Life in Wellington, So Far

Sunday, February 08, 2015


"You seem more you there. Is that strange to say? You seem happy," Feda wrote.

It's funny how people notice these things but she's right. I am happy and I do feel more like myself here. Perhaps people who have experienced living in two different countries (or even cities and homes) will understand how an environment can make a huge impact on a person's state of mind. Wellington is the best city I've lived in so far, apart from Kuala Lumpur, because that is my hometown after all. I know I've only been here for over two months but it feels right, you know?

If you follow me on Instagram you would have probably seen the array of photos I've posted. I realise I haven't posted many photos on my blog so here I am to share a few pictures depicting my life in Wellington so far.


The day Yantie and I supposedly went crab fishing but ended watching the sunset and having a deep, soulful conversation, Petone


Julie and Sylvie, Lyall Bay


I must tell you about a lady whom my sister and I met two weeks ago. We were on a bus on the way to The Warehouse for the first time and I asked the bus driver to let me know when my sister and I should get off the bus because we were informed that we had to take two buses in order for us to get there. There was another lady who got off at the same bus stop as us and she must have overheard the bus driver advising us where to catch the next bus because she said hello to us and introduced herself as Julie B. She then said she worked at the university and that she would be happy to give us a ride to The Warehouse. In Malaysia we would never get into a car with a stranger but this is New Zealand so we said thank you and agreed for her to send us to The Warehouse because she said it wasn't far from her home. During the car ride she told us that she's originally from Philadelphia, America and that she studied at Drexel University (where my parents studied!). She shared her experiences about her trip to Malaysia where she attended a wedding in Kota Bharu, Kelantan and she expressed that she really enjoyed her trip. She had guessed that we were from Malaysia so perhaps that's why she offered to help us. We were really touched by her kindness and when I asked for a selfie she said, "I've never done a selfie before! Sylvie has to be in it!" If you haven't guessed, Sylvie is her silver car :)


The view from Kelburn Library, Victoria University. I love it but honestly, it does distract me!


Berry pancakes @ the famous Maranui Cafe, Lyall Bay.
I was told that the cafe burned down in an accident a couple of years ago and the owners
were not sure if they could re-open the popular food eatery.
In the end, the local community came together to help them because they loved the cafe so much. 


Writers Walk, Wellington Harbour


I had Havana coffee for the first time at Bebemos Cafe in Newtown. 


Canterbury Roses, Moore Wilson's


Cakes and pastries from various local cafes in Wellington are available at Moore Wilson's, along with other NZ-made fresh goods and food.
Thanks to Chyi Mei for introducing me to this awesome shop!



Seatoun Beach, Seatoun


Enjoying my Indonesian mee goreng at the Sunday farmers market at the harbour.




Somewhere near the Wellington Waterfront. This city is very artsy indeed. 


In front of the iconic pohutukawa tree and Victoria University's law building, Pipitea

I never knew I would be this happy. And grateful, so grateful. But in no way am I telling you this out of ostentation. I am telling you this so you can see why it's important to understand what it is you truly value in life. What makes you wake up every morning with gusto and helps you to sleep peacefully at night. Even though I do get stressed about about being a postgraduate student and the need (and desire) for me to do extremely well I am in general very happy to be here, alhamdulillah.

One of the things I love about life in Wellington, apart from the warm and friendly people, is the strong emphasis on ethically-made food and products. There's a big demand for it, mainly by the hipster crowd, apparently. And it's not very difficult to find vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and/or organic food here. Furthermore, Wellingtonians take pride in locally-made food and products, especially their coffee! Don't ever mention different types or brands of coffee to them. They are definitely not ashamed about their pride in their coffee.

I hope you get a chance to visit Wellington soon! Summer has been extra warm but I hear autumn will be beautiful too and that's just around the corner.

6 comments:

sepahman said...

Beautiful, Shahirah!

Julie Baga said...

I am so excited to be in Shahirah's blog (and my car Sylvie, featured in the selfie). What made the experience more valuable, besides meeting the two lovely sisters, was the philosophy expressed in the blog, such as:"I am telling you this so you can see why it's important to understand what it is you truly value in life. What makes you wake up every morning with gusto and helps you to sleep peacefully at night."

It is this sort of expression of hope from the young in our world that makes 60 year olds such as myself want to keep going. I am so glad I met you two! Mashallah, Julie B.

Sarina said...

Aww, ShaEl. I'm seriously very happy that you're happy (happier??) over there at Wellington. You're right, it's SO important to understand what you truly value in life. I love the kindness of strangers - truly heartwarming. I totally wanna visit you!

Lots of love,
Sarina

Melissa said...

Hi Julie, I'm Shahirah's sister! Meeting you was also inspirational because it renewed our faith in humanity. There are so many good souls out there and so much potential for goodness in people that we just have to keep believing in. That's what we've learned from meeting you. And that is one of the reasons why my holiday in Wellington was just so wonderful. Cheers!

Sarah Arupin said...

Hi Kak

I'm your silent reader and i knew bout your blog few years ago. surprisingly saya tinggal di Palmy. it's 2hrs drive from welly. and i'll be in welly next week to catch my flight to christchurch

Cheers
Sarah

Anonymous said...

Salam Sha,
I was wondering what are you studying? Hopefully you can write a post about that. Thanks :) Take care!
-nad