23 February 2011

A Close Shave

I've accepted a job offer in Auckland, so I'll be taking a short break from blogging to settle lots of stuff related to starting work in New Zealand. As usual, those experiences will be turned into blog posts in the near future!

What I really wanted to mention is how devastating yesterday's Christchurch earthquake was. Last September's earthquake was huge but damage was minimal, while buildings literally crumbled to the floor yesterday. Case in point: the hostel I stayed in when I visited last fortnight is sadly no more. What if I decided to tour Christchurch this week instead? Or took up the job offer there?

My prayers extend to survivors and victims in Christchurch.

17 February 2011

Hiatus Extended

Interviews with a few companies are going VERY well and things are coming down to the wire. I've completed my main bulk of interviews and it's now up to them to give me an offer in writing.

As a result I am extremely tied up with finding accommodation and sorting things out. Please bear with me as there might be very limited updates till I have time to organize my 1000+ photos from my 2 trips and put them into writing.

16 February 2011

Homemade Nasi Lemak

Ahhh... if there was a 1Malaysia dish, Nasi Lemak would be it. This was my first time cooking it, and while the rice needed more sodium, it brought me back home for 6 minutes.

15 February 2011


Saw this sign outside a retirement home in my suburb. Should they have drawn a walking stick?

14 February 2011


Queen Street has a lot of buskers, and I always see someone new when I walk along it. One of the most interesting ones so far is the quartet who plays classical pieces on request. Definitely something different from the singing dude on guitar (though I did see one guy on guitar with a great voice in Hamilton).

11 February 2011

This is Scandalous!

Since when did Malaysia represent a mild curry sauce while Singapore is hot? This is grounds for WAR!

(Yeo's is a Singaporean company, right?)

10 February 2011


Like any city, Auckland has its crime underbelly and vagrants. This is a homeless guy sleeping behind a church. When the sun sets on Queen Street, the main shopping drag, I can see all the rootless men coming out of the alleyways to claim the street as their own*.

*(I'm just being dramatic, it's not as bad as I make it out to seem).

09 February 2011

Bus Stop and Timetable

This is an example of a bus stop and accompanying bus timetable. There are many different designs and this box type is common in suburbs. Note that they usually only have shelter on one side of the road. The opposite bus stop is only a pole with no protection from the elements.

08 February 2011


What would you do if you woke up to find this on your front lawn?

07 February 2011

BodyJam 57 DVD Presenters

This is a dream come true - meeting the role models I follow on my Les Mills BodyJam DVDs. They're currently rehearsing for BodyJam 57 and their guest presenter is Nicole Sanchez, a Taiwanese who's now residing in Texas.

Lying in front of me is Gandalf 'G' Archer, the genius Program Director who made BodyJam the unique fitness class that it is today. To my right is Carla Fitzsimmons, a LM veteran who's been seen on DVDs for the longest time!

Blog On Vacation

When you read this I'll be in the middle of a 12-day vacation in some parts of the South Island. I actually have enough content for the next 3 to 4 months but I do need to find time to sit down and write about them. Till I have that time, I'll break from my normal schedule and post a random photo from Monday to Friday.

Thanks for your patience and enjoy the pictures!

02 February 2011

Sending a Parcel

Note: This is in the series of blog posts I wrote about my preparation to move to New Zealand. Although I am already in Auckland, I'll be continuing with this and completing the series in 3 weeks. The original date stamps will give you an idea of how time-consuming migration takes. The 'New Zealand' tag will bring up all related posts.

[Originally posted 16/12/2010]
Malaysia Airlines provided me with a 20kg allowance for checked baggage (I managed to squeeze through 24) so I knew that wasn't enough to bring everything I wanted to. As a result I had to buy a box for my extra clothes. Here's a list of helpful guidelines specifically for sending parcels from Malaysia to New Zealand:
  • It's recommended to send only clothes and personal belongings to avoid being taxed by New Zealand Customs. Food items and furniture (especially wood!) will likely cause hassle on your part.
  • If you are re-using a box, it's recommended (but optional) to wrap your parcel in brown paper and tie it with twine. The plain brown paper makes your destination address stand out clearer.
  • Take note of the maximum box size restrictions. I read it wrongly and had to take it home to be sized down and re-wrapped. Analyze the measurements carefully!
    A + (2B + 2C) <= 2m and A <= 1m
  • You can choose for it to be shipped by air or by sea. Seamail takes very much longer (up to 3 months) but is also much cheaper. You can check Pos Malaysia parcel rates online.
  • Pos Malaysia has very strict weight brackets for sea mail (1, 3, 5, 10, 15, and 20 kg). If your parcel tips even 0.1 kg over a limit, you'll be charged for the next bracket. I put through a 14.8 kg parcel and I could get so close thanks to my reliable luggage scale. They are more accurate than bathroom scales for low weights such as parcels. There are many designs but I used this type:

    Taylor #8120 Digital Luggage Scale

[End of original post]

Although they claim to take up to 3 months for seamail to arrive, my package arrived in about 5 weeks, including the Christmas and New Year holidays. I'd say that's a pretty impressive speed, considering that airmail costs 3 times more but promises it within 2-3 weeks.

However, take note that Pos Malaysia's online parcel tracking system isn't reliable. It showed that it was sent to Customs at KLIA but no further updates after that. I got a bit nervous in the days leading up to my departure as the system kept telling me it hasn't left Malaysia and the Pos Laju staff could not provide any additional details. I was afraid it got lost or got stuck in Customs - I had a lot of nice clothes and shoes in there!

Luckily nothing untoward happened and it arrived at my temporary lodging, still in its unopened state (brown paper and twine).