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Life of Leisure

I finished my job two weeks ago now, and I’ve definitely been leading a life of leisure. No stresses, brunches and lunches, shopping… of course I wouldn’t be able to do this forever as the cashflow would run out, but if I could… I definitely would haha. I don’t think I’m getting bored? I leave for my European Contiki next week and it’ll be all go go go go- but I’m enjoying taking it slow so much I’m already mourning my lazy (every)days. I am just so content to mellow along. I was already so caught up on my sleep when I had a job, and now I’m over-rested haha.

What exactly have I been occupying my time with?

  1. Eating

I was having brunch with my friends at Cornwall Park on a Monday, and we had a walk, looked at a few cows and then sat down in a green field and talked about life while the sun shone. And it was like yyyyass. This is what being productive while unemployed feels like haha. No worries, no projects I needed to be stressing about, my mailbox never getting any emails- it’s taken me a long time to adjust to not see my emails increasing.

I’ve been been brunching, lunching, dinnering and not buying chips for the last two weeks. I am so proud of myself although I have not noticed any results from my chip ban. I figure with the two months away with no access to the chips I like (my kryptonite are those orange powder chips that you buy for kids… rashuns..cheezels… ohhmmmyggaadd) that it will help me from getting back on my orange crack.

Also can you please congratulate me on figuring how to have it link to my foodie instagram? I take pics of food every time I go out to eat, so I thought I would make the habit useful and make a foodie account for me to look back at all the good times hehe

  1.      Becoming obsessed with Spiderman

I don’t know how I became obsessed with Spiderman/Tom Holland but with all this time on my hands I’ve watched literally every interview on Youtube. I watched Spiderman Homecoming and he/Tom Holland was just so cute. I don’t even find him particularly hot, he’s just so cute. I just want him to make me cups of tea and call me darling and sweetheart when I’m sad in his British accent lolol.

Since I ran out of Tom Holland content to devour (I’m totally not interested in his work when he was a literal child), I have now started becoming obsessed with Robert Downey Jr who has yeeeeaaarrss of content. And yes, I watched Avengers: Endgame on the day it came out which was a Wednesday because I am unemployed and have the time to haha. Because I DO NOT have time for spoilers!!

  1.  Annoying my flatcat

In my defense, I think she likes it. Since I’m at home the majority of the time when she would typically be alone, she seems surprised every time she sees me and each morning the greeting becomes more enthusiastic in my hover mum eyes. Previously, I would have to find her to say hi, and now she walks to me when she hears my door open. It’s just little rewards like these that make godparenting worth it lolol.

I literally only have like 48 more hours of this life of leisure left- it’s Tuesday night as I write this and I leave around midday Friday- aargh! I just googled where my hotel is and it’s very close to the British Museum, Tescos and a Boots so I’m definitely going exploring. I am very excited. On Saturday (UK time) I’ll be walking through Russell Square trying to get to the museum, and in London! I’ve never been to Europe before. This Contiki is probably going to be a very significant time in my life- in two days it will change from leisure to adventure (and alcohol)!!

Published!

It’s a week of gratitude for me- a lot of success, a lot of relief and just good going!

This Friday will be my last day at work- crazy!!! As I mentioned before, I’m resigning since I have booked myself a 6 week Contiki through Europe and Greece.

Also, I’ve had my personal essay “Bananas” go really well! I entered the Nextshark’s, a US website, personal essay competition where I came as the runner up and won $100 USD! I was very happy. Seeing the response on my article was also amazing! People saying they related, people that enjoyed the piece and also a few people scoffing about how stereotypical I was. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of kind words and people reaching out to share them with me!

Read it on Nextshark here: Bananas on Nextshark


Someone who had read it from NZ suggested that I send it into The Spinoff, and the editor got in touch with me to see if I was interested in publishing it there. So I edited it to make it more suitable to a Kiwi audience.

Read it on The Spinoff here: Bananas on The Spinoff

Before when I had told my friends and coworkers about it being on Nextshark, they were pretty happy for me since I had won prize money, but hadn’t heard of the website (sorry Nextshark). However, when it was published on The Spinoff which is a wellknown website in NZ, the excitement ramped up haha.

Some points I wanted to mention:

  • I wrote this essay when I was 19 and for a Nonfiction Creative Writing class in the States. Every essay that the class worked on was pretty sobering; someone’s Dad had their brain surgically split due to seizures, someone had a nose job after being bullied in their life, someone else was bullied by someone I knew, to my horror. We would have to critique each others essays every class, and it prompted this email from my professor after noone had anything to say about mine (not a brag- the person who was the most vocal during critiques was me so when it was my turn to take it noone was dishing it out lol). I got an A for it so that was good! 

Read the email here: My Favourite Email

I do wonder if the piece could be better if I had written it now.

  • Guys, success is attractive. All, and I mean all, the people that I’ve had friend crushes on, have reached out to me and told they’ve liked it. People that I would’ve thought had forgotten me by now are making the effort to personally tell me that they enjoyed it!! It actually makes me giddy. Now I just need Tim Lambourne to slide into my DMs hahaha…
  • So many people said that they relate! When I sent it to my brothers one of them got all reflective on me and I was like, hold on- our relationship so far has been debating whether Brooklyn 99 is worth the hype and me talking at him. Then he got contemplative on me! I am actually very surprised at the reception Bananas has received- if you read it, I felt very alone when I was younger. It’s strange to see that a lot of people I know, some that I thought wouldn’t, have shared the experiences and felt the same.
  • The Spinoff had white Kiwis being very nice and kind on the comments. I had not really expected white Kiwis to have much of an opinion on the piece- I honestly thought that they would find it boring and they wouldn’t read it. So happy to see nice comments!!
  • My Mum read it -___- I had linked it to my parents thinking that because it was too long, they wouldn’t read it. I just wanted to prove that it wasn’t a scam when I said I had won $100 USD. Cue the long wechats where she got uber defensive about the lifestyle I grew up in. I had actually panic read it after I realised she was reading it to see how Bananas could be construed through my parents eyes and was eeehh I went easy on them. I could’ve done a lot worse but my parental issues I can save for my debut novel haha! 😀

I am just feeling super happy and validated right now that my writing is good! I would like to think I have a talent for it, but I’ve been plugging away at this blog for years now, and I have gotten any recognition for it haha.

It’s just so nice for something that I made, that my literal life story, I have told it in a way that I can be proud of.

I Quit My Jobs and I’m Going Travelling

Well the name of this blogpost is quite self explanatory. But yes. I have quit my job(s) and am going on a 2 month Contiki throughout Europe and Greece!

It’s been a long time coming. I’ve always wanted to – I wanted to go to Rome in particular before the States. I don’t even know why I was so deadset on going to America in the first place when before I had little to no interest in it, but it felt right back then. I would learn about the Roman Empire and the Colosseum, read Dan Brown novels which always involved the Vatican and watch show after show about Italy. For someone that isn’t religious, I am fascinated by the Vatican, and the stories and the meaning behind every painting and sculptures. I love stories and symbols, even though I am not a fan of religion or their beliefs and the Vatican and Rome is soaked in it. As you can tell, I am the most excited to go there, but I will also be going to France, Turkey, Gallipolli, the Swiss Alps, Athens and the UK!

And it feels right now – before when my friends were doing their own OEs I felt like it wasn’t the right time, but now my gut is telling me yes, which is why I’m perfectly content to barrel right into it haha. I feel like I have enough saved up, I have enough experience that job hunting won’t be too harrowing (fingers crossed) and I feel independent enough. I don’t have any responsibilities like a mortgage or kids, and I feel like it’s now or when I’m 50. And I want the pics to be of me when I was young lol.

I am very relieved and excited, because I’m finally crossing off a huge goal on my bucket list. I feel like I am finally doing things that will make me happy instead of just talking about it. And I won’t need to do any work- yes yes yes!

I plan to come back to NZ in June when the Contiki is over but it’s just a plan. I am not looking forward to going back on the jobhunt and interviewing, but I figure that it’s too early to worry about when I have an amazing trip before then.

I am still giving my hardest at my jobs- I would feel so bad if things went to shit (not that I am irreplaceable) but I don’t like doing a shitty job anyway. I’ve always had my mind on my jobs so it feels a bit weird that in 2 weeks i won’t need to.

I’ve still got things to tie up- I need to buy travel insurance, international SIM and cash passport, and last night I had a horrible thought about being caught up in a terrorist attack overseas but there is nothing I can do if that happened but try my hardest to run away 🙁

And we are not ending this blog on a scared note! I am excited, I am relieved, I am so glad that I am doing this. This is something that I’ve always wanted, and it feels bizarre that the goals that I set for when I was “grown up” and for my life- I’m finally living them.

 

Chrischurch 2019 :(

Some disgusting white supremacists went on a mosque shootout on Friday. I believe the death toll is at 51 and many people are injured.

This is the worst thing that’s happened in NZ, and I am so mad, and so sad that it was white supremacists against the Muslim community. I donated a little bit to the Canterbury Muslim Charity but I know that money can never replace the life lost and the horror witnessed. The whole event is so, so wrong. I hope we are taking the right steps on rebuilding and helping the Muslim community.

It has to be such massive levels of ego, entitlement and loss of common sense to be someone like that. To actually believe it, and inflict harm on innocent people. Absolutely disgusting. And I don’t want to give another thought to people that aren’t worth thinking about.

Apparently NZ will be banning semi automatic weapons, which is great. But what about the white supremacy thing? I’ve been reading articles about how the shooter wasn’t on any watchlists and had posted about it earlier on 4chan. I reported this group on FB that was a white supremacist group with 870 members. I feel like it is common knowledge that the South Island, and Christchurch, was racist.

It is always hateful ideology that perpetuates crimes like these. I feel let down, as someone who is not white, that people who hate people like me and / or other ethnic and religious groups aren’t high on the priority list.

I am mad that news outlets are starting to paint him as the ‘innocent boy brainwashed’, they interviewed his grandparents about how he was harmless and yet he’s in the public docks flashing white supremacy signs. That politicians like Fraser Anning and Trump have validated him and white supremacy is on the rise in the world because they can’t deal with the fact that they don’t deserve power because they were born white and through no achievement of their own.

I am so mad that the Muslim community have to go through something like this. Innocent people have been persecuted and had so much against them in the Western world for no reason. I hate that they feel vulnerable, that they’re in danger and that they cannot live in peace. I hate that they have had to suffer this tragedy and were targeted.

I had the worst dream last night where I was on a minibus in the countryside. The bus got taken over by white supremacists,and I was the only person on the bus who wasn’t white. I ran out, but they had made a bomb – I miraculously survive the blast but now have to run through fields full of the KKK. It was sort of like the world had been The Handsmaid Tale’d but instead of religious zealots, it was white supremacists- which is more likely now that numbers for religion are down but white supremacy is going up.

I woke up and I was so sad, because that was probably what the Muslim community are feeling like right now- that the world is full of hate against them for NO REASON. I really really hope that they have people around them who are making them feel safe.

And it also hit home that I would definitely also be on the hitlist of a race-motivated hate crime. That the shooters would also hate me, and if a car full of my friends and I got hijacked by a white supremacist I’d definitely be the target too for no reason but for the colour of my skin.

I have always been passionate about racism and how wrong it is. And of course I’ve had my fair share of racial slurs and encounters, but I’ve never feared for my life from it in NZ.  And yet here we are, where people in NZ now have to. It’s so, so unfair, but because of who they were born, their culture and their religion. It could be the Muslim community yesterday, the Asian community tomorrow. And what have I done? What have innocent, normal Muslims done for governments around the world to not put white supremacy as a threat to public safety? David Duke, leader of the KKK ,is walking around America not being condemned by Trump living more safely and with more validation than an innocent person without the right paperwork. I’m not sure if parliaments and governments haven’t simply because they are typically white dominated and know that they aren’t the target and so it’s not a priority for them.

I’m sure everyone’s thoughts are still with the Christchurch Muslim community. It still feels wrong for me to think about anything else to be honest- this was a very significant event and that will has such deep pain that carrying on makes me feel insensitive.

My goal is to practise what I preach, and the next time someone says something racist to me or anyone else I need to step up and defend them or me. I’m not going to play a part in letting this shit slide, or being complicit.

 

What Not to Give an Asian family or parents as gifts: Actually Helpful

Apparently a lot of people Google what to give an Asian family- I’m guessing when you need to meet your Asian partner’s family, or when it comes to Christmas and host gifts it can be hard to give something thoughtful and useful to a different culture.

I’ve witnessed this myself with people giving my parents things that they puzzle over: I’VE even done this by giving my parents a frozen turkey which I find hilarious that my parents are still puzzling over to cook (they asked me if they should make Chinese soup with it and I was like NO).

When you google this, it comes up with all these repeated, stereotypical ideas- no, giving an Asian a bag full of pears will not make them hate you- in fact if you gave Asian parents a bag full of Korean nashi pears I’m sure they’ll be over the moon. Giving an Asian partner a pair of shoes or a watch will not offend them- literally no one is going to be upset over a new pair of sneakers or DW watch they’ve got their eye on

So here’s my version of what to give that would impress Chinese and perhaps other Asian parents and families too. Note that this is not for the Kiwi Asians. This is a list for their parents.

What Not to Give:

  • Chutney, pesto, gourmet dip and relish

Forget about a traditional Asian family, don’t even give ME chutney, pesto or relish simply because I/we don’t know how to use it. The only time I use pesto is when I make pesto pasta and I probably only make it once a year, and what exactly is chutney and relish used for? The only time I can think of is for cheese and crackers which I rarely eat.

  • Cheese

More Asians are appreciating cheese, but a lot of them are also lactose intolerant or won’t eat nice cheese fast enough before it goes off.

  • Marigold flowers and bouquets with a lot of greenery and ferns


Marigold flowers are used in Chinese funerals, and bouquets made up of leaves will have Asian parents thinking about how they could get some branches from outside and make the same thing. Flowers that are red, pink, purple or yellow would be better received.

  • Books

Unless you know for certain that they want books, coffee table books and cookbooks will most likely be regifted.

  • Licorice

Yuck! What not to give anyone, really.

Yas please:

  • Alcohol

Find out if your giftees drink, and you won’t miss the mark with a wine or a spirit with a label.

  • Fruits, nuts and vegetables

My parents will appreciate a bag full of walnuts more than a bouquet of flowers! Asians love fresh ingredients. My brother’s friend gives my family smoked fish, which my parents positively GAG over. Also, the more exotic the fruit the better- mangoes > apples. Blueberries > grapes. Cherries will also go down very well.

  • Honey

Local, organic or expensive honey.

  • Ferrero Rochers


The height of sophistication

  • Hawaiian Macadamias or Australian nougats

A must for anyone to bring back for their Asian friends or fam if they’ve recently visited Hawaii or Australia.

Hopefully this is more helpful than what I have seen through Google and next time you’re coming to visit my parents and you’ve got a tasteful pesto and chutney spread….unless you’re prepared to give my entire family and I a tutorial on how to use it, just keep it and buy a bag full of oranges please 😛

 

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