Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Reflections

Apart from the feel-good service, Christmas this year has been quiet. No parties. No clubbing. No chalets. No dinners. No plans. No nothing.

The whole festive week breezed past like nobody’s business.

Work was fun. With everybody in the Christmassy mood, everything was enjoyable and time passed quickly and blithely. The happy chatters and laughter of colleagues filled the whole of hub. Also, since last week was the last lesson of the term, everybody scrambled to take class photos, hand out presents, wish “Merry Christmas” and give big bear hugs. Everyone emerged from class with bagfuls of presents and cards from parents and students.

On the 21st, hh had our very own xmas lunch cum ts birthday celebration.

xmas crackers from em our new centre leader


Everyone should have taken the cracker, stand in one row and do a Jimmy-crack-corn. (inside joke)

ts and her gingerbread house given by “architect mn”


mn doesn’t like to take photos so I supposed it’s better not to display her pic here.

Food spread


Food spread continued


Gingerbread house close up


ts’s birthday cake


ag and voluminous present



My present from the gift exchange… Such a coincidence that I got em’s present. Before that, she was telling me that she feels the present is very suitable for me.



Now I understand that she thinks of me as a sucker.

Many more photos to come. Hope my dear colleagues send them to me soon.

On the 23rd, a small group of us went for an informal Christmas lunch at Fiesta.

The people on this side


The people on that side


Part of wy’s food… Delicious!


My food… consisting of

Sweet and sour chicken


salmon sashimi

plus rice, miso soup and 2 slices of oranges



all for $9.90 ++. Great deal!

Then for dinner, I met up with some jc friends again. We had new addition… people who came back from overseas.

Angela from Buffalo and Regina from Cheenapokland. Long time no see them.


Angela is my "non-Chinese" kaki back in jc. While the rest of the pathetic class was attending Chinese lessons, we would be pigging out in the canteen. The last time we took a photo together was 5 years ago?


Caleb from UK... erm sorry... forgot which part. And his "smelly" pose is forever the same.


Group shot


Christmas eve was spent working till 7+ while Christmas day itself was spent at service and church carnival.

A very ugly photo of kh and me taken during xmas eve.


I was just thinking about how unhappening this year’s eve was and was looking back at my past photos to see how I’ve spent 24th and 25th December throughout the years. I chanced upon my last year’s NZ photos. Took a break from the hustle and bustle, frolicking in the meadows with moo moo and meh meh all day long. Eating and sleeping and playing. I’ve never led such a pig’s life before.






Such memories!

On the eve, we went tracking at Fox Glacier.

Me at the bottom of the glacier.


Me making a mark in the ice.


We made new friends who hitched a ride on our caravan.


On Christmas day, we went to Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World at Wanaka.




leaning clock tower


funny room




4 of us and caravan at lake wanaka


We then adjourned to freezing Queenstown


On Boxing Day, we went hang gliding. The weather was so bad that we had to play luge and while our time away before the weather cleared.







I lost kh’s lens due to the hard landing.


And I think we experienced a white Christmas. We chanced upon blanket of snow looking stuff at a mountain in the middle of summer!




And boy did the boys have fun!





A snowy Christmas!

Sigh! This year all I can do is to reminisce.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas this year…

I wanted to experience the true meaning of Christmas this year… so I attended a service. It feels good.

Monday, December 19, 2005

New Toys

The late night shopping madness and crazy sale at Suntec burnt a hole in my pocket. However I was happy to have it burnt. =)

My xmas present for myself… PINK Panasonic Lumix FX8!










I’ve never gotten myself a present that expensive. Yes, it may seem like a splurge or an impulse buy but I’ve thought of it for over a year and I still can’t shake this camera off my mind. Back then it was still FX7.

I have never own a single walkman, discman, md player, mp3 player etc etc before. My 1st electronic toy was my fujifilm F450 digital camera and I was not exactly thrilled owning it. It was more of a hurried decision made on the last day of the SITEX exhibition when all the pink FX7 have been sold out.

Ok I’m merely giving myself valid excuse but I feel that I should really pamper myself at times. I know I would be truly happy with this camera. Feelings of longing that linger for one year is definitely not an impulse buy.

Another new toy…




An Oakley dartboard shades in berry red. This is my xmas present from kh but considering that we are both buying Oakleys for each other, it would be burning a hole in my pocket too.

I absolutely love my new toy. Was wavering between this Oakley ($314 full priced… Oakley doesn’t participate in SALE) and a Dior one ($346 which is already 50% off during the sale! *coughs* Imagine that at full price, it is even more expensive than my cam). Apparently it is a “Diorlywood” sunglasses with the chic yet ah lian Dior logo at the side made of Swarovski crystal.

This is how the Diorlywood looks like. Colour would b closer to the 2nd pic.






I think I’ve made the right decision to go for the quality and not the brand.

I am a contented poor girl this month.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My everyday life

Everyday I wake up to the sound of my Nokia handphone alarm (the sound I dread most). I click the snooze button and continue snoozing. This act goes on 2 or 3 more times before I haul myself out of bed and heave myself to the toilet, only to see it closed with one of my sisters in it. Great… more excuse to sleep in longer. And when I finally snag the loo, I would squirt the toothpaste onto my time-to-change-a-new-one toothbrush and lie down on my bed and brush.

Yes, I have not any talent to boast about, but this is one mean feat which my family members think could be considered a talent. I used to walk around and brush my teeth while reading the newspapers, choosing my clothes, making my milo, packing my bag till the paste threaten to drip itself all over the place. Then, a few months ago, I started slumping on the sofa with eyes closed and merrily brushing my teeth, thankful that I could rest my eyes for that few more minutes. Recently, I’ve switched to lying down on my bed instead. I remembered the different occasions when my dad, my mum and my sisters stood at my room door staring disbelievingly at the sight which they have since grown accustomed to.

I would then wash my face quickly and cursing that my complexion isn’t as good as it used to be. After putting on my contacts, I go into my room and choose what to wear. Then I apply some light make up, pack my bag and zip off to work.

Upon reaching the train station, I glance at the number of minutes my train will take to arrive and decide if I should buy the latest issue of 8 Days.

Without 8 Days, I stare blankly at all the people with various hairstyle and dress sense as well as the occasional navy advertisements plastered above the windows that make no sense. While staring blankly at people, I think about a million nondescript thoughts.

With 8 Days, fuck all the above. It’s entertainment time while I busy myself in the latest entertainment news and gossips.

Everyday I overwork to complete the neverending tasks and get underpaid at a company which is so rich I just cant bear to think about it.

I go for short lunches with my colleagues who are all also pressing for time and sometimes we make up for all the short lunches everyday by going for a big pizza feast once in a purple moon which last more than an hour. Unfortunately, we have only done it like erm 4 times so far. The rest of our lunch time everyday is spent eating hurriedly and speeding back to the “office” to continue with where we have left off.

I enjoy teaching very much but I will come to that later. Aside from teaching, we make teaching materials too. Making these materials for the children is quite enjoyable too but when the deadline is so tight, it isn’t quite as enjoyable anymore. Typing and writing reports once every two weeks is alright but at times draining coz I’m already running out of things to write and I often wait till the last minute to type them while I try to complete other more urgent matters. Then when the 70+ student reports come in once every 3 months, I can just die. I don’t wanna write just for the sake of writing. I really wanna write detailed progress reviews for the parents as well as for myself to keep track. It’s hard to compromise my precious time for this. I think for this term, I would simply write a short and quick review of all the children. I need my own precious time and social life sometimes.

Everyday, time passes so quickly. In a flash, 6pm comes and I worry incessantly about not being able to finish what I have hoped to finish in the day. Then I continue working with the other “2 years old” colleagues and irritating them non stop with my suaning comments and remarks till the sun goes down.

After work, I either go for tuition or meet kh for dinner and sometimes hang out at his place making materials or watching tv together. Simple pleasure.

I try to sleep early but I just can’t do it.

I go home and try to use the internet before my sis chases me away. Basically, I try plomp myself in front of the computer everynight for as long as I can. Then I would sit down and continue doing my work or else then laze around and do nothing… feeling like that’s the most heavenly thing to do.

Before I sleep, I read books I buy or borrow from my colleagues. But I’ve since finished reading them and have not sourced for more books. So right now I try to read the bible but I always end up reading my 8 days and other magazines lying around.

I read till I’m very sleepy and wonder why my life is so boring and tiring. Then I head for my bed and as soon as my head touches the pillow, I sleep like a baby until the annoying Nokia alarm starts to steal into my dreams insidiously and jerk me back to reality of my everyday life.

What is this reality of my everyday life? Do I treally dread it so much? Working constitutes a huge part of my everyday life awake. Do I like my job as much a before? But if I don’t teach, I really don’t know what to do. I don’t even know what jobs to look out for and to try out. I’m so lost. And as mentioned before, each time I ask people around me what else can I do. The only 2 answers are “MOE teacher” and “air stewardess”. SIGH……

I enjoy teaching very much. I LOVE all the small kids and majority of the parents have been very kind. I feel a sense of fulfillment to make a difference in these children at the most critical stage in their lives. I beam each time a child as young as a 2 year old calls me “Teacher Jolene”. I rethink my decision of quitting each time the children jump on me and hug me so tightly… because I know that at least I have countless little hearts who appreciate me and love me just for being their teacher.

On the other hand, the workload is really quite a lot and the pay really doesn’t justify for that amount of work. Work is 24/7 and not just 9am to 6pm. The management sucks big time too. And I have sacrificed a lot of social life and even a near break up just because of my busyness due to the nature of my job and tuition (back then when I gave tuition everyday).

Drudgery? Fulfilling?
I don’t know. I really don’t.

I’m confused.

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