Thursday, December 31, 2015
These days, people are advised not to hitch hike or pick up hitch hikers. It could be either party gets hurt, robbed and even killed.
I shook my head when I saw a young girl with a sign. I felt like stopping the car and give her some money to catch a bus.
Today, I met my old flatmate and we recalled our times in Canada. One of the stupid things I did was agreeing with my Singapore guy friend to hitch a ride to Toronto. We spent a whole day in freezing winter, and not one person stopped for us. Other friends scolded us, no body would give a ride to a couple.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
In the books, there were uncontrollable street kids and gangs.
Six teenagers arrested after brutal attack
Tian Wang, 23, was attacked near the Papakura Train Station on December 15 after she got off a train at 11pm.
She had been on her way home from work at a restaurant in Newmarket when she was attacked by the group of teens who had been on same train.
When she failed to arrive home, her worried father drove to the station looking for her. He found her lying in the station carpark, beaten so badly he could barely recognise her.
They stole her cellphone and stripped her shoes from her.
National MP Dr Jian Yang who has been visiting Wang, said the attack was incredibly vicious.
"They attacked mainly her face. I looked at photos from the day and she's very bruised and swollen," he said.
A police spokeswoman said six teenagers aged from 13 to 16 had now been arrested in relation to the attack and robbery.
"They've all been charged with aggravated robbery and have been remanded in youth custody facilities," she said.
Yang said the six young teenagers most likely attacked the woman because she was alone, there was nobody around and she was an easy target.
As he understood it, Wang had a bag on her back, and the attackers came up behind her and pulled on it.
She fell backwards and they surrounded her, attacking her face and stole her belongings, he said.
"It's quite a traumatic attack from a number or people so you can imagine the physcological effects," he said.
"After a major attack like this the girl would still feel concerned and scared, that's why she still needs people around her."
Yang said the main concern is the extent of her eye injuries, which will need surgery. She suffered broken bones and now one eye was sitting lower than the other side he said.
When he visited her in hospital, she covered her face and didn't want to be seen, he said.
The six youths will appear in the Papakura Youth Court on January 8.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Christine went with her Maori friends to pick seafood.
Coast has feast for foragers
5:00 AM Monday Dec 28, 2015
Scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) have prepared some handy hints for seafood lovers.
But budding hunter-gatherers are being advised to keep to the recreational limits and to watch their catch size.
Paua, New Zealand's large, edible sea snail, are often found in shallow waters on rocky shores. Different regions have different catch restrictions.
Cockles and pipi are both free and plentiful, says Niwa.
Pipi are found often packed together in dense patches in fast-flowing water in estuaries.
They can be eaten raw from the shell, put on an open fire or barbecue until their shells open, or made into fritters. The daily limit is 150 a person - and take only bigger ones.
Cockles are a shallow-burrowing shellfish. They can be eaten raw, but must be taken from unpolluted sites.
The daily bag limit is 150 cockles per person per day, apart from in Auckland and the Coromandel where the limit is 50 per person per day.
Finally kahawai, the second most caught recreational fish behind snapper, can be found in most coastal waters, harbours and estuaries. The recreational limit is 20 fish.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
In my own experience, a gang of street kids stole my car. I fictionalised it in the book.
Backpackers 'feel hopeless' after car theft
3:39 PM Sunday Dec 20, 2015
Two lost their passports, credit cards, international driver licences and camping equipment while they were enjoying the Goat Island marine reserve near Leigh.
One also lost a bracelet from her grandmother, her graduation jumper that had been signed by her high-school friends, and her camera containing the pictures she has taken in New Zealand.
The crime has shattered the four women's first impressions of New Zealand and has left them feeling disoriented.
"We heard so many good things about New Zealand," says Sophia Metz, 18, of Munich.
"We heard the people are so nice and gentle. That's what we got to know when we came here first, but now we don't want to leave the country with that bad memory. All the good memories are overshadowed now by the theft."
She and her friends, Lea Uebelhoer, 18, Lara Schreyer, 18, and Lena Kalbitzer, 19, have been in New Zealand for just over a month and plan to stay at least six months.
They are picking strawberries at a berry farm in Riverhead, where they are also staying.
"We went to the beach in the car of Lena and Lara," Ms Metz says.
"We stayed at the beach for five hours [until 5pm yesterday]. We came back to the car and it wasn't there any more."
It was parked in a legal parking space, she says, and they checked with a Department of Conservation officer who told them it therefore would not have been towed.
The women are appealing for people to contact them if they see the green car, a 1998 Mitsubishi Libero stationwagon, registration BNR572.
The car cost $3200 and was not insured against theft. They have reported the theft to the police.
Ms Schreyer says: "We would like to raise awareness for all the other backpackers not to leave their personal belongings and important stuff in the car."
Ms Metz says they did not hear back from the police.
"It makes us feel hopeless. Usually that's the people who would be able to help out."
However, a police spokeswoman said: "We did offer them victim support at the time. They said they didn't feel they needed it."
She says the car's details and other information about the incident were broadcast among police in the Auckland region at the time the incident was reported.
"That's as much as we can do when a car has been stolen when there is not any other identifying information at the scene."
Sightings of the car can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org