Young Blood

We're only young and naive still

I’m Sorry

To have to deal with the loss of your parent would be one of the hardest things to do. I hope that He will ease the pain that you and your family are going through right now.

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Things that say a lot about people

Bestfriend saw this post (which lists down the things that apparently say a lot about people) and then asked me on what they DO say about people. The bolded points are the things that have been listed, and the comments that follow them are… my comments.

Things that say a lot about people:

1) The way which they treat the waiter/waitress

You can tell a lot about someone’s character by the way they treat someone who is not in a position to retaliate or reciprocate. Someone who treats waiters/waitresses differently from how they would treat a person that has a position of power are losers basically.

2) How they feel about the weather

Have you ever been stuck with a friend who keeps on complaining about the weather no matter how it’s like? They’ll complain it’s too hot when there’s sun and then moodily sulk when it’s raining. How about a friend who’s so optimistic that the rain would let up soon even after being stuck in heavy downpour for ages? Just make a general comment about the weather and the response you hear from them is a good indicator of what kind of person they are.

3) Whether they dog ear pages or highlight in books

This usually indicates how well a person treats their possessions? I don’t care what you do to your own books but we’re gonna have a problem if you mess with my books and the public libraries’ books. I don’t understand why you would dog ear pages or annotate directly onto a book when there are bookmarks and stick-it notes for that. On a side note, for the longest time I used to bear a deep hatred for the people who breaks the spines of the books I lent them. I’ve learnt to forgive them now.

4) Fingernails and hands in general

A person’s fingernails generally indicate the amount of care they have for their own personal hygiene and grooming. You would definitely doubt the hygiene level of people with dirty, crusty ass fingernails. They can also indicate the amount of common sense a person has. Just observe how people who choose to keep long fingernails struggle to type texts on their smartphones, then judge their level of common-sense and practicality.

Hands can tell a lot about a person. Rough hands may indicate that the person does a lot of heavy labour. Or that the person doesn’t care about the importance of moisturising their hands. Bandaged hands and hands with lots of cuts/bruises may indicate that the person is really sporty… Or careless. Hands with carpal tunnel may belong to those workaholics who sit in front of the computer far too long.

5) Their preferred creative outlet

Obvious tell tale signs that someone likes to paint and draw? They actually paint and draw in their spare time.

Obvious tell tale signs that someone enjoys music? They play a musical instrument during their free time.

Obvious tell tale signs that someone loves to write? They write stories, poetry, prose, or… fanfiction.

6) How much they dread/enjoy talking on the phone

You can definitely tell who’s an extrovert or introvert by the way they handle phone calls.

On a side note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fast food companies for allowing me to order food online. Long gone are the scary days where I need to rehearse what to say before actually picking up the receiver to order that damn pizza.

7) Whether or not they drink coffee

Hmm… Let me see. For some people (like me), the sudden addition of caffeinated drinks to their diet is usually a sign of poor work ethic coupled with high desperation levels to pass an upcoming exam.

8) If they ever forget to eat

When someone forgets to eat, you know it’s because they’re either highly depressed or too busy trying to finish a paper due the next day. Based on personal experiences, I think it’s more of a combination of the two.

9) How honest they are with themselves (and others)

This obviously indicates how important honesty is to the person. If you happen to discover a dishonest friend, please do yourself a favour and run as far as you can.

10) If they correct your grammar

People who correct your grammar can either be:

1) annoying condescending elitist douchebags
2) self-proclaimed prescriptive linguists who feel like it’s their responsibility to correct other people’s grammatical errors
3) people who care a lot about you and would love to improve the way you use language.

Have fun figuring out which category your grammar nazi friend belongs to.

11) And whether or not they get nervous before haircuts

People who get nervous before haircuts may be people who are afraid of change? Or maybe they’re just one of those people who are really self-conscious about their appearance.

So, what do you think? Can you tell a lot about a person through some of the things listed here?

Northland Road Trip Part 2

In the morning I washed up, ate breakfast, and walked all the way to the lighthouse at 8am. From the lighthouse I could see the Tasman Sea waves crashing into the waves of the Pacific Ocean. I could also see an ancient Pohutukawa tree down at the edge of the cape. The tree has its own significance to the Māoris in that “All Māori spirits travel up the coast and over the wind-swept vista to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Te Rerenga Wairua. They descend into the underworld (reinga) by sliding down a root into the sea below. The spirits then travel underwater to the Three Kings Islands where they climb out onto Ohaua, the highest point of the islands and bid their last farewell before returning to the land of their ancestors, Hawaiiki-A-Nui.

There was no one there when I arrived so I just walked around there for a while, took pictures, and left only when I couldn’t stand the raging winds smacking in my face.

From the lighthouse, I hiked to Te Werahi Beach and back for around 3 hours. I then took a short nap in the car before I drived to Topotupotu Bay. From Topotupotu Bay, I decided to drive to a town called Awanui. Along the way, I… picked up a guy who wanted to hitch-hike. Throughout the drive, he told me more about himself and about all the places that he has travelled. It was nice to hear to what he has to say. So, his name is Dominic and he’s from Switzerland. He used to be an architect for a really successful company but then he decided that he would rather spend his time travelling and being closer to nature so he quit his job and decided to travel around the world on a shoestring budget. To finance his travels, he goes WWOOFing. WWOOF: Willing Workers on Organic Farms – a host system where you exchange hours of work for accommodation and food.

It’s interesting to know that there are lots of people out there who can just throw caution to the wind, quit their jobs, leave their comfort zone and just travel.

I dropped Dominic off in a small town and drove to Waipoua Forest to see ancient Kauri trees. It was raining, and it was starting to get dark when I arrived there at 7:40pm but there was still some daylight left for me to navigate my way through the forest to see the largest Kauri tree in New Zealand, Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). I really wanted to do a hike there but it’s already dark and it’s raining so I returned to my car.

The drive out of Waipoua Forest was difficult as the roads were winding. The roads were also wet, so I had to drive really carefully. Things couldn’t get even worse when it got really foggy and I had to drive slowly. I was exhausted from the drive by the time I reached Dargaville at 9pm. I then tried to look for places to sleep in the town but there were none so I decided to just go on a highway to the next town when I saw that there’s a resting place by the highway and stopped there instead. It was already 11pm when I tried to sleep.

I couldn’t sleep well as it was raining heavily. I drifted in and out of sleep, spent a few minutes stargazing when the skies have cleared, and then slept until 6. I had breakfast while trying to figure out where to go next. I decided to wash up at Maungituroto at 8:30am, do a 2 hour hike at Dome Forest, and then chill at Orewa Beach. I lazed by the beach and stayed to watch the sunset, and then I drove to Takapuna Beach and stayed there till 8pm.

Drove to Auckland Museum to stargaze for a while, parked the car at Domain Drive, and arrived home at 1am in the morning. Dags was still up so I talked to her for a bit; it was so nice to talk to her after spending a couple of days all alone talking to myself on the road. Then I took long shower and went to sleep.

Go on a road trip all by myself. Check. :) Will I go on a road trip again? Definitely! Will I do ever do it alone again? I’m not sure about that. There are downsides to doing a road trip alone. First being you’ll be the only one who’s going to bear the cost of renting the car and the cost of the fuel.

Also, you’ll keep wishing throughout the road trip that some people were there to see it all with you.

Northland Road Trip Part 1

Someone complained about how my post about the Northland road trip was too short. I reread the post today and agreed. i just briefly described what I did, without going through much detail.

I’ll try to revisit what I did and recall as much as I can.

So… In the weeks upcoming to the trip, I was actually busy preparing for the exams so i didn’t have much time to research on where to go or to come up with a detailed itinerary. I figured that I should simply book the car the week before and not waste too much time thinking about the trip. All I knew was that I want to explore the Northland, go to the northernmost tip of New Zealand and back.

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Northland!

The night before the trip, I went through the bag of food supplies again and again to make sure that I’ll have enough food to last me the whole trip. I packed a loaf of bread, lots of fruits, peanut butter, nutella, and some canned food. Dags, my flatmate from US, still had a few more papers to go so I felt kind of guilty sitting in the lounge planning for my trip while she was still studying for exams. We sat in the lounge together; I leafed through a couple of guide books and typed out the itinerary while she leafed through her… notes. I was a bit anxious about the trip and so before I went to sleep, I voiced my concern.

“Dags, so many things could go wrong during the trip.”

“Well, don’t think of it that way. So many things can go right as well.”

She’s right.

On Friday, I walked all the way to picked up the car at 12pm. Then I drove back to Claybrook Road to pick up my bags, food supply, pillow and blanket. I’m planning to sleep in the car so might as well try to make myself comfortable. I drove to i-SITE (a site where tourists can just stop by to ask questions about the area of to make bookings for tours etc) to ask for a GPS system but realised that I can just read a map that Elise lent me and just use the GPS system in my phone if I get lost. I mainly stayed on Highway 1, and… travelled north. I passed by Dairy Flats, then drove all the way to Whangarei, the northernmost city in New Zealand. After I left Whangarei, all I would see are small towns, highways, trees, beaches, and more small towns. I reached a town called Wellsford at 3pm and then a town called Paihia at 6pm.

After walking around the town, I chose a quiet spot on the beach, one where there was no one around, and revelled in the moment. The clear sea continued to hug the shore in gentle waves while the sky burst in wonderful hues of orange and purple. At one point in time, I wished that someone else was there to see it all as well. I sat there contemplating in peace and retreated back to the car when it got dark. Initially I wanted to rest there, but since I wasn’t feeling the slightest bit tired, I decided to drive to the next town and sleep there instead.

I reached the next town around 11:30pm. I stopped by the side of the road, tried to sleep but was awoken by the sounds of a huge lorry trying to dock stuff around 12:30am. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I decided to drive. I then reached another town called Manganui at 1:30am, drove on to wash up near Coopers Beach, then reached another town called Kaitaia. Kaitaia is the last town I’ll see before I travel close to 100km to Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand, so I made sure i have enough fuel to last the journey to the north and back to this town again. The last thing I want is to have my car run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere.

I fought sleep, drove all the way up north and reached Cape Reinga at 4am. There were no streetlights nearby and the carpark was pitch dark, so I thought I would have no trouble sleeping there, but boy was I wrong. I could hear the sea waves crashing violently into the nearest cliff and the loud howling of the winds. Every now and again, the wind would rock the car. I looked out the car window, stared at the sky full of stars, and eventually fell asleep when exhaustion took over.

Northland Road Trip

Friday, 14/11/14
Picked up car at 12pm. Drove back to Claybrook Road to pick up bags, food, and pillow. Went to i-SITE (a site where tourists can just stop by to ask questions about the area of to make bookings for tours etc) to ask for a GPS system but realised that I can just read a map and if I really need a GPS, I can just use my phone. Then passed by Dairy Flats, then drove all the way to Whangarei. Reached Wellsford at 3pm, Paihia beach at 6pm.

Saturday, 15/11/14
Tried to sleep somewhere at 12:30am. Reached Manganui at 1:30am. Washed up at Coopers Beach and decided to drive all the way to Cape Reinga. Reached Cape Reinga at 4am. Visited lighthouse at 8am, hiked at Te Werahi Beach from 9-11am. Took a nap from 11-12pm. Stopped by Topotupotu Bay at 12-1pm. Drove down to Awanui at 3pm and met Dominic on the way there. Reached Mangawaka at 4pm, Opononi at 6pm, Arai Te Uru at 7pm. Reached Waipoua Forest and visited Tane Mahuta at 7:40pm and drove all the way down in rain and fog to reach Dargaville at 9pm. Tried to look for places to sleep, decided to take the highway to the next town and saw that there is a resting place and stopped there. It was near Ruawai already 11pm when I tried to sleep.

Sunday, 16/11/14
It was raining heavily and it was cold I couldn’t sleep well. Was awoken a couple of times and then realised that the rain has stopped, the skies have cleared and the stars and moon can be seen. Drifted back in and out of sleep and woke up at 6am. Had breakfast and tried to figure out where to go next. Washed up at Maungituroto at 8:30am. Hiked at Dome Forest from 9:15 -11:15am, and then stopped at Orewa Beach and stayed there until 7. Then went to Takapuna Beach and stayed there till 8pm.

A flatmate was still up when I got back home at 1am in the morning. It was nice to talk to her for a while before taking a long shower, and going to sleep in my warm, comfortable bed.

Break

I should’ve updated more since I’m on a 2 week mid-semester break, but I’m just busy doing stuff (like lazing in bed all day, doing countless movie marathons and catching up on all the TV shows) and didn’t have the chance to write.

From 2-10 September, I hosted a girl from Germany. Her name’s Johanna. We met in one of the backpacking hostels during my trip to the south island of NZ back in June. She’s almost done with her 7 month long backpacking trip in NZ and she wanted to spend a few weeks in Auckland before flying back to Germany so I just offered her to stay at my place.

On Monday, Johanna and I decided to join Jing for her Mid-Autumn festival celebrations. According to Jing, the Chinese would normally celebrate Mid-Autumn festival by eating mooncakes, writing poetry related to the moon, and telling each other riddles. And we did just that – we went out to sit in front of the War Memorial Museum to eat mooncakes, recite the poems we wrote, and tell each other riddles in the moonlight. And then we talked and stargazed until it was too cold to stay out.

Temporary

The time we have on this earth is finite and I’m thankful for all the people who have crossed my path and for the people who chose to spend their time with me. The most precious gift you can give to someone is your time and I’ve learnt throughout the years that it is important for me to selflessly give my time to the people I love. Sometimes the people I choose to spend my time on may eventually move on to feel like I don’t mean anything to them anymore but in that few moments that we were together, we actually meant something to each other. And it’s okay to hold on to that feeling and that moment; it’s okay to look back in time and reminisce the special moments you shared with the person.

Albeit being temporary, life is beautiful. And I am going to keep on living life doing things I like and spending it with the people I love.