the ‘etiquette’ of hosting

on Saturday evening, i took my dad out for an alfresco dinner at supply&demand, esplanade, while mum was at work. we ran into an American colleague out with her significant other, who were on the hunt for dessert. i invited them to join us, and the conversation was a lot of inter-cultural fun. (great they spoke mandarin, so my dad wasn’t left out of the conversation)

i paid for the meal, amidst much protests from my colleague. it wasn’t something to give in on – it is a matter of ‘face’ for my dad, to treat the guests. this hasn’t been easy to learn though.

i remember this time back in secondary school when my friends came over and we ordered pizza. my parents paid for the food and didn’t accept our offer to go dutch. when they left, i threw one of the biggest (pettiest, too) tantrums in my life. i couldn’t understand why my parents would do that – my friends lived in private housing, their parents earned far more than my parents did, and we always went dutch when we were at theirs. my parents didn’t bother engaging me. they said, simply, ‘their parents didn’t teach them to be gracious hosts. you do not have to be like them.’

this struggle to share has been made easier now that i have a stable, decent income. also, having been the recipient of much kindness and good hosting as well, i began to learn that it really is a joy and a privilege to be able to buy another a meal or two.


in prayer for mh

just two weeks ago, i worshipped at christ church melaka


where we were still praying for those affected by mh370. it is terrible to hear now of mh17, where the premise is ridiculous enough, and each subsequent news story more preposterous than the one before.

and as much as we live in what Stephen Pinker has termed the ‘Long Peace’, one questions whether world peace is actually within reach. i do dislike bringing religion in, but anyone who has read the prophecies of Daniel before will also know that, biblically speaking, there will be no peace, but increasing tribulation till the second coming of Christ. in light of this knowledge, how is a christian to act and behave, to make the world better, when the world is not likely to get better?

walking in hong kong

back in june, my trip overlapped with a colleague’s, and we took a walk together at lamma island.

we took a ferry to sok kwu wan and took the path towards yung shue wan.

here’s the view –


unfit people like me should take this route too, as it is a relaxing walk up a gentle slope looking like


if, however, you begin the walk from yung shue wan, be prepared to climb flight after flight of stairs. -shudder-

along the way, Jo brought me to this nondescript shack for beancurd!


it is cold and sweetened with ginger syrup (now, why didn’t we think of that?)

more deceptively rugged views…



pity the weather was simply unforgiving, and when we headed back to the mainland, i wasted the entire ‘workout’ on


oooh look how creamy and delish it is! im not a fan of chocolate, but i had to give in to this.

and so, here ends my little sojourn to hk. im not sure whether I’ll be back; just go anytime but summer, please.



homecoming 2014

it was spontaneous – i hadn’t planned on going, but my friend dropped me at a bus stop in the area


so drop by i did.

a concert was in full swing –


showcasing the band, the choirs, the dancers…even the o-level art students


those are reproductions of famous artwork re-presented on boards in the shape of the sc pinafore.

i went to the quiet area where my sec 1 classroom was –


it is lovelier than before. it used to be a grass patch where we sat it is beautifully landscaped.

i felt rather wistful wondering what it might be like if i maintained my friendship with the girls. too many of my ex-classmates now reside down under and i lost contact w them.. while i deliberately distanced myself from the ones i was the closest to, because i realised that our interests, values and ideals were simply too different.

i looked at the seniors who came back as a clique to visit, accompanied by their families, and, while i do not regret having replaced my friends, i am sad not to have friends who have known me and whom i have grown with from a young, naive age. to be friends from age seven and then being together until their children are of age to be schooled in the alma mater’s quite a wondrous notion.

nevertheless, being alone, i ended up volunteering my services as a shopkeeper –


mrs fern, who taught me how to cook and sew!

till next time, then, alma mater.


sunday cooking

woke up late for church, and spent the late morning revisiting my (lack of) culinary skills.


and here’s the result:


a salmon steak simmered in vermouth, nestled on a bed of sauteed onions and mushrooms.

review: the vermouth made the fish a little too sweet for me..perhaps next time I’ll marinate the fish in a vermouth mix instead of cooking it thus. i liked the onions and mushrooms very much though – less oily and salty than what you get outside.

i miss cooking. but perhaps i miss cooking with, for, someone even more.

queuing for chicken rice balls

have a little free time now that im stuck in a queue for famous melakan-hainanese chicken rice balls at 9 in the morning. final meal in melaka!


in melaka, all you do is eat…then stroll under the hot sun and wait to be hungry enough, before eating again.

my first meal here on saturday was nonya laksa along jonker street (jalan hang jebat). my instincts told me to eat assam laksa, because it is harder to find good assam laksa in singapore, but i didn’t feel like sour-ish food that night.

then there was dessert – durian chendol at 88 jonker, tip overheard from diners at the next table.


ummm im not impressed, why exactly is this stall so crowded? i daresay sg’s ice kachang, durian or no durian, is more addictive than this.

sunday – lunch at nancy’s kitchen (open from 1130-1700) for peranakan food. i reached at 1115, and was 7th in line in the queue.


that’s babi pongteh on the left, and ayam buah keluak on the right. the intense flavours necessitate rice – although i ended up wasting a fair amount of it as i simply couldn’t finish. i wanted kueh pie tee and nonya chapchye as well, but…oh well. i suppose peranakan dishes can be found in sg after all, and i don’t need to be a glutton here. but the food is awesome. and affordable. and homely. i think i need to learn how to prepare these dishes.

awesome dinner at the awesome baboon house! photography not allowed, but i plan to blog a little more about it.

my chicken rice has arrived!


heh heh. squishy, near melt-in-your-mouth mochi-like rice balls. i see taste what all the fuss is about.

off to enjoy my meal. another time!

an impromptu trip

greetings from melaka!!

booked last-minute return bus tickets and treated (treating, actually) myself to a comfortable getaway with a flash deal on agoda for a basic hotel. all of this done hours before departure – bus operator couldn’t find my booking which worried me a little, but she let me on anyway.

my friend was mildly envious, but i assured her that there is nothing to be envious about. i found out late that Monday is a holiday, and had a mild panic attack. since my ex left, I’ve become a bit of a workaholic, and sadly enough, dread the weekend because my thoughts wander to him (and his absence). if weekends are bad, i wouldn’t stand a chance during a long weekend.

most times, you simply need an impetus or a desire that is strong enough, to make you do something you wanna do. (this applies to relationships as well, i suppose – if he really wanted to talk to you, nothing would hold him back from the phone. sigh.)

will update when i can – most likely on my return to sg!