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Egg-Yolk Overdose

Knowing my near-obsessive love for salted duck egg, Mrs. Chan recently tasked Mr. Chan with procuring some moon-cakes with said artery clogging, IBS-inducing ingredient in it, whilst he was killing time on a business trip with food-shopping (being the true blue foodie he is, Mr. Chan enjoys hours spent on browsing and purchasing edibles LOL).

So upon his arrival back in Kuching, I got a single-yolk lotus paste moon-cake, a double-yolk, and something a friend of his gifted him with:

Gluttony kicked in and Mr. Chan and I each popped one of this into our own mouths before remembering to take pictures...

蛋黄酥饼!

Best translated as "egg yolk flaky pastry"... and six of them at that! Excitedly, I calculated that including the moon-cakes he'd gotten me, I had 1 + 2 + 6 = 9 egg yolks at my disposal to slowly savour. What a haul!

And then I decided to slice one into half for a better view of its contents, and was sorely disappointed to find only HALF an egg yolk in it...


So now it's 1 + 2 + (0.5 x 6) = 6 egg yolks only. Hrmmph. Anyway, I initially thought the pastry was filled with white bean paste but I might be mistaken after all, on inspecting the label:


Might just be the sweet "butter" filling we used to get in the butter buns we used to have in our childhood. Oh and lookie lookie, it's from Sarikei!

Ah well, won't say it was all that awesome-tasting, but guess it was a little bite of nostalgia. I remember having this years and years ago, back when it had more yolk in the middle haha.

As a result of that egg-yolk binge, however, I've been pretty much confined to warming my porcelain throne for the past couple of days.

Way to go, Irene!

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Inevitable

Woke up in tears this morning.

Can't say it was unexpected, despite thinking life was just going all fine and dandy. Can't say I understand it fully, but am too weary for analysis. Have been so tired for so many weeks.

Nothing I can't cry about, and then close another door on. It's been that way for awhile, this growing indifference in me.

Keep those cards. You won't need them anymore. Sometimes you get more than what you wish for.

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Tangle

Did I tell you that I <3 you, today?

Well I do. Despite all the paranoia that has been the hallmark of the entire duration of our acquaintance.

*sayang*

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Missed

I live a semi-charmed life, I think, and I seem to almost always get what I want. Lucky me, right? Only the luck I seem to enjoy is never the sort that gives me what I desire at the right time or place.

You see, I almost always get what I want, when I no longer really want it, and that invariably complicates my life right after I've just figured things out and simplified things. And my life inevitably derails for awhile while I grapple with dealing with having a wish, a desire, granted a little too late, in a time and place where there is no space for idle wants from a different time.

So I'm back to square one, because I eventually discard the things I've yearned for so long and finally have fallen into my hands, because I've already moved on to other things, other needs, other wants.

It hurts a little, just a tad, really, to throw away those things once considered dear to me. But life's about losing out anyway. And forever pursuing.

Doesn't feel much more than a spot of bother, much like Elizabeth Bishop's little poem on how easy the art of losing is to master.

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.


Just a few short months later, and I still miss your laughter. I wonder if you'd be as amused as I am at the current turn of events in my life, and if you still stalk my facebook page. You'd see, and laugh at the irony of how things have come that full circle, but I know you'd understand why. You did the same, yourself, and I've never blamed you.

As befits someone living in a palace of wanton desires and wishes granted, there are so many mirrors around me all the better to reflect the follies of my indulgences.

And all I ever do is laugh insolently, hysterically, at the mad, mad world I've lost myself in.

No regrets, babe, never.

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Sea-Salt

In case anyone wondered about the long gaps between postings... Well, I've just come back from my third island/diving holiday this year, this time in conjunction with Project Aware/International Clean-up Day, meaning we got fairly cheap accommodation/diving rates, in return for helping clean up the beaches.

Might blog about it later, if I'm up for it. Didn't bring my camera so I'll have to steal them off facebook =P

Meanwhile, here's one of the pictures I took with my blackberry which I did post up to my twitter. That piece-of-shit phone fried (again) upon my arrival in Kuching earlier this evening, so any other pictures I did take and didn't post up, I can't retrieve without a micro-SD card adapter, meh.


Redang's a beautiful island, if a tad commercialized already. Still not half bad for snorkelling, and heaps more feet-friendly than Sipadan (lovely for diving but the beaches are too littered with both live and dead coral to walk on painlessly). Coral bleaching was pretty bad, and according to Horng, three months ago it wasn't like this, rather sad sight to see, really.

I had fun though, among good company. Many thanks to KY and Haze for helping slot me in, and Terence for his antics, both sober and inebriated (although the drunken idiocy was definitely wayyyyy more entertaining hehe). Also, a modicum of gratitude towards Mr. Chauffeur for driving me those long hours up to Merang Jetty, despite the horrible incident with the hair-bleach (which really wasn't my fault at all) and the bickering.

It's been an ecstatically pleasurable pursuit of happiness, on the sandy beaches, and more than ten metres under the sea. =)

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Sand

The ten-day period for the air (and our minds) to clear is up, I think.

I've been busy, very busy, with family and work and school and socializing. No time for bullshit whisperings of the heart, because the firm conviction that's been planted into the head has been taking root for awhile already, no matter how contradictory my actions may seem.

I think you probably understand what I probably will choose to do, in the future, be it just days from now, or weeks, or months.

The past two years have been an exercise in turning my back and walking away, shrugging apathetically. So many hapless crash-test dummies crushed in the quest for a firmer refusal to compromise myself.

Doesn't make sense for me to plunge back into the muck of messy emotions and the confusion of the past. Doesn't make sense to strive for something that would require more than even an inhuman effort.

Paranoia isn't the only issue at hand. It's a profound weariness. It's the reluctance to be trapped in something I feel, at best, rather ambiguous about.

I rather you be a vague longing in my heart than a despairing certainty of my soul.

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Smoking is Hazardous

To your health, that much everyone knows. But how is it a detriment to your vanity as well?

To illustrate that statement, we'll use a good case in point, namely moi. Here's a picture of me - notice anything amiss?


No? Can't spot anything? Well, look closer...


Check out the tufty bit of hair - that's what one gets for attempting to light a cigarette at a rather temperamental stove whilst quite inebriated. Said stove emits sudden bursts of flames. Malfunctioning brain didn't remind one that one could just achieve a lighted cigarette merely by sticking its end over the flame to burn, and then sucking on unburnt filter end until it lighted properly.

That bit of hair was burnt right down to the roots exactly two months ago to this day. Didn't worry too much about it initially because it wasn't too noticeable, being completely obliterated and all then. But now it's grown back out a little, it's just bloody annoying because it kinda sticks up and away from my crown in a spiky, dead-grass sort of manner.

Very appealing a fashion statement.

Translation for those who don't read Malay: WARNING: MAY CAUSE THE LOSS OF HAIR IN FRONT.

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Evening at Sanga's

Mr. Chan came back from yet another business trip on Friday, and we've been having family dinners together since it's so rare these days to have more than three members of the family together in one city. For some reason, we've been having Japanese dinners on two consecutive evenings... All because I wanted to go Minoru on Friday and the dadster was adamant we tried Sanga today.

Since the skinny blogged about Friday's dinner, she's making me post tonight's so she won't have to spend hours editing photos herself. Also, I reckon she was so pissed off at the service she didn't think it warranted writing about.

We initially went there lured by the promised of cheap, decent Japanese fare. How unsuspecting we were.

Check out the girl in red behind me - looks like the skinny from here but she isn't

The ambience in Sanga's pretty nice, unlike Minoru which is rather run-down and features decor from two decades ago. There's even a cozy little corner here which I really liked:


That said, however, service was painfully slow. Staff were forgetful and inefficient. Took ten minutes for them to hand us the menu, another ten to take our orders... and forty-five minutes later the food still wasn't on our table. I got bored. Bored Irene = annoying Irene:


The skinny was captivated by the pretty cups they served us our green tea in:


After what seemed like an eternity (Mr. and Mrs. Chan were practically falling asleep in front of us), this finally arrived...


... chuka idako (marinated baby octopus) that fell short of expectations. Marinate was kinda watery and bland.

After another wait, my mixed sashimi platter came:


RM32 for a platter with (clockwise from top) maguro (tuna), tako (octopus), shiro maguro (white tuna), and sake (salmon) is a pretty reasonable price, especially for Kuching. Was pretty decent I guess, but salmon wasn't as fresh as I'd like it.

Mr. Chan had a set meal again, this time with sake sashimi and unagi (eel):


I don't really like unagi, but this one was pretty good! Nicely marinated and grilled just right. For the first time tonight I was impressed, despite the painfully long lapses between our dishes showing up.

After YET another long break (whilst we all took turns picking at the unagi), the sushi was served:

Clockwise from top: inari maki (beancurd skin), tobiko sushi (flying fish roe), ama-ebi sushi (sweet shrimp)

The skinny loves inari. Every single time we enjoy Japanese cuisine together, inari makes an appearance. This isn't your typical inarizushi which are beancurd skin pockets with rice in them, but rather maki-styled sushi with inari as a wrap instead of nori:


I guess the sushi was alright. Nothing impressive, but at least the ama-ebi was fresh enough. The rice bit wasn't done well enough though - kinda fell apart when I was trying to dip it into soy sauce. The skinny loved her inari maki, despite my complain with the sushi I'd order.The accompanying ginger pickle (I love ginger pickle!) wasn't nice at all, but I was pleased to note that the tobiko was fresh and crunchy. And everyone knows how much of a fan of tobiko I am hehehe... =D

Poor Mrs. Chan was about to pass out from both hunger and fatigue when her dinner finally decided to appear. Like Mr. Chan, she'd opted for a set meal too:


I must say I thought this was utter crap. As you can see here it's breaded deep-fried seafood (prawns, squid and salmon). The coating was hard and the seafood was bland and not at all memorable.

From this point onwards, it all went completely downhill. We waited a good twenty minutes, and nothing came. The waitress, when called, came over with our bill and told us we could pay. We had to inform her that we were short two dishes still, to which she gave us a vague, confused reply before disappearing. Another few minutes crawled by, and we were about to tell them to cancel our orders when the waitress suddenly served us this:


Not very pretty, is it? But it was possibly the tastiest thing we'd tried the whole night. This is hotate mentai by the way, scallops grilled with a topping of mentaiko (preserved pollock roe) mixed in with mayonnaise. Pretty reasonable at RM12.90, but the presentation was shite. Why couldn't they use intact scallop shells instead of jagged, broken ones?

And this is the straw that broke the camel's back:


A bloody simple dish of tempura yasai (mixed vegetables tempura). This took another fifteen minutes in arriving. We were about to just pay and march out of the restaurant. We checked with the waitress (who had once again forgotten that we'd still have a dish yet to come, and was trying to get us to pay again), just in case, and she had to run off for a long while to find out.

We were eventually told "Dah siap." Asking why it wasn't served yet, since it was already ready, and if we could just cancel it and pay up and leave, we were replied with a "Kau nak tapau?" Pissed off, Mr. Chan announced at this point that this would be the final time he set foot in this establishment.

When it did arrive, it was hands-down the most disgusting vegetable tempura any of us has ever had the misfortune of tasting. It consisted of brinjal, okra, green pepper and carrot, and with the exception of the last vegetable the rest were slimy and tasted pretty unappetizing, and the tempura wasn't light or fluffy in the least.

The damage for all that food and terrible service? RM133. Really reasonable considering the amount of food, but not worth the long wait or the sub-par quality of some of the dishes.

We arrived at 8pm and only left at 10.30pm, feeling rather cheated of a good dining experience. =(

No wonder the skinny didn't want to relive the experience of this dinner via blogging about it.

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Reboot

I expect you guys kinda expected this one...

Now while I figure out how to export the posts from that miserable interlude. Maybe I'll just not bother and leave it as a link in this post, haha.

Now, moving on to with the programme... Here's a quick update:

Life's been awesome, somewhat. I've been feeling fairly contented lately, and that's a good place to be, all this simple cheerfulness in most of the things I do.

Came back from a week elsewhere to clear my mind, and was initially depressed from having to come back to this perceived hell-hole, but then figured this is home, if just for now, and a place where I know I'm mostly happy and safe (not from midgety crazies, but that's another matter), so why dwell on the negatives?

The skinny has come back, for maybe ten days, for a short R&R.


It's been a nice change to have someone to talk to, aside from the dog, who's been giving me distinctly dirty looks lately, after my last trip out of town, and showing slightly more preferential treatment towards Mrs. Chan, LOL. So far I've been catching up on the sisterly bonding, which involves a lot of eating, lots of gabbing, and more shopping sprees than is healthy for my poor, bleeding purse.

Now there's that trip to the hair-stylist and appointments for a facial... Somehow doing girly stuff with the sister feels a little different from doing girly stuff with the girls. =D

Aside from that, life's been fairly quiet, with nothing very interesting happening (unless you count getting prematurely wasted on too many drinks once last weekend and getting rather chummy with the drain outside my house after a notable event).

I'm sort of happy, happier than I've been in weeks and weeks and weeks, and I hope to keep it this way, fragile as this blissful state of mind may be.

So sorry if this uneventful update bores, but next up will be a longer one on airport calisthenics, I promise you =)

For those of you who've been complaining about the lack of images here *cough* Robin *cough*, I'll end this post with a picture of my nails, after yesterday's nail-colour shopping-spree:


I love my nails like this - messy colour-out-of-lines, multi-coloured, with no perceivable colour scheme in mind. They make me feel all of five years old again... which is a very, VERY happifying thing for a person suffering major Peter Pan syndrome hahaha - I actually went for my first class today with my nails looking like this... and my left hand sports another five different Day-Glo shades =P

Terence calls them toxic-candy-coloured hehehehe...