Lucky Twix


I bought myself some chocolate bars the other day – $5 for any 5. I picked 1 x Snickers, 2 x Bounty and 2 x Twix.

I was about to dig into one of the Twix bars in the car (I always couldn’t wait until I get home) when I noticed they are running a campaign: instant Twix bar giveaways.

It says on the wrapper that 1 in 6 Twix bars instantly wins another free bar. Hmmm……could I be a lucky one? 1 in 6 is a pretty high chance.

Look inside to find out it says…….

Yayyyy…..I won myself a free Twix bar!

Always nice to win something, even if it’s just a chocolate bar šŸ™‚

Calendar Girls


My girlfriend, Serene and I bought 50% discount vouchers to the Calendar Girls, a newly opened gentleman’s club in Auckland.

Read: a strip club.

I have always been curious so finally I wentĀ  šŸ˜‰

The stage has 2 poles and is set right in the centre of the room. Small tables with sofa seats against the walls were arranged around the stage. So everyone has full view of the girls ahem! Apart from the entry fees, there is also a bar where you can, at additional charge, buy drinks and purchase Calendar Girls tokens to tip the girls….totally optional.

Girls took turns on stage, one girl at a time for one song and walks around every table fishing for tips after each dance routine….topless of course! I would say all the girls were very attractive, young and graceful on stage. Most were slender while some were curvy.

Serene and I purchased a limited number of tokens (they’re not cheap!) and were busy deciding which few girls were hot enough to deserve a tip, while 2 asian guys at the next table were making pretty loud comments about the girls’ bodies but never given out a single tip to any girl! Tsk tsk…….!

The girls were all cheeky while fishing for tips and will give you a peck on the cheek or a hug after you slip them a tip into their thong. Then there was this girl who was in a sexy policewoman outfit and did a lively routine on stage.

Serene and I both thought she deserved a tip. And so we both slip her a tip each into her thong. I told her she is really hot. She was so delighted that she climbed onto Serene and gave her a dry hump and took off my glasses and gave me a motorboat!

Don’t know what a motorboat is? Click here.

Okay, to clarify things, there were no sounds involved and she was doing all the shaking! I was too stunned to move!

And that was my experience at a strip club. Not too bad eh? šŸ˜‰

Prawns Overdose


A few weeks ago, I bought a group deal voucher for a all-you-can-eat prawns offer for 2 people at the Auckland Fish Market. And along with the prawns you get free flow of salads, chips, garlic bread and dips too. $50 for a two hour seating period. Quite a steal if you ask me.

So Terry and I went. The verdict? Nice ambience, tasty chips and garlic bread, a generous salad spread and of course, prawns overdose! We did pretty well in two hours. I think we could have easily downed a kg of prawns each in addition to the salads, garlic bread and chips!

Fresh garlic bread, chips and dips

The salad bar - beans, pasta, potatoes, coleslaw and greens

Our first serving of freshly steamed prawns

It was a little chilly at the open-air setting but luckily the heater saved the day

Our second serving of prawns because we can!

What’s In A Name?


My given name is Shin Tien. Back in Malaysia, everyone was accustomed to the fact that it is common for Chinese to have two given names. All my friends call me Shin Tien. Family and closer friends calls me Tien. In mandarin, Tien sounds exactly like “sweet”. Its like being called “sweetie” all the time. Bliss.

In New Zealand however, when I introduced myself, they start to call me Shin. They think that’s my first name. It’s not cool.

It’s like calling Michael, Mike. Okay bad example.

It’s like calling Jennifer, Jenn. Scrap that.

It’s like calling Michelle, Mich. (Damnit.)

It’s like calling Sharon, Sha. (Aha!) Or Carol as Ca. Or David as Da.

You get the drift.

So I decided to just introduce myself as Tien. AKA Sweetie.

Anyway, I digress.

Many weeks ago Terry and I were invited to his colleague Christopher’s Chinese wedding banquet.

Naturally, his entire guest list are of his Chinese friends and family. It was a small affair with only 40 attendees. We were seated at a round table of mostly strangers. As such, this gentleman offered to conduct a short ice breaker around the table. Each one of us was to introduce our names one by one as prompted.

And so John started with himself, his wife Tina, then Jennifer, Michael, David, Peter, Natasha, Anne, Mary then Terry and…..Tien.

With an amused look, John asked in mandarin, “You don’t have an English name?”

“Umm no”, I said with a smile.

“Really??!! No Kiwi name??”

At this point, he sounded slightly puzzled. Like it’s almost unacceptable for a Chinese to not have an English name in New Zealand.

Then there was an awkward silence as the other guests waited for me to blurt out a Kiwi-sounding name somehow.

“Yes, really. I love my name a lot, see”, I said with another smile, hoping to just dismiss the fact that really, I am just Tien.

Immediately after I said it, it dawned on me that I have just imposed that the entire table consisted of people who are so ashamed of their given Chinese names they have to choose an English name of their own!

I didn’t mean to offend, I really do love my name. And I understand the fact that having an English name just makes it so much easier to introduce yourselves to native English speakers. That’s why Terry is Terry in New Zealand.

Fortunately, the whole ordeal was quickly forgotten when the amazing 12-course meal was served. And I ate like four servings of dessert. FOUR! Consider that my punishment for not having a Kiwi name!

The “R” Word


I grew up in a place where your skin colour is a factor.

I grew up in a place where people also excelled based on their merits, in spite of their skin colour. You just have to work much harder.

Confused? If you are a Malaysian, you should understand what I am talking about.

Don’t get me wrong, Malaysians are generally very civilised and courteous people. You don’t encounter people throwing insults aroundĀ in public just because of your skin colour. We live in harmony.

Your skin colour is only a factor “on paper”. It is justified because it is in the constitution and it is legal. We learnt about it in history during school and so, we live with it. It can get a little frustrating at times, but most of the time we tolerate. Those who could tolerate no more rarely fight back. Mostly they choose to become indifferent and simply leave.

Many weeks ago, I met someone who is pleasant. But as soon as I learnt where he is from, “someone who is pleasant” became “someone who may appear to be pleasant”. Because of his colour, my guards went up and I decided not to give him a benefit of a doubt with regards to his character and ethics. I gently closed my doors on him and decidedĀ not to “take any risks”.

The worst part of it all was he saw right through me and told me I am a racist.

I can justify my actions all I want – statistics, observations, instincts, stereotypes. That it was only self-defense.Ā I can even say that I grew up in an environment that taught me to remember that race is always a factor.

At the end of the day, I did judge himĀ because of the colour of his skin.

I realise IĀ can beĀ a racist at heart and IĀ feel veryĀ ashamed.

Rugby World Cup 2011


Tonight will be a big night for New Zealand. The Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC)Ā is opening tonight in Auckland! All eyes on New Zealand.

The Eden Park Stadium is just a mereĀ 10 minutes drive from my new place. But of course, there would be road closures and 10 minutes drive means 30Ā  minutes walk today. Am I going?Ā I didn’t get the tickets and I am not a sports person anyway.

But I can’t help catching a slight RWC fever myself. Passing in front of Eden Park daily seeing all the signboards, flags, rugby fans occasionally (and suddenly) screaming their country names on the streets….yeah pretty hard to miss!

The new Eden Park Stadium in my neighbourhood

Today I’llĀ leave early to avoid the traffic and stay home to watch the opening ceremony on TV instead of watching it live atĀ Eden Park or even to be at the city tonight where there will be thousands of people gathering to celebrate with fireworks. I know, I am boring……!

But, but…….I do look forward to the live coverage on TV with heaps of eye candy in the form of muscular rugby players from all over the globe! And of course the infamous Haka dance.

The All Blacks team doing the Haka dance

The least I can do is show my love on FacebookĀ  šŸ™‚

Go ALL BLACKS!!! (That’s the NZ rugby team and the only team I know…..)

Go New Zealand!!!

Missing In Action


I’ve been a lousy blogger yet again for abandoning my blog for weeks!

Terry and I are moving again! There are so much to do, so much to organise, so much to buy. The fact that we have such a clutter problem makes it almost a nightmare! But at the same time, we are excited to move to a bigger place.

On the other hand, studies have been keeping me busy. My work has come to the level where I can start working towards publishing an academic journal paper so that my work gets recognised. Very happy about that. But first I have to work out some really difficult maths to make my work strong enough. Don’t even know if I am capable of that but I am trying!

I have heaps of pictures of my cooking and lots of things I want to talk about but haven’t really found the time to sit down and blog. Hopefully by the time we are settled in our new place, my blogging routineĀ will get back to normal again!

In the meantime, Happy Eid Mubarak to all my Muslims friends!

I’llĀ update soon, promise. Ā šŸ™‚