Thursday, May 10, 2012

Oh, Darn It

Back in college, i remember a lecturer telling us how much she hates the term "hot chicks". According to her, women are not to be referred to as animals--there's nothing "hot" about it at all. Needless to say, "bitches" isn't her favourite word either. While i have no problem with either words, i see and respect her point-of-view.

What annoys me are women who create a scene when the term "bitch" is used but have no problem being referred to as a "chick". If you're gonna hate on one--for equalising women to animals--and not the other, you're just going to end up looking stupid.

Which is also pretty much the case with people who use "fark", "biatch" and other misspelled vulgarity on their social network sites. Like hello? Do you think changing a few letters would make the word any less vulgar? If the reason for such action is to prevent others from picking up the bad words, well, i hate to break it to you but people aren't so stupid to not know that "fark" is actually "fuck". If you're already cursing and influencing others, the least you can do is teach others how to spell it right. If you don't want to pass on the bad habit to others, then don't swear at all. Geez.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Make Me Smile

I am not an exciting person. While i am often up for a day out, i am also perfectly fine with spending my day at home--and today was one of those great days in.

I went to the market with Mom, finally bought bus tickets to an upcoming holiday, stir-fried leek and tofu for lunch, caught Shinjuku Incident on TV and spent my evening at the garden with Zipper, hula hoop-ing, skipping rope and blowing bubbles. Then it rained so my parents and i stayed in, enjoying a dinner of takeaway stir-fried vege and Mom's winter melon with mushrooms soup.

And since i'm all about joy today (let's hope i didn't just jinx myself), i thought i'd share some of the things that make me happy:

The Little Things

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Boy Who Had A Dream

I love it when i stumble upon gems like this while surfing the Internet. This video is 11 minutes long, but it totally made my day at work, and i hope it has the same effect on you too. This is the story of a little boy named Caine, who one day, decided to build his own arcade, made entirely out of cardboard. This is the story of a boy who had a dream and worked hard to make it come true. His determination is inspiring.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kitchen Meltdown

One thing that i love about having to make my own meal is the opportunity to play with food. And since i am all for trying out foreign ingredients, i decided to give fennel a try while excitedly walking along the aisles of Cold Storage one evening after work.

Now, if you know me, you know that when it comes to cooking, the most i can do is salad, stir-fry vege, eggs or processed food. There's just something about handling raw fish, poultry or meat that puts me off.

Once, i decided to make myself a chicken and avocado sandwich for brunch, and asked Mom to get me a piece of roast chicken breast from the chicken rice stall. What i opened my fridge to find instead, was a raw, whole piece of chicken breast. I freaked out. I opened and closed the fridge door several times because i didn't know what to do--to waste it or to use it.

After a few panic calls to my mom, i decided to use it. I washed the meat, plopped it onto the chopping board and stared at it for minutes. Instead of raw meat, all i could see in my head was a happy hen running about the farm before it was scooped up by a pair of hands, sent to the market and butchered--just because i wanted to eat chicken. At the risk of sounding crazy, I cried while holding the knife in my hands, and seconds later, freaked out again. It was nerve-wrecking.

Eventually, i managed to cut the chicken breast into strips and eventually (over)cooked it. But i would never forget the experience, nor will i ever go through it again. I think i'm going to stick with letting the butcher do all the cutting.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Have Some Cheese

According to a tweet i came across, eating cheese before you go to bed can give you dreams. What is more bizarre is that different cheese causes different sort of dreams. Intrigued, i did a little bit of Yahoo-ing and found that a research has indeed been carried out on this topic.

Out of the few cheeses that were tested, i am most interested about two. Apparently, Cheddar leads to dreams about celebrities while Blue Cheese causes vivid dreams that "sleep psychologists would have a field day with in terms of interpreting". Time to hit the supermarket for cheese-shopping!

Since i have slices of Gouda in the fridge, i sandwiched one between two crackers and had it before going to bed. Interestingly, i did dream, but it certainly was not pleasant. In it, i got into a major argument with Dad and when i woke up abruptly from the dream, i burst into tears before falling asleep again.

So if you're keen on a nightmare or two, Gouda is the way to go.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stressful Dining

I'm not a fine-dining type of girl. I'm used to eating in noisy, sweaty hawker centres. Most of my favourite food are not served in small portions on an oversized, decorated, white plate.

However, there have been instances where i was blessed to sample food that my bank account cannot usually afford. Then there have also been times where i was given the opportunity to expand my 'food network' to incorporate medium-done beef (not as yucky as i thought), macaroons (so sweet can die), monk fish liver (not my thing) and truffle (now i finally know why rich people rave about it).

During my first and so far, only, fine-dining experience last year courtesy of a food channel, i became a nervous wreck when they seated me at my table. As if being under-dressed in a crowd of expensive suits and dresses wasn't intimidating enough, i sat down to see three different forks and three different knives staring at me. My first thought, "Fuck. Which one to use for which course?".

Not wanting to stare at people while they eat, i decided to wing it. I went with the nearest set of cutleries. Of course, i was wrong--you do it from the furthest to the nearest. Then, i repeated the same mistake at another recent lunch event and somehow, i have a feeling that there is going to be a third time.

Oh well, what can you expect from a girl who uses one set of cutlery for everything--soup, main course, dessert--in her everyday life? Heck, sometimes i don't even use cutleries!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Manila Invasion

When i told people that i was going to the Philippines for a holiday, the general theme of responses that greeted me was, "Why Philippines? Is there even anything to do there?". Well, why not Philippines? I like the idea of being in a largely Catholic country (especially on Christmas month), their culture is different, it is affordable and more importantly, i have never been there. Never go, never know.

The adventure pretty much began when we got off the plane. We caught the bus to the city, then somehow found our way--with heavy luggages in tow--through a sea of humans and cars to a train station, then got lost after being directed here and there by locals. Nobody seemed to know where our hotel was! So we gave up on walking and turned to the pajak instead.

For many, the pajak is a form of transportation that gets you from point A to B. For many of the drivers, the pajak is their form of livelihood and their home. It was heartbreaking to watch our pajak driver shoo her family--a young woman carrying a naked baby--out of the pajak so that she could drive us to our destination.

There is a major, and slightly disturbing, difference between the rich and the poor in Manila. The new metropolitan suburb does not allow beggars and basically looks like a rich man's playground. The area we lived in was badly lit and peppered with beggars and homeless individuals. However, after a few days of scrurrying along dark paths and holding tightly to our bags, we realised that it was not as scary as it appeared to be. Sure, people came up to us for food and money but that was basically it. They never once laid their hands on us or intimidated us in any way.

It was in Manila also that we discovered new food--no, we did not dare sink our teeth into balut. Chicken adobo, bread with a combination of icing sugar, cheese and salted egg, chicharon (crispy pork skin with a dash of chilli powder--so good, we bought FIVE packets) and a dessert called polvoron. When we first saw polvoron at 7-Eleven, we asked the cashier what "polvoron" was. His answer? "Polvoron is the name of the item". Epic.

Alcohol was so cheap and easily available that we overbought, and since good things are to be shared, the guards who worked at our hotel got lucky on the morning of our departure. And while we are on the subject of good things, the cousins staged a little birthday surprise for me, though at the most unglamorous of times--when i just walked out of the toilet.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was visiting the Manila American Cemetery. When i first saw the attraction on our tour itinerary, i thought, "A cemetery? How morbid." But it was far from that. Since its establishment in 1948 to honour soldiers who lost their lives to World War II, America has been paying Manila to maintain the place. I am amazed by the extent that America goes to give the soldiers nothing but the best final resting place. What makes it even more special is the inclusion of the Star of David on several tomb stones, respecting the religion of the fallen as oppose to branding everyone with a cross. Truly a sight to behold.

Manila is a little bit of everything. To us, it was also unpredictable. Every suburb appears to be very different, each with its own story to tell, and if you let yourself take that chance, you will discover something new. I'm ending this with another discovery that we made courtesy of our tour guide.

Tour Guide: Do you know that Manila Hotel (a luxurious, historical and expensive) is the holiest hotel in Manila?
Us: Holiest? Why so?
Tour Guide: Because when you step into their lobby, you go "Oh my God" at the sight of its beauty. And when you check out of your stay, you go "Jesus Christ" at the sight of the bill.