August 30, 2011

Past week in photos

A look back at some pictures, on a borrowed laptop. Mine is still kaput, fried, drenched in red red wine. Hoping we can find a Mac store to the rescue. There is no Apple store here, which reminds me of the time there was no Apple store on the Big Island, Hawaii, making me think there's some Apple conspiracy to take over the world, yet not take over the world at the same time. Arrrrrgh (pirate styles)!



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Lyall Bay beach, coffee and wave watching



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Said coffee, Americano styles aka USA which is not really Americano but as close as I can find to the US version that I miss so!



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One week after the polar blast record setting snowfall freezing temps, annnnnd, a few days before another "cold snap" - silly New Zealand, tricks are for kids!



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Oh Sweet Mothers Kitchen, a Wellington favourite. Thank you for having fish tacos, which like a USA coffee are the closest I can find to a version back home.



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Ohwiro Bay, and if you look really closely, you can see the South Island in the centre of the pic. Planning a ferry ride over to visit and camp around, can't wait!



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On my 4th day of work my true love gave to me, a yellow tart lemon, disguised as an orange wannabe!


Hope you all had a wonderful week too!

August 23, 2011

What's in a name?

I'm a sucker for a cute Kiwi accent. Slowly I'm learning how to perfect it, how they change e's to i's and i's to e's... think bid for bed. Or how they toss around slang so nonchalantly and I sound like a terrible tourist, think easy as (sounds like ass), or choice. But I never thought my name would make a Kiwi tongue-tied!

Since I've been keeping busy for work temping, I've had a chance to work in a handful of offices, and each time I start somewhere new, they try to figure out how to pronounce Sara.

"Is it Sear-ah or Saw-rah?"

I thought was just a Kiwi accent thing, turns out they really do have two ways of pronouncing Sara, all depending on how you spell it. Sarah or Sara has it's own sound.

I find this hilarious! I get asked each time I meet someone how to pronounce it, and it never fails, I tell someone Sara, someone next to me will say "I thought it was Saw-rah!". And I think, that's what I said? So I say Saw-rah next time, and someone else calls out, "Not Sear-ah?!" Ah!

It gets so out of hand, that my managers in all offices have sent out communication on how to pronounce my name so they can get it right! (You'd think I had made a complaint or something!) And one office decided to just call me by last name, but then worried it was offensive. I thought it was grand, having grown up with a sports loving family, using a last name to call on someone is common. In fact, I was often referred to as "last name's sister", I thought it was soooo cool that the last name calling was just for me, no longer referred to someone's sister!

In any case, I still haven't figured out the "right" way Kiwi's pronounces S-a-r-a, and I seem to cause commotion each time I introduce myself. Maybe I should just spell it S-e-r-a as I prefer that over Saw-rah. What's a girl to do? At least no one is cracking the lame old joke, "Oh so your parents forgot the H eh?"

Do others get your name wrong? What do you do when you don't know how to pronounce someone's name? Oh, that reminds me of the time I called Jesus, but it was a Spanish Jesus and not the Jesus I thought. And this was a time when I didn't know that the letter J could be silent and pronounced as an H, so I seriously didn't understand when others would say Jesus. And I'd say, oh Jesus?

In other news, posting is a bit light, turns out that you can cry over spilled red wine, because it will destroy your precious laptop. Le sigh.

August 19, 2011

That time it snowed in Wellington (caught on video)

A cool video from the snow fall on Monday:

Snow on Cuba Mall in central Wellington (HD) from Ro Tierney on Vimeo.


As I said before, this has been one of our coolest experiences in New Zealand, just to see the joy the snow brought to the city.

And this video helps me forget about that time (last night) I spilled red wine all over my laptop. Thankfully the only keyboard button that works is the power one, all others are kaput. Sigh.

August 18, 2011

Winter Wonderland (in August)

It's been 30 years since Wellington has experienced snow. We braced ourselves for a storm, and a winter storm we received indeed, going on four days strong!

It's been a cold yet giddy time. Many of my Kiwi friends who were born and raised in Wellington have never experienced snow, and it was quite magical to see them light up in amazement. And even if some had seen snow in their lives, it wasn't much and it was far too long ago. New Zealand does have snow in some areas, Wellington isn't one of them. 30 years!



See? Snow is like magic! Can't we all be this happy when it snows?

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It's been chilly, nights are spent wrapped up in fuzzy blankets and hoping the power doesn't go out. We only had one 1 fire log left, and it was sold out around town in anticipation of the "once-in-a-lifetime-storm". (Kev did pick up 4 bags of kindling as a back-up. Thankfully we had power, though we lost internet for two days... which was a nice break from surfing the net.)



We thought the warnings were a bit dramatic.

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Monday, work declared a snow day without a a flake of snow sticking on the ground, snow days are truly the best. But snow days without actually being snowed in, are pretty awesome. (Note: out of safety this was a good idea because the hills and ice oh my! For a city that doesn't get snow, it's not prepared to handle the road hazards. You know, roads with no guardrails and sea level water?)



Lambton Quay, one of my favorite pictures seen in the news.
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Smiling on the inside! The fuzzy white area over the water, is snow!



First sight of snow on Monday morning!



The rain. The wind. The hail. The thunder! THE THUNDER! And lighting. Once-in-a-lifetime-storm indeed.




Hail and snow. Lightening flash lit this up!




A storm that gives you layering advice too!
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4 days later and the winds and rain and hail continue, but the snow has melted. And now we reminisce about that time it snowed in Wellington. (Hands down one of the coolest experiences in New Zealand so far, if anything to see the pure joy it brought to the coolest little capital city.)



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Stay cool everyone else, we're keeping warm!

August 12, 2011

The past week in photos... vol 2

The week flew by, almost a blur, yet the days dragged on. Partly full of cold germs and exhaustion, and others with chaos and multi-tasking. But the weekend is here. And looking back, the week was interesting. Just the way I like it.



"Wine is one's best friend, the companion of one's life, consoler of sorrow, adornment of prosperity." - Grimod de la Reyniere

Dinner at Shed 5 for another Wellington on a Plate night out. Big portions, lovely wine list, on the water, a bit romantic, big on flavors. Next time hold all the arugla on all the plates we had (we had four).




Still in sticker shock!!




My kind of library.




Small but cute crepery, view from the bus.




My lunch date at the Chocolate Frog (also owned by Chocolate Fish).




The "dress your bottle" competition.




I lost.

And am a sore loser.
Can you guess which one is mine? I sewed and made it from a little kid's polo shirt and a package of sponges.

Note: the lego one won, as did the wood nest thingy (seriously?!) and the chef.
I do not feel victorious.



But Turkey does. Evidence:

Victorious!

Until next week!

August 10, 2011

Kiwi-styles vol. 2

At work one of my colleagues asked if I wanted to go to the restaurant for a pitcher soda. Confused, I repeated pitcher soda to which she replied, "yes!". Still thinking something wasn't right, I asked again about the pitcher soda? And she quickly and loudly said, "YES!". (Jeez, am I that annoying tourist?)

Obviously we were going to the restaurant for a pitcher soda, maybe she was thirsty?!

Later that day the same colleague described a date ending in a pash.
I though, pashmina? That didn't sound right so I asked what a pash was, to which she replied, "a pash you know, Americans created the word!".

Still clueless to a pash, I smiled and told her, Americans don't pash. But what do I know?


More Kiwi slang/words I've learned:

Flat stick = stressed/busy (someone told me they were flat stick - I just nodded like I knew, but I didn't)
Pushchair = wheelchair (learned this on the bus, reading the signs)
flash = fancy/sweet/looks good (apparently my new work office is flash)
Fizzy = soda/pop
Bach (pronounced batch) = holiday/vacation home
Gutted = disappointed (used a lot lately when I tell people I can't make it out because I'm sick)


And in other Kiwi lessons:

Pharmacies close at 6pm unless of course you know about the "emergency" pharmacy that is open later. Good gracious, stores that close at 6pm which is conveniently the same time I finish work, how on earth do people do things around here? Oh that's right, they get 4 weeks of annual leave in their first year, and they have things like unlimited sick leave. So while I have a cold and could most definitely use a pharmacy, there isn't one nearby work and if I take time off, I'm not yet entitled to pay while sick, and I already took 1.5 day off, so I suck it up. But everyone else is so calm about it, calling me crazy, telling me to take more time off. Sounds easy all you salaried residents, I shake my fists at you!

Also I'm almost certain I heard the train station announce that a train was cancelled because it was cold. For real? I'll never know for sure if I heard correctly, but I do know the trains here are unreliable. Not that I've taken one, so again, what do I know? Though I am fairly experiened in the bus system here. And just this week a bus saw me, pulled over to the side of the road, and then decided to take off, stopping in traffic. So I made the wise decision to run into traffic, banging on the doors to the driver wanting in.

I think I'm taking kiwi-styles too seriously. But, I did catch that bus. Sara, 2.

Oh and in case you are curious:
My colleague wanted to deliver a purchase order to a restaurant for catering services. Ha, that's the Kiwi accent for you.
And pash, is a passionate kiss/embrace.

August 5, 2011

Dining Around Town

Last night kicked off Wellington on a Plate. Reminds me of Dine Around SF or Summerlicious in Toronto, lots of activities, prix-fixe menus and deals at top restaurants. I've made bookings at restaurants that I wanted to check out, and last night we headed out to Crazy Horse The Steakhouse.



I've been looking forward to their wine pairing prix-fixe menu but with a stuffy nose and battling a cold, I wasn't in any position to wine taste. Bummer.

Instead I indulged in some red meat, some tasty eye fillet cooked medium rare. (Fillet not filet, as I've been corrected when I order a filet. Sometimes I wonder if things are just pronounced differently here because of the kiwi accent...?) I sure do miss red meat! Have been following a low cholesterol diet, and cut out as much meat as I can. I limit meat to only one meal a day if that, instead I try to stick with beans, lentils and fish for protein. So a steak dinner was a very special treat, AND I snagged that job that I interviewed for this week, so a little celebrating was in order.



It was divine! A glorious 200 grams of well seasoned and seared steak cooked medium rare. Nom nom nom, get in my belleh! Some kumara (sweet potato) and pumpkin hash, rocket (arugula) and parmesan salad, and scalloped potatoes. Glad my apetite came back and I didn't let a cold get in my way of me and my dinner. The only thing I will not order next time, is bone marrow. Yikes! I chose the red wine and bone marrow sauce, but I didn't expect to get actual bones on my plate. If it wasn't for the fact that I've been living off soup all week, I would have sent it back. Yes, really! It kinda grossed me out, but I thought, well that's what you get for trying to be adventurous. Though, I did try the marrow three times, and gave it a go, thinking my cold will mask any bad flavour. It's actualy fine to taste, but the texture and presentation (in a bone!) yikes!

I'm looking forward to the next few weeks, looks like we have a few meals to enjoy around town! A nice way to get out this winter. What are you looking forward to? And are you adventurous when dining or stick to the tried and true favorites?

August 4, 2011

MIA

Can't breade!

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1.5 sick days off work
Interview
Heaps of work
And no play

Long week.