Night Out: Hola

Where: Little Mexico Cantina & Tequila Bar

What: 3-litre jugs of Pina Colada or sugary Margaritas for $60 and cheap, unpretentious platters of the usual suspects (nachos, tortilla chips and saucers of chili paste, guacamole, pico de gallo..). 

People think it's more of a restaurant than a bar which suits us just fine in all the times we tried to get into another Mexican themed restaurant/bar, only to be turned off by the crowds so we end up here, our annoyance eased by the easy smiles of their Spanish-speaking wait-staff. We promise that next time, it won't be our back-up choice.

By 10pm, the dinner crowd disappears and if you've commandeered the side-walk tables, forgiving the fact that it's on a sloped surface, you would have called it a night too even if the streets are telling you it's just starting- a pitcher of Margarita is very deceptive.


A long urban weekend

I know for a fact now that given the choice between a scenic hike and three hours roaming a luxury mall, I would definitely pick the latter. I don't mind hiking, but if you get the same health benefit walking up and down the aisles, your heart-rate picking up at the price of an Armani sweater you thought looked great with your jeans, then why not.

Auckland is not by any means, a worthy competition to Melbourne, Honolulu or even Manila, but I've learned to accept what I can get. You just have to learn how to navigate the city's  nooks and crannies to look for what you want. And sometimes, you even find stuff you don't expect to find like Moscot eyewear, tucked away in a small shop inside the Queens Arcade; quirky sweatshirts by Paul Smith inside iconic Smith & Caughey's; or a thousand and one beauty products at any of those Asian shops that sprout and disappear like mushrooms all over the city.

And you don't have to buy anything- perusing and filing the knowledge of what's available, or what's possible (better skin for middle-age?), is the whole point.