New Zealand and its wonders

There is so much beauty that surrounds me that I am still not able to come to terms with it. May be such overwhelming beauty takes getting used to.

Every little nook and corner here is so nicely landscaped, so green and so picturesque. Imagine scattered sheep grazing the grasslands, quaint little wooden houses dotting the bylanes, beautiful colours of autumn juxtaposed against the lush green grasslands, quiet lanes out looking the sea and sunlight dancing off the surface of the sea in a myriad of wonderful colours!! It’s impossible not to be affected by this sheer beauty. These beautiful landscapes that make you want to be a painter.

This is where I live

I was in Singapore for almost a month before moving to NZ. Now no doubt that Singapore is also beautiful, but it’s nothing like NZ. I know that it is not an apple to apple comparison but these are the only two countries I have seen apart from my hometown. So I can’t help ‘not’ compare.

Singapore is painstakingly perfect. It’s plastic. It’s manmade. The skyscrapers, the brilliantly advanced, modern buildings are somewhat daunting. You feel somewhat intimidated standing in front of 150 storey high-rises, all glass and twinkling lights. The whole country is so prim and proper that it looks like a movie set. Moreover, in my entire duration of my trip there, I hardly saw anyone smiling. They all had frowning, grumpy expressions on their face.  I mean no offence to Singapore, it IS brilliant…but in technological sort of way. Not in a way that touches your heart. But that apart, I had a whale of a time with my family. We went around the city-state and did all things touristy, expect taking photographs. Singapore is all about malls, and women’s shopping, and luxuries, and brands, and Jimmy Choos, and Versace and Calvin Kleins and Tommy Hilfigers and Armanis and Coco Chanels and all things expensive. What is wrong with that, you would possibly ask. Nothing. Just that it gets overwhelming after a point. How much can you possibly shop?

Singapore

But I must admit that the infrastructure in Singapore is beyond awesome. The Public transport is so efficient, so reliable and so safe that is very easy and convenient to go from Place A to Place B alone at any time of the day, without using much help. The whole country practically operates on almost a Six Sigma Level of perfection. It is very awe-inspiring.

Coming back to NZ now. NZ is beautiful because of its natural bounty, because of its little imperfections. This place has a soul. People are warm, smiling, approachable and friendly. You have so many things to do here, so many beaches to see, beaches that stretch for miles, there are road trips to make, there are adventures to do, there is parasailing, there is normal sailing, there is camping, there is trekking, there is scuba diving, there is bungee jumping, there is river water rafting and what not. There is a lot to do for the city lover types also. There are bars, there are clubs, there are discs, and there are nice fancy places to eat out. There is something for everyone.

Last weekend, TCG and I made an impromptu plan to go trekking. We went to a place called Red Rocks Reserve. It was an easy 3 hour coastal trek. Yes, yes, walking along the coast for 3 hours. It was a surreal experience. These rocks were formed hundreds of millions of years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions. And they are red, obviously because of iron oxidization. But there are legends that tell otherwise.

Red Rocks

Along the coast there, were three or four baches. TCG said that baches are simple beach houses, that have been around for hundred of years and have been kept in their original forms by their house owners.

Further down from Red rocks is a place called Sinclair Head, an area where hundreds of seals come and visit between May and September. Since we went in April, we didn’t see hundreds of seals, but we definitely saw a few scattered here and there lazying on top of the rocks. These were not the slimy variety of seals that I had grown up seeing on Discovery Channel. These were rather furry. An average fur seal weights upto 160 kgs. Yes.
Here, take a look.

Lazy Fur Seal

I love outdoors, and I love treks. And this one along the coast was long but easy. We had packed our lunch and ate it on the go. It was cool and very breezy and I had to run back to the car to fetch the spare sweater in there.  So in all I was wearing three layers. My t-shirt, my jacket and that spare jacket from the car. Yes, I was looking funny, but heck when it’s that cold, comfort should take over fashion, if you really want to enjoy outdoors. All in all, it was a day well spent.

And on our way back home, I got to see this. I had never seen Kite sailing before.

Human Kite sailing

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Things I am grateful for: Reason # 6 to Reason #18

I have been meaning to write about these Things I am grateful for for quite some time now. Since a last few months, I have noticed that I have become more grateful and thankful for the things I have in my life. And as a ritual, I have started saying a small thankfulness prayer daily which more or less summarizes all the broad categories of things I am extremely grateful for.

Reason #6

Oh God, Thank you for the wonderful day

Reason#7

Thank you for the wonderful family I am born into. Thank you for my wonderful parents who have given us a splendid upbringing, for loving grandparents who have imbibed in us their values, for uncle, aunt, siblings, cousins, brother, sister-in-law and everyone in the family who I have grown up with.

Reason #8

Thank you for the wonderful family I am married into. Thank you for a wonderful husband, loving parents in-law, and a friend I see in my brother-in-law. And thank you, thank you, thank you once again for the wonderful husband.

Reason # 9

Thank you for the food I eat, the water I drink, the air I breathe, the soil I walk on and for every other your invaluable resources that I use.

Reason #10

Thank you for perfect health. Thank you for every limb, every muscle, every tissue, every cell, every organ in mybody that works miraculously.

Reason #11

Thank you for all those people who unknowingly work for us all and make my our lives easy; the farmers who grow our fruits and veggies, the workers who collect garbage, the construction workers who make houses and buildings in which we live, the people who clean sewers. They all do such an invaluable job and how we take their services for granted. Let me be kinder to them.

Reason # 12

Thank you for wonderful friends I have, who I have grown up with, who I have shared many a jokes with, who I have laughed with, who I have cried with. Friends, without you all life would have been so boring. God bless each one of you and thank you for being my friends.

Reason # 13

Thank you God for the wonderful, new, exciting life in NZ, for the beautiful home, for the car that takes us everywhere we want to go, for scenic, breathtakingly beautiful location and for this fresh, new life.

Reason #14

Thank you God for all the luxuries, travel, opportunities, fun times, experiences and memories

Reason #15

Thank you God for all the comfort, wonderful clothes and small pleasures of life

Reason # 16

Thank You God for beautiful hair, beautiful skin, warm heart and a wonderful mind that makes me take the correct decisions, makes me understand things as they are meant to be and that makes me grasp and learn

Reason #17

Thank You God for the wonderful education that I have received, for the jobs that I have done, for skills, talents, opportunities, for the learning everyday, for the gift of writing, for the new, wonderful job that I will get soon

Reason # 18

Thank you for many small things in life that I take for granted.

And forgive me God for all the mistakes that I have knowingly or unknowingly done.