Saturday, May 27, 2006

From The Coffee Dregs...

Today I had my fortune told by an Iranian lady who read the coffee dregs in my cup. But first, I had to drink a cup of Turkish coffee to the dregs, then think of a question I would like answers to and finally turn over the cup onto a saucer. We waited for the dregs to relatively dry up, then she read the marks left on the saucer and the dregs in the cup.

She made an inital comment about what she saw, which was spot on regarding the question I was thinking about, then said she had to examine the cup. For a long time. Finally, she was ready to talk. I won't divulge what secrets she told me, but suffice to say, she was uncanny.

It was bad, it was good... it was what you make out of it. Isn't this life? Life is... what you make out of it, the choices you make, the attitudes you adopt. Ultimately- you have a choice. Make sure you choose well.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Live To Eat

Food has always been an integral part of my life. Even more so here. Cooking has become somewhat a necessity and a form of relaxation and therapy. Planning what to buy and what to cook is part of the fun. Since food is so important to me and you are what you eat, I have decided to deconstruct my weekly diet.

Bread: I love soy and linseed bread. It is the best and tastiest bread I've ever eaten. And it's healthy to boot. Oh, and slather on the chunky peanut butter please.

Meat: I am now almost exclusively eating chicken only. Not because I've sworn off red meat, I just haven't found the inspiration to cook beef. I have however, almost turned Muslim and given up pork due to the extremely "porky" smell which lingers even after you wash and completely cook the meat. I have since taken baby steps and been eating lean minced pork bought from a Chinese butcher. I have yet to muster the courage to cook pork fillets. That would take a big leap of faith.

Seafood: Prawns only. Have never cooked fish and not about to start. Fear of the "fishy" smell is a phobia.

Pasta: Lots and lots of it. With salami and semi-dried tomatoes in white sauce. Common bolognaise sauce. Even fried, Asian-style with honey mustard chicken and lots of kailan. And mostly rigatoni as it cooks evenly.

Curry: Too much really. Red Thai curry, Green Thai curry, local laksa. With chicken, with prawns. And all with coconut cream. No healthy substitutes allowed. Hence I've imposed a self-declared quota of one curry every fortnight.

Rice: Less often than pasta. Home-made Hainanese chicken rice has failed twice. Nasi lemak was declared a success. Fried rice clocked in one failure, and one average attempt.

Fruit: Mainly sweet plums. But as the season is near over, I have to learn to like a different fruit quickly.

Veggies: Any green and leafy Asian veggies, I can never differentiate between them anyway. Leafy greens are almost always blanched and then stir-fried quickly in light soy sauce and sesame oil. Also carrots, onions and peas which are thrown in soups and curries. And occasionally broccoli.

After dinner treats: Heathly - sweet potato and ginger soup which is extremely warming in this cold weather. Unhealthy - chocolates, either Violet Crumble or dark chocolate buttons. When the mood hits, I also have been baking my rock buns which have been rather highly acclaimed by the folks at work. Potato chip intake is seriously guarded, sometimes the Devil wins. The strangest flavour most recently devoured was Roast Lamb and Mint, it was quite good actually. Biscuits also are hard to resist, especially savoury ones like Parmesan cheese and roasted garlic.

To all those who live to eat, eat, drink and be merry...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More Crap

Last night I had a dream. Which was unusual. And I remembered it. Which was even more unusual.

I had found a sliding door in the wall of this apartment by accident. When I slid the door open, a cavernous, black-marble, hotel-style toilet greeted me. I was surprised and the first thought that came to mind was, "Gee, my gay landlord has his own posh toilet. The other one I'm using is for visitors." Then I found a door to the backyard, and the door was so battered, the locks probably weren't of much use, keeping intruders out, so I thought to myself that I had to call the useless agent to get him to change the locks, and in the process, probably get into another argument with him as to why that did not fall under the scope of his duties (like everything else after I had signed the lease). I walked on a little and came upon yet another door. But this one, upon opening the door, even in my dream, I could smell the vile and putrid stink of the toilet. It smelt choked with waste and was gross.

I woke up.

So what did it all mean? Toilets, posh, disgusting - that I didn't know of before, all hidden under the same roof.

Was it an indication of the various options open to me now or will be open to me in due course, especially after I am done with this course? Some posh options, some crappy ones, some common ones, mostly unknown now? Does it mean that it's the same shit everywhere you go, but different?

It was an interesting dream, vivid with olfactory effects as well. I think I had actually tried to flush the vile toilet before I left in disgust. Why did I do that? Did I feel it was my job to clean it up? Or was I up for a challenge? Or did I just want to dwell a little longer in the abject?

We will have to see what comes next. I'll have to buy more rolls of toilet paper when they are on sale.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Stop and Smell the Roses

Lesson learnt and confirmed: no more coffee at night. Had a cappucino at dinner, the second time since I've been here that I've had coffee at night. Results were the same in both cases, wide awake past midnight. My mind was filled with random thoughts, so I decided to get up and write an entry since this Blog has been neglected for a month.

These few weeks shall be a time for slow walks and just wandering around doing nothing. I have decided. My horoscope for May has reassured me that it is all right to take things slowly for a change, and don't force the tempo. Just what I needed to hear. With all the major assignments out of the way, and 3 weeks till the end of the semester, things have slowed down, and it felt ok to not have to do research, read art theory books, and write papers. It felt ok to ... just do nothing.

Today was a sunny day, I had decided to take a walk in the neighbourhood and wanted to end up at the Saturday market. But I had detoured into the uni library and ended up sitting there reading the latest issue of "Vogue" and "Vogue Living", perks of art college, where these were de rigueur reading material. Then borrowed 2 books on Vacation Homes/Beach Homes and one on Japanese Postcards for my leisurely weekend browsing.

So I shall be available to chat on IM (no more "Doing Research - Do Not Disturb" signs, at least for a while), have a latte in the afternoon at the quaint neighbour cafe where people sit lined up on the pavement, watching the world go by and explore other little areas, and try to find decent Hainanese chicken rice.

I'll be available to smell the roses, coffee, sesame oil...