Tag Archives: North Shore

The Hunt is On

The hunt is on for a job in the city! Well, on the North Shore of the city, if I can help it.

After settling into my new digs in Crows Nest, I began my online job search for anything in hospitality. To be honest, I don’t really want to wait tables again. It was fine in New Zealand because the staff were mostly travelers and people were nice. But, I have a feeling customers in Sydney are a bit different that those we got in Rotorua.

During the first few days of living in Sydney, I sent out several resumes to restaurants in the area. I walked up and down the main drag in Crows Nest to see if any restaurants had posted ads on their windows. The few places that did need help wanted you to have a liquor license, which I didn’t have. I don’t even have a tax ID yet since I haven’t worked a real paying job yet.

I was really hoping a Japanese restaurant I contacted while in Toowoomba would hire me. But when I went in for the interview, I was told they already filled the position. Still, I had a nice talk with the manager and he said he’d keep an eye out.

A few days later I had a trial at a different Japanese restaurant, which was about a 45 to 60 minutes away by foot. The place was pretty small and the wait staff had to do everything, including dressing dishes with various sauces, pouring all drinks and washing glasses. It didn’t seem very hygienic, that’s for sure. Most importantly, the people didn’t seem all that friendly or happy to be working there.

In the end, I passed on that job. Walking to and fro every night would get old pretty quick, and the buses weren’t much help in cutting back on the commute time. I’d just have to keep looking for something better.

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Filed under Australia, Employment

Cruising on the North Shore

Being at home means getting back into the island lifestyle where people take it easy and everything moves at a slower pace. On days off, city folks head out to the country, which basically means the North Shore. My sister, niece and I decided to join the club and cruised up to Haleʻiwa for a bit of garlic shrimp and sightseeing.

It was a typical Hawaiian day of blue skies, white clouds, hot sun and cool breezes. I was craving garlic shrimp like you wouldn’t believe, mostly because I haven’t had any for so long. We pulled into the first place we came across as we entered Haleʻiwa, which turned out to be Macky’s. It was my first time at this food truck as I normally hit up Giovanni’s in Kahuku (although they do have a truck in Haleʻiwa now but I don’t really like the location), but that was just too far of a drive on too empty a stomach.

The garlic shrimp came with white rice, green salad and pineapple slices. I thought the fruit and veg were a nice touch as Giovanni’s only does shrimp and white rice. However, I was there for garlic shrimp and only garlic shrimp and this is where Macky’s falls a bit short. Even though I could clearly see and smell the minced garlic mixed in with the butter and shrimp, its taste was pretty mild and disappointing. Giovanni’s takes the garlic to another level so I found I prefer the “original shrimp truck” over Macky’s.

After a bit of driving and sightseeing to help settle our tum tums, we hit up Matsumoto’s for some shave ice. It’s the most famous shop in the area despite several other places offering the cold, refreshing dessert.

Shave ice (never shaved ice), also known as ice shave on the Big Island, is literally ice shavings off a block of ice that is so fine it looks and feels like freshly fallen snow. It’s light and airy and never grainy like the mainland’s version (snow cone). It has syrup flavors of your choice and can include a scoop of ice cream or azuki beans at the bottom and condensed milk on top. Matsumoto’s has a few dozen flavors – from guava, banana, and lime to pina colada, bubble gum and root beer – so you have to come back a few times to try them all. Shave ice was the perfect way to end the day!

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Filed under Food, Hawaii

New Zealand’s Wild West Coast: Truman Track

Driving south along New Zealand’s famous wild west coast, beautiful natural landscapes surrounded us. On one side, mountains loomed high above. The contrast between their hard, rocky faces and the lush greenery that covered them highlighted how isolated and alone we were out here. It seemed like nature was untouched and untainted by man, and it reminded me again of why so many people love this country.

On the other side of us, waves pounded the shore for miles. Their strength generated a spray that covered the coastline in a foggy haze. The wind whipped the crests of the waves and surging white wash covered the sand. It reminded me of Oahu’s North Shore during the winter, but the oddest thing was that it was completely devoid of people. There weren’t any surfers, casual wave watchers, professional photographers or carloads of tourists making their way up and down the coast to catch a glimpse of Mother Nature. We were completely alone out here except for the rare camper van or tour bus that passed us.

We stopped at Irimahuwhero Viewpoint for a photo opp and the view was incredible. You could hear the surf hitting the sand below us and smell the salty sea air with every breath you took. The light shining off the water created dazzling crystal-like effects.

Farther along, we did a short hike at the Truman Track. At this point, we were racing against the weather as dark clouds were rolling in off the water. The Truman Track was an easy trail that led you from the road through a forested area to a rocky lookout. Here you were able to get an up-close and personal feel for the waves and the power they generated.

Being from Hawaii, I definitely have a healthy respect for the ocean and am more familiar with it than many of people with whom I traveled. It was really interesting to see how people reacted to the swells as they tumbled over rocky outcrops. Many were simply amazed by it all and couldn’t seem to take enough photos.

I, however, was more interested in watching the battle between the storm clouds and the sun. Just like in Australia’s Red Center, the sky here seemed to go on forever. With nothing to obstruct your view, the horizon stretched on for miles and seemed insanely far away. With this backdrop, I stood transfixed and simply watched the storm advance across the sky and prepare its siege against the happy sun.

Before I could really watch the action unfold, it was time to return to the bus and make one last stop before pulling into Greymouth for the night. So, with a heavy heart, I said farewell to ensuing battle between the sun and the storm.

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Filed under Attraction, Hiking, Nature, New Zealand, Travel