Friday, September 18, 2009

Treasures from the Asian market

I love the Asian markets here. Really cheap produce. Unusual foods. Funny smells. My goal to buy at least one food I've never eaten before every time I go there. The licorice watermelon seeds weren't very good but the green tea pumpkin seeds were quite a success. B liked the aloe vera drinks, I liked the lychee and chrysanthemum.

I was pretty excited about this rice and it was nice to have my desire to eat black food validated.

I'll let you know what I think of its dense smell when I figure out what to serve it with.


Monday, September 7, 2009

This house isn't big enough for the 12,000 of us anymore!

I know they have lived here much longer than we have, but I am now asking our flatmates to leave. We were getting along great for awhile. I was willing to pretend they didn't exist and promised only to smash the rabid looking ones that dared come into the light.

But that all changed when one of them barged in on me in the shower.

In the middle of the day.

Pretending to be a preying mantis.
(Naturally, I didn't have my glasses on, and my eyesight is quite bad, obviously, without them). I was able to relive all of my horror movie nightmares during that battle and emerged victorious!

So now the real battle begins. Bring forth the borax!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I could have flown to LA, but instead I took the Overlander to Auckland

Our train left the Wellington station before 8am on Sunday and we arrived home in Auckland after 9pm that night. A long train ride is what I wanted, and a long train ride is what I got!

At about the halfway point of our journey we traveled through a national park. The views were lovely, and a much needed distraction:

The other great distraction was watching the steam engine get attached to our train.

Since this was the first ever Steam Engine Sunday, I spent our steam engine time looking out the window and feeling bad for the livestock that were scared to death by this smoke belching monster! It was running of the bulls and rams and ewes and calves and chickens and sometimes even children! As much as I enjoyed the steam engine I was glad when it was over and the animals in the paddocks surrounding the tracks could relax and ruminate again.

This is how P spent the last 6 hours of our train ride. She didn't miss much.

It was a great ride, but I only need to do it once in my life. Next time we'll sail there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Steam Engine Sundays

In a moment of romantic idealism I booked tickets for P and I to ride the train home from Wellington. I've always liked the idea of long distance train travel, and figured this was a great chance to live the dream.

Turns out we were very lucky girls and got to be part of the first ever Steam Engine Sunday ride wherein our diesel-electric train would be pulled part of the distance by an "Original WAB 794" steam engine!

At Fielding the train stopped and we were all invited out to watch them hook up the steam engine while being serenaded by bagpipes! This was a very stimulating experience! At the end of our ride we were given a Certificate of Commemoration with a lovely drawing of the train on it. I thought this was a little over the top, but I really like the picture.

(New Zealand Govenrment Railways
No 251. 1927
Built at Hillside Workshops)