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 went¬† ūüėČ

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? ūüėČ


Rugby World Cup 2011 Opening Night


So I went after all.

Contemplating between watching the Rugby World Cup¬†(RWC) opening ceremony at Eden Park being telecast live on TV at home or at the Queen’s Wharf near Viaduct with thousands and thousands of others on a super big screen,¬†I chose¬†the former and¬†said “No” to my friend Serene as she asks for the last time if I wanted to join her before she leaves the office……..I ended up changing my mind 20 minutes after that and called up Serene to meet in town.

I thought the fact that I happen to be in Auckland during such a major sports event is a good enough reason to not miss the fever.

A very crowded Queen Street

This is my first time attending a mass party since years ago when I went to Kuala¬†Lumpur city centre for the 2003 New Year’s countdown¬†party and fireworks.

I could already feel the excitement as I walked with hundreds and hundreds of Rugby fans making their way down Queen Street to the waterfront. Many of them with flags, face paint, wigs, costumes and really really loud cheers. It was only 4.00pm.

By 5.00pm, my friends and I were standing in the middle of thousands, packed like sardines in front of a big screen waiting for the live telecast at 7.30pm. The crowd was still growing.

Rugby fans

Police chased off people from the roof of a nearby hut. They ignored the police and kept waving their flags! Many fans were screaming out country names. Then other fans screamed out their own country names in retaliation. The screaming continued for a while. We snapped pictures of ourselves. A woman flashed her titties from the balcony of another building. We stood there in the middle of all the craziness for hours and starving! 

The police chasing people off the roof

(I do realise that I am writing about a major event and I have only 3 pictures from my mobile phone to post. Some blogger I am!)

After a few songs by the live band and a Haka dance performance, it was time for the opening ceremony! All eyes were locked on the screen.

It was beautifully done. I thought the Maori culture and history was woven nicely into the ceremony. I especially loved the rich and lively projection on the floor, the dance formations and of course the powerful Haka performance. More cheers and screams from people.

Here’s the video (in 4 parts):

I thought the RWC anthem wasn’t strong enough to match the energy of the ceremony. The loud music was drowning out the local singer’s voice. But overall it was a spectacular affair.

Then there were fireworks from where we were standing. They were everywhere, I literally didn’t know where to look. Two men were marching down vertically from the building in front of my eyes. On wires of course! Choir singing from the balcony. Performances in different places around Auckland. More fireworks. It was all very grand!

I took zero pictures or videos of fireworks because I know I can find better ones on You Tube. And the best one is of course from TVNZ¬†¬†¬† ūüėČ

After all was done, we braved through the crowds back onto Queen Street to find food!

Fortunately for us, we got out quick enough. There were reports of the crowd getting a little crazy towards the end with people falling and getting stepped on! I saw at least 5 ambulances throughout the course of that night. I hope no one was seriously hurt.

Anyhow, I am glad I went. And later that night, the All Blacks won their first RWC match against Tonga.

Go All Blacks!

Rugby World Cup 2011

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

The Eden Park Stadium is just a mere¬†10 minutes drive from my new place. But of course, there would be road closures and 10 minutes drive means 30¬† minutes walk today. Am I going?¬†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’ll¬†leave early to avoid the traffic and stay home to watch the opening ceremony on TV instead of watching it live at¬†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 Facebook¬† ūüôā

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

Go New Zealand!!!

Dating Me

The me few years ago cannot stand being seen alone in public. I cannot sit down at a restaurant to eat alone, or go shopping alone, or even walk comfortable on the street alone. I get very anxious and nervous when a friend comes late for an appointment, leaving me standing around waiting….alone! I would feel like everyone around me are staring at me, judging me for being alone and pathetic.

As I grew older, I appreciate my alone time more and more. I no longer feel the insecurity of not having company in public. Perhaps it finally hit me that, well no one really cares or notices anyway! Maybe I’ve grown more independent with age and no longer need the company of another to make me feel “unpathetic”.

I’ve always enjoyed going to the movies but I have never gone for a movie alone ever. I always thought going to the movies are meant for a group of friends and if I can’t find a friend to go, staying at home watching DVDs would be a better idea.

I haven’t watched a new released movie for ages. For one, it’s incredibly expensive to watch a movie in Auckland – $16.50 a pop! Secondly, I don’t think it’ll be worth it if Terry is going to sleep through it. He was very bored halfway through Transformers 2 and was snoring 30 minutes into Ratatouille (yes, Ratatouille!), can you believe…?? Terry has never been a movies kind of guy.

Anyway, I have recently bought 4 movie tickets from Grabone at 55% off. Instead of watching 2 shows with Terry, I am seriously considering watching 4 shows alone. I think I will have a good time dating myself ūüôā

Have you watched a movie by yourself? Are you comfortable being alone in public?

Playing Pretend

Remember when you were young how you enjoyed playing this game where you um, pretend? Either pretending to be someone or pretending to do something?

I had my fair share of fun pretending to cook sand in plastic cups, pretending that I was performing at the concert, pretending I¬†was a bakery owner selling pastries made out of PlayDoh, pretending I was a deejay, pretending I had a unicorn and the list goes on. And who can forget that good old imaginary friend as well….?

Playing pretend does not get out of trend. Well, why do you think the¬†global film industry is such a huge success? In fact, I think¬†playing pretend is getting¬†more serious. Thousands and thousands try their luck to make it as a professional pretender i.e. actor. Film producers spend serious money¬†to make their “pretence” seem as less pretentious as possible. While we continue to have a good time watching them play pretend!

Anyway, I digressed. What I am trying to say is, we love playing pretend. From the day we were born and possibly for as long as we live.

So back to my story. The other day I bought a group-buy coffee deal from the local Grabone Ltd. Р$5 for 5 coffees to go. On my first visit, I was issued a card and on which the barista would punch a hole in for each cup of coffee claimed. When I ordered my cup of cappuccino over the counter, he asked for my name to secure my order.

Instead of telling him “Tien”, I felt like pretending to be Tina that day. The barista of course, took it down without further doubt. Then I get to answer to “Tina” when my order was up. A little silly, but it felt fun to have “fooled” everyone there that morning that I was Tina and¬†only¬†I knew otherwise. I guess I have forgotten how much fun it was to play pretend ūüôā

A couple of days later, I went back for my second cup of coffee, I randomly pretended to be Sharon! Amazing how this silly little game I was playing by myself lifted my mood for the entire day. It also helped that the barista have forgotten to punch my card so now I get to have one extra coffee for free ūüėČ

I have 4 more coffees to go and I am already making a list of personalities I want to pretend to be. Maybe pretend to be one random celebrity per day? One author per day? One politician per day? So many possibilities!

So,¬†the next time¬†you head on¬†for a cup of coffee at¬†your local Starbucks or the like, try playing pretend for a bit and see how you¬†miss it ūüôā

Are You Savvy?

It didn’t take long for me to realise that living in Auckland¬†can be¬†very expensive. Not having a comfortable income just adds insult to injury. That’s the worst thing about student life really – handicapped finances. Every week is about budgeting, budgeting and more budgeting.

I never cooked so much in my life until I moved to New Zealand to study. Cooking everyday cuts down weekly costs, thus¬†it’s¬†more of a must than a choice. I enjoy cooking, don’t get me wrong. But before this,¬†it had always been just an interest and a few occasional¬†meals for friends. Now, it’s more to cook or go broke in 2 days from eating out!

Cooking everyday also means¬†managing our own grocery shopping every week.¬†Back in Malaysia, mom and granny did all the shopping and cooking for the family. Naturally, I am absolutely clueless of the prices of usual items like meat, fruits or even salt and sugar. During those rare occasions where I need to do light shopping for a dish I decided to make for friends, all I do is pick up the items, pay and go. I am ignorant of price tags. Even if the cashier overcharged me, I wouldn’t notice!

Living in Auckland on limited finances has taught me how important it is to be a savvy grocery shopper.

Every weekend, Terry and I shop for groceries. Hypermarkets and supermarkets usually mark up prices of their items and select a handful to go on special every week. The trick is to rotate the items we pick up every week, according to the rotation of items on special in the hypermarket. Or put it simply, I follow their weekly newsletter closely. It’s like our little hunting adventure every week ūüėČ

At times when I really needed to buy something that is not on special, I usually pick the cheapest brand or I stare at the shelf really long trying to make up my mind on the best choice in terms of quality and quantity. That explains why my grocery shopping session usually takes more than an hour!

I trained really hard to stop buying things (especially snacks) that I simply feel like eating that particular week, but only items that are necessary and on special. An item on special may be usually less than a dollar cheaper than its normal price but you will be surprised how the cents add up in the grand total. Every cent does count!

In addition, Terry makes the habit to take a mental note of the prices of items we usually buy. Items like rice, bread, meat and fish (per kg), and a variety of canned food, their prices are at his fingertips. Doing this enables him to help me recognise better deals if I saw these items selling at bargain prices at another shop I don’t usually frequent.

Every item I put in my cart, I remember the price. Nobody is perfect and sometimes items on special isn’t really registered as a special on the cashier’s system. While queuing up to pay, an approximate grand total is worked up in our heads and if this number is within 5 dollars of the cashier’s, we are good. If we get overcharged on a particular item, we notice it immediately. Usually, it’s a mistake we made in reading the price tag on the shelf, and we would return it on the spot. In a few other occasions, it was the system’s fault.

I used to think that being savvy at grocery shopping is a waste of time because it takes too much effort and the savings insignificant. How ignorant was I!

I guess it takes a lot of growing up to acknowledge that it pays to be savvy at shopping. It pays to be a savvy shopper knowing that you are always aware of better deals and on alert in case you get overcharged for nothing! Everytime I look at my shopping receipt (which indicates my total savings), I feel accomplished seeing that I made an effort to save ūüôā

Are you a savvy grocery shopper? Do you compare prices of items? If the cashier overcharges you, would you realise immediately?