Sunday, March 29, 2009

Auckland International festival: Tents

You can see that many people were there. Even some one on a scooter and a priest. The white top is a Tibetian Tent.

Auckland International festival: Drums

There is something about drums that captivates me.

The Auckland Salsa group performed on the stage to a fascinated audience.

These two Myanmar young men intermingled among the festival goers with their drum and bamboo clappers. They were very friendly and asked if I was Korean. I told them my ancestors were Chinese, and he greeted me in Mandarin. Then he clapped for me.

Here's Sam with his International food. I teased him that there were so many different type of food, yet he had to go and buy it from a Singaporean store. The country where he was born, but would not give him his citizenship.

Auckland International Festivals: Friends and Flags


I just adored the giant flags fluttering in the late summer breeze. The police, St John ambulance, VSA, refugee groups, support groups, women's group, fire department, name them, they were all there.

This festival used to be called Refugee day. Now it is aptly changed. Forty nations were represented, and not all are refugees.

Yesterday, they had an ethnic soccer tournament. Fostering friendship through sports.

Auckland International Festival: Zero Waste

Zero waste was there to teach the festival goers the message of Recycling. It wasn't Ngarimu's volunteers. We spoke and she recognised the T-shirt I had worn during the Waitangi day celebration. The weather was blistering hot, good for the festival goers, not so good for volunteer when she was station there the whole day.

Ka Pai to her and her mates.

Auckland International Festival

It is befitting that we are celebrating Earth Day. The people of the world were in Mt Roskill Memorial Park.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Auckland International festival.1

When I was a student at the University of Windsor, every year, we celebrated the International day. It was vibrant with lots of dancing, food and traditional clothes. When my Somalian student made me promise that I would go, I promised her I would. I was not disappointed.

I am posting some photo. Some are taken from the back as I didn't want to be obvious that I was taking their photos without their permission. There were some ladies in very fine traditional clothes.

This International festival is held by the Auckland City Council.

If you love trying different food, listening to ethnic music and meeting people from other cultures, then the Auckland International Cultural Festival is just the event for you.
This free festival is a celebration of Auckland's richness and diversity of cultures and a great opportunity for new refugees and migrants to have a sense of place and feel more connected, while displaying with pride the cultural variety they bring to our city. A feast for the senses, you can walk the world in a day, enjoying the people, music, dance, food, arts, crafts, displays and so much more from over 40 nations in just seven hours!

The Civic Theatre

I was awed by this beautiful building when I first saw it in 1978.

It is a heritage building so I can't bring you in there as I am not allowed to take photos inside the building. Click the link and you will be transformed into the nights of the Arabian, including the occasional comet. In the foyer, you see ornate statutes of elephants and richly decorated in motifs and styles from romantic images of the East.

The first time I entered this building was to watch Star Wars. I didn't like Star Wars, but I was mesmerised by the theatre. I am stilled awed by it, thirty years later when I watched "My Fair Lady" last night. It seems so incredible that so much attention was place in details.

I worked for Kerridge Odeon Corporation which own many cinemas in New Zealand. This company was the opposition of the company that owned Civic theatre. Kerridge Odeon owned a similar magnificent building St James Theatre. Unfortunately it was built, and it cost too much to rebuilt it. What a waste, and I lament its loss.

The Mighty Civic Theatre stands at the corner of Queen Street and Wellesley Street, Auckland, New Zealand. It is owned by the people of Auckland.
Once the pride of the country's movie palaces, it is now part of an entertainment complex. It re-opened on the seventieth anniversary of its first performance, on December 20, 1999.

All I want is a room some where.


Last evening, my daughter treated me to a Mum-daughter evening. We went to watch "My Fair Lady."

It was especially enjoyable and memorable as I was first introduced to "All I want is a room somewhere" when I was a Primary School child, and Charles came home teaching me this song from the "My fair lady" movie he had watched from a school trip. During my last year in school, I was a member of the performing arts. I didn't get to perform. I was in charged of the costume of the house keeper of Professor Higgins.

It was quite a coincidence that the previous evening, I was at a workshop for teaching Phonetics.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Twirling clouds


I looked up the sky and found these clouds. They look like twirling up and dancing. It was a clear early autumn afternoon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hot dog vendor

I drive pass this road every day after school and this is the rare occasion I see this hot dog and ice cream, tea coffee vendor. This is so Kiwi (New Zealand) that they must have their cup of tea.

Mobile vendors remind me of my friendMartin when we were students in the University of Windsor in Canada. He had a job selling ice cream cones, he was given a specific area to sell his ware. Unfortunately for him, it was very far from where we lived.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

99 things

This is from Glennis other blog. I had a quick read and thought it is fun. I have done some of them.

99 things

Saw this here and I thought it would be fun to see how many I had done..... No comments, just bold the things that you have done. If you do it, be sure to link back here and then comment so I can see what you've done too!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars 
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld
8. Climbed a mountain 
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse 
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business 
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House 
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox 
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous 
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Dear Aunty Ann,

We (Mum, Aunty Eliza and Uncle Kalang) went to the Southport Spit today. There were a lot of fishermen fishing for tuna. Uncle Kalang was very interested in the men pulling in the big fishes. There were so many that the fishermen catching the fish as soon as they throw the line in. Kalang tried to get near the fishermen to take photos but he was worried about getting me wet as he was holding my hand.

When we saw people fishing lots of tuna, we didn't know we were witnessing a news headline. Kalang said that he saw schools of tuna swimming. Actually, there were TV film crew people there. Click on the link to read your National News paper, The New Zealand Herald. It was a pity he didn't take me nearer. Otherwise you would see me on TV.

Your loving nephew,

Thomas, aged 4 years and one day.

Moko, Tattoo

Tā moko is the permanent body and face marking by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. In my birth country, Sarawak, the natives also have their tattoos. The patterns of the KORU/Spirals are similar.
My brother in law Kalang is a Kelabit. The Kelabits have the traditional Kelabit tattoos, elongated pierced earlobes and heavy brass or hornbill-ivory ear rings. In fact, Kalang had elongated earlobes until he went to school in town. There, under peer pressure, much to his mum's displeasure, he cut it off.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wheels: Cherry Pickers

In my other blog: annkschin.blogspot.com, I had a series on Wheels
This afternoon, I was held up at work, and when I drove past this, a group of my students were already there, "Wowing and Ooh-Ahhing at the two men up the cherry pickers.
I stopped my car and snapped these photos.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lake of eels

These photos of eels are for http://scenicsunday.blogspot.com/

This lakes at Western Springs in Auckland are known as the Lake of the eels by the Maoris. They come to feed from the bread crumbs thrown by visitors to the park. Visitors come in droves and on a Sunday, the eels, and other feathered animals are too full to be bothered. Still, that doesn't deter the visitors.


Fellow blogger Tatania posted on her Persimmon tree the very day I saw these orange fruits selling in our Asian grocery store. When I was little, I always associated this fruit in its dried form as SHIH PIAN.

The Chinese dry them and usually are plentifull during Chinese New Year. I never liked them, and they were given to me in place of lollies. Dad told me that these little fruits are the saving stars to millions of chinese children. Many of the peasant women had to work in the fields and could not breastfeed their babies. In place of milk, the persimmon fruits were cooked in rice gruel and mashed up and fed to babies.

More than twenty years ago, in Auckland, New Zealand when Deborah was little, a neighbour had a whole lot of persimmon trees in his garden. The trees were ladened with giant orange fruits. I asked the eldery neighbour what they were, and he told me Persimmon and he gave me a big paper bag of them. They were very big and he told me to ripen them at the window sill. Perhaps I left them too ripe. They became mushy and I didn't like them.

In Singapore, they import them from Israel. My husband's family like them, and we used to buy crates for them, as they were not available in Malaysia. In his later year, Dad craved for them, and I would buy them in crates when I went to visit him in Sarawak.

These ones in the photograph are probably from USA, as Titania says they are ripening now. These ones are not very big. Two years ago, around this time, during a visit to Rotorua, we saw immature fruits.

Paw Pledge Cat Show in Singapore

As a Cat Cafe member in Singapore, I was invited to the Eagle Pack Championship Cat Show. I do like cats. and had done my bit for feeding homeless cats.

(For more information, please visit : http://www.singaporecatclub.com/)
:Venue : The Serangoon Community Club @ 10 Serangoon North Ave 2, Singapore 555877Date & Time : Sunday, 22 March 2009, 10 am - 5 pm

The Guest of Honor who will grace the event will be Mrs Lim Hwee Hwa, Senior Minister of State (Finance & Transport), MP of Aljunied GRC

There will be exciting activities like shows, coloring & drawing competition and best of all - an Adoption Drive.

What will Paw Pledge be doing there?We’ve been so lucky to be invited by the Co-Organiser (Singapore Cat Club) to do a roadshow there, along with SPCA, CWS and Kitty for Adoption. We will talk about the recent abuse cases we are working on, as well as our mission to sterilise as many community cats as possible. We are also taking this opportunity to sell our tees and bags, which sends across clear messages of TNRM or Trap-Neuter- Return-Manage.

All proceeds from these merchandise go towards the community cat sterilisation and Project CCK (Choa Chu Kang).Please do come down and lend us your support. Also, do bring your friends and family along. Kindly help us spread the word - Let’s support community cats today.

Thomas turns 4

My Nephew Thomas turned four today in Australia. My sister Elizabeth and her husband came from Borneo to celebrate his birthday with him. You may have notice from my other blog annkschin.blogspot that there are a lot of cakes making in my family. This is because there are many of us.

My maternal grandma had six children. One year, she had four grand children and what a lot of birthday cakes she had to make. My Mum had nine children. During my late Dad's eighty-first birthday, the entourage was fifty. When we flew in the tiny plane, we took almost half of the seats.

If that is not enough, my mum in law had eleven kids.

Thomas' mum Helen made him a a fireman Sam Cake.

Push Play :on the road

Push Play was at Pasifika to showcase the different sports we could be involved in. Sam had a lot of fun.

New Zealand is a nation of sporting heros an achievers. One of the greatest would have to be the late Sir Edmund Hillary who conquered Mt Everest.

Push Play 30 mintues a day

Push Play encourages children and adults alike to be active.
The Push Play campaign aims to inspire New Zealanders to become more active, and to value sport and recreation as integral to their day.
It is based on Obstacles to Action, a piece of research completed for SPARC in 2004.
Sam does 4 and half hours of karate a week and walks to school. He had just upgraded to a brown belt. I have no worries that he will be an obese kid. Though his mum does need to burn a whole lot of calories.

At Pasifika, Push Play was there to spread the message that anyone can feel that rush of greatness. Sam enjoyed playing the games they were show casing. I will find those photos and post them later.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fruit Salad (Monstera_deliciosa.)

Two weeks ago, I picked an unripe Fruit Salad for my uncle, and left in in my pantry and forgot about it. This morning, I found it had ripened with a ripe banana fragrance, and bits of the fruit was dropping like kernels of sweet corn.

I went to my garden and snapped the frutis at it's different stages.I am not very adventurous in eating unfamiliar food, but I think when my brother-in-law comes from Borneo, he will try it.

The leaves are sold in florists shops for forage decor. One evening, I watched an American foodie TV show. One of the contestant used the leaf on her plate in her Caribbean themed dinner. I was thinking, I could sell my fruit salads fruits as organic fruits, and the leaves to a florist.