Archive for April, 2013

卑微

虽非明白坦荡

没能知每日音

是从

同在一个烈空下。。。

同在一个烈空下

*Updates*

宫二在”一代宗师”里说的一番话,让我感触了!有共鸣!

我心里有过你

我把这话告诉你也没什么

喜欢人不犯法

可我也只能到喜欢为止了

My life in NZ in a nutshell – Part 2b: Hello again, Auckland!

On the last night of me working at Funky Green Voyager, I was in denial mode again: refused to go to bed even though my eyelids weighed a thousand tones…. Because once I woke up, it’s time to leave!

I woke up earlier than normal on Dec 5th 2011 to pack and clean my campervan. So gonna miss the bittersweet feeling of having a campervan all by myself!

Goodbye, neighbors C and N!

Goodbye, neighbors C and N!

Goodbye, boss and ladyboss, G and A!

Goodbye, boss and ladyboss, G and A!

I just can't travel light! Total weight = 33kg!

I just can’t travel light!
Backpack + daypack + sleeping bag + shoe bag + food bag = 33kg!

Goodbye N and L! L lugged my backpack for me. I had tears welling up seeing this scene

Goodbye N and L! L lugged my backpack for me. I had tears welling up seeing this scene

I had mixed feelings leaving Rotorua: heavy to leave, it felt like home already after all; thrilled and looked forward to my time spent with Malaysian good friends again; anxious as I couldn’t really plan ahead that much while I was backpacking, too uncertain.

I had 2 days to spare in Auckland before flying to Queenstown and I managed to squeeze in something special for me: couchsurfing. As a beginner and first-time couchsurfer, it’s more difficult to get a host because people would be more likely to host you when you already have good references. I read the tips for “How to Write a Good Couchrequest” a few times before sending out a few. I was so glad that my first host, C&B found my couch request heart-warming!

Enjoying sunset at Viaduct Harbour with couchsurfing host, Ca and couchsurfer, Chris

Enjoying sunset at Viaduct Harbour with couchsurfing host, Ca and couchsurfer, Chris

IMG_7698

My host has a nice garden!

the couchsurfer and her host! :)

the couchsurfer and her host! 🙂

Chef Sam at work

Chef Sam at work 

My cooking for 5 people! I did not cook at all (instant noodles=not cooking!) back home. Guess what? Not only no food poisoning, my guests praised my cooking! I must be a natural :p

My cooking for 5 people! I did not cook at all (instant noodles=not cooking!) back home. Guess what? Not only no food poisoning took place, my guests praised my cooking! I must be a natural :p

This is Shiloh! She's partially why i sent couch request to Ca :)

This is Shiloh! ♥ She’s partially why I sent couch request to Ca 🙂

Couchsurfing, literally!

Couchsurfing, literally!

If couchsurfing is new for you, here is my two cents’ worth: depending on your state of mind while travelling, if you feel like experiencing cultural exchange, teaching, learning and sharing, you should really go for it. On the other hand, if you would like to have time on your own and do not feel like socializing, then couchsurfing might not be right for you.

It is a shame that Auckland was always like transit town for me while I was in NZ and I explored no farther than along Queen St.! I took some time to explore Queen St. in depth! :p

IMG_7637

Transformers spotted along Queen St.!

LY voted this as the "best ramen in Auckland"!

LY voted this as the “best ramen in Auckland“!

During my travelling around for the subsequent 1 month, I was surprised that I could remember so well about the names of some people who stayed at Funky Green before and had also interacted with me. Let me quote an example:-

* At a bar and café at Franz Josef*

Me: You are Jan, right?

Jan: How can you know? Did I meet you before?

Me: I think so. You stayed at Funky Green when you were in Rotorua, right?

Jan: Yes. But how and why can you remember me?

Me: You told me you like Dan Brown’s books and you were reading “The Lost Symbol” while you were in Rotorua.

The sight of a familiar face at Auckland Art Gallery: Marika! She stayed at Funky before. She's so surprised when I could recall her name effortlessly :)

The sight of a familiar face at Auckland Art Gallery: Marika! She stayed at Funky before. She’s so surprised when I could recall her name effortlessly 🙂

Next, South Island awaits!

Part 1: Rotorua| Part 2a: Goodbye Rotorua! | Part 3: Hello, South Island! (a) Queenstown (b) Te Anau (c) Milford Sound | Part 4: zucchini picking | Part 5: last bit of travelling (a) inmate days (b) (c) (d)| Concluding remarks

China! – Part 5 (a): The food @ Tianjin!

Thoughts while working on this post:

  1. I’m writing something which happened more than a year ago! Still behindhand with travel posts for NZ, Indonesia and Laos! The longer I procrastinate, the more details I forget!
  2. I do not visit supermarkets to buy produce anymore since I came back from NZ and OZ.
  3. Translating food names in Chinese to English is no easy task! My vocab for food (the nouns) is so limited!
  4. I miss Kev!

**********

Kev's survival tip in China #1: bring your own tissues

Kev’s survival tip in China #1: bring your own tissues

At Tianjin:

Tianjin 辽宁路小吃街

辽宁路小吃街

I like walking streets and night markets because I get to try all sorts of snacks!

狗不理!

狗不理!The dumplings come in many choices of fillings.

狗不理 (Goubuli), “the king of dumpling shops with a century-old history” according to Lonely Planet. Even though the restaurant was originated from Tianjin, branches are available throughout China.

IMG_3256

At Goubuli: Eggs of squids! I just asked my mom whether we normally extract the stomachs and eggs…. :p

Savoury douhua

Savoury douhua

油条

油条

I miss this 豆腐脑 a lot! It’s actually our 豆腐花 (douhua) back home, but it’s topped with savory sauce instead of sugar syrup. It’s especially nice to eat with the 油条 (fried bread sticks). It’s available in northern China.

dried sweet potato

At 塘沽 (Tanggu): dried sweet potato

tianjin little sheep

tianjin little sheep

tianjin little sheep

小肥羊 (Little Sheep) hotpot! I like the 麻酱! There are branches in Bolehland already.

南市食品街

南市食品街

南市食品街 (Tianjin Food Street)! I like!

锅巴菜

锅巴菜

锅巴菜,my own translation: green bean pancake strips with savory sauce.

Tianjin3

茶汤 (it should be millet paste in English but I could be wrong), starchy and sweet. Traditional paste in Beijing is prepared using hot water poured out from dragon-head kettle. This kettle is no longer in used, only a decoration for the stall.

IMG_3324

驴打滚

This is 驴打滚, glutinous roll with red bean paste. I find it hard to translate the names of certain food from Chinese to English without losing the gist of their original meaning, this is one of them. Translating literally, its name means “donkey rolling” to signify the roll being coated with a layer of flour or sesame. If you can understand Chinese, it’s not so hard to see the relevance, right? 😉

assorted snacks, all very sweet!

assorted snacks, all very sweet!

the sugarman

the sugarman

peacock candy

peacock candy

The sugar art! He made me a peacock! :p

麻花

麻花

麻花, another type of local snack.

My first time trying this kind of radish

My first time trying this kind of radish

Dinner!

Dinner!

IMG_3434

Primary school’s moral lessons always taught us that “street food is not good for health (not hygienic)” but it’s always delicious and cheap!

烤面筋,very nice!

烤面筋,very nice! In English, it should be grilled gluten… oops… not gluten-free…

凉拌肉皮冻

凉拌肉皮冻

凉拌肉皮冻, pork skin in aspic. Unlike revenge, which is a dish best served cold, I’m seriously not a fan of cold dishes involving meat. I like hot and steamy food!

凉拌金针菇

凉拌金针菇

凉拌金针菇, mushroom salad. Salad served cold=ok!

Part 1: Tianjin | Part 2: Beijing | Part 3: Shanghai | Part 4: Hangzhou | Part 5: The food! (b)

Ruco 陈展鹏,我爱你,我们永远支持你!

Translation: Ruco, I love you, we’ll support you forever!

Ok, the title is to expiate the fact that I was too embarrassed to shout this aloud when it could be heard by Ruco himself at Paradigm Mall on Apr 7th when he’s there to promote his new series!

This’s actually my first time becoming one of the 追星一族 (people who chase after celebrities) and I must say it’s not easy at all! The event was scheduled at 3pm. I reached the mall around 1.30pm and it was still quite empty around the barricade.

Still empty!

Still empty!

Marked my territory for the day!

Marked my territory for the day!

My support towards Ruco paled into insignificance if compared to theirs.  Resources needed= time, energy, funding (flowers, backdrops,  special costume, etc.!)

My support towards Ruco paled into insignificance if compared to theirs.
Resources needed= time, energy, funding (flowers, backdrops, special costume, etc.!)

Ruco's not here yet? I'm getting tired already...

Ruco’s not here yet? I’m getting tired already…

Pro and con standing behind the fan club:- Pro: get to share the limelight a bit :p Con: your views get blocked!

Pro and con standing behind people from the fan club:-
Pro: get to share the limelight a bit :p
Con: your views get blocked!

Finally!

Finally!

mall

I was at location (1) all the while. At around 4pm, I got bored seeing the interview session of local artists (Ruco went backstage), thirsty and my legs were sore with all the standing and tiptoeing. I gave in and told my colleague I had enough and felt like leaving the crowd and so we did. After buying some drinks, I squeezed my way through the throng at location (2) because Ruco started singing but I was no where near the barricade! I felt the twinge of remorse when Ruco came down from the stage and went around the barricade and shook hands with the crowd! I seriously rued my decision of leaving location (1)!

Ruco started singing.....

Ruco started singing…..

and the went around to shake hands! I thought this's the closest I could ever get to him!

and he went around to shake hands! I thought this’s the closest I could ever get to him!

At around 4.30pm, I was about to leave the mall, came a providential opportunity. When everyone’s attention was riveted on stage, I saw guards started to barricade the escalator going down near the backstage. The strategic planner in me decided that I should wait downstairs. I waited patiently just next to the edge of escalator when there’s almost no one downstairs.

My colleague and I descended the escalator ELEGANTLY and waited next to it patiently

My colleague and I descended the escalator ELEGANTLY and waited next to it patiently. Note the crowd upstairs.

 

Chronology of events leading to the MOMENT!

0:38                  =shook Vivien’s hand and managed to convey that she’s very pretty 🙂

Around 0:44 =shook Aimee’s hand

1:04                  =Ruco’s descending the escalator. I started to wave my hand madly (the hand with a black watch belongs to me! :D) and to scream his name aloud!

1:11                  = jeng jeng jeng! It’s the MOMENT that Ruco shook my hand! After that, colleague and I started to giggle non-stop. Too bad, I wasn’t captured in the video, else this precious memory will be immortalized!

My hand was all steady holding the camera at the beginning. When the excitement kicked in, ..... :p

My hand was all steady holding the camera at the beginning. When the excitement kicked in, ….. :p

I went home that day, feeling surreal! 

Postscript to my epic adventure:-

I texted Sue before leaving to Paradigm Mall that I hoped I could have her “Hi, Daniel!” experience. Of all my friends, I think she’s the only one who could comprehend my excitement.

Me: i can’t sleep last night, was on cloud nine

Sue: too high ma, i know hahaha

Me: when daniel hi u back, did u have the same experience?

Sue: of course la! I seriously almost fainted hahahaha

After she watched the legendary video, she left me a “heart-warming” note:

I’m such a good friend, spending half the time watching the beautiful and rhythmic movement of the escalator hahahahhaa

人生有多少个19年?!默默地喜欢他这么多年了,我以为我这次会豁出去了,会敢敢示爱!:p 想象和事实总会有些出入的! 到了现场,我发现,在追星物语里“我爱你不是爱给别人看!”的含蓄思维和作风是非常落伍和吃亏的!爱,就要勇于承认和表示!:p

Ailurophile

Learnt new vocab, might as well be using it right away! 🙂

SG sent this:

SG sent this: ailuros (cat) + phileein (to love) = ailurophile! Get it? 🙂

Playing with cats everywhere I go. This was with Dexter, in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2005

Playing with cats everywhere I go. This was with Dexter, in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2005

I grew up first with 2 cats, followed by 2 doggies, then 2 rabbits but I have fonder memory about cats. Meow here, meow there! Meow here, meow there and there!

More vocab!

We have to be more specific in describing the fur of cats! Do you know the difference between calico and tabby cats? 😉

Oh, curiosity kills the cat NOT! 😉

I want to let the cat out of the bag: I really do not like the saying of “there are many ways to skin a cat”! So brutal!

A stroll down memory lane

Close friends always know I am a cat lover. A friend hand-made this lovely card for me <3

Close friends always know I am a cat lover.
A friend hand-made this lovely card for me  

In secondary school, friends and I liked to make fun of the fact that ancient Egyptians used to shave their eyebrows to mourn for the death of their cats.

In the ICQ era, everyone adopted nickname instead of using our real given names. I chose “felis domestica” and this name stuck until now.

My original signature contained cat elements. I had been using it all along until a few years back when I decided that my signature should project a more professional image of me… (Boring!)

the "skeleton" of my then cat signature and it's related to my name!

the “skeleton” of my then cat signature (I signed it differently, of course) and it’s related to my name!

You all gotta know these!

Ingestion of lilies could be life-threatening to cats. It pained me to read what a friend wrote: “All my life growing up with cats, it’s surprising how this was not common knowledge. It took one precious soul to teach me what I know today.”

“Cats are known for their cleanliness, spending many hours licking their coats.” So, don’t stop me from patting them 🙂

Cats are lactose-intolerant! Not too much milk please.


I spot you, creativity!

Series #9 Light bulb reuse!

Reflection of the day

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Inside the glass bottle…

“I want to walk tall, believe in myself, have the courage to ask for what I want and need, and live a life that mattered. I want to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face and know that I am loved and that I belonged. I am desperate to feel worthy and I am hungry for the opportunity to live my fullest potential.” - modified from "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" - Debbie Ford

Under the apple tree…

"If you are not spending all of your waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, depression, despair, or consumed by other negative states; if you are able to enjoy simple things like listening to the sound of the rain or the wind; if you can see the beauty of clouds moving across the sky or be alone at times without feeling lonely or needing the mental stimulus of entertainment; if you find yourself treating a complete stranger with heartfelt kindness without wanting anything from him or her... it means that a space has opened up, no matter how briefly, in the otherwise incessant stream of thinking that is the human mind." - A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle

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Ich lese….

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The time keeper by Mitch Albom

The art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The first phone call from heaven by Mitch Albom

Inferno by Dan Brown

For one more day by Mitch Albom

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

A study in scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom

Have a little faith by Mitch Albom

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

A Fresh Start by John Chapman

Inspiring quotes!

If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? (God in "Evan Almighthy")
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Aggie: "But what about the people who hurt you? Don't you ever want to make them suffer?" Norman Babcock: "Well, yeah, but what good would that do? You think just because there's bad people that there's no good ones either? I thought the same thing for a while. But there's always someone out there for you. Somewhere." - Paranorman
"机遇总是偏爱有准备的人"
“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” by Walter Hagen
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, body totally worn out and screaming "WOOOHOOOO what a ride!" - by anonymous
When you travel, it’s not like you take a part of each place away with you; rather, it’s as if you leave a part of yourself there, like a part of you forever belongs to that place – the time, the people, and the things you saw; and over time, it gets burned deeper into your soul - by anonymous