House Chronicles


The following are a sequence of events which may or may not conclude by the time this post is published ( 30th January 2020 ).

August or September 2019: My flatmate E tells me she wants to move

September – November 2019: I stress myself thinking about having to move. Later E suggests that we can move together to a new place. I like the idea and we look for places.

December 2019: E sends me TradeMe listings for places which I reject as they don’t suit me. Eventually we realize that we are not going to be able to move together. We discuss our options. I love our current place, so I want to stay. The only way I can do that is if I buy the house furniture from E. She is willing to sell it off.

5th Jan: I book tickets for my flight to the Homeland. I will be heading out in the first week of February.

11th January 2020: E gives her 21 days notice to the landlords. We make the assumption that we can easily replace her on the contract.

Our landlords usually are prompt in their responses but this time, we don’t hear back from them.

E advertises her room on Facebook Marketplace. A potential flatmate H looks at her room. He is cool.

12th January: H brings his partner around to view the flat. I guess he really liked it. E texts the landlords and inform them that there is a couple who are interested.

13th January 2020: Landlords finally reply. They don’t like the fact that E has tried to find a replacement. They would like to meet anybody who wants to rent the room.

E & I want the couple to move in. However, the couple work in hospitality, and the landlord don’t want to rent to hospitality workers as they work unusual shifts. The landlord wants to make sure that they are ‘professional’ and work full time.

They are chefs and usually finish work by 4pm, we tell the landlords. The landlords are willing to meet.

14th January 2020: Some other folks come to view the room. S came to look at the house but her deal was her partner would be staying half a week. I was skeptical of this as I knew it would only be a matter of time before the partner moves in full time. I didn’t like her much and after viewing she said she doesn’t want the room.

Our landlords, H and his partner M agree to meet. At this point I am panicking as I don’t trust anyone. I start looking into other rooms for myself to move into in case the couple & landlords don’t agree.

I inform the landlords that I would like to get new flatmates sorted quick as I won’t be staying in the house for most of the February.

15th January 2020: I view a house close by. It is in shambles, barely worth the amount they were charging. But I don’t turn it down. If I get desperate and I need to move out soon, I would pick any.

16 Jan: The couple and landlords meet. I sit back and let them talk. They like each other.

17th Jan: Landlords want them to move in. E & I rejoice.

However, the couple don’t respond for a day. I start getting twitchy again. Landlord calls me to make sure that the couple still want to move in. I don’t have an answer.

18th Jan: Couple finally respond yes they are willing to move in.

20 Jan: E still hasn’t decided when she wants to move out. The landlords ask me to confirm her move out date and the couple’s move in date. I do and I realize that the couple want to move in by 27th whereas E wants to leave by 31st.

My rent is reduced as the couple will be paying a higher share. E starts packing her bags. I don’t let myself relax as I realize that I now own all of the house furniture and until the couple sign the contract, something could still go wrong.

23th Jan: E & I sign off on our old bond. E will be submitting the bond refund form.

25 Jan: I meet the cat owner. She is nice and I make it clear that during Feb she would have to take the cats to the cattery as I can’t take care of them.

27th Jan: I start cleaning E’s stuff. I expected it to be easy. Turns out she had so much stuff that I cleaned 80% of the pantry. My opinion of her changed as I realized she is probably the laziest person I know.

26th Jan: E moves out. She leaves a bunch of perishables behind. I should have made her clean her stuff.

For example: she had unopened coffee which expired in 2017.

Most of the things were expired. I manage to clean out most of the things.

The couple visit. We finally sign the new contract & bond. I have a pizza and coke to celebrate (closest & cheapest things to buy).

29th Jan: The couple move in. I’m not at home when they move in. I’m finally relieved.

Lack of Motivation


I have written about the new things I am learning. Now, as time goes on I am finding myself struggling to keep myself motivated with those things. I am easy to distract, most things don’t hold my attention. My slump has impacted me the most at work.

For about 2 to 3 months, I have been distracted at work. There are days when I would sit in front of my laptop and I would just… not feel like doing anything. I would sigh in disappointment, unable to focus. I would kill time with YouTube, Facebook or any other site where I could scroll.

At the end of the day as I am heading for home I would make a resolution to focus at my work the next day. However, unless I had a looming deadline, I would not be able to focus.

I wondered how did I get to be this guy who now doesn’t want to work.


I struggled with getting up in the morning every since school. I am definitely not a morning person, especially on weekdays. I am usually late to work and that is fine because I would cover my hours by staying late.

Now, I mildly resent myself in the morning for going to work. I would stay in bed until 8:30 for my 9am start of work. I would wake up but keep scrolling on my phone to kill time.


On introspection, I realized that some part of me blames the visa delays for a nonchalant work drive. After all, it still seems like working in NZ will be a temporary thing and then I would be forced to move and start again.

However, it is not the main reason. I don’t spend every working hour fretting over my visa.

Have I burned out? Is it possible for a 26 year old me to burnout after just 3 years of work? If I consider this, I am aghast. How did I burnout when my parents & my brother has been working for years without any complain. I vehemently refuse this possibility.

Does my work not excite me anymore? This is more probable. I have been working for 3 years and I feel like I have learned enough. I know I have not mastered everything but that doesn’t drive me. I don’t crave perfection in my knowledge. I have been mentoring on other learning developers on Exercism.

But I am also learning Android. There is so much to learn that it is daunting. By all accounts I should be excited about this. I think I am. But is it enough for me to be excited for work?


I remember hearing someone make a racist comment about immigrants: Immigrants are lazy. Immigrants are here to earn easy money.

On workdays when I barely worked, I would walk home shaming myself with that line. I am the walking example of that stereotype.


I wish I knew what is happening to me. I don’t.

I know that this work has been good so far. I know that I am limiting my distractions to the minimum. I also have a trip to the homeland coming up, and I am looking forward to that.

I am trying to get the joy back while working.

Movies: Toy Story 4 (2019)


Credits: flickeringmyth

Each Toy Story movies is unique as each presents a metaphor for different age milestone. First Toy Story dealt with teens/early twenties or college years. Toy Story 2 dealt with Woody undergoing a midlife crisis and questioning his life’s purpose. Toy Story 3 dealt with the idea of retirement and the prospect of death. Toy Story 4 deals with life after retirement. A new beginning. I figured this idea should merit this post as it is going to be published on the 1st Jan 2020.


I saw Toy Story 3 before I watched its prequels. I was aware of the first two movies because of the complementary toy given on every McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’. I used to have/I may still have a Woody from one such Happy Meal.

I was prepared to go for Toy Story 4 in the cinemas this year but for some reason I never did. I ended up watching the first three Toy Story-ies at home first and then watched the latest movie.

The conversation around Toy Story 4 online was lackluster. I knew that the latest movie won’t live upto its expectations. Toy Story 3 is and will forever be one of my favorite movies. Toy Story 3 made me cry twice: the incinerator scene and then the final playtime scene.

I didn’t think Toy Story 4 was a special movie until the climax when Woody said goodbye to the other toys on top of the carousal. Seeing these characters: many of whom have been there since the first movie at their swansong just broke me. I sobbed, I felt as I was saying goodbye to these characters again after ToyStory 3 itself was a goodbye.


Back to the idea that this movie deals with post retirement.

The bulk of the story follows Woody: the character who now has to retire from ‘Andy’s Toy’ to a toy just kept in the cupboard and is hardly played with. Woody is almost everything I can imagine an old almost retiree being:

He is stubborn. He refuses to accept that a kid can start preschool without their toy. He refuses to believe that his days of being a favorite are over.

He is reluctant to change his lifestyle. In another words, he is someone who doesn’t know what he is after he finishes working. This whole movie he is chasing the idea that he has to be there for someone without considering that it is time to be there for himself.

Also, Woody is someone whose experience makes him an old sage. Every toy yearns to have what Woody has had in his whole life. Every toy wants to know what it feels like to be someone’s toy.

Lastly, before he does go on to live his own adventure, I believe he chooses to make sure that he helps out as many toys as possible.

I think the end credits scene where he spends the entire time cheating the system and handing out all toys is a perfect example of him passing the torch.


An awesome video by NerdWriter on the animation technique:


It took Woody a lifetime to live for himself. I hope that you walk onto new year with some of Woody’s enthusiasm and determination. I hope you try something new. Live for yourself after spending a long time living for others.

Happy new Year!