Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ten Impressions about New Zealand

Eleven days. That's the length of my stay at Auckland, New Zealand. I visited NZ to attend the 9th Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering held at the University of Auckland and to visit my sister and brother who are now Kiwis.

Eleven Days at Auckland
During my short stay at Auckland, I observed the lifestyle there and learned a few things about New Zealand. I am sharing 10 impressions and lessons about NZ:
1. I love eating the kiwi fruit especially after meals. The kiwi is just like a banana in NZ.
2. Aside from the kiwi fruit, the Feijoa is another fruit from New Zealand which is so tasty and juicy. Read our blog about the feijoa.
3. Car drivers rarely use their horns. My first time to hear a car driver blow the horn was when I crossed the road without caution.
4. Family parks and beaches are free. You can go to a park or beach and hold a family picnic without any fees.  NZ parks are clean. You won't see garbage cans because you are suppose to bring your trash home after holding your picnic.
5. The NZ people or Kiwis are polite people. When they get-off the bus, they always thank the bus driver. Unlike the Japanese, the Kiwis are more informal. During the conference, I noticed that they will politely tell you to use the mic or speak louder even if you're a keynote speaker.
6. I love their wheat and rye bread. A simple butter and jelly bread satisfies my apetite.
7. Some food (e.g. McDonald's) and books are relatively more expensive in NZ. My estimate is that they are about 40% higher when compared with the Philippines.
8. I learned the rules of Rugby. The Kiwis love Rugby. They have a team called "All Blacks". The World Cup Rugby will be held in NZ this year.
9. College education is not a problem in NZ. A college loan is readily available to pay your fees and allowances. You pay the government when you find a job after you graduate.
10. The population of NZ is less than 5 million but you will see so many cars. Cars in NZ are not fancy ("hindi pang porma").

A Cheesy Blog

Apple enjoyed 6 kinds of cheese today - Holland's Farmer's Cheese (courtesy of Annette) and Gouda cheese, Norwegian's bland cheese and brown cheese, Anchor Colby's creamy cheese from NZ (courtesy of Andy's classmate, Edwin) and milk cheese from France. Life's simple pleasures!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Julia paints a butterfly on Easter Sunday

Julia loves to draw and color. So come Easter Sunday, we brought her at Landmark's Kiddy's Art Town so she can try painting a figure of her choice. She painted a butterfly, her favorite insect. The butterfly figure was filled with colors and afterwards the painted figure was heated inside an oven. Whoola.. a pink and blue butterfly!.... a symbol of new life this Easter Sunday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Feijoa - An Autumn Fruit in New Zealand

New Zealand is known for its kiwi fruit. But come autumn, you will find the fruit called feijoa everywhere. Feijoa (pronounced as"Fe-jo-wa"), also called as guavasteen, matures during the autumn season. It's shaped like that of an egg. It has an aromatic smell and a juicy flesh. It has no seeds.

To eat a feijoa, the fruit is cut into half and the flesh is scooped using a spoon just like scooping an egg. yolk The flesh is sweet and seedless. The fruit grows from a small shrub and is usually a garden tree. The fruit drops when ripe.

When we went to the supermarket (April 20, 2011), a kilo of feijoa costs NZ$3.99 which is more expensive than the green kiwi (NZ$ 1.29). Early autumn, a kilo of feijoa, according to my sister who lives in Auckland, costs  about NZ$ 12.00. So the feijoa is really in season now.

I brought home a few pieces of the fruit, so that my family can taste it. From the first scoop of the fruit, Apple had a liking for it. She says, "it tastes like a guava apple."

 Try the feijoa, you'll love it.