Wednesday, July 30, 2014

OH DAMN THESE WALLS

(music: Wings - Birdy)

Birdy and Lorde are so similar I just? If they collaborated and did a music video together, I'm sure it would be quite confusing to keep placing their faces. I prefer Birdy for her music though, I think she's a better songwriter.


I just wanna be by your side
if these wings could fly

I had quite a good day with my family for Raya, as you can only expect when you put family and food together. I won't be blogging about it just yet because there are many photos to go through and I'm knackered from a myriad of things, as I usually am.

So anyway, I was explaining to G the tradition of Hari Raya, at least the way it's practised here in Singapore, because as he had told me, France is rather anti-religious etc so he doesn't know much about it.


I figured it couldn't hurt to tell him about how we practise religion (at least the celebration part of it) since he seems quite open. He was brought up Catholic but he doesn't think he's a believer, though. His words, not mine.

I told him about packing the money packets and how it differed from Chinese New Year, and then I was introducing him to the food of Hari Raya, right. I took photos of my mum's cereal prawn and my grandma's sambal goreng (epitome of Malay/Raya dish) and was gushing about rendang.

I told him how proud I was that rendang was the #1 dish in the top 50 Most Delicious Foods in the world, according to 35,000 people polled by CNN International. I described to him that it's a dish with a coconut milk base for a creamy texture but doesn't really taste much of coconut.

He then said he hated coconut so he might not like it, which I can live with. Lyssa doesn't like rendang either, but Lyssa tends to live life wrong. ;P

Then he did it. I asked what he doesn't eat. And he said.... Asian food.


Although he replied, texted me again two hours afterwards, and then in another two more hours, about something else, I stopped talking to him for eight hours, never mind the fact that we have only about ten hours of overlapping waking/conscious moments. I didn't feel like entertaining him. I just felt so upset.

Here is why I was annoyed.

Firstly, as he'd conceded to me in a prior conversation, the main reason he doesn't like Asian food was because the Asian food he'd tasted back home/in France/anywhere besides Asia weren't good examples of real Asian food.

You cannot say you don't like Asian food, if you haven't tasted authentic Asian food. It's like if you use a Chinese knockoff of quality phones, and then saying you don't like Apple or Samsung, based on your experience with the counterfeits.

Or like watching a pirated illegal-recording-in-cinema version of a brilliant animation like say, How to Train Your Dragon, and then saying the animation wasn't done well, because it was grainy? I mean, I can't even find good examples for this shit.

Secondly, Asian food, tho. ASIAN FOOD. Asia is the largest and most populous continent. The cuisines vary from country to country, heck even between states of a single country.

There are people I know who love the tangy spiciness of Thai food (holy crap yes Thai food) and think Vietnamese pho is too clear and underwhelming (holy crap pho tho ((HAHA different pronunciations was your brain tricked)) I love the thick beef broth taste).

People who love the raw taste of sushi and sashimi (MMMM SO FRESH) and don't favour the richly-spiced gravies of India (no but butter chicken and naans and masalas and ALL THE BREADS SO PRESH).

Do you even understand how many different salads can be found in Myanmar? I've tasted their tea leaf salad and their rice salad, and their fish soup (mo hing ka), and it's so delicious you cannot even, I cannot even. Or Peking duck, holy crap how is it so melty! And dim sums?? (not that I've tried the real thing so cannot say)

It's so hecking diverse, okay. It just. Asia has so much to offer in terms of food, and I love practically all of it, and I don't mind if you say you don't like Indian/Malay/Indonesian/Chinese/Thai/Burmese/Japanese/Korean/Vietnamese food.

But you cannot put Asian food under one umbrella. YOU DO NOT. None of it tastes the same.

Thirdly, and this is most importantly, the only reason you haven't tasted good Asian food back in Europe/wherever you've been is because it's harder to emulate our delicious cuisines. We incorporate so much spice that it's so hard to balance the perfect combinations and get the precise tastes.

Our palates are so equipped to appreciate every flavour there is, that in contrast, anything from the Western world PALES in comparison. What even is your signature? Fish and chips? Bangers and mash? Pasta? I mean, srsly, who can't cook that? Even I could cook pasta! All there is to it is salt and pepper. And maybe vinegar. Pizza??? All you do is throw on ingredients!!!!!!!

This is why when Gordon Ramsay challenged our locals to a Hawker Heroes local food cook-off, we won. It takes much more skill to cook chicken rice that oozes the right essence of chicken, or chilli crab, or ninety-nine other Asian dishes, than it is to prepare a cut of steak.

I mean honestly I do enjoy "Western food", I love me my pasta and pizzas and sirloin steaks and duck pâté (most of these really have more to do with techniques --easier to learn by numbers-- than spices of any kind), but I am very grateful that I grew up here and am acquainted with "Asian food".

The thing is, I think Westerners (at least G is one of them) are so used to the blandness mildness of their cuisine that it's hard for them to venture to stronger tastes like those found in Asia. G isn't very adventurous, he's told me before that he doesn't eat much oysters/seafood 'cos he's scared of falling sick.

....Clearly, he isn't the bravest of people.

Also doesn't it sound really stupid when I classify European/Western cuisine as such?? They're also so varied!!!!! And I know it! And I like all of it, too! I love my greasy hamburgers! My French fries that are not even French! Rosti and waffles and all that jazz.

*

If you've just gone through the word-vomit (aren't you glad it isn't actual food-vomit HURHURHUR ;P), here is another one. About a week ago, I asked G what he thinks of feminism and feminists.

Just as an aside, before I ramble on another tangent, he said I could call him Will since his name is French for William, but I said I didn't wanna, because then he'd lose his Frenchness, and then he said "IKR???" so cute haha ok c'est tout. ;)


The above is what he said in response to my question. While it wasn't the most encouraging stance towards feminism, I was heartened by the fact that he had an opinion about it, that he seems to have learnt and thought about it.

On Sunday he told me he had caught part of the Tour de France, I'm not sure whether on TV or in real life. Yesterday I happened across an article that said that there was no women's counterpart to the race, until this year, and it shocked me. I'd never followed the event before this.






i) He used the "it is hard to change or do otherwise" argument.... Except that I told him I'd found out from that same article that there used to be a female category up to the 1980s, afterwhich they cut females out because there was more sponsorship for the males' races.


ii) He said "there is close to zero demand from female cyclists" which just. didn't. make. sense. because the entire article is about ladies pushing for a female race. So what demand is he talking about.

Oh and "DON'T READ TOO MUCH INTO IT".

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." - Alice Walker
I hate it when men say "don't read too much into it" like we are just making up problems when there is clear marginalisation and they just don't want to think about it, so they try to get us not to think about women's issues, either? Fucking pisses me off.

DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO THINK OR NOT THINK ABOUT.


"but if sponsors and Tv are not interested it is hard to organise"

So which is it? Is it the fact that the Tour de France has always left women out, making it "hard to change"? Or is it that there isn't "enough push for demand"?

Or is it the fact that despite all things pointing towards it being the Right Thing to Do, to reintroduce women with a female category, it just isn't feasible because men control this foundation, and men only want to see other men doing these feats, whilst women stand by the sidelines as the medal presenters on podiums?

The two things that salvage this are that he "guesses" that he is wrong and admits he knows nothing about cycling. Bravo! For two true things you've said! Instead of assuming shit about the way things are run.

This is why I don't think I'll get married. I need a feminist man to be my partner, to recognise that there are issues with how gender divides everything in society and that feminism is always needed. Someone who won't ask me not to THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT THINGS.


In retrospect, I do rant at him a lot. I've gone on about feminism and grammar and food and who knows what else. I think what I meant by I'll never get married... is that I need to find a man who will tolerate all my rants and rambling about all these. Maybe even encourage it. Maybe a sadomasochistic man LOL.


He has a Raving Rabbid and Totoro plush toys above his bed. His room is a classic bachelor pad though. There is food strewn all over, and game consoles not kept, and general mess. He also has a chess set which he claims he hasn't played in a while, but the pieces are in positions that clearly prove otherwise???

The thing I like is when he assures me of things "tomorrow" and when he sends me a text saying "kiss you while you sleep" at 9pm his time when he's home, and I'm asleep at 3am. It's nice to have a tomorrow and sleeping kisses to look forward to when you wake up.

Oh Paris. Feminist or not, I'm still female and I desperately believe in the notions of romance.

This has been a ranty post.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BABY IF I'VE GOT YOU

(music: Parachute - Ingrid Michaelson)

On Sunday, I went for dinner with the besties at Rouse. I seriously deserve a membership there or something.



The red snapper was yums.


The crabby patty wasn't as good as I remembered it.



Beef-wrapped asparagus (with mango chutney and poached egg) was quite nice.


We tried another of the new items, the stuffed chicken with pomodoro sauce. This one was quite tough and didn't leave the best impression.

Overall, I think I've tried all their dishes and I must say the quinoa quake and open-faced beef sandwich are the definite must-tries. MMMMM...





The desserts in the set meal were both pavlovas, and we didn't like them much. I've had better desserts there (like the apple crumble cake from two posts ago!).


We went to McD's for drinks and more chitchat afterwards. I was telling them I felt depressed about the Israel/Gaza situation.

That I didn't know whether it was okay to feel sad about my own life, then comparing it with theirs and realising how much better I've got it. Or to feel happy, but then I'd feel depressed that it's so unfair that people are indulging in petty little activities whereas other people have it so bad and are dying needlessly.

We started discussing the politics of the situation until Shahida and Hanisah got into a very intense row because of a certain something one of them said/the other thought had been said about them. Atiqah and I were quite shocked because the tension was really running high, with raised voices, snapping and almost-tears.

It was even more shocking that I wasn't even part of it, considering I was the one who had brought up the entire topic, and secondly because I'm usually one of the parties in such intense moments, given that I'm opinionated and confrontational.

While we were parting ways, Atiqah and I went to the side and left the other two alone while they sorted it out and hugged and teared a bit, etc. The strange thing is, after that happened, I felt sort of better.

Witnessing the heated row as a bystander made me realise we're one of those units who are i) able to talk about the heavier, more serious stuff instead of always the trivial and mundane and ii) we really care about each other, and that's why it matters to us what the other(s) think/s of our opinion and our stances.

It matters because these are the people who are important to us, and our impressions of one another matter.

Also, they turned my negatives into positives by the end of the night, and I love them for that. I love how they're so uplifting and I thank God for the three of them. ♥ :)

*

Two nights ago, I Am... Cafe had a break-fast session at Asian Market Cafe, Fairmont Hotel. I was from home, Lyssa was from school, so I brought a change of clothes and makeup to get her ready. I'm srsly the best elder sister ever. #dustsoffshoulders



She washed her face in the train station toilet. Sempat na!


Sarong and his "natural" pose. Somebody should tell him poses are not natural. -.-


Kyla, Abang Jam and soon-to-be baby! I cannot wait for the adorable mixed-blooded baby to pop out (anytime now)!

I also want a mixed-blooded baby!!! HAHAHAHA.


Farah and Diy. Throughout the night, Farah and I were remarking how similar Diy and Lyssa were, in that, as our younger sisters, they really depend on us for everything. Lyssa has slight social anxiety issues, so when I made her go out to the buffet by herself instead of waiting for me, she made up this entire scenario in her head.

Lyssa: "Kak! I'm going out into the battlefield now! Do you really want me to go through the bloodshed?! I can't do this, I'm not strong enough."

This baby, honestly, what would happen to her if I wasn't in Singapore????


We ate butter chicken and naan and pita and sushi and salmon sashimi (SALMON!!!!!) and chili crab and mantou and YUMS BUFFET! \o/ (unfortch as I always say, buffets are meant to be eaten, not photographed)


Sarong "posing naturally" as usual....


The management gave out prizes for best-dressed and colleague of the month. Rhel won best dressed guy and Faz won best dressed lady and Siti yelled "eh couple! husband and wife win!" HAHAHA Siti's comment wins.

Colleague of the month (by vote) was a tie between Dan and Luke. No prizes for guessing who I voted for. Luke knows, anyway. He and I are back to being bros after a week of awkwardness hahaha. YAY. \o/


This, ladies and gentlemen, is NOT how you take a photo???!?!!? One of the restaurant staff took the above but like, there's so much unnecessary/negative space all around!!!! None of us even understood why he went so far to take this. Aish, wae geurae?!?!?




Zahra was really adorable the entire night, her comments made the table/s laugh so much. How is Zahra so cute ah?!?! She's so crazy funny. Like she seems to say the first thing that pops up in her mind, and it's always hilarious! (with her cheeky eyes/expressions, tsktsk!)




Siti doing what she does best, menyelit kat depan je! ;P



Faz and Rhel, awwwww cho chweet. ;)


Man Poi and Lyssa. Man looks so good with his haircut, this boy looks more handsome now!


The Alis. I actually filmed them singing a Malay song and then doing a cover of John Legend's All of Me. I've been trying to upload the videos, like even right now again, but Youtube keeps failing me!!!! I promise I'm gonna try put it up here before Raya!!!! They were adorable!


People keep asking if Lyssa and I are twins. She's prettier than me, please. I know I'm pretty but I also know when people are prettier than I am, hehehe.


Ainul has the perfect modelicious body, she's so tall and skinny!!!


Siti Sarah (terbalik) ;)


Walid is leaving us for NS!!!! :( :( who's gonna make fun of me and ramekins now???



Awwwww Y SO SWEET.


Faz and I :) :) :)

I was very happy that night. It was two good nights in a row with people who make me really happy. The people at the cafe have been telling me I look really tired, though, which I really am. I like typing the articles for the travel website because the content really appeals to me, but I have barely any time to rest!!!!

Also, although I was very tired, chatting with someone always made me happy. I don't know how or why and what's even gonna happen with that, 'cos we came to an awkward standstill after discussing certain things. Que sera, sera.

I have more articles to type now to meet my deadline! I doubt I'll be getting much sleep for the rest of this week.

D'accord, c'est tout pour maintenant. Au revoir! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

GOT RID OF YOUR NUMBER
THAT I KNOW BY HEART

(music: Decorate - Yuna)

I'm all black and white inside
monotonous from left to right


This made me tear a little bit. As Lyssa asked though, "what doesn't make you cry, Kak?" I love children's choruses. This is so fucking adorable.

(But also: the girl who yawned so unabashedly. HAHAHA SO CUTE.)


*

Last week, I got tickets to The Sound of Music from Class 95.




We were so fortunate to be seated next to another Muslim lady in the theatre, she offered us dates to break our fast while we were watching the play. Such a sweet coincidence!

The show was brilliant, I never watched the movie before that so now I have the songs in my head, it's adorable. I'm glad it's Lyssa's favourite and I only decided to try get the tickets for her. She loved it, and I really enjoyed it too.

The set was amazing, better than Wicked's. The vocals were spectacular too.




We had dinner at Beanstro.

On Monday, I met Han for another production of sorts, Putri was doing it as her FYP at Republic Poly. After the one-woman production (the actress is such a versatile star!), Han and I spent three hours in Woodlands talking about everything.

We ranted about feminism (Han: "I think females would make great presidents and leaders because we know how it feels to be marginalised, disenfranchised and discriminated against, and we would enact laws that would be fairer"), discussed the depressing nature of the world ie. Gaza and politics, and we wondered about God, as we are inclined to do.

We also talked about why it's so hard for girls to accept being complimented for their looks. I told her what I've been thinking, that girls get so uncomfortable at being called pretty/beautiful, that it's so hard to accept that they're attractive, as compared to being called intelligent, because looks are prioritised over intelligence.

It's as if the be-all and end-all for women is to look good, and being complimented for it is larger-than-life and should be aspired to. I told her I'd rather be prized for my intelligence than my looks.

My opinion is that if you get complimented for your looks, the standard reaction should be "okay thanks" and then get over it, and throw it out the window, because "I was blessed with looks, so the fuck what?" It doesn't matter.

Being praised for our intelligence should be the benchmark of our worth, we should be more bashful and dubious when we're called "smart" than "pretty" because pretty means shite, pretty means you're nice to look at, wow.

*

Not sure what I'm doing with my life.















I'm depressed from all the bad things happening in the world. Then someone makes me happy and thinks I'm cute and funny when I'm rambling on and on. Then I realise that someone lives in Paris. Merde.

Also I feel like nobody deserves to be happy when there is so much suffering in the world. Why, though, why do such bad things happen? Don't those people have family and friends too, shouldn't they have concern for another fellow human being, who is someone else's family or friend?

Initially I wanted to not blog about this, but then I realised, what the fuck, there really is no point in keeping nothing a secret.