if I do, then I will miss my flight from Gold Coast to Auckland too. That would be the biggest mistake would caused me spending another flight ticket. I’ve learned my lesson in a hard terrifying  way. I drove at time of 160km/h and avoided a cone that flew off from the other side of the road. Damn was I that good. When I arrived LCCT it was 8.25pm. I was damned. The only worries me is that my luggage now. If I can’t be able to check that in, how the hell am I to bring this to NZ. After saying my goodbyes to Shereena, Rita and I ran to check in the bag hopefully luck is on my side. Good thing it did. The check in closed however the attendant allow me to do so. I was so relieved. Said my goodbyes to Rita and off I go on board. Texted and called a couple of people saying my misses and off I go.

George..

In the airplane things went ok. Some family got in the wrong seat and they have two sons with them. One of them is called George cause I heard her mum calling him. He wanted to sit next to the window but it’s mine. So MOVE!! I sat on my assigned seat, got laid back, watched the series on my iPad and feeling hungry. After long waited hours, it finally arrived. First meal was Green Curry Chicken. It was surprisingly good.

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Green Curry Chicken

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Chicken Teriyaki .. Not good..

I couldn’t sleep well on the plane that fact that George kept kicking me when he was sleeping and me thinking of stuff back home. The things, the people, my food, my cats that i’ll miss. What a sissy. George was kicking me several times and his mom kept being apologetic at me. I guess I don’t really mind until someone farted and this is the big one. The one that stink!! Damn the smell went to my brain. I wonder if it is George. It’s definitely George. Why?? is Malaysian food that bad?? lol.. Woke up to a sunrise is beautiful when you’re on the plane. Until it got straight through my cornea. Look away!! Being all touristy I took a couple of pictures of the huge land of Australia. Lots of naked land. Also it’s voting day in Australia.

Arrival..

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Gold Coast Baby!!

It’s 7.30am. What excites me was the weather in Australia. Many people say great things about it. Got of the plane with the staircase and there it is, the wind blew it through my face. It is so refreshing. So cooling. I love it already. Get my passport stamped, all clear, then another verification by the immigration with the white card that I’m about to declare. SERIOUSLY declare any shit crap that you’re bringing in Australia. Even the souvenirs!! Waited for my bag and I got a little worried due to the mishap with the luggage “adventure”. Finally.. “Mon Bag!! Mon Bag!!” (only if you watch Orange is the New Black you would understand). More inspection. Good thing that I don’t need to open up my bag. The middle age man look like he’s about to retire let me passed through the X-ray and asked me what’s in it. “Mostly dried stuff”. He said “OK have a good one”. And clear. How awesome.

Waited for Mary to picked me up for “breakie” and meet Raphael. He’s so talkative and adorable and being a boy. Had breakfast at Bellakai by the Coolangatta Beach along Marine Parade Road and it was a treat for my arrival to Gold Coast. And of course I need coffee. Latte and bacon with eggs. Real bacon not the fake bacon. Portion is huge but I managed to finished it. That meal lasted me awhile. Chatted with Mary while Raphael showed me what is fork, knife, salt and pepper. Right after breakfast we need to burn the calories by walking by the what!! The beach. The wave is beautiful, there’s surfer, kite surfing, wake boarding, kite flying, rollerblading, cycling, barbecuing, kids at the playground, it’s a beautiful Saturday morning. I love the wind that I wouldn’t need a jacket. It’s 17 degrees out with the wind of 32km/h windy and sunny day. Played with Raphael on the slide. I took a chance to slide down too. Suddenly Mary found out some spots on Raphael and worried that it could be some infection that has been going on and decided to bring him to the clinic. Mary suggest me to wait in the airport afraid I would miss my flight to Auckland. I agreed. Luggage check in is not for another 2 hours but luckily they let me go through. So I’m freely to walk around the tiniest airport. Got a cuppa, texting and FB. Cause internet is FREE.. As I am typing right now. I choose to sit by the auto sensor door. Cause I just love the wind. Hoping people to keep walking through that door.

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Coolgatta Beach

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Meet the handsome Raphael

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My gorgeous Latte

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Big Breakie

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That’s me!!

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Play time..
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Love the breach and the wave..

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Mustang Sally..

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Some turtle art.

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Finally..

The main destination finally arrived. Touchdown Auckland at 7.30pm. Got a bottle of Baileys Biscotti and Cockburn Wine at the duty free store. It’s cheap 2 bottles for $69. So as usual I had to go through the immigration after being questioned. This time my bag was opened. Explained all the stuff that I have and i’m all clear and good to go. Shortly after that I get to see the familiar faces of Mellissa and Marc. Marc was hesitating at first to hold my hand or hugged me maybe cause he was unsure who I was. Once we’re out of the airport  I was greeted by the effing cold weather and rain!! It wan’t heavy rain but the kind of rain that will make you wet. After the long drive home which Mellissa and Melvyn got lost finally we got home. Once home I did a show and tell to Mellissa and Melvyn but Marc had to go to sleep. It is his regular bedtime. There are stuff like kerepek ikan and all the local products from home while Melvyn opened the Biscotti Baileys and it tasted awesome. After the long awaited warm shower I went straight to bed. And it was the best sleep that I had since back home.

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