Monthly Archives: August 2014

Our Story : Trip to New Zealand: Hobbiton – Part 31

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

On our first Easter long weekend, we booked a trip to New Zealand. As I had already been to South Island, we decided it was time to see the North. I had heard so many nice things about NZ that it was hard for us to decide what we wanted to do while we were there.

I have a colleague who is from NZ so with her help we finalised the following destination for our trip.

Auckland – Hobbiton – Matamata – Waikato – Waitoma – Hamilton – Wai o’tapu- Rotorua – Auckland

When we boarded the flight for NZ, both AS and I were really excited as it had been a while since we went overseas. The flight from Sydney to Auckland was short and smooth . As soon as we landed in Auckland airport, we took a cab and went straight to the car hire company that was outside the airport. When we arrived, the place was not busy so within few minutes, we filled the forms and we were ready to begin our road trip.

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We had booked our first night in Waitoma but had planned to see a few places before we reached the hotel that evening. It was so beautiful as it was autumn season in NZ and the drive was pleasant and scenic. Everywhere we saw green mountains, orange maple trees and from time to time we crossed a small town with unique features. Finally, after almost three hours’ drive we reached our first stop, Hobbiton at Matamata, Waikato.

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Hobbiton

For those of you who are not aware, Hobbiton is on the most picturesque private farmland where some scenes of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit  movies were shot. As my husband is a big fan of these movies we decided to do the two-hour guided tour.

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The tour is described as heaven for the movie fans. The set has been completely rebuilt for The Hobbit and will remain as it was seen in these films and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. During the tour we got to see Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, the double arched bridge and other structures and gardens built for the films. Definitely AS was super excited for the tour.

He was ready to experience the real Middle-Earth in picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. The tour cost us $65 per person and when we reached there, we saw that there were around 10-12 other people waiting to start the tour.

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A guide took us to the farmland. We had to sign a non-disclosure release to go on-site. Not sure why it was necessary since you see the same sets in the Lord of Ring movies with a few changes. AS was very happy as he had watched ‘The Lord of the Rings’ recently (again) and he could recall many scenes from the farm.

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We were lucky to be there on a sunny, cloudless day and the site was simply stunning with “Hobbit holes” built into the hillside locations. It was great to get a sense of the size, and the background stories about how they made the actors look smaller in comparison to the various set pieces were interesting.

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It was a thoroughly enjoyable few hours, we were lucky enough to see the beginnings of the rebuilding for the new ‘The Hobbit’ movie. You can see the party tree, the road around “The Shire” where Gandalf drives the cart and meets Frodo. You can walk into the Bag End Hobbit hole and have your picture taken looking out, and step on the actual steps leading up to the door, that were used in the film.

When we finished the tour, it was past 5pm so we jumped back into the car and drove to Waitoma where a warm bed was waiting for us.

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Take care everyone, more on next post.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 32

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Our Story : Valentine’s day – Part 30

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

After the arrival of AS in Sydney, time just seemed to fly. We always made plans for the weekend and were having the time of our life. Then came another important day, our first Valentine’s day together. We had celebrated the last valentine’s day but as you know it was not together.

We wanted to make this Valentine’s day memorable so we decided that we would go to Sydney tower to celebrate the day. We choose Sydney Tower Buffet as we wanted the cliche and the novelty of a revolving restaurant overlooking one of the world’s most beautiful harbours – and we certainly weren’t disappointed with the view.

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The restaurant has panoramic views from the tallest building in Sydney.  The restaurant keeps rotating so you can spot Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Blue Mountains and more every time you glance out of the rotating restaurant’s windows. It was a perfect place for AS to go in Sydney.

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It was a weekday that Valentine’s day so we came back from work, changed quickly so we could catch a train to the city and be there at our reservation time.

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The atmosphere in the restaurant was beautiful and the view was amazing. We loved the food and everything that day was just perfect. The highlights of the dishes were probably the honey glazed ham, and the lamb braised in a yoghurt dressing with chickpeas. We loved every bit of our food.

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After dinner, we just roam around the city and I was really happy that finally both of us were together forever.

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More in the next post. Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 31

Conjunctivitis

I recently had Conjunctivitis in both of my eyes and found out that until you have one, you don’t know how annoying it is.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin, transparent layer covering the surface of the inner eyelid and the front of the eye. It is caused by bacteria or virus. Mine was viral. Symptoms include eye redness, a discharge and swollen lids. It is contagious.

I started getting itchy eye on Saturday afternoon but I didn’t think of it much and went on with my day but at the end of the day it was swollen and so red that I was in pain. I went to bed that night hoping it would get better but instead woke up with my left eye swollen and so full of mucus that I couldn’t open it. It was so painful. I went and used hot water to get rid of the mucus and finally was able to open my eye. It was still very red so AS insisted that I go and see an eye doctor.

I am glad I went because he diagnosed that it was viral conjunctives and he gave me antibacterial eye drops just in case it was bacterial. He also told me it would take at least seven days for it to be completely gone and I should rest at home so I don’t infect other people. He also advised me that if things got worse in the next few days I should go to a hospital straight away, which sacred me.

Anyway, I started using the eye drops but in the meantime manged to infect my right eye too on Sunday. Therefore, by that evening I have two swollen red eyes.

On Monday morning, I could not open my both eyes and all I wanted to do was cry. I woke AS up and he helped me to go to bathroom. It took me a while to get my eyes open properly. There was no way I would be going to work that day. AS went to work but when he got back home he took care of me and pampered me.

It took the next 48 hours using the eye drops every couple of hours in the day for my eyes to get better but they are still not 100% yet. I still have slightly pink eyes and they are a bit itchy too but no more mucus and I feel more comfortable in front of the computer and TV.

My lesson learned from my infection, good hand washing, especially before touching the face, is a key to preventing most cases of conjunctivitis. I could have not infected the both eyes if I had been more careful.

Anyway, it is a rainy Friday today and I am excited for the weekend 🙂

Take care and enjoy the weekend.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Celebrating Teej

Today is Teej, the festival for women in Nepal and is celebrated by most Hindu women on the 3rd day of Bhadra Sukala Paksha (according to Nepali lunar calendar). It generally falls in late August or early September. This year the Fasting day has fallen on today. I am from Newar cast so even though we are Hindu we don’t celebrate Teej but I still join Teej celebration in Sydney with my friends.

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Teej is a day when woman fast for the whole day for marital bliss, well-being of their spouse and children and purification of their own body and soul. Married women fast for their husband’s long life, prosperity and long and strong relationship between them until death in this life and all the lives to come, while the unmarried pray for the perfect husband. Unless one is ill or physically unfit, fasting is followed by women and girls who have reached puberty.

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Teej is a four-day-long festival in Nepal and each day has its own significance.

  • First day is called ‘Dar Khane Din‘, the day to make merry.
  • The Second day is a fasting day.
  • The third day is purification day.
  • The fourth day is ‘Rishi Panchami‘.

Please read more about it here and here.

I wore my new red sari and tried my best to look like an authentic Nepalese woman with chura and tika and join my friends and family for an evening of fun.

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Like every year, we celebrated Teej last Saturday with Dar, lots of yummy foods, dance, songs and lots of fun.

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Sharing some of the photos from the day.

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Wishing Happy Teej to all of you out there celebrating today. Have a great time and enjoy your day.

Teej (4) Teej (10)Take care!

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Our Story : Our first Australian holiday: Brisbane – Part 29

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Our life in Sydney was going smoothly and we were going to different places around Sydney all the time. One long weekend we decide that it would be fun to go out of Sydney and we decided to go to Brisbane.

We booked a serviced apartment that was walkable distance to city. The hotel had the view of the beautiful Brisbane River and Southbank.

After we checked in we went to the Southbank for a stroll. The Southbank, with its lovely location by the Brisbane River, has something for everyone, from endless dining options to free swimming in the man-made lagoons.

As we were walking The Arbour, a kilometre-long walkway awning located in the Parklands, we enjoyed the breeze and the warm day. The Arbour has won multiple awards for its architecture and is comprised of 443 curling, galvanised steel posts that are each clad with vibrant magenta bougainvillea flowers. It also has a ribbon of yellow steel running along it to provide shade and weather protection for its patrons.

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Then we spotted the famous Nepalese Pagoda.

Peace Pagoda (4) Peace Pagoda (1) Peace Pagoda (2)Peace Pagoda (12)As per Wikipedia the Nepalese Pagoda is one of South Bank’s most treasured attractions. Originally brought to Brisbane as the Kingdom of Nepal’s contribution to World Expo 88, the three-story high Pagoda is now located in the heart of the Parklands. It features 80 tonnes of hand-carved Nepalese timber and took more than 160 Nepalese families two years to build. It is also one of only three Nepalese peace pagodas in the world located outside of Nepal.

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We were happy to explore the pagoda as I could see the detailed work the craftsmen had done. They also had a big bell and stone elephant outside the pagoda just like the temples in Kathmandu. It was so peaceful when we sat down inside. There were many other people around admiring the Nepali architecture and it made me so happy. It was a great decision to leave the pagoda there.

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By then we were tired so we decided to have dinner in a nearby café and went back to the hotel to rest.

Peace Pagoda (11)The next morning when we woke up, it was a bit gloomy day and perfect for walking so we decided to go for a walk around the city after breakfast. We started our walk again in Southbank, past the Arbour, the Nepalese pagoda (stopped for a while to take some more pics) to go to The Wheel of Brisbane. The Wheel of Brisbane offers astounding 360-degree panoramic views of South Bank and beyond, all from a comfortable, climate-controlled gondola.

Brisbane (2) Brisbane (3) Brisbane (15) Brisbane (9)From there we kept on walking for almost an hour until on the banks of the river we reached the Story Bridge. There were people who were climbing the bridge and it looked fun. By then, we had been walking more than an hour and both of us were tired and so we rested in the park.

Brisbane (8) Brisbane (17) Brisbane (7)We decided we should go to the CBD to have dinner and to shop around. I was a fun day and we had a great time exploring the city and enjoying different food.

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The following day we decided that it would be good for us to take a train to the Gold Coast for some more fun. The Gold Coast is a coastal city in southeaster Queensland on the east coast of Australia. The city is 94 kilometres south of Brisbane.

Unfortunately from the time we reached Gold Coast till the time we left it was raining. I wanted AS to enjoy the Dream world, SeaWorld and Wet and Wild but due to the weather we decided to leave that for another time. Instead, we went for a walk along the beach and explored the vibrant shopping malls. I loved the environment they have there. We also ended doing some shopping before we came back to Brisbane.

The following day we had our flight back to Sydney so we just relax in the morning enjoying the views and eating some amazing food.

Brisbane (4) Brisbane (1)The holiday was as perfect as it could be and it was as I had always imagined. Having a partner with you and not in some city half way around the world made a great difference because this time we caught the same plane to the same destination unlike many times before.

More in the next post. Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 30

Our Story : Our life in Sydney – Part 28

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Once AS was in Sydney, I took a few days off so I could take him around and show him the place I now call home. It was a great feeling for him to visit the places I always talked about and meet my friends for the first time. They were all so pleased for us as most of them knew how long we had been waiting to be together. He arrived in Sydney in spring so it was just perfect weather-wise as well.

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Whenever I had time, I took him to the city, gave a tour of the iconic Opera house and Harbour Bridge as well as Darling Harbour and Queen Victoria Building. We were like love birds holding hands, walking together and on a date night every night. We also enjoyed the beautiful beaches around Sydney.

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I really wanted to take time off from work until AS got a job but it was practically impossible so I went back to work after a week. However, I made sure that I left really early so I could get home early to AS. He kept himself busy with job hunting and Skyping with family and friends when he was alone.

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Everything was looking brighter and happier in my life since AS’s arrival. I enjoyed everything more and it was so much fun when we went to my friend’s wedding parties. Now I was not in a single’s table with strangers who I did not know. We also went to games, open air cinema and whatever was on during the summer. We made the most of our time together and celebrated our love every possible moment.

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I knew that my life had taken a different turn and would never be same again.

After a few months of arrival, AS got his first job in Sydney and it was another happy occasion for us. Before AS decided to move to Sydney, one of the other option had been to see if I could move to US. But AS knew that I had a good job in Sydney and it was fairly new so he was happy to try Sydney out.

Even though we agreed about this decision happily, deep inside I was a bit worried what would happen if AS didn’t get a proper job in his field and until he got the job that fear was always there. It was a huge relief when AS called me at work one afternoon to tell me that he got a call from the HR or the company he had applied to let him know that he got the job as QA Engineer and would be starting from next week.

That evening when I got back home, we took my brother and SIL to a restaurant to celebrate. It was definitely a big milestone in our life because I knew from that moment on, our life would be fine and we would be a normal couple. Also getting a job so quickly meant, it had made AS feel comfortable in the new environment among new people.

I am sure it was not an easy decision for AS to leave everything behind and move thousands of miles just to be with me. I always thank him for taking that big step and now I can’t think of our life any other way.

I always believe that your dreams will come true and mine was unfolding in front of my eyes every day after AS arrival.

More in the next post. Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 29

Our Story : AS in Sydney – Part 27

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

The most important day of my life was finally here and I was super excited. Even though I didn’t sleep for the whole night, I was super fresh and happy. It was as if I was in love all over again and when love is in your system you can’t help but smile. I was feeling so good, I was laughing at myself.

I had bought a few gifts for AS and made a scrapbook of our time together as a gift. The scrape book contained all the important dates as well as photos and other memorabilia we had collected in our relationship. It took a long to make it but I was pleased with the result.

The gifts I bought were random like dressing gown in blue, cologne, chocolates, and a book among other things. I was so confused on what to buy that I got whatever I thought is useful at the time.

He was to land at 11 am so I made sure that a nice lunch was ready. I got ready and headed to the airport and the excitement of coming back with AS was making me feel so good. Seriously, the feeling was something so different and so happy that I even cried at one point because of happiness. I had never done that before and it was my first experience with happy tears.

I was contemplating what I should take for him when I picked him up at the airport. I was thinking flowers and balloons but it seemed too cliché so at the end I decided to let all his surprise wait for him at home. All I wanted to give him was a big hug and hold his hand on the ride back.

At Sydney airport, there seemed to be hundreds of people waiting for someone at the terminal. As I checked the board, his plane hasn’t landed yet so I patiently waited in one corner of waiting area. After around 15 minutes wait, I decided to grab a hot chocolate and again checked the monitors for his flight information. By then, his plane has landed and it seemed that my heart was almost coming out of my body.

After that I could not sit at all and I became really impatience. I was walking up and down keeping an eye on the exit doors. As there are multiple doors I moved from one end to another just in case he didn’t see me. It was another 45 minutes before I saw him coming out of the exit pushing his cart. He was looking for me among the crowd.

As soon as I saw him I ran towards him and gave him a big hug. We were there for a while until someone asked us to move his trolley out of the way. We did move to the side of the exit and hugged again before anyone of us started talking. Both of us had a big grin on our faces when we exited the airport hand in hand.

The ride from the airport to the house was short but I was so happy to hold his hand for the whole time. Once we were in the house when he opened the door, I was glad to see his face because there was surprise waiting for him.

It said “Welcome to Sydney” and all the gifts I bought for me. He seemed to be pleased and I was glad he loved it. We went through the scrapbook together and he opened his gifts. He smiled at what I had got for him and told me that I was very thoughtful. He said he got something for me but would give it to me later after he unpacked.

I couldn’t care less about the gifts at that stage as I was in cloud 9 as I was able to touch him now, not just see him on Skype.

I let him refresh and rest. When he was ready, we had lunch together. He praised my cooking (I was not that great then) and ate everything I put on his plate. I was happy just to watch him eat and I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

Finally, I could breathe normally as we were together forever from then on. I thanked God for being so kind to us and making sure we are together in each other’s arm.

 I will be writing more about our life in Sydney next. Please come back and read them.

Till then take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 28