The Time A Chef Cared

Life is sometimes hard when you’re a vegetarian. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m iron-compromised a lot. But also, I get discriminated against a lot. 

Especially when you’re the only vegetarian among your friends. 

It’s not fun when you want to catch up with some friends for lunch/dinner or a birthday, and when the question arises about where we should go eat, they give each other the side-eye and say “we have to go somewhere with vegetarian options”… blech. Or they invite you somewhere, saying there are vegetarian options, and you arrive only to find that the “options” are 3 different types of salads. Or something with tofu. 

Like excuse me I am Not a rabbit. And I hate tofu. 

Now I’m not ferociously vegetarian. I don’t tell people they’re going to burn in hell for eating meat or they’re murderers for eating a cheese burger. Everyone has their beliefs, and I have mine. I actually enjoy watching cooking shows and like appreciating how well the chef prepares a filet mignon. And sometimes, I just wish I were non-vegetarian. Just so I wouldn’t have to put up with the discrimination from the carnivores. 

I call the people who are ferociously non-vegetarian ‘carnivores’ because they are the people that cannot contemplate my lifestyle. And make a point of telling me so. The people that go “omggg you have NEVER tried chicken?? Omg you poor thing” “ahh you’ll never live life properly” “you wouldn’t understand about this… It’s so good though. You’re missing out on life” …Like for real? Get over yourselves. It’s just food. No need to be so dramatic. But oh well. I’m used to it. I’m just glad I’m not an overbearing vegetarian.

But anyway, today I had a different experience. Some friends wanted to meet up in a Café for brunch and I went along. This cafe had hardly any vegetarian options to choose from. 

So I had to do my regular walk of shame to the counter and ask if one of the dishes could be made without the meat. It was this ‘Mexican omelette’ thing that had bacon and chorizo etc. So without those things it was essentially a spinach and mushroom omelette. Which was fine. Better than nothing. And definitely better than salad or tofu.

But when the dish came, the chef came up to me and placed a very colourful omelette in front of me. I looked up at him and he smiled and said “I added some extra vegetables just so it’s a little more interesting. Hope you like It.” 

I could have burst into tears in the middle of that place just then. It was such a thoughtful thing to do and it tasted amazing. I thanked the chef repeatedly. 

He didn’t need to do that. He could’ve just put in less effort and made the bland spinach thing. After all, I was paying the same amount as a full Mexican omelette. And I’m someone who will probably visit this cafe very rarely. I’m not a regular. He didn’t have to care. But he did. He realised I was vegetarian and made the effort to make sure I didn’t feel like the annoying customer I usually do. 

That gesture completely made my day. It’s not that hard to be considerate. He showed me that. I am extremely grateful to him.  

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December Happenings

Heyyyy it’s December!! How do I know this? Because it’s officially summer in Auckland! Well not really because the actual equinox is not until 21st of December, but let’s not focus on that.

How else do I know it’s December? Everyone has their Christmas tree up! I guess I’m late! Malls have had their trees up since November of course. So they  don’t count. But anyway! Time to get my Xmas tree up and get into that good ol’ Xmas cheer!

I had a great time decorating my tree. It’s always good fun. Especially when more people are involved. My mum turned on some Christmas carols, and when Jingle Bell Rock came on (which is my favourite carol), I actually started dancing around in the middle of my living room as I decorated my tree. Embarrassing as heck. But good fun!

et Voila! My tree!

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(I love taking macro shots of my tree decorations)

This tree is 6ft tall and is kind of sparse. So it was very important to make sure I filled it up with as much decoration as possible! Previously I had multi-coloured fairy lights but this year I decided they looked tacky beyond reason and went instead, with the more sophisticated, monochrome, gold icicle lights. They match, and give the whole tree a nice glow, I think! And yes, the decorations are all red and gold. I’ve had these decorations for a few years now. HD commented that they are so….bland. So…normal. Christmas = red and gold…. how original…

Which I agree with. But in my defense, as I have mentioned before, I am BIG on observing Christmas in a very traditional way. And at the time I bought these decorations, I wanted the perfect postcard-type Christmas tree. So that is definitely red and gold. Truth be told, however, I am getting a bit tired of this dull, bi-chrome decoration thing. Hence I vow, next year I shall have new, more multi-coloured baubles and other Christmas-y things on my tree!

(by the way, a big thing happened for HD the other day, so mini celebration of his awesomeness!)

You may ask, why not go get new decorations this year? I mean, there’s still a good 20 days before Christmas! Well in fact, I am not going to be home for Christmas!

Yep! As part of this being my last ever holidays, my family decided to organise a trip away over Christmas! We’re going to Italy!

This means a few things, but the most important thing is that for the first time in my 22 year life, I will be experiencing a white Christmas!! I mean, I love the summery Xmas in New Zealand and the awesomeness of going to the beach and having ice cream, but for someone who is big on traditional Christmas, snowy whiteness is a big big excitement!

I cannot wait!

Plus, it’s Italy so there shall be Italian food, things to see, and places to shop at. Which is why I am not springing for new decorations this year.

But I still had to put a tree up. I just had to. It’s a must in December. Even if I’m not going to be home on Xmas day.

Hope everyone has their tree up and are doing fabulous Christmas-type things! ^^

The Best Policy

Honesty?? Pshhhh who needs that? All honesty does is screw people over. 

It’s messy 

It’s unnecessary

Honesty doesn’t make things better. It hurts feelings, invites too many unwanted questions, and just slows people down. 

Why do we even have it?

It’s so much easier to tell people what they want to hear. What they need to hear. Honesty doesn’t need to get in the way of that!!

Honesty is great!…… for poems and fairytales maybe. 

Not for real life.

Don’t feel bad. If you say something enough times, it becomes the truth. That’s how it works. Don’t fret.

And if, God forbid, honesty rears its ugly head, just keep your head down. Brush it away. It doesn’t matter. It never does.

Don’t waste your time. Nobody else is. Things work better when things run smoothly.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

Tiredness

These days, more often than not, I find it difficult to get out of bed. Like in a “I wish I could just sleep all day” way. Which is very weird because I am a notorious early-riser. Holidays or no. I can’t stay in bed for ages. I also can’t stay up very late in the night like other people can, so that can’t be why I lack motivation to get out of bed.

Also, once I have gotten out of my bed, I don’t really have the energy to move around. My mum seems to think I move around like molasses moving uphill.

Eugh why so tired? Holiday laziness?

Well unfortunately, this happens every year. I am in fact, anaemic.

Being female in a certain age range of a certain demographic means my iron levels always seem to jump ship. Yep. Iron deficiency. And yep. This happens all the time.

There’s two ways to deal with this. Head over to my GP who will send me to the vampires for the blood test to confirm that which I already know and have had done repeatedly. And then receive the prescription for the annoying little red iron pills that I must continue to take for 3 months before returning for another prick to make sure the levels have gone up.

The second way to deal with it, is apathy. I’ll just stay tired. It takes less effort. Which has been fine since last year when I was so completely fed up with my GP pricking me over and over I just said to hell with it and refused to pick up my iron tablets. I survived. Uni is a good distraction. I don’t got time to be tired. I gotta keep moving. So when I’m tired during my holidays, it doesn’t really bother me. My iron can correct itself eventually.

Which it does, don’t worry.

My mum told me to chug some vitamin pills. “Vitamin C helps iron absorption” she says. Which is true, but being vegetarian means that I am terminally prone to having the useless kind of iron in my diet. Ie. Even if I ate 10 pounds of capsicums (for vitamin C) and 10 pounds of spinach everyday, I’d still have less iron absorbed in my blood than someone working through their beef steak on the BBQ. Oh the woes of vegetarianism.

Meh. I choose apathy until my iron sorts itself out and I get my energy back. Good thing I’m on holidays. I will just continue to stay in bed. ^^ Bright side to everything.

The Inability To Say No

So while I have been going in once a week to the GP practice I was attached to, to assist on surgeries, I realised I was not really learning much. I had realised this back when I was actually on the rotation. Why then, did I agree to this?

Also, I got called in one day to be the nurse. That is, to triage patients and make phone calls. I remember the practice manager actually saying “Well I know there’s no compensation for this. But we’d really appreciate if you could help”. So I said yes. Even though I was sick and really should have rested.

And then, the GP asked me to do another poster for her. To educate nurses at her hospice about the signs of dying. I wasn’t really going to gain anything out of doing this. The last time I made a poster for her, it took me ages, I got stressed and annoyed and I had a million tabs open on my computer for a week. Besides, I’m on my holidays and I am trying to study and relax at the same time! I do not have time to do this poster.

So. When she asked “Does that sound like something you’d like to do?” I politely said “Thank you, but I don’t think I’ll be able to do the poster at this time”.

Yeah right.

Actually what I said was more like “Oh that sounds great! Yes I totally understand how beneficial this poster will be so don’t worry I’ll get started on the research and send you the first draft asap!”

Eugh.

Why did I say yes? Now I’m stuck actually doing this poster. And it is NOT fun. Following the first draft, she actually said no it’s not good enough, here are some resources to go through and do it again and make it much bigger thanks!

Why do I say yes to these things? I had to seriously reflect on this as I stared at my computer screen aimlessly going through palliative care guidelines. Anyone else would have said no. She’s not actually my supervisor anymore, I don’t owe her anything. She’s already pretty impressed with me. Then why?!

Is it because I’m such a gosh darn angel and I just love to go out of my way to do things for others and it would be such a sin to say no and disappoint someone?…. Nope. That can’t be right. Because I complain all day long about how I shouldn’t have agreed to take these things on. Then WHY?

I tell myself every time that next time I will absolutely say No………….. you can imagine how successful that is. >__> I mean… Why?

I guess it goes back to when I was in intermediate school. When I was in 8th grade, I was in the choir. And every year, one student was chosen to be the lead singer of the choir. This was the equivalent to being knighted back then. It was a huge deal. During the year, I didn’t get to be lead singer. Another girl did. Disappointing as heck I know.

But at the end of the year, for the final assembly performance, the lead singer was absent and they needed a substitute. Again, not me. It was a girl in my class from the 7th grade. Major humiliation. But then, she declined the offer to be lead singer, and I was chosen!

Actually what happened was, the choir teacher called me up and said that the other student declined because she was too nervous and asked whether I could do it. I said yes of course and thought dreams do come true!

After the performance, on the last day, I overheard the choir teacher telling other teachers about me. “She didn’t say no at all! Lovely girl that one. Said yes I can do it immediately!!”

I can’t say why, but I had this furious pride at hearing that. Hell yeah! I’m the girl who never says No. I’m the girl that can do it all and is ready for everything!

Oh God. Sounds pathetic doesn’t it?

But yep that’s why I can’t say no. It’s really just that selfish ego boost every time I do something I don’t really need to do. It’s not really about pleasing any one person. It’s about how I feel about myself. I can’t even say no to people I really do not like.

Oh but don’t get me wrong. When I do things for my friends/family etc, I  do it because I want to make them happy and I don’t complain about that.

But doing things like this is just all about me.

It’s kind of like the random acts of kindness thing. People say that can become an addiction because of how good it feels and you just go looking for that feeling again and again. Creepy right?

But anyway off topic. As I complete this poster, I hope I can shake off this awful habit.

No really. It’s not always a good thing. I put off the important things I need to do for these things I don’t really need to do.

When it comes to conflicts or important decisions, having the ability to say No is very important. I need to learn.

But for now, gotta go finish this flowchart poster. Sigh.

Summer Things

I’ve had a bit of an absence haven’t I? Well my summer is finally picking up!

Actually not really. I was sick for the past few days. Got a cold just as the seasons are changing. So spent a good four days in bed trying to breathe through my blocked upper airways and sinuses. Which was great actually because I needed an excuse to just stay in bed for a while.

The other things I’ve been doing are going to my GP (the place I had my rotation at) to assist on surgeries once a week. Skin excisions, etc. The other week I actually got called in because their nurse was away and they needed someone to triage patients and make phone calls. I went along of course. I  have this inability to say no to people. Which I’ll tell you about later.

I have also been low-key studying for my final year at med school. Yeah yeah what a nerd, studying over the holidays. But It’s not my fault! They freaked me out at orientation saying how difficult our final year will be and how consultants expect you to be top notch! So I’m currently less than top notch…. Which means I’ve got to get started on preparing for this. I haven’t been studying while sick, you’ll be glad to know. Eugh.

Finally, a friend of mine convinced me to go on a hike with her in the Waitakere ranges. A huge mountain range that borders West Auckland. It has all sorts of things from beaches, to waterfalls, to nature trails. And my friend really wanted to explore a particular track that was basically scaling a mountain face to a lookout point. The trail itself was 2 hours and was scarily steep uphill for most of it. But we did it! Got some stunning photos at the top.

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You just don’t get this lighting in winter. It’s definitely a summer special. The bright colours and clear skies is something you have to wait for. And obviously it meant some landscape photography for me! Yay for summer!

Of course once I got home, my feet were dead, my legs were dead, and I basically crashed back into bed. But hey! It was worth it!

 

Honest Opinion

What do I have to do to get an accurate and honest appraisal of me as a person?

This follows this whole ‘people saying stuff in anger’ thing. 

I get called all sorts of things when someone is angry. Useless, selfish, uncaring, stupid, etc etc etc. I get called out on my biggest flaws and things I didn’t really even know were wrong with me.

Here’s the thing though. After the whole anger thing passes, I’m told none of that was true. Or only true to a point, but not really. 

Sigh. I tend to take these things personally. But only because it comes from important people to me. So what am I supposed to do here? 

I suppose not care. And have the insight to figure out what I do right or wrong, myself. 

That could be considered ignorant/arrogant though.

Oh God. It’s just so hard for me to fathom because I don’t just say things in anger for the heck of it. To call out people’s qualities or whatever without reason. 

Eugh what a mess. 

“Just Friends”

You know what bothers me? When people use this phrase. “We’re Just friends” 

Like excuse me. What do you mean “Just”?? 

To be honest I’d be happier to be a friend than whatever other nonsense label people put on relationships these days. 

In an era where friends are scarce, using this phrase is offensive and negligent. To refer to someone as a friend should be a privilege. Not a substitute.

The word seems to have lost all meaning. 

So stupid. 

Classic Technology 

Today I went to get my laptop back (fina-friggin-ly)

They were an awful repair service to be honest. They took an entire week and when I finally got annoyed enough to ring them up, an apathetic guy said that I’d get a status update soon with the problem and whether parts are required etc. 2 hours later, I got an update saying my laptop was ready to pick up with a new battery.

Eugh. So basically if I hadn’t called, they would have kept my laptop forever.

But it’s okay overall. $175 later I have a functional computer with a charging battery.

Anyway, while I was there, I saw this!

The phone in the middle caught my eye! The revamped Nokia 3310! This is old news but for those who don’t know, Nokia, in their last desperate attempt to keep their once-successful company afloat, have resorted to resurrecting their best-selling phone of the 90s!

The good ol’ Nokia brick phone with the classic Snake game! Who didn’t own one of these at the time? It was basically a rite of passage to own one of these phones. It was an amazing piece of tech. It was virtually indestructible and had a  battery life of a solid week, and was hours of fun, besides! And I’m not just talking about the games. Remember how long it took to send a message on those phones? How you had to press the same button 4 times to enter the letter Z? Ahh. Good times… It was the perfect phone of that era. I still have mine I’m sure. And I am certain I could charge it even today and it would still be functional. Man. They just don’t make ’em like that anymore.

But lookie here! Nokia is in fact trying to make the iconic phone again! So. This one is uber cheap, has a colour screen, and comes with Snake. Actually I’m pretty sure the only gimmick in revamping this phone is that one game.

I thought this was hilarious. I love Nokia, I loved my brick phone, and I felt extremely nostalgic and happy when I saw this phone. But to be honest, that was it. I didn’t want to buy it. It made me wonder, who would? Who is the target audience for this phone? Die-hard Nokia fans? That doesn’t sound right. Because if you were a die-hard fan, you’ve probably preserved your original Nokia brick phone in mint condition right? Who is going to shell out 200 dollars just for that feeling of nostalgia on a phone that is beyond outdated and completely irrelevant?

I’m genuinely curious to know if anyone has bought this phone. And the reasons as to why.

Because the bottom line is, just looking at that phone, it’s different to the original, it’s in colour and it’s 200 dollars. It’s not my old brick.

On the other hand, since this has been revamped, can I sell my old Nokia brick as a vintage model? Hmmmm… New possibilities.

When Technology Fails

In the wake of my old phone dying, my laptop’s battery also decided to commit suicide. 

My HP laptop that I’ve had for 3 years now is no longer charging. The only way it will turn on is if it is connected to the charger. Which defeats the purpose of a laptop as it is no longer mobile. 

I wonder if I’m cursed whereby all my tech devices just decide to jump ship after 3-4 years. Eugh. 

After getting my new phone, I was a bit reluctant to give my laptop in for repair because I was sure it would cost some unreasonable amount. But unfortunately I use my laptop even more than I use my phone. Which means I need it to be at its best and to be mobile. 

So I thought the best people to approach would be HP support. You know for a support line, they were extremely unsupportive. 

Me: My laptop battery doesn’t charge anymore. It won’t reach 100% even after 4 hours of charging and it turns off as soon as I unplug the charger. And this just keeps happening.

HP Support: I see…. Could you tell me exactly what happened when the problem started?

Me: ……..My laptop battery doesn’t charge anymore. It won’t reach 100% even after 4 hours of charging and it turns off as soon as I unplug the charger. And this just keeps happening.

HP Support: Ahh. This sounds like a battery issue. But we will have to do a full diagnostic test on the laptop and the fee for this is $70. You will have to send your laptop to us and it will take anywhere from 5-7 working days. And then a final invoice stating what the problem was and how much it costs to fix it will be sent to you.
…….Oh God seriously?

First off.. Yes I am aware it is a battery issue. Shocking since the ONLY thing wrong with it is the fact that the battery Won’t Charge. 

And secondly, $70+ AND 5-7 working days? I need my laptop everyday! Okay maybe not so much since I’m on holiday but still. Surfing and blogging are necessities. 

But in the end I had to give it in somewhere. Took it to a repair shop which is closer to where I live and the guy said the exact same thing. That although it sounds EXACTLY like a battery issue, they will need to run a complete diagnostic test on my laptop. And the scary part was that these guys said they couldn’t guarantee the safety of my data. This is where I got really annoyed. 

It’s a battery issue!! Don’t touch my data. That has nothing to do with anything. Stay away from my files. 

Eugh. Well. Thanks to the new age of technology and Microsoft’s OneDrive, I don’t have anything on my laptop that I would lament losing. But still. There’s just no need to mess with my files.

So now I am laptop-less. Waiting 3-5 business days to get it back hopefully in one piece. 

Eugh. Fingers crossed they return it like tomorrow. I have things to do.