Pre-CNY

31 Jan 2019 – ByeBye To January & To The Dog

January will return again in 2020, but as for the Dog (Dog year ends 4Feb), will have to wait until 2030.

Mon: NDC to get stitches out after the extractions. Perfect timing for the annual trip into Chinatown to soak up the pre-CNY ambiance and see the lights.

Enjoying the Durian-Shaved-Ice@MeiHongYeun and watching life go by. OldChangKee, one of my favourtie curry-puff places has a branch located beside the HeritageMuseum. Like this shop with the various colours, sizes, shapes lanterns+all the other lights. A quick restroom call into ChinatownPoint.

Passed by LimCheeGuan – usually there is a line here that snakes around the corner with ppl bringing their portable chairs to wait in this line – the early bird catches the pig here!

https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/dining/our-gastro-legacy-bak-kwa-specialist-lim-chee-guan-singapore-11176442

And so it will soon be time to let the Dog out (pix from 2018) and welcome the Pig!!

Tue: pix downloaded. movie Green Book – based on a true story on a bouncer about an Italian-American who is hired to drive a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from NYC to the Deep South. The Green Book (1st published 1936. last 1964) was a road-tripper guide-book for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, etc, they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on this tour. Brilliant acting and heartfelt ode to the bond between 2real-life men who remained friends until they died. Could not get enough of the piano playing, so inspired that I had to dig up my notes for Chopin’s etudes!

Grocery day@Giant/Parkway. Henry is here to promote China&Taiwan Mandarin Oranges for the CNY – both sweet and good deals today.

Wed: being in SIN now and not ever having seen Aloysius Pang’s acting, had to see Young&Fabulous (2016) on the big screen in memory of him@Cathay/Parkway. Part of the proceeds will be going to his family. Nice to bump into Aileen as I was leaving – pix credits of me to her.

https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2019/01/28/late-actor-and-serviceman-aloysius-pang/

Thu: CNY-deco@Waterloo St where Kwan-Im Temple is located and it is considered the good luck temple, so who does want good luck! For me the trees also make a difference!! After seeing the decos in Chinatown, Waterloo St and neighbourhood/Parkway, time to put up the auspicious stuff in my own 4-walls so that it will not look like a pigsty 🙂 And if you believe these predictions, will need all the luck I can get as the Pig Year is does not seemed to be kind to those born in the year of the Ox. Anyway will still enjoy sucking pig even in the year of the Pig – hahaha.

All the inane, meaningless noises people make that pass for intelligent conversation. They might as well be pigs grunting in the pen ― Norma Fox

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Edited: condolences to Jan&family for the passing of her father Alonzo, may he RIP. Prayers and thoughts are with her. Will always remember him with fond memories and glad that I was given the privilege to make them a meal (shrimp cocktail and bourbon-salmon), even if that was the last time I saw them in 2015.

https://amylamsg.com/2015/07/09/florida-revisited/

Norway & Canada

27 Jan 2018 – The Size Of A Moose Statue

Wed: tkx to Dika for sharing NYTimes – Norway and Canada Go Head to Head Over the World’s Tallest Moose Statues. Some funny comments from my FB

Linn: Love that the Norwegian moose is named Storelgen, literally translated Big Moose

Ole: Very difficult to be Norwegian in Canada these days. May have to seek refuge at the embassy.

DikaNow the Norwegian tourism board has shown a video suggesting Moose Jaw paint its moose pink so it can have the tallest pink moose in the world. That is some expert trolling! Because…Norway. Trolls!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/46959819 – the city’s tourism department says Mac is one of the most photographed roadside attractions in Canada and the mayor of Moose Jaw has even suggested putting skates on the statue! 

Moose pix downloaded. Have not heard of these moose until now, so learnt something new tkx to Dika. Personally and as objectively as possible, preference to Storelgen in the free to MooseJaw fenced up which make it impossible to buckhead with Storelgen – hahaha!

There are talks about enlarging MooseJaw’s antlers and they wonder if Storelgen’s shiny complexion was due to a diet of herring and the respond – brown bread, not herring. Fun to see a lighthearted humorous feud, unlike what is really happening now Canada&China!

JimamiTofu, Singaporean-Japanese drama – Chinese SIN chef in Okinawa learning traditional Okinawan food after a breakup with Japanese food critic.  Through it he learns the balance of two cultures: Chinese and Japanese – a balance they never had in their relationship. Had to watch this in big-screen, after senior-discount hours S$9.50 and S$5 to taste this tofu with peanut flavour garnish with wolfberry – all worth it.

https://www.timeout.com/singapore/news/singaporean-film-about-love-and-food-jimami-tofu-makes-its-local-premiere-on-march-28-030918

Highly recommend to go watch and this movie and taste the tofu (peanut flavour) before it is taken off the big screen. Winner of the Audience Choice Award at its World Premiere at the 37th Hawaii International Film Festival with SIN BananaMana Films in collaboration with the Singapore Film Society. Congratulations to our local actors&producers Christian&Jason.

Aloyscius Pang, SIN actor passed away from injuries in an accident while training as a reservist in NZ. Condolences to his family&friends. Have not heard of him or seen any of his acting or movies until now – so very sad when a young life(28) ended so sudden&unexpectedly. Pix downloaded.

Thu: tkx to DaisyC for nice lunch co&for these fresh Yellow-flower fish. Prepared it 2ways – personal preference is steaming with herbs and a few dashes of Kirsten’s home-made Mushroom-Soyasauce. Good too for frying, especially when it is fresh enough to curl in the pan.

Fri: TGIF – somehow must have been tired to be dozing off all day! Tkx for Bday gifts from L&M – wardrobe now smells nice and besides the living room, the kitchen has a host of angels on the fridge. Mailing by AIR from US took 16days and from Norway 11days – maybe the angels with their wings helped! Still trying to figure out as to when roughly to snail-mail things. Only greeting cards from SIN and only during Christmas&CNY cost 70cents for international postage.

Sat: Happy Australia Day to family&friends DownUnder and to all celebrating. Pix credits to Kim Austin. Trying to find out what is the name of the tree? To nephew Vincent&family who have recently emigrated there, enjoy the long weekend and their 1st-AussiDay. Now that the Christmas deco are put away into storage, its time for the CNY deco to be taken out of storage, a week before the 1st day, 5Feb.

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Sun: off to 4th sis-in-law today to learn how to make her Almond dessert-drink/杏仁糊, (literally translated to almond-paste) the best to my taste. This is time consuming (3-4hrs) and patience is the secret. The almonds used here are not your usual almonds, but ApricotKernels which are soaked in water overnight+a handful of rice. Blended, sieved a few times and finally thru’ cheese-cloth. Constant stirring the blended mixture while slow cooking to a boil before adding rock sugar.

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Appreciations to Daisy for homemade PrawnMee dinner, the starting of the 1st CNY-Reunion-Dinner with Vincent back from Perth for a few days.

If words had flavors, hers would be bitter almonds and coffee grounds. – Jodi Picoult

The Intouchables

22 Jan 2019 – The Upside

Sat: still some bleeding from yesterday’s extractions! Taking it easy to do paper work and filling out financial aid forms.

Sun: welcome back to SIN Ann and tkx for Michelin-Starred Ramen@Konjiki Hototogisu 金色不如帰 Great World City with Ivy. Had their signature dish with the clear-soup-based Oyster-Shio-Ramen, tasty and hit the spot for me who has just lost 2teeth! The only problem was that I kept mistaking the end of my stitches in my mouth for noodles 🙂 

https://www.sgfoodonfoot.com/2019/01/konjiki-hototogisu-ramen-great-world.html

Was there 11.45hrs (opens 12n) to stand in line as reservations are non-existence here. 5ppl were ahead and was seated before 12n. Ivy&Ann arr by 12n. Took a longer time in line to pay as their system was down, ouch – how dependent we are online nowadays! An afternoon visiting with bro Steven and sis-in-law, one in a home and the other at home! Plz shoot me before I get to that stage!!

Mon: phone rang as I was just about to take the bus for a scheduled appointed with the financial aid ppl. The call was to clarify that being a public patient, am entitled to aid, thus they will re-adjust my payment – yeah, no need to make a trip to NDC. More movies and prices have gone up to S$5 for seniors, and bus-fares too, up a couple of cents.

A remake of the 2011French movie The Intouchables, The Upside is about the unlikely friendship between a wealthy man with quadriplegia and the unemployed man with criminal record he`s hired to help him.

Seen The Intouchables a couple of time, a positive and feel good movie, but once is enough for Upside. Do enjoy the opera arias in both movies.

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Tue: Happy Happy 17thBday to #1. Someone plx tell me that she cannot be 17?????

With all the hype of the Super-Blood-Wolf-Moon, took an extra early walk to EC-Pk this morning. No howling wolves or red colour, but still beautiful and the most serene time to be out.

Trees in the moonlight are just as beautiful.

Do not usually stop by MarineCove on my morning walks, but did so today to discover that the McD here no longer has 24hrs-service. Instead My BriyaniHouse next door is 24hrs, good to know and a Teh HaliaTarik (ginger milk tea) S$3 – would not make this a habit, but glad that there is a 24hrs eatery just within 5mins walk if needed.

Appreciations to Carmel for yummy lunch in good company of Kathleen&Ivy in Carmel&Soon’s lovely home. Safe journeys to them all. Group pix credits to Cian.

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Found a pix from 2014 blog-posting of their home then and tkx to Carmel for the now pix where the garden is lusciously green and beautiful. She did mentioned that KokSoon, her husband, my cardiologist like gardening! It sure looks like the SecretGarden I always wanted! Not only is he a good cardiologist, but he also has a green-thumb.

The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly – William Wordsworth

Coffee Roasting And Tasting

17 Jan 2019 – Life Happens, Coffee Helps!

Wed: a quick bowl of KoloMee on the way to the airport. AirAsia to SIN arr into the KCH gate 0930 and was deplaned by 0940, boarded 0945 and on the tarmac by 1000. Farewell for now KCH. Do not usually get a window-seat, but was assigned one by the computer this time round. Scheduled take-off time was 0950 and still managed to arr in SIN on schedule, 1125hrs, quite impressive!

It is just me? Or does anyone else have that nice feeling every time when landing in SIN, even just after 1+hr flight?? Maybe it is that you know things will run smoothly from the time you land, you are in a clean,cool&safe environment, efficient immigration, luggage usually already on the belt, getting to your public transport without any harassment – all that means a lot to any traveler, especially a jetlag-tired one!

The new Jewel in the background due to be completed sometime this year and a fleet of SIN-Airlines which I can never afford to fly with! Safe&sound back in SIN after a fantastic week in KCH. Too tired to do anything and time to just meditate&reflect for the rest of the day.

Thu: appreciations to NaotoOrui, the founder of The Musical-Box Museum for another educational&interesting presentation&sharing of Coffee Roasting&Tasting. 

Learnt about these 3coffee beans – Arabiac has smaller leaf and what a Peaberry bean is. 10-20yrs??? after planting before one can harvest the beans. Surprising Vietnam is the world’s biggest coffee producer.

Roasting, grinding (an aroma I can never get enough of), dripping (app 10grams of beans/before grinding, to 200ml boiling water) and tasting. Raw beans can be stored up to 1-2yrs; after roasting but before grinding 2wks-1mth in the fridge. Preferably grinding just before you drip the water on the grinds to savour total freshness. Personal favourite today is the Mt Killimanjaro Arabica roasted lightly.

Such a treat again with Mr Ouri’s cooking – soup of local pumpkin (+skin), tomatoes, chicken+broth (slow-cooked for 4days). He certainly is an excellent cook and has a refined palate. Surprise-treat today was a taste of this new Gateau Chocolat introduced by the owner and his cute toddler. Sinfully rich smooth&sweet, complimenting this cup of self-roasted coffee with every morsel.

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/article?a=20190116-00059284-gendaibiz-bus_all&fbclid=IwAR1kSB9ZJsDViJxi–tQfmk-_dSIhBIdQ_AbFTDBstQchFtN_PKkf2GxDT8

To top it all, this session ended by admiring the new exhibits in the museum – a music-conception (still under restoration) from the RafflesHotel (now under renovation), a musical cigarette-holder and a scarf by Hermès – 1st  here was 3yrs ago. Got a text from Yoshie later to apologize that she forgot to celebrate my Bday. Told her that this was the most perfect celebration and tkx to her for the invite.

https://amylamsg.com/2015/08/21/musical-box-museum/

flat,550x550,075,f.u3Coffeeology – espresso yourself, so many blends, so little time. Take life one sip at a time and stay grounded. Better latte than never, take time to smell the grinds…

Fri: TGIF, have been dreading this day – a tooth has to be extracted, but enjoying the early morning rains. Ended up with 2teeth extracted – double ouch 😦 😦 after 2hrs wait, costing S$300+ Need to check if there is any financial aid out there.

10411-13980-morethanAn afternoon@Parkway watching More Than Blue – a Taiwanese tearjerker (no tears from this movie-buff) where love is portrayed here as when the happiness of your loved one is of top priority! If only ppl can do that in their relationships, but the reality is what IS!! Since being a member on Netflix (tkx to Seb), have not been to a big screen for a few weeks but will catch some of the latest&Asian flicks (not available on Netflix) on the big screen.

Edited: today 18Jan 2019, 2nd-born decided to be legally married after 10yrs of cohabiting and a 7yr old son. Wishing them the best very.

KCH Rotary Clubs

15 Jan 2019 – Happy Bday To Me

Mon: coffee shop for KCH Laksa with auntieNgor whose father was paternal grandmother CHAN SweeNgor’s half-bro.

Interesting shops around to look-see – fresh 4-winged beans and yellow-skin rumbutans.

EderlyCareCentre where uncleKuun is staying at present – quite a contrast from when I last saw him in SIN, CNY2017. Somehow his eyes glint with smiles to the recognition of Lawrence and I would liked to have believed the he was happy to see my bro who is born the same year as he, 1934.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day – Corinthians 4:16

Being Mon, many stalls were not opened at the wet-market, but nice to have a few shots of the fresh local produces from the few stalls which were opened.

Appreciations to the KCH Rotary Clubs, the Rotarians, their family&friends for their presence&support@TelangUsan Hotel for my talk&Power Point Presentation –  Hiking Norway – my 2nd Home.

Tkx to Lawrence&Mabel for sponsoring a scrumptious dinner and to Audrey for a yummy BdayCarrot-cake. The ox-tail here is to die for and AyamPansuh (chicken cooked in bamboo) is excellent.

Appreciations to Jack&co for attending the presentation and for Martin’s signed copy of his The 25Best DayWalks in HKG. Looking forward to do another hike there someday!

Tue: the last year for being in the 60s starts today with 364days ahead – bring them on and come what may! Saying hi to a few of my favourite trees here in the heart of KCH.

Lunched@SarawakClub which is ready to welcome the Year of the Pig. Good of Chuan to join us.

Short drive thru’town to check out the construction of the new museum. To say that it is a great contrast to the charming old museum across the road would be an understatement. Not my cup of tea and like the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building by the river, this new construction is an eye-sore and completely out of place here too.

Dinner@TopSpot with many kinds of seafood and fresh produces.

After the food poisoning from here some years ago, am taking shell-fish with caution. Everything looks good and Lawrence chose the biggest lobster.

Lobster, ManiChai (finally a pix of this uncooked veg which has been in this KCH trip many times in the cooked version!), +fish&noodles, too much food again. Getting ready to fly back to SIN tomorrow, ie if I survive the night!!!

Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself – Tom Wilson 

Family&Friends, Food&Fun

13 Jan 2019 – The Essence Of My Life

Sat: lovely ambiance for a bowl of KCHLaksa@LittleHainan Restaurant. Good to see Lily, Angelina&Zephyr and nice to meet with Corrinna who happens to be an old classmate of Chuan – small world.

Strangely enough, I was trying to get a haircut the day before I took off for KCH, but time was not on my side then. Angelina met her hairdresser friend when we were eating and her salon is just across the road from where we were. Also she was not too busy to fit me in. A seldom haircut by a professional hair-stylist@HairDo/AeonMall (MYR50 S$17) was worth the time and value.

Tkx to Lawrence&Mabel for dinner@The Heritage, one of the few places who knows how to prepare midin the way I like best – blanched and dressed with fish sauce+chillies, etc. Tasty ribs.

Fish fillet cooked with egg-whites, Mango-duck wrap, Crab-meat wrap. They have certainly earned and deserves their reputation as one of the best Chinese restaurants in KCH. Lucky to get a table here tonight, usually need to book in advance, especially for the weekends.

Appreciations to Lily who took the trouble to find Dabai – SarawakOlive, Canarium odontophyllum of the family Burseracea, it bears no relation to the olive and is listed as a rare fruit in the wild. She has kindly prepared for me to try for the 1st time. Blanched in hot water and seasoned with a bit of thick soya-sauce, the flesh is creamy like an avocado and absolutely yummy to. Am told that the seeds are also good, so cracked it opened and it is nutty&yummy.

Sun: according to my US pastry chef friend Gayle –It looks like all you do is eat and visit friends/family! I want to eat all of this. And yes, the essence of my life is family&friends, food&fun. The rains were relentless this morning, but did not stop Lawrence&I from an early breakfast. Trying to find out the names of some of these fruits. Appreciations to Janice for her yummy yummy home-made pineapple tarts and butter-cake.

Bought a small bunch of Buah Kelubi/Asam kelubi – posted a FB message to ask for info and tkx to everyone’s input, managed to find the correct name of this extremely sour fruit.

To Jenny for her comment: we don’t normally cook it.. just eat it and add with a little bit of Belacan to enhance… or we use it for cooking with fish dish for the sour taste.

http://animhosnan.blogspot.com/2018/02/buah-asam-paya.html

Blessed to be included to Mabel’s bros Victor’s&Sunny’s combined Bdays dinner with her side of the family. Appreciations to Sunny&Mary for yummy food at their beautiful home.

Thank you to Alfred for sharing his fish.

Don’t just count your years, make your years count – George Meredith

Power Point

11 Jan 2019 – Real Food But Poor Service

Sun: tkx to Leonard for getting the PowerPoint, etc on my computer going. Now to get the presentations ready for KCH trip.

Mon: posting in FB – thank you to KK for lunch@RealFood/OrchardCentral. OK food, high prices and poor service (a waitress who insisted on speaking Chinese even when we replied in English) and no, will not return. Not recommended.

Comment from JohnK/Ireland – ‘In the few years I’ve known you Amy, I’ve never heard you say a bad thing about anywhere you’ve been or anyone you’ve met. I can only imagine how bad your experience at this place was to have prompted you to write this post’.

Reply – hahaha John – how are you and Happy 2019!I Good to hear from you. The experience with a friend was good (and yes will lunch or dine with him another time!!), but we both noticed how poor the service was.

Told KK that I will make a note of it here and you know me, my words are as good as action! If I have read a comment like this from any of my FB friends, would have not gone to this place. Did not have the NasiLemak, just, a pix as this was the only pix with a price tag at the entrance.

Those who know me also know that harping on negative&nonconstructive issues is not my lifestyle, and also keeping a distance from ppl who have much negative energy, ie always complaining, whining and finding faults in everyone&everything.

Tue: struggling with the choices of pix for the presentations. Tkx to Faith for yummy chocolate, cakes and for dinner co.

Wed: welcome Christopher from Shanghai back to SIN. He is here for a wedding and glad to catch up with him at the airport (easier and more time efficient as I live near the airport) even just for a couple of hours. Pix credits to him of the selfie&pix of me taking a pix of him!

Thu: Happy 30thBD to grandnephew KeeYang. How is it possible to have a 30yrs old grandnephew??? Still struggling to edit presentations and packing for my afternoon flight to KCH.

Safe&sound in KCH, the CatCity (not a fan of cats) after a smooth 1hr AirAsia flight (arr 30mins ahead of schedule) from ChangiT4. Hope that these new PandanCookies from PrimaDeli will be well received!

Tkx to Lawrence&Mabel for Thai food dinner@BlackCanyon/AeonMall, and nice to have met with Georgina&CC Lau.

Fri: TGIF- good morning from KCH-CatCity. What a wonderful way to start this trip with a bowl of scrumptious KCH-KoloMee@NoodleExpert in good company of Jenny&JohnKing. Julie&TYT were late and had to rush off to catch their flight thus no pix of them. A fabulous weekend to all.

Appreciations to Matthew Wee (Principal) and to SC Sia (Parent) for hosting my presentation – Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost@Lodge International School. A big thank you to an attentive young audience who had many good&relevant questions.

Lunch and all my favourites – Kedondong/ambarella juice, Midin, ManiChai Bee-Hoon, a rice vermicelli dish usually stir-fried with egg and ManiChai. All these fruits and veg are wild from the jungle and usually considered as poor-man’s dishes, but this is real food to me and will be happy just having that thru’out my stay here!

Followed by fresh jungle durians&mangosteens. Chuan watch where you sit 🙂 and I am in food heaven.

More yummy Dayak food@AwahCafe with CNY deco in place and where there is a Kedondong tree in the garden. Another glass of juice+2bottles to go. The stomach will not be too happy tonight, but such is life and tomorrow is another day. Thousand tkx for a very lovely&memorable day to Chuan&AnnChee+Yong who serenaded us with his ukelilli at the back of the car.

Those are the memories that made me a wealthy soul.

I’m just trying to keep things simple, and just be a little more offhand and not get so deep into things. Enjoy what you got right now, because who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow – Bob Seger