Saturday, December 28, 2013


Today, I stayed in bed making up for all the loss time I haven't spent with myself and also thinking about all the unnecessary stuff like tomorrow's shoot and how I'll try to rock it even if I can't. My left eye is basically fucked. I can feel Mr. Sore Eye creeping up on me. I just hope it holds up a little bit till I'm done with tomorrow's job and then, it can swell up however badly it wants (ok maybe not, I take that back).

I'll be shooting for a local designer brand tomorrow, 20:TwoThree. It's gonna amazing cause it's the second campaign I've booked so far. Fronting a campaign, being the campaign girl, is such a huge huge opportunity. At times like this, I am always grateful for client's clearer vision in recognizing what I don't see in myself.

Earlier on, I took my dinner later than my family members because I wanted to stay in bed for a little while more. And, my cousin brother (who's been living with me; as good as my real brother) came into the kitchen and asked if I'd like some soup. The 14-year-old then proceeded scooping me a bowl and placing it before me. After dinner, my mom helped to paint my nails nude for tomorrow's shoot. 

I don't know all this is  but it's always things like that that got me emotional.  In this moment, I feel blessed. 


How're the people there?

I wouldn't say they are outright racists but some of them just are. Through this trip, I realize I can't stand racism at all. Like how I've zero tolerance for cold, I've zero tolerance for people who see us lesser than we are. It annoyed the shit outta of me when they looked straight right through me or anyone even. Hey, we deserve the respect we've given you. Be fair. The tone some used on me or any other Asians was clearly downright sarcastic and I-obviously-look-down-on-you-Asian. I hated it. 

There was once we asked if we could share seats, they said no to every other Asians and gave the seats away to Europeans. C'mon. Seriously, guys. These people are the way they are, because I can only assume they haven't travelled. They haven't seen what's there to see. They're narrow-minded who still think because of all the colonial history shit that Caucasians still do triumph. If they do travel to Asia countries, they wouldn't be so. This trip has definitely made me think twice about UK but I've also met many English men in Singapore and in New Zealand who told me UK's different so yeah we'll see.

So on the second day, we left Auckland and took a coach down to Waitomo for yes.... 2 hours and 34 minutes thereabout to see what I thought was almost the most amazing thing I've seen in my life: Glowworm
This is it. The Waitomo Caves entrance. The entirely place was nicely done; beautiful architectural stuff and facilities. The choice of materials used to complement the surrounding nature was pretty amazing. The different texture of wood. The type of cement. The color combination of the entire place. It's refreshing to see something this pretty outta nowhere among the greens. 

They also have a restaurant which sold out of their signature Fish & Chips. Note: I haven't had anything "Westernized" yet..... it's all Thai so far. Tell me why wasn't I upset.
Glowworms are very similar to fireflies except they are not. They are in their larvae state (before becoming a worm) and gives off light that way unlike fireflies who'd already completed their..... cycle/metamorphosis? And why do glowworm glow? Apparently during their food-making process, they give off this particular chemical which causes the glow reaction.

It was really really hard to capture images in the caves cause it was literally pitch dark and they were just like stars in the skies. Have you tried taking photos of stars? Tough, isn't it? Exactly. So the images below was what I got from trying so hard: Ugly and Pixelated. Horrible horrible horrible.
And this, what I got off the Internet was the real deal. This was exactly what I saw. No kid. I'm not even exaggerating.  Maybe the real thing was actually nicer. Nature is truly magic. It felt like the entire galaxy was just right before me or that the sky was just an arm-length away. It was such a surreal and beautiful experience. It's nothing like anything I've ever seen. The way they majestically put their beauty out there for people to see.

Bottom: Minkpink from Made By Lauren Jasmine
Knee-high socks: H&M
High-cut boots: Nastygal

From Waitomo, we drove slightly back to Rototua where we'll stay for a night. Another hour plus journey. I must say, the entire New Zealand, I sit on the coach more than I actually been out to experience hahahaha. Yeah.

Once we reached Rototua, we were brought to Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park to see kiwis. 
It was a pretty cool place, I learnt "a lot". 

Kiwis (mainly what we went to see) are nocturnals so we didn't get to see them cause they were all hiding, trying to sleep lulz. Brilliant money-making scheme there.
Told you I love supermarkets hahahaha. I thought it was super cute to have this Saving Level Indicator thing on the trolley. The more you buy, the more you save. I didn't get it at first. I had to ask the cashier, "Why is it that the more you buy, the more you save? You end up spending more if you buy more, isn't it?" Apparently this supermarket has some discount stuff where the discount accumulates when you shop more or something like that.

Annnnnnnnnd the price of the battery (below) sent my heart to the moon and back. O M F G. A battery for $13.62......... and what EVERYDAY LOW?! Fuck. It's only $5 here in Singapore. The currency exchange rate blabla makes it almost a dollar to dollar. So it's definitely ridiculous to buy my film camera battery at that price.... no waaaaay, no hell way. Irina walked away without looking back. No flash for the entire trip? Doesn't matter~~~~~~ just walk awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
One of early settlements in New Zealand was the Maoris. And they are still many of them these days in New Zealand. It's pretty cool to say, "I'm the Maori descendant." You'd feel like you're part of something great cause your ancestors were the ones who were there first and made the place possible to live. 

They also have a pretty rad culture, especially when it comes to entertainment or defence. You'll see in my vlog soon but for now, just click on the video below to get an idea of what I saw except what I experienced was way more overwhelming than what's in the video hahaha.

Hot spring. Sulphur. Volcanic stuff.
The sulphuric smell was pretty pungent and obvious throughout the entire town of Rototua. But I guess if you live there long enough, you'd probably be immune. Like how we're immune to our own urine smell but find others revolting..... err, wrong analogy? oops hahahahaaha ok.

I haven't made any countdown plans yet. I'm still thinking how can I make this countdown much more different and more.... exciting than before. How do I start my 2014 right with a bang. 

I just want this to be special.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


(10 DAYS)

So the popular question and of course what this entry is about: How's New Zealand? 

On the scale of 1-10 on how fun Zealand was, it'd be a....... 6.5 haha.

Out of the 10 days, I honestly only remember enjoying 1-2 days. Tops, 3 days. The rest were like... hmm, okay so so mmmm yeah alright. I mean, NZ no doubt is a beautiful place and I think I would have seen it much differently if I wasn't with a tour group. I was travelling with my family so being with tour group is like a safety blanket to them; no risks, safety guaranteed, and maybe convenient. 

At airport toilet taking a selfie while old granny checks me out,  "daaaayum guurrllll" hahahaha
I like how I could charge my phone this way on plane

We stopped over at Sydney for transit to get to Auckland

When we've reached Auckland, I was indeed blown away by the things greeted my eyes. Th grreeeeeens, architecture of buildings, the open air, the sky, I got lost in the beauty in everything I saw. It then strikes me how Haji Lane or Tiong Bahru are always trying to create something when New Zealand achieves the authenticity so effortlessly without a care.
Travelling with tour this time reminded me why haven't I been travelling with my mom for so long cause I simply hate being with tour group. Not because of the people on tour but.... the entire thing is just so exhausting and draining. I don't get how it is a holiday when we are always rushing from point A to point B. Waking sooooo early that we don't actually have enough rest. Each day we feel worse than before. Does it make sense to be resting much lesser on holiday than when we work on the weekdays back at home, that is a problem don't you see?
Don't ever try asking me names of places cause I'd only mention if I do. Otherwise, it means I don't like the place enough to even bother remembering the name hahaha. It's so unnerving for me that we had to start our tour the moment we landed in Auckland. We didn't even get to go to the hotel to check in and freshen up a little after such a long flight (estimably 10hours plus minus).
With tour, it's always quantity over quality. They think that the more you see, the more worthy is your trip; something that I definitely don't agree with. Each place we stopped at, we had only 10-15mins to see what more enjoy. 
So how can it be worth it when nothing is experienced but only seen? Get it?
We went to tour the district where all the richness reigns. The houses were all so so beautiful, also expensive looking of course. I can totally imagine those MTV Crib shit going on in there. Like bowling alley in the basement, bar at swimming pool, tennis court, indoor courts etc. It's such a privilege to have no land constraint and have beaaaaaautiful houses with big backyard for kids to play around and run about. 

I didn't manage to capture most of the houses in still but I think I took a video! I'll be compiling the videos together for vlog but that's gonna take time soooooo I'll just be showing y'all the photos of the trip bit by bit first till then, I hope the video will be ready. I foresee a long and draggy NZ entry that's why I wasn't even really eager to get started on haha. 

We were told about the rose garden during the itinerary briefing which got me and mom totally excited. We were imagining beds and beds of wonderful flowers, blooming gloriously. We picture it being totally breathtaking and amazing.......... and........ yeah above was what we saw. I didn't even bother taking lots of pictures hahahaha. 
We checked in at about 4plus 5 so I had time to doll up and feel pretty for dinner hehehe. 
Dress from Minkpink. I absolutely love this brand. Now we all can actually get the Minkpink goodies at Made by Lauren Jasmine cafe at 47 Amoy Street!!! It's so exciting cause I can now physically try on the clothes and not risking the online purchases heh heh heh #awesome
I was in horror when the second meal in Auckland was again...... THAI. 
During lunch, it was like a own-time-own-target kind of thing, so we (my family) decided to have Thai just in case the other days were all gonna be filled with Western food. AND AND did you know padthai that I had for lunch cost $19.80 ........................... IKR. I was literally whuuuuuuut when I saw the menu. Yeah. And little did we know our tourguide actually planned a Thai dinner for us waaaaay beforehand and we couldn't say no. Yayyy Thai in NZ #coolbutnotcool

There weren't a lot of see cause most of the shops closed pretty early...... like 6ish 7 if I ain't wrong. Just super early. And guess whaaaaaaaaaat, I saw WINDSOR SMITH SHOES. I wanted to buy it so so bad. I tried a few on and somehow they just didn't look as nice on my feet. Maybe I'm critical, maybe I've ugly feet.... idk. In the end, I didn't buy. It was about $129. Haven't confirmed if it's cheaper to buy it there or online but yeah. IT'S OK NO REGRETS IRINA. I like it but I didn't like it enough. My aunt was so confident that I was gonna get it but Irina's self control just proven itself.

And then, we decided to drop by the supermarket. You'll see I visited a lot of supermarkets during this trip hahaha cause supermarkets are awesome!!!! It's filled with foooood and it's much easier to hunt for stuff than stores on streets. I love how they've this self checkout machine! It's so convenient and smart. Luvvvviiiit.
And then Irina went to casino with the aim of tryna understand how Jackpot works and the conclusion is... it's stupid. I just don't get it. How can people sit there for hours, like come on there are better games out there, really. Irina ain't bitter cause she lost money but Irina really doesn't get it.
OK. This is the end of New Zealand part 1.
More to come and I hope the posts get better too.
My day 1 was evidently as meh as this entry haha.


Irina gonna go have some ice cream now. This eve seems to be slightly depressing.