Monday, June 26, 2017

Nostalgia: Part ??

Triggered by a breakfast radio broadcast, I'm currently longing for the 1990s so bad it actually aches. Life was simpler back then: I didn't have deadlines to meet, bills to pay, or a child to care for.

On the other hand, my hours are no longer bound to a school bell, I can afford pretty much what I want (or need; same difference), and I have a lovely family. 

No harm having a 1990s-themed party though. Forget the hippies, it's time for Gen X!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Workaround: Part X

I have the free version of a Blogger app. I can draft posts in it but will have to pay like RM20 for the full version in which publishing is enabled. RM20 isn't much (a mains at a mid-range eatery; a starter/appetizer at a high-end eatery) but then I'm Malaysian and therefore funny about money like that.

(AKA penny-wise, pound-foolish.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gorge

It rose when I saw an eatery staff blow his nose at the sink and wrestle to clear the impossibly long string of mucus that emerged. And he was the drinks guy.

Three years on and the memory still makes me gag. I hope that by sharing it I will exorcise it, and I apologize for the resulting mental image.

(At least he washed his hands properly after that?)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stating the obvious

The thing about Facebook and Twitter is that brevity is of the essence. So you just shoot from the hip and post without a second thought because who reads past the first 2-3 lines anyway? And if you change your mind about the post, then you can delete it as easily as you'd posted it.

(Yes, everything stays on the internet, but at least it doesn't appear on your timeline anymore.) 

I was just wondering why it's easier to tweet or post a Facebook update than to actually write a blog. Duh.

Of course, this overlooks the people who tweet images of text to get around the 140-character limit and who write blogs in their Facebook updates anyway. So it's really just down to user laziness, isn't it?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Flex

My writing muscles have become flaccid from disuse!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Travelling with teens: TL;DR

(There was supposed to be a part 3 but how many parts should a morning be broken into before you lose the will to live write about it? AND the trip was in 2016. Sad.)

Basically, you will waste the entire morning waiting for everyone to get up and get ready to go out for the day.

People will meander to and from the breakfast table, and when you finally make your way out, it's time for lunch and another 2 hours will be spent deciding on where to go and what to eat because after all you're in Penang, where all the good food is, so you have to go for the very best.

[eyeroll]

As much as I love my relatives, travelling in a pack is a big pain in the ass and I'd much rather not do it. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Traveling with teens: Part 2

The night everyone arrived, the Grams brought us (all 12 guests!) to dinner at an ikan bakar* place along Lebuhraya Lim Chong Eu nearer to Bayan Lepas. There are at least 2 ikan bakar eateries, and we went to the one farther in, i.e. Nurul Ikan Bakar.

I'm told that ambra/ambarella (seriously) juice is a must-have in Penang**, which is what we ordered. The pitchers came filled with crushed ice and ambra juice, and a buttload of sugar. The ice is supposed to melt while you chat and eat, and at the end of the meal you have an invigorating tasty beverage. Except everyone was parched, so we resorted to diluting the stuff with cold water. It was still too sweet even after that.

I forgot what fish we had (I mean, we were there in March!), but it came on a banana leaf and was topped with fiery red chili sauce. There was also sambal on the side, and I think it disagreed with me...

Another Penang must-try is sotong kangkung, which is boiled (?) cuttlefish and water convolvulus served with rojak sauce***. It's meant to be a starter and has an interesting crunchy texture, but comprises my 3 least favorite flavors.

*Grilled fish
**Depending on who you ask, there are any number of must-haves.
***I think you're supposed have a salty-sweet-spicy sauce, and I suppose rojak sauce ticks all those boxes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reframing

Maybe it would be more popular if it were called "essentialism". "Minimalism" I think makes people think of what they can't have, whereas "essentialism" brings to mind only the things you need. There would be less focus on getting rid of things, and more emphasis on the things you can't do without.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Traveling with teens: Part 1

On impulse, Enfant Terrible and I went to Penang during the school holidays with my aunts and their families. We stayed at Aunt Debra's parents' (the Grams) place in Island Glades, which is a quiet old suburb on the island.

Obviously, they don't call Penang a food paradise for nothing. The afternoon we arrived, Enfant Terrible and I made straight for a nondescript Indian restaurant canteen on Lebuh Acheh. It's just a few lots down from the very nice Armenian Street Hotel; it's supposed to be called Muthu's Restaurant but it doesn't have a signboard. In fact, you'd miss it entirely if you weren't looking for it.

ET and I looked inside first before entering. The half-dozen or so patrons, all Indian men of the mien that would make you cross the road to avoid if you encountered them at night, peered right back. Then we stepped in and got ourselves 2 banana leaf rice meals and everyone went back to eating.

By contrast, the staff looked more clean-cut and the food was excellent. They serve parboiled rice by default, it seems, and a marvellous mutton soup in place of the de rigueur rassam, which had run out. You can forget about bone broth once you've had this miraculously meaty-tasting mix, which actually contained no meat (or bones).

Brows sweaty and noses runny from the unbelievably thick and rich crab curry (other options are fish, chicken, dal), we stepped out once more into the unforgiving heat, determined to traipse around the Georgetown Heritage Zone as much as we could before the rest of my family finally made it to Penang.

Like, we'd left at 830 AM, the same time as Aunt Andrea did, only Uncle Andrea is a more cautious driver than ET and probably subsequently racks up fewer speeding summonses. Our indirect host, i.e., Aunt Debra, and her family left Kuala Lumpur about 3 hours later (!).

FYI, it takes 3-4 hours to drive from Kuala Lumpur to Penang Island, excluding the heavy vehicle traffic you encounter as you go through Ipoh. As in, you're merrily humming along at 80-100 kph and exiting a tunnel when you have to lean really hard on the brakes because about 200 m ahead is a lorry laden with god knows what chugging uphill so slowly it's practically at a standstill. And that's what you keep encountering for the next 40 km or so.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Old age things

I'm in my mid-30s now (?!) and that means I have to give some thought to things I would otherwise not have thought about 10 years ago.

Specifically: what I have for breakfast. Unlike the years in which I spent slogging at my master's degree,* I can't just toss back a coffee and a breakfast bar and call it good till lunch because my metabolism won't let me anymore.

(It's weird because aren't you supposed to slow down as you age? Yet here I am suffering hunger pangs and on the verge of blacking out/brain death 1 hour after having breakfast.)

I've tried all the breads and spreads, and whatever grain the flour is made from, how many types of seeds they strew into the dough, or whether it's coconut or peanut spread or even lovely ol' butter, it's not enough. Adding protein (eggs) only goes so far (about 30 minutes more). For a privileged suburbanite like me, it's just sad.

You know what works though? Oatmeal. Instant is okay, but now I really enjoy overnight quick-cooking oats. Overnight oats are amazing because no one wants to have a hot breakfast in El NiƱo weather, no? So you stir water (or milk, if you're not lactose intolerant like me) into some oats the night before and then add the trimmings the next day (dried/fresh fruit, honey, brown sugar [not white because it causes breakouts**], milk powder, bacon). It looks like baby food but it doesn't stick to the pot but it sticks to your ribs, holding me till lunch, and I'm happy with that.

*Another sign of aging is thinking of things you did 10 years ago.
**Your mileage may vary.