• T’s birthday

    In our years together, T has had a string of disappointing birthdays.

    The first was terrible – probably the worst. He was in a car accident the night before (thankfully no one was hurt). But he was uninsured, and got completely screwed over by the other party’s company, despite not being at fault. Then the next year he was sent out of town for work, so we weren’t even in the same city. He did, however, spend something like $100 at a bar. And finally last year we had drinks at home, ending in heinous flatmate having a bustup with his crazy girlfriend and ordering her out of the house, only to have her storm through and throw a rock through his back windscreen.

    Nothing spectacular this year either (cheers, recession :P) but at least it wasn’t disastrous. I left uni early, getting a ride home with a classmate, got home shortly after lunch, and we drove over to his sister’s for a visit. She actually shares the same birthday as him, but she’s 5 years older! I felt bad that we didn’t get her a present, but we ended up buying her cigarettes which she was desperately in need of. Damn smokers.

    Then we debated back and forth about what to do – the day started off with torrential rain, but eased up and got sunny later on. But it was still too cold to warrant doing anything outdoors…

    We settled on going out to a nice dinner at the Angus Steakhouse which boasts the biggest steaks in town – and they are not lying!

    They were huge, massive, enormous! I got through half of mine, with a little help from him, and he managed about a quarter of his.

    They even have cute menus with a picture of a cow, telling you where each type of cut comes from on the animal. (Sorry vegetarians!)

    And the salad bar was to die for. All you can eat, with pastas, potatoes, rices, regular caesars and coleslaws and even a couscous type thing which was divine.I’m wishing I’d taken photos… but at least I got a picture of our steaks. And that’s after we’d eaten our fill; what’s in the shot is what we took home in our doggy bags.

    His leftovers...

    His leftovers...

    .. and my leftover

    .. and my leftover

    So although I didn’t get him anything, I (obviously) paid for our meals – $32 for any steak, plus uinlimited salad – and $20 for him to spend on himself. A nice, quiet and uneventful birthday. That, and his friends came around on the Friday for the traditional beer jug – or boot, in this case. Observe…

    The beer boot, warming up in the hot water cupboard and waiting for the foam to settle

    The beer boot, warming up in the hot water cupboard and waiting for the foam to settle

    I’m really not down with the 21st traditions, having been raised by typical Asians, so all this kinda shiz seems silly to me, but I just go along with it! I’m just grateful nobody expected me to drink any beer on my 21st birthday *shudder*

  • Birthday weekend, Pt 2

    BEST. FRIENDS. EVER. Seriously.

    I’ve never had a surprise party thrown for me, though I’ve been to my fair share for others…and I’ve always kind of wished someone would organise me one! And I got my wish on Sunday, to the nth power.

    As far as I knew I was being taken out to brunch – which would have been amazing enough – and had been told to keep myself free. Except it wasn’t brunch. I got kidnapped for the entire day and didn’t get home until about 10.

    And so, I know you’re dying to know…

    Pretty purple dress

    Pretty purple dress

    First I got taken to Newmarket to go DRESS SHOPPING, of all things! After traipsing around 277 and finding nothing that ticked all the boxes – style, colour, size – and breathtakingly expensive designer shops on Nuffield St, we struck gold in one of those eclectic little Asian fashion shops. What’s more, it was marked down to 30 from $70. Because it was so cheap, they wanted to buy me shoes to match, but I didn’t love the shoes, so we moved on. Then came two belts to go with it – a white silky ribbon and a black/bronze one with decorative buckle. A quick stop for lunch (Japanese katsu bowl for me, with delicious chicken, gravy, salad, ginger and rice. Should have taken a photo) and on we continued.

    I was whisked over to Ponsonby and escorted into Tamara Spa. Let me just say at this point – what a freaky coincidence. Either they are mindreaders or BF was collaborating with them. I had been wanting to do a spa day but…the cost….and oh my lord, I just don’t even want to know how much was spent on that. The woman even commented on it when it came time to pay. I won’t recount exactly what she said, but she expressed disbelief that people our age could afford a three hour service and wondered if we had parental help. I just¬† expressed my gratitude for my unbelievably generous friends.

    I was there for three whole hours. My first facial, first body scrub and body wrap. The facial was rather painful, although I’m not sure if it was because of my sensitive skin, or if all the masks were meant to sting. But it was super cleansing and I now have baby smooth skin. The massage was SO relaxing (I fell asleep briefly) apart from the feet. Let’s just say I’m super ticklish, and luckily the therapist picked up on that quickly. They are so discreet! I guess it comes with the job. Thankfully, I didn’t think about the fact that I hadn’t shaved my legs in far too long until AFTER the treatments. The body scrub was intense. My friend agreed it was the most painful thing he’d ever experienced; more so than breaking any body parts. I was just afraid it would open up my old eczema spots, but they seem to have survived. And the wrap? I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t plastic wrap. (I’m such a beauty therapy noob.) I felt like an oversized rose, albeit one covered in mud and exfoliating beads.



    After the spa, I got changed into my new dress and was taken to dinner at Plato‘s. Talk about a surprise! All my friends were there (excluding a couple of not so good ones, post coming soon on that). Even some of my girlfriends – I love that they went to the effort to organise all the people I love, together!

    Man, I’m so spoiled. I feel SO lucky, and undeserving. I hope to be able to repay them next year when I’m *touch wood* working full time; I’ve been the worst friend ever in terms of birthdays the last couple of years. Feeling the love, very much so.

  • Birthday weekend Pt. 1

    My feet hurt!

    Just got back from a good night out. I decided to bust out my silver heels (which I wear, oh, about once a year) just for me, just because. Luckily, we didn’t end up going dancing – that would not have worked out well – and I held up pretty well, until we got home and I just collapsed onto the bed and sighed in relief. Don’t get me wrong, I’m much better at walking in heels than I used to be, and the shoes fit me well. They’re just not of especially¬† high quality and the straps start to rub a little after a few hours. I think at some point I need to invest in good, comfortable stilettos (plus, the right shoe started squeaking sometime before dinner).

    Before I go any further, I have to admit: this was NOT a fiscally responsible week! I more or less thought, F*** it, I’ll deal with the aftermath later. Could we really afford to have done anything this weekend? Not really, but I threw caution (somewhat) to the wind.

    We had Thai at Zap2 in Balmoral, mainly because I knew we’d both enjoy it even though I really wanted to go to a Malaysian restaurant. But BF had food poisoning last night, and I wanted him to be able to eat something he definitely likes, and so I wouldn’t have to deal with him being grumpy if he didn’t like anything at Bunga Raya. That came to $36 – for an entree of spare ribs, my tom yum and his pad thai.

    Then I FINALLY finally went to SkyCity for the first time! The legal age is 20, so really I’ve waited almost an entire year. SkyCity is massive. (We also spotted the Syrian basketball team who are in Auckland for a visit and must be staying there. They’re all tall, dark, broody looking and about 7 foot tall. A lovely cross section of Aucklanders crowded around them; the classy, tasteful famewhores teetering in heels and skirts and clamouring for a piece of the guys. How embarrassing….)

    I couldn’t believe how many tables and machines there were. Like, I wouldn’t even try to count them. BF showed me how it worked first on the 2 and 5c machines, then after losing about $10 we headed to the bigger machines ($2) where I proceeded to win back our money and come out even :). Then I quit :P. After that, we wandered around gaping at all the high rollers on the gaming tables. Blackjack, poker, roulette….they were full of middle aged to old people, and oddly enough, mostly Asian (tourists?). With the minimum bets being $5 and $10, I really couldn’t justify jumping in. So we just watched. Watched people drop hundreds of dollars at a time, some making a little back, most just seeing the dealers sweep their piles of chips into the black hole in the table. Good fun. Total cost – $8 for parking. Next time I’ll try to make back enough to cover parking too…

    Lastly, onto Denny’s for a quick dessert. As tempting as the pies and cheesecakes looked, we couldn’t justify paying $6-7 for a single slice when we could have bought an entire cheesecake for $5 at the supermarket, or gotten 2 pies for $6 (which we did the last two weeks at Pak n Save). A shake and a banana fritter/ice cream later, $9.70 down.

  • Birthdays

    I turn 21 in just over a month.

    21 is a big deal here. I don’t know why, it’s a societal thing. It’s not something I grew up with; it’s something I picked up during high school and the mania has only increased over the years, with the hysteria building to a climax this year. (All the ’88ers celebrating).

    I can’t believe that people go into DEBT for these things. An old flatmate of mine borrowed to finance a huge party in town for her 21st. And she didn’t even remember the occasion. Seriously??

    A couple of our friends had a lovely joint do last year at the golf club which cost a few grand. Lots of other people are hiring out bars and stuff and opening tabs and will no doubt spend at least a thousand dollars on all that kinda stuff. Even if I had that kind of money to spare, I wouldn’t do it! I would much rather travel somewhere, somewhere SUNNY and warm. It seems so wasteful and counterintuitive to blow that kind of $ on one night. i may be jaded from the fact that I’ve never really had a memorable birthday. It’s hard to have a special, enjoyable day in the depths of winter, especially on a budget. And as much as I love my girlfriends, they are, shall we say, flakey.

    I’m not sure what I’m doing on my birthday. It’s a Monday, and the day I start my two week internship. I wouldn’t mind going to a hotel (have been wanting to stay in a deluxe spa suite at the Duxton…something I love about hotel rooms, sheets and service) and having a nice dinner and a facial and massage. But jeepers, that alone would be well into the three digits! And I can’t justify that with BF out of work. I doubt my internship will be paid, given the economy…I think the interns last year received something, but I’ll be astounded if we get anything this time round. Seeing as I actually work there though, hopefully I can swing some paid leave so we don’t suffer too much then.

    What do you like doing on your birthday? Obviously, ideally, I’d like to be sunning myself in Fiji/Raro/Bali, but that’s about as likely as me being offered the role of Nightline news anchor. I’ll make do with pretty photos like these…




    (WHY do wordpress photos never line up properly when they publish?? And why isn’t my font the same?)