I Will Be Back...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

... when I get over my motion sickness from being on board a ship for four days. It's difficult to type when you can't focus on the screen and your finger keeps hitting 'R' when what you really want is an 'E'.

Three days have passed since we disembarked and I can't even stand still without swaying involuntarily . The first day on terra firma was bad. I was dizzy, nauseous and had to throw up several times. This is ironic because the aforementioned symptons were precisely what Hubs and I had braced myself for on deck. It came as a pleasant surprise when I was only dizzy the first night and was fine thereafter.

I do hope this passes soon. I had to cancel yoga yesterday because, lord help us, I would have toppled over like a pack of cards.

However, to look on the bright side,

  • we now know I can handle a cruise in terms of sea sickness without me wanting to throw myself overboard; this little weekend thingy had been a dry run of sorts.

  • at time of writing, I have since stopped hurling the contents of my stomach into the abyss of the toilet bowl.

  • I currently walk like a drunken sailor who's had one too many shots of rum as opposed to having downed two kegs - so vividly demonstrated by my gait over the last two days.

  • Hic!

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    Gone Fishin'

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    We've barely dusted off the sand from Sanya and what do you know, we're headed out again. This time, it's a weekend cruise downstream on the Yangtze River starting from Chongqing and ending off in Yichang. We leave tommorrow afternoon and will be back on Monday.

    See ya later alligator!


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    No Shoes Please, We're Singaporean

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    So Brother-in-law #2 finally landed on Sunday. Hubs and Sonny-boy made up the welcoming committee at the airport while I held the fort at home.

    His first introduction to the Chinese/Asian culture not more than five steps into our hallway after the usual Dutch greeting of three kisses and a hi, how are you, came in the form of this request:

    "Could you please remove your shoes before stepping inside?"

    We are a Dutch household under the administration of the Singapore government.

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    Temple Of Thai

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    I was searching for a good Thai Seafood Salad recipe on the internet when I chanced upon this website called Temple of Thai. Doesn't the name already send goosepimples down your spine?

    The recipe section has a good selection of familiar and not so familiar staples of Thai cuisine and is authentic enough. What I'm trying to say is the recipes have not been butchered to suit non-asian tastebuds.

    The Fruit Carving page is my favourite. Having always been crafty, I am intrigued by the art and see this as another outlet of creativity. I am going to order a book of two first to aqquaint myself on the subject before deciding if this is something I would like to try or if it's more than I can chew.

    I wonder what would go through the Hubs' mind when he sees carving knives and tools come through the post for me...

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    Thai Seafood Salad

    We are properly into summer now with the searing heat and increased humidity. However, the heat is different in Beijing. Because of the thick layer of smog, it feels like an oven and for the first time, I truly understand the meaning of the greenhouse effect. It's stifling, hot and above all, polluted. I don't envy the long distance Olympic atheletes come this August.

    To combat the average of 30oC and above temperatures, I've taken to light meals in the day. A regular feature is Thai Seafood Salad and the recipe I like is here. It's very basic and easily modified to suit one's personal taste. In this instance, I took away the fish and added in glass noodles and julienned carrots instead. And although the recipe advises one to serve immediately, I normally chill mine for up to two hours before consumption. The opposing sensation of cold and spicy hot (don't let the tame appearance fool you, your tongue will burn) is something to be reckoned with.


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    In Remembrance

    Monday, July 07, 2008

    As a history buff, one area of fascination has to do with World War II, a subject I started getting into early 2007. I read about the subject extensively, watch the programmes on both Discovery Civillization and the History Channel to death and have seen just about every movie or mini-series made in on the subject. The internet has been a treasure trove of information too.

    And because I'm crazy that way, each year I try to do something for myself on the subject. The year before last, it was the Band of Brothers series and book, followed by a day trip to Bastogne with the map from the book as our itinery guide.

    In May this year, I managed to buy a set of BBC History of World War II from one of the DVD shops here. I thought it would be rather meaningful to plough through it during the month of June and thereafter - my own private memorial for the soldiers who died and a tribute to the veterans who survived.

    At the moment, I'm going through the chapters of The Nazis - A Warning from History. This series is different as the bulk of the programme comprises of interviews with people who've been through the war, either as a civillian, a Holocaust survivor, Allied soldiers (of all rank and file), former SS soldiers and Nazi party members. And the BBC tells it like it is with no leanings to any one side. They offer the good and the bad and leave viewers to form their own opinions. This has made for some interesting conversations at the dinner table between Hubs and I lately.

    I chose not to go watch the discs chronologically and kicked things off with the one on the Japanese conquest of Asia. I also specifically saved the episodes about D-Day for 6 June as that was the day the Allied Forces invaded Normandy. And yes, I still hope to be able to follow the Normandy trail one day too as we did for Bastogne. It is very much on our to-do list.

    Here's to all the young men who fought bravely and died in Europe and Asia - thank you.


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    Stranger Than Fiction #58639

    Friday, July 04, 2008

    Last Sunday was Stay-At-Home day in Cookalot. Whilst the two men sequestered themselves in the study with their online games, I made myself a pot of jasmine tea, put on season I-Lost-Count of CSI:New York and proceeded to wind down. Quite literally in this case as I decided today would be the day I get through at least some of my hanks of newly bought yarn from yet another spree.

    Let me explain what I mean.

    Yarn here are sold by weight and come in hanks. Before using, one must wind them into neat balls or else one will come face to face with an almighty tangle in the middle of knitting or crocheting and be compelled to stab oneself with one's needles or hooks.

    In order to keep morale and sugar level high, cookies also went along with my tea. I was in a playful mood, hence my choice of refreshment:

    These Japanese cookies are funny. They are indvidually wrapped and have messages stamped on them. And herein lies the fun. You never know what message you're going to get when you unwrap your cookie. Take my fourth one for instance:


    Sometimes I feel I'm being toyed with.....

    Enjoy your weekend, everyone!


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    Party Outfit

    Thursday, July 03, 2008

    (This took place before Christmas 2007)

    What's a girl to do when she just can't find seem to find the right skirt to match her top for the big family Christmas party?

    If she's had formal training in fashion design, she first curses the shops in Maastricht for wasting her time, pulls out tracing paper, measuring tape and ruler thereafter proceeding to draft the skirt she has envisioned for her 19.90 euro bustier top from H&M which would be arriving by post shortly.

    The design was simple - a full, gathered skirt with a fitted hip yoke.

    Then came the fabric. I knew straightaway it had to be this black embroidered lace I kept in my stash cupboard. I bought this lace about 10 years ago from Arab Street but never had the heart to cut it. It's accompanied me all this way. But this was no time to be sentimental. I was in need of a skirt. Said skirt was begging for this lace and that was that. For the yoke, I used black duchesse satin, leftovers from another evening gown I made for a formal dinner years ago. It is still hanging in my wardrobe back home. I wonder if it still fits me.


    To give the skirt a little more body, I sewed a tulle petticoat comprising of 3 layers of soft netting. I wanted to break the monotony of the lace design so I stitched 2 rows of grossgrain ribbon of different widths on the lower portion of the skirt. The whole project took me 2 evenings and I was mighty pleased at how purdy my holiday outfit was coming along. Then came the final fitting. Everything looked okay but it still lacked a certain something. Epiphany came in the form of a belt. I need a belt! So it was back to the drafting table and sewing machine. Another evening and voila,

    belt is born.

    The finished garment:

    On the left is the outfit as is, on the right is the entire ensemble with the faux fur stole, satin Swarovski clutch purse, new Ferragamos from the mothership store in Florence and last but not least, my strand of pearls.

    Going by the photos, you could never tell that an hour and a half ago, I was doing battle with the rabbit stew and ratatouille, my contributions for the evening, nor could you tell it was 2oC outside when the photo was snapped in our backyard, could you? The things we bloggers do for a post entry.....

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    Fear Factor Food

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008

    Stir fried pig intestines - a little something I indulged in recently.

    Ah, it sends me but completely freaks the two men out as will the in-laws on the other side of the pond. *snigger*

    This is what K calls Fear Factor Food.

    Do you have a list of foods you will absolutely, on no circumstance touch? Here's mine, in no particular order:

  • animals that double up as pets,

  • poisonous animals,

  • brain of any animal (the fat content!),

  • penises of any sort,

  • hooves, feet, claws of any sort,

  • eyes
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