Sunday, February 28, 2016

I am back... with a NZ400 cherry fruit story to share aka Airbnb Experience (Part 2)

I am finally back to a warmer place called HOME. 

There is no other place warmer than home (literally and figuratively). If you have not already known, I was away for 2 weeks holiday at the Kangaroo and Kiwi Land. Time flies, I am now back to face the reality and resume my blogging routine.

As per my earlier post, there are a number of firsts for this trip (I would not repeat here, you can check out my earlier post here), all in all, I am pretty happy and satisfied with the trip, besides the NZ400 cherry fruit story that I will share later. 

First, let me recount my actual Airbnb experience (as promised via my earlier post, Airbnb - My Maiden Experience (Part 1)): 

1. The apartment's condition : The apartment's condition is exactly what I've seen on the Airbnb site, so, what you see is what you get for my case. As we were staying at an apartment without the host, there is 100% privacy and convenient. Also, the location of the apartment is perfect, it is just a stone throw away from the Sky city (the heart of the Auckland city), roaming around the piers and shopping lanes is super convenient. 
Skytower Auckland
Sky Tower at night : taken from the kitchen of the apartment
2. The host : My host (Michael) is very helpful and prompt. When I reached the apartment (it is actually at the same building of an hotel), I have difficulty in opening up the lock-box (which contains the keys to get into the apartment), He answered my call immediately and patiently guided me through to open the lock-box.  

All in all, I am satisfied with my maiden Airbnb experience. Of course, every host/accommodation are unique and difference, if you are interested in Airbnb accommodation, do read the details of the accommodation placement and feel free to clarify with the host if you are in doubt. Also, remember to read through the reviews of the previous occupants to have a sense of the experiences of the other stayers. 

So, the highlights of my 2 weeks trip (mainly in Auckland, NZ) are :

1. The Hobitton Movie Set Guided Tour - Unfortunately it was raining when we were there, so we need to carry an umbrella throughout the guided tour. Having said that, the view of the movie set is spectacular and I think they made a wise decision to retain this Middle-Earth movie set after the shooting.  (Tip : Prior to the visit, I've made some online research on the Hobbiton Day Tour fees, the usual package is around NZ200+ to NZ300+, however, I managed to sourced one from InterCity Day Tour whereby it costs only NZ149. I find that this day tour package is value for money)

2. Skywalk at the Skytower - First time walking around a tower 192 meter above the ground, without any barrier. The experience is unforgettable and the view are remarkable. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to bring our own phone or camera, else I will be able to share more photos here.

Following is one of the photos taken by the guide:
(Tip : The usual price for Skywalk is NZ145, however, you can download the ARRIVAL Magazine app which has a NZ20 discount code, the one that we used is "ARRIVAL").

3. The NZ400 Cherry fruit story : What is this about? In fact, it is a NZ400 lesson that I've learned for being careless and forgetfulness. It all started with the flight delay from Melbourne.

Due to some crew member issue, Emirates told us that the flight will be delayed for 2 hours and as a gesture of goodwill, they have given us NZ20 each as meal voucher. With NZ40 vouchers on hand, on top of ordering the usual meals and drinks, we also ordered a cup of cherry, as an after food "snack" (that's the first the mistake!).

After taken our meals, we still have an hour or so to spend, so we decided to walk around and pack the left-over cherry in my haversack so that we can eat it while waiting for boarding later on (that's the second mistake).

As you might already guess, we completely forgotten about the cherry along the way and proceed to the boarding gate, boarded the plane, write the immigration entry card [without declaring anything] and BANG! Upon clearing the custom where we are getting our bags X-rayed, the custom office told us that we have a cup of cherry in the haversack and hence broken the NZ legal contract (by not declaring it in the immigration entry card). Fine is the only option, no excuse!

So, here you go, my NZ400 cherry story (or lesson or mistake). 

What have I learnt with the NZ400 fine? At least now I know that actually the NZ immigration do provide us 3 options in settling the fine :
1. Pay the fine immediately
2. Pay the fine within 14 days (the option that I've chosen)
3. Dispute the fine and face them in court


Saturday, February 13, 2016

This Will Be My Last Post...........For The Month!

Yes, this will be my last post.... for the month. 

In about 10 hours time, I will be on the plane heading to Australia/New Zealand for my first of the year.  There will be many first in this upcoming trip, to name just a few :

1. First time going to stay in Airbnb accommodation (click here for my earlier post about part 1 of my Airbnb experience and stay tuned for the part 2).

2. This will be our first time visiting New Zealand (free and easy). As we will be spending only 5 days there, hence, we will be covering only the attractions at or nearby Auckland. 

3. This will be my first time visiting the actual movie shooting location ("The Hobbiton" for The Lord Of The Ring and The Hobbit Trilogies). PRECIOUSSS.....

I will be back... Till then...


P/S: Recently I've added a new free resource called Penny Stock 101 - How To Get Started With Penny Stock in my "Useful Link" Page. Do check it out if it is of your interest. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

May You Have A HUATful Monkey Year

Today is the first day of Lunar Chinese New Year (CNY) and would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers who are celebrating this festival a very prosperous and HUATful year. Time flies, this is the second CNY since this little blog of mine was born. 

I am sure most of you knew that this is the year of MONKEY. If you want to have a taste of the monkey power at the convenient of an air conditioning room, can consider one of the promising Chinese New Year movie (The Monkey King 2). warning : The box office of this movie is quite hot and don't seems to be able to get a good seats during this two days, so you may want to book your tickets earlier.  

Don't know what movie I am talking about? Check out the trailer below:

Lastly, wish all of you have plenty of MONKEYS business, without the "K"! ;-)


Friday, February 5, 2016

I Am Not Demanding. I Am A Perfectionist.

"I Am Not Demanding. I Am A Perfectionist"

No, this is not my living motto!

This is just a tongue in cheek slogan on the cover of my small notebook that I bring along whenever I go for the meeting. To the contrary, I am far far away from both demanding and perfectionist. To be exact, I am happy go lucky nice guy ;-) [don't puke] 

To me, my living motto is : life is short, just keep smiling and keep going. Many a time, we are too fixated with our own opinion and interpretation of how the situation or world works, hence the conflicts. In life, we will never (and I meant it, NEVER) right all the time. Besides, I would rather always happy than always right.

I any case, we tend to win some and lose some in whatever we are doing in life (both monetary and non-monetary term). There is no need to be too happy (or disappointed) with the Ups and Downs in our life. Just keep calm and move on.


Market UP? Let's stay cool because we know what's going up will come down. It's just a matter of time.

Market DOWN? Let's be calm too because we know rebound is inevitable. It's just a matter of time.


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