Thursday, September 19, 2013

What's the worst that could happen?

Sometimes it's hard to keep our priorities straight. Small things become big things and we tend to lose sight of the most important things. Examples are endless. Let's take a look back at the classic movie Home Alone. Christmas is right around the corner, the house is filled with people and holiday cheer. The family is in a rush to catch a flight, one thing leads to another, and BAM they forget Macaulay Culkin. They lost track of what was important (their child) but were sure they had all of their bags, the house was prepared and other arrangements were made for their trip. I think we lose track of what is important and end up ruining what we value most. 

Let's take a real life example. The mountain I work at has random drug and alcohol testing. If they think you are drunk, they can breathalyze you and they do random drug testing for marijuana and other things. So really, the only way you would essentially get fired is for smoking weed or going to work drunk. You would think being gainfully employed and making money would be near the top of peoples priorities and would take a break from smoking just in case they get caught and lose their job. Think this stops people? Of course not. A guy who worked here still smoked everyday, had no money, no flight out of New Zealand but wanted to keep travelling. What would stop him from doing that? Losing his job. Did it stop him? No. Randomly got drug tested and got fired. I guess I just don't get how getting high can be a higher priority than moving forward with your life.

Another real life example that baffles me is the grandson of the man who created Red Bull never had to worry about money the rest of his life. He is a billionaire and can essentially use the world as his playground. What's the worst that could happen and ruin everything? The list is small. Dying and going to jail are the only real things that could ruin his life. What happened? Ran over a police officer in his Ferrari, possibly while drunk, and the police followed the blood trail to his mansion. That is losing track of what is important and not thinking about the future.

The point I am trying to make is I think that it is important for us to re-evaluate what the most important things in our lives are and make a list of things that could ruin it. Then avoid doing those things. Simple. For example, say you are about to go on a one-way flight to South America with someone you hope to marry. It is imperative you don't mess this up. The only ways you could really ruin this trip is by a) losing your passport b) missing your flight c) cheating on this person, them finding out and breaking up with you. So after thinking this through, you make sure your passport is in a safe place, you set three alarms and you don't cheat on them, ever. Crisis averted. What I hope you take out of this is to think about what is important to you, list the ways you can lose what you value most then avoid doing those things. That is all. Thanks for listening.


Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. ~Author Unknown$ut5.:aOThIdOg/

Sunday, September 8, 2013

New Zealand words I don't understand. Do you?

I am pretty satisfied with my English comprehension level. I've been practicing since I was a baby. I know at least 40 different words and understand when other people speak to me. Impressed yet? However, it has come to my attention that certain countries have their own slang and way of speaking. British people in particular have their own words that are uniquely theirs. When they say dinner, they mean lunch. I don't care much for England I've decided....Which brings us to New Zealand. I have come across a few terms I didn't quite grasp at the time and asked my friend for some other New Zealand terms. I will write them below and use them in a sentence. Try to guess what the word means and I will give you the definition at the bottom. Isn't this fun?

This first one was the most embarrassing and the real first communication barrier I faced:

Can you put it in the boot for me?

I was real crook last night.

I bought some new jandals.

The fridge is choker.

He is over in the paddock.

Went up to the new batch for the weekend.

I lost my togs.

That beer is grouse.

That girl is such a drungo.

He lives out in the wops.

Your brother is such a bludge.

Want to check out my new ute?

Won a hundred dollars on the pokeys last night.

Sweet as bro. (Most common expression in NZ)


How do you think you did?

Boot: trunk

Crook: Sick

Jandals: Sandals

Choker: Full

Paddock: Field

Batch: Holiday home

Togs: Bather/swimsuit/swimming costume

Grouse: Good

Drungo: Idiot

Bludge: Freeloader/mooch

Ute: Truck

Pokey: Slot machine

Sweet as: All good/great

Choice: Old school way of saying sweet as.

I can only imagine what it is like for someone who English is their second language and they go somewhere new and don't understand the words people are using or their accent. When I was in Thailand I was told almost everyday that I speak too fast, which might have been true. One benefit of living in an English speaking country is everyone understands what I say and can keep up to my lightning fast speaking ability. Hope you enjoyed this English lesson, see you next week.

"Words-so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil  they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them." Nathaniel Hawthorne

Monday, September 2, 2013

One-way ticket to...

It's getting to be about that time, time when my days in New Zealand come to an end and start somewhere new (or old..) My initial plan was to stay here for an entire year but after being here a few months, I know that it will be time to move on after the season. New Zealand is super beautiful and most of the things you here about it are true. It's just that I don't love it and I don't want to just find a random job in a random city making minimum wage. I want to make some progress on this whole possible teaching as a career thing and changing countries is fun. So. Where to? Canada? Columbia? Pakistan? Argentina? France? I will give you a second to make an educated guess...

Let's start by saying this won't be an Auckland to x spot. If you know me you might know that I'm a fan of not working so I will try to maximize my estimated three weeks off. As a side-note, Canadians get two weeks off a year and this trip will be 3 weeks and not close to the amount of time off I have had all year. Two weeks isn't nearly enough time off and one reason I am not that keen on going back.
If you need a hint, the next country will be in Asia hence my first stop in Singapore. I met a guy here who lives in Singapore and I really want to explore it with someone from there. I will be spending three nights in Singapore and hopefully getting a good feel for the country. After that, I will be spending 17 days in another Asian country. Hmm, what country is awesome, hot, cheap and that I love? Time go to back to Thailand people! So excited to go back, hit a few new places and go back to my old town. Planning on stopping by my old school, seeing my old students, eating at my favorite places and hanging out with my friends who I genuinely love. This whole trip is sounding pretty great so far...

After those 17 days are up, I will board a plane from Bangkok direct to Hong Kong where I will be spending a undetermined amount of time. Hong Kong might be my new long term home. I have two of my favorite people in the world who live there in Jake and Emma who are letting me stay at their place until I land a job and my own place. I promise to be out by the end of 2013. My other friend from Thailand also just moved there so I will have a good starting point and teaching jobs are aplenty in Hong Kong. No winter, close to the gambling capital of the world, cheap flights around Asia, possible Japan/Kaitlyn trip for 2014 and we have ourselves the next few months covered. I arrive in Hong Kong November 14th and will hopefully be working within the first ten days.

Some people say travel is too expensive so they don't do it. Let me price these trips out and see if it is actually expensive.

Wellington to Singapore: $530 CAN

Singapore to Bangkok: $100 CAN

Bangkok to Hong Kong: $130

My estimates for:

3 nights in Singapore:
Hostel: 3 nights for $60 total
Drinking, eating, transportation, activities: $250 Singapore total: $310-340 ish

Thailand: ( It's going to be so great!)

Diving, drinking, guest houses, transportation,etc. 17 days at about a thousand baht a day plus about 6 more thousand baht brings us to around $600.

Hong Kong:
I am hoping for about a thousand dollars or less until I actually start earning money. I want a job teaching high school because I've never done it and think I would be good at it. I want to tutor university students and maybe a few small kids.

All together we are looking at around $3000 Canadian. Is that a lot? I don't think so but maybe I'm wrong. I hope you keep reading and see my perspective on Hong Kong. Hopefully I won't be able to post on the health care there because 2014 with be hospital free for this guy. Let me know your thoughts on Hong Kong or anything else about my plan.

"LG. Life's Good."