Monthly Archives: December 2008

Syiok!

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I was looking up Wikipedia for the origin of chili sauce; no clue there.

I remember having chili sauce as accompaniment to the dishes that my mum cooks up, from stir-fried veg to kolo mee (sometimes, when the noodles really beh chiak). But too much of it is also boring la, especially during those younger days when you think that there’s only one type of tomato sauce and chili sauce and both is sweet.

I discovered Maggi had introduced the chili sauce with garlic version (don’t ask me when, can’t remember), and that piqued my interest mightily. It was different, in a good way, and I loved it with fried chicken, especially.

But nothing prepared me for what I was going to experience next, the Kampung Koh Sos Cili Bawang Putih. This thing is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY 3 thumbs up.

I was about to come to Slovakia for my expatriation, so prior to that, was busy stocking up groceries from Tesco Kajang; kiasi that the stuffs in Slovakia may not be good enough for our Asian tastebuds. So there I was happily stocking up the trolley, when I stumbled upon the sauce… well, no light or voice spoke to me; I just randomly took 2 bottles and promptly went to the cashier to pay up.

The groceries arrived about 2 weeks after we reached Slovakia; Li-Ann was so happy that her soy sauce finally arrived. So there she was preparing dinner with authentic Malaysian ingredients, and I was taking out the chili sauce to try….. One taste is enough to convince me that this thing is SUPER. PERIOD.

I don’t know what kind of chili, garlic, sugar, salt, pimped up (modified) starch, citric acid, MSG, edible glue and food conditioner that they use, but the final product is awesome. The right amount of heat, the fragrance is irresistable. I could swear they probably used some belacan but forgot to add it into the list of ingredients. In fact, I near finished half a bottle in one sitting.

HONEST.

TO GOODNESS.

SYIOK.

But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. RM2.20 only ma… some more now economic recession, maybe got discount some more… 🙂

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Twilight – My Review (no spoilers here)

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It happened suddenly. One kid from church was reading the book. My wife got curious. She bought that book. And in one week, we had all 4 books in the house; I finished all the books in 1 week. I’m talking about the Twilight phenomenon, that is sweeping across the globe bla bla bla… you get my drift.

For the uninitiated, a quick background on this series. A girl fell in love with a vampire. Typical. Wait, the vampire doesn’t drink human blood. Hmm… Oh, and he’s all noble and gentlemanly and, he’s the good guy. Interesting. And he’s a mind-reader (in the series, some of the vampires possess some sort of special gift), on top of the strength, speed, agility, super senses etc; well, he’s a vampire after all. Plus he’s with a family of vampires that keeps to the same diet as he does, ie, no human blood; vegetarians, they call themselves. The plot thickens

You won’t find the language in the book too challenging, which makes the book easy to read. I appreciate the storyline and how Stephenie Meyer (she’s the mastermind of it all) weave the story intricately and makes it all oh so addictive. She breaks away from the typical Hollywood presentation of vampires, and gives her interpretation of what vampires are. Eg, as mentioned above, these vampires are able to restrain themselves from hunting humans. I haven’t heard of that one before. Two, the reason why they stay out of the sunlight is not because they will be incenerated by it, BUT you’ve got to read the book to find out why.

A majority of the story is told from Bella’s point of view (the clumsy, main character, not heroine), her views and perception are dominant throughout. I said majority, because in the fifth fourth book, the author decided to to write from another character’s point of view (for some part). Nice breakaway, I say.

Suprisingly, for a storyline that revolves around vampires, you’d be surprise on how little BLOOD is involved. Guys reading this maybe slightly disappointed on how little actions are involved in it. I myself thoroughly enjoyed it though; I guess I enjoyed the author’s way of writing and point of view. Overall, I’d say that it was a good way to spend 50€ on all four books.

So much for the book.

I found out that there was a movie based on it, so after watching it, I couldn’t be more let down. The casting was good; whoever the actors/actresses were, they suited the character well; of course some better than the other. But the movie failed to capture the essence of the story, resulting in a blockbuster-wannabe attempt. It seemed to me that the producers are only interested in cashing in on the phenomenon, and not truly delivering it. It failed, for me, primarily because it lacked cohesion. The books revolved a lot on the main character’s inner thoughts, so while you can read them in the books, you can’t hear them in the movie. Her thoughts were heard in bits and pieces throughout the movie, which isn’t enough to tie the story together. Thus, resulting in a BIG FLOP, IMHO. Others seem to think so too. The best remedy, if you’re going to watch, is that grab the book and read it as the movie progress… what to do? And the movie don’t follow the book completely, so don’t be too taken aback.

 

Good casting, crap cohesion

Good casting, crap cohesion

 

 

Final word: Get the book, don’t get your hopes too high on the movie.

Deserted on Christmas

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it’s such a culture shock for us – to see everything closed and streets and highways totally deserted!! it was nearly like a ghost town! 

yesterday after the Christmas Eve service at church, Aylwin decided we should eat out – but thankfully the day before we stocked up on groceries coz, in the end after driving around, there was no place to go as EVERYTHING was closed. everyone was at home with their family having their ‘reunion’ dinner like us chinese during CNY’s eve. 

we really didn’t expect it to be like this coz we assumed that things would be more ‘happenin’ here since Christmas is such a big thing here. we thought there’d be street parties, fireworks and stuff like that, but… guess we were wrong. the celebrations in Malaysia is such a big contrast now to how Slovaks celebrate Christmas. it’s without a doubt a much much more quiet event here than back home and nothing like what we expected. it’s sort of a bit like an anti-climax for us… the talk and atmosphere were all built up for Christmas, and then when the time comes for the big bang – all of a sudden there’s … nothing; silence – no parties, no fireworks, no loud cheers/laughter in the streets, not even carol singers! 

confused a bit now; i honestly don’t know which i’d prefer – i was afraid that there might be loud fireworks at midnight that might rouse Arielle from her slumber; but what’s happening now was the furthest thing on my mind. i suppose in a way, it’s good not to have any distractions. that way we can really focus on the reason for Christmas in the first place – our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth, His life, His sacrifice on the Cross, His Gift of Eternal Life; and how these have impacted and changed the lives of those who have come to believe in Him.

Of Pizza and Coke

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Bratislava have this pizza outlet that I really liked; it’s called Pizza Mizza. Their 50cm pizza is out-of-this-world, and you can read all about that in my wife’s blog. Their pizza is so good, it makes Domino’s Pizza looks like some apprentice’s first time. But for all the good stuffs that they dish out, I went ahead and ordered the Siciliana without knowing what it contained (of course la, menu all in Slovak ma). So when it came, I was absolutely horrified, because it was a 33cm pizza, topped with cheese, tomato… and salted fish! This entry is just to remind myself not to order this pizza in the future, cos for me, it’s really beh chiak!

And speaking of coke, I really think that this drink has not hit Asia yet, so if you’re in Europe, you MUST give it a try, because it is THAT GOOD. ABSOLUTELY. UNBELIEVABLY. GOOD. It’s called Coca Cola Blak, and concoction has truly hit a spot in me. Somehow, this soft drink giant managed to come up with the perfect balance of coke and coffee; just the right amount of sweetness and the delicious aroma of coffee in it. The taste of coke is obvious, the aroma of the coffee just strong enough to tease and tempt you. So far, I’ve not seen it being mass produced into the 1.5l or the 2.0l bottles yet, so I think they are keeping it exclusive (it’s also quite pricey; 200ml for 2euro plus).

Seriously good stuff

Seriously good stuff

Simple yet Heart-Warming

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i didn’t know that receiving something simple like even a postcard from home would be so heart-warming; i only got to realize it now that i’m so far away from home … it shows that i’m either home-sick (and really suppressing it) or that i’m easy to please … hahaha!!!

i used to have a pen-pal from Ontario, Canada with whom i communicated via snail-mail for 4 to 5 years when i was 12 years old. i really enjoyed getting mails from him and we shared a lot of things through our letters over the years. there was always the anticipation while i waited for his reply and with snail-mail, i find there was so much more to say and share with each other than e-mail; mostly because of the bigger time gap in between the exchanges. i was disappointed that we didn’t continue writing; i blame it on the complexities of being adolescences. i still have all of his letters though, not that i have any special feelings for him – i’m just a sentimental person. 🙂 i like the envelopes with the stamps, post chops and the sticker that says ‘Par Avion’; they have come a loooonng way, through and by many hands just to get to me.

well anyway, we got our first snail-mail from home when a postcard came from Penang!! and it was from Khai Chung and Mee Siing, how lovely – it was really a nice surprise though it’s just a piece of card. then another surprise came when we got a chit from the postman to go collect a parcel from the post-office just down the road. i was thinking that it would probably be some formal documents for my visa application; just like the ones Aylwin had for his’. you can imagine my surprise when the lady behind the counter passed me a big parcel wrapped in brown paper with bold letters typed and addressed to me. i turned and saw the sender to be … Raymond Boo. hehehe… then i recalled our little conversation over skype about me asking for the nice bookmarks that they handmade for fund raising.

i rushed back home excitedly to show Aylwin and i nicely opened the packaging; no … actually i tore it into half with a lot of force because, i wasn’t sure if it was the sender or the post-office, the whole package was taped up really tight!! and then awwww … when i saw what was inside. THANK YOU SO MUCH MR BOO AND FAMILY! at least i didn’t feel so left-out when i saw the Christmas party pics in FB – coz we have already receive your present! 😀 and btw, the herbal chicken was really nice!! bak kut teh we still have a few more packets with us that we brought when we came.

the latest one we got was another mail from Khai Chung and Mee Siing. we got a personal invitation to see him act on stage live for The Dream … yes, thank you so much (can you hear the sarcasm??). but really thank you so much; the bookmarks are out of this world! they’re really nice and very unique! they would be of good use for the newly bought Stephenie Meyer’s collection. right now even your envelope is of use as a bookmark.

Arielle says thank you!! (see pin on head)

Arielle says thank you!! (see pin on head)