Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Travel to lose weight

I lost so much weight after travelling thanks to all the walking and we also skipped lunch most of the time as we always had late breakfast. Now I am back in Glasgow, my lifestyle is back to less walking, less burning of calories. Couldnt be bothered buying new smaller size jeans as I might just gain back the weight XD

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Scottish chicken pie

Someone made an amazing chicken pie and I am going to learn from him. Can't wait!

Friday, 22 March 2013

My Heart melted

A special smile a special face,
A special someone no one can replace.
I love you and always will,
You've filled a space no one could fill.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Is spring ever going to come??

It has been snowing in Glasgow the past two days. It snowed more in March than in other months. Its also really cold this time even without the wind and rain.

A friend jokingly said spring will come one week before summer! He further elaborated that spring will come for a week and bang! Summer is here hahaha

Turning English

After all those travelling, I am getting a hang of having tea and oatcakes for breakfast.

No more cravings for nasi lemak and pork noodles for breakfast.

Let me introduce my new found love - Scottish Rough Oatcakes. Eating this makes me feel less guilty than eating digestives. Two pices of oatcakes and a cup of tea is sufficient to fill me up till lunchtime. If I had Digestives, I would be munching four pieces before I feel satisfied. Also, due to its higher sugar content, Those digestives will not lasy me till lunch. Scottish Oatcakes are awesome! Sold in Aldi :):)

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

St. Patrick's Day 2013 in Dublin

I had such an amazing time in Ireland thanks to the company. I was there for St. Patrick's Day and the 'green' vibe was felt even days before. Historical buildings were litted up with green lightings at night and people were dresses up in green accessories in conjunction with St. Patricks. The parade was a colourful occasion with dancing and bands playing along. The crowd was massive eventhough it was raining and very cold. Our feets were frozen after the parade and it was actually hard work to walk to Yamamori for lunch with frozen feet lol
The parade began at 12pm and lasted for two hours.

Monday, 18 March 2013

A decade

Over a decade of friendship.
We travelled from different parts of the world to one city - Dublin.
We hardly met. We rarely spoke.
But once in Dublin nostalgia hits like a bullet. It was meaningful and worth the journey.

Till we meet again :)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Easter travels

From Glasgow to London to Glasgow to Edinburgh to Ireland to Glasgow

I have had an amazing adventure lately travelling to places with amazing people, food and environment. Each place had its own 'wow' factor.

I am in Dublin right now enjoying the St. Patrick's Day vibe. The historical buildings were litted up with green lights at night in conjunction with St. Patricks Day.

More to come...

Thursday, 14 March 2013


Ireland- the land of Guinness

Guiness taste awesome here. True story.
And a doctor tells me Guinness is good for health.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Baked potatoes @ Covent Garden London

I found Covent Garden an amazing place to be in London. It was like a little twon on its own with a variety of shops and a market which sells interesting accessories. This place felt very artsy too. When we first stepped into Covent Garden, we could not help but compare the atmosphere to that of Quincy Market in Boston. The place was packed with street performers, entertaining the crowd with rupturous laughters all around. At times it felt surreal as everyone was relaxed, having a good time exploring.

For dinner, the three of us had jacket potatoes while one had belgium waffles. I had the chilli con carne jacket potatoes which were served piping hot, suitable for the cold. Christel had her jacket potato with a generous amount of cottage cheese, while Ericka had the american ham and cheese potato. EJ had her Belgian waffle which was soaked in shrup. I preferred crispy crunchy waffles compared to soggy ones.

We had a good time.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Spring time!

Its still so cold! We had a day of 14 degrees celcius and after that the temperature plunged to 4 degrees. London is supposedly going to snow this weekend too.

Waiting for the day i can be jacketless n just slip on a dress without having to worry about the weather.
If you dont know, i love dresses :)

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


When I was younger, I did not like tomatoes. I did not eat them. I do not like ketchup at all. I always preferred chilli.

Surprisingly, I have grown to love tomatoes. Currently, tomatoes in soups, pasta sauces and salads are a must. I just feel like like something is missing if I do not have tomatoes... My dad used to munch on cherry tomatoes a lot. His purpose of going to the supermarket would be to just buy cherry tomatoes. That could be just his dinner and he is satisfied.

Tomatoes are good for the heart too, so why not have some :)

I love that it brightens up my meal too :):)

Today I had fried rice with egg, smoked salmon, anchovies, dried prawns sambal and cherry tomatoes. My housemate and I agree that Smoked salmon makes plain rice tasty. If you appreciate the smoked flavour, it goes well with anything :) cherry tomatoes too!!!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sambal dried prawns and dried chilli chicken

You know I have been craving for spicy food for such a long long time. This kind of spicy cravings cannot be satisfied woth just Maggi chilli sauce, it has to be the real thing with the kick :p

I craved for sambal!!!
I knew how to do it but due to test and deadlines, going to the kitchen to cook felt like a crime!

I finally did What I wanted to do and I feel so happppppyyy.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Colgate optic white ad

I noticed a new advertisement on my blog by Colgate. They have a new packaging for their toothpaste, I noticed. It actually looks more pro and stylish, like SK2's packaging. I am so used to Colgate's white packaging, I feel like I will need to get used to grabbing something red now. Isn't toothpaste white in colour, that is why the packaging is white? Lol

I have not clicked on the advert to see it. I am not allowed to click on my own adverts actually. So, I will need to google or click on someone elses blog.

Do I really care what toothpaste I use? Not really. The first thing I do is look at the price.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Reflections on War

I'm just back from leading a "European War Tour" that took me and my group of high school students from California from the beaches of Normandy via Paris, Belleau Wood, the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Nuremberg, and Buchenwald Concentration Camp, to Berlin. It was a fascinating, packed trip. It had me, someone who has visited many World War related sites, thinking deeply and reflecting.

Loss of Life - On All Sides

The most obvious reflection is of course the loss of life and the suffering and sacrifice of the people involved. I reeled off numbers like 6,600 US losses on D-Day, 6.2 million Jewish deaths, 50 million overall casualties, without ever being able to think of what this actually represents. We simply cannot picture numbers like this. It was only by reducing the statistics to statements such as "80 men died at the Somme for each yard of land captured. That's two of these buses filled full of young men for every single yard, before we reach the 1 million total who died in taking the 4.5 mile gain in territory." Even then the scale is just so hard to grasp.

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We visited a number of war cemeteries which helped in some way with the issue. The US cemeteries looked like a sea of white crosses (peppered with occasional Stars of David). They are always immaculately kept: pristine, peaceful, proud and perfect. I encouraged everyone to realise that each person here had a story; they should look at the name and the state and reflect on the fact that each one had a childhood, a family, friends, a personal history. Many were not much older than the students in the group at the time of their death. The US memorials included maps about the campaigns and inscriptions with at times somewhat dramatic language. It was hard not to think there was some kind of political purpose behind parts of the design, even if the major purpose was clearly the remembrance of the individual.

It was not just US cemeteries that we saw. We also went to a German and a Soviet war graveyard, where we reflected on the entirely different feel of the places. The German cemetery in Normandy was sombre and sorrowful. It too was beautifully kept, but this was clearly no victor's creation. Where visitors to the US cemetery could be drawn into the proud inscriptions about sacrifice for the greater good, the German dead offered no such comfort for the visitor or family member. The graves were doubled up and marked by simple grey stones on the ground.

The Soviet war cemetery in Berlin was different again: it was a highly overt piece of political propaganda. At the entrance was a sculpture from stone taken from Hitler's bunker and at the end of the site was a colossal statue of a Red Army sergeant with a little German girl he had saved in his arms (a true story). This was all about collective sacrifice, there was no element at all of individual remembrance as at the German or the US cemeteries. The dead here had no separate stones: they were buried in big trenches that were then covered over.

At Buchenwald Concentration Camp, in the deep snow

Viewing History Through Our Own Prism

I reflected too on the way we still see history very much through our own prism. British war movies concentrate on how clever we were in outwitting the oafish Germans. We broke their secret codes, we invented the bouncing bomb, we broke out of Colditz Castle. Our "Keep Calm and Carry On" attitude is shown in photographs of milkmen carrying out their deliveries through bomb torn streets in London. The American WW2 War Memorial in Washington carries the dates "1941-45." Movies tend to focus on D-Day, the Normandy landings and the Battle of the Bulge. The Soviet War Cemetery too carried the dates "1941-45," which conveniently forgets that Soviet troops actually entered the war on the Nazi side on 17 September 1939. This was the day they invaded Poland, followed later by their invasion of Finland and the Baltic States. The way the Russians look back on the War is entirely different to how we do: for them it was a struggle to the death between the socialist Motherland and the fascist Nazi beast, fought and paid for almost entirely with their blood alone.

This "prism focus" is of course very common. There is apparently an African saying along the lines of "Tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter, until the lion gets his own story-teller." It depends who is telling the story as to which angle it will take. I remember for example learning about the "American War of Independence" at school and was quite surprised when someone in one of my groups called it the "American Revolution." I'd never seen it in that way. In a similar vein, British history has labelled Catholic Queen Mary as "Bloody Mary" for eternity, whilst her Protestant sister, Queen Elizabeth I has gone down as "Good Queen Bess." An almost identical number of religious deaths occurred during both reigns, and even though Elizabeth ruled longer, this is hardly ever focused upon in British schools.

It is also very natural (and indeed right) for us to remember our own fallen. The US Marines' engagement at Belleau Wood during WW1 was the bloodiest battle they had been involved in. The battle has entered US military lore, despite the fact that the number of deaths was actually very small. 1811 men died here, compared to 1 million British, French and Germans who died at the Battle of the Somme. Americans visit here and the place has a very special status for the country.  Despite the comparatively low number of deaths, Belleau Wood matters to them because they have a connection of nationality (and perhaps even are relatives of those who fought) - which is lacking from a visit to a Somme battlefield.

An Objective Historian's View

However, if we wish to gain a more objective, overall view of historical events, our own "prism" view can be a hindrance. My group was surprised when I told them the Normandy landings did not even feature in the top 8 battles of WW2. Seven of the top eight were actually fought in the East, between the Soviets and the Germans. Both British and US total military losses were less than 1% of the total of WW2 casualties. The Germans lost over 80% of their casualties on the Eastern Front, yet our "European War Tour" didn't even feature more than a passing mention of the Battles of Kiev, Leningrad, Stalingrad and the Barbarossa campaign. If anyone can be excused for having a narrow view on the importance of their contribution, it would in fact be the Soviets, with 14 million military war dead.

From a civilian perspective, the British painfully remember the 45,000 civilians killed in the London Blitz (0.1% our population), yet remarkably few of us consider that Poland lost 6 million civilians from 1939-45 (20% of its population) or that Belorussia suffered even worse. A staggering 1 in 4 of its people were killed during WW2.

A related, further perspective, however, is that history is not a competition. This is particularly the case when we are talking about deaths and suffering. Each death, and each family loss is a tragedy and it would offensive to suggest any matters more of less than any other. The Soviets did pay far more heavily than anyone else in terms of casualties, but to the elderly Dane who still mourns the loss of his brother, amongst the 16 Danish soliders who died fighting the surprise German invasion, this is little personal consolation. The contributions from all Allied countries all played a linked and important part in victory. It was not just deaths, but also industrial, financial and strategic contributions that helped win both World Wars in Europe.

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Visiting US Fox Holes from the Battle of the Bulge: as featured in Band of Brothers

The study of the World Wars, their causes, and their results, is one of the most important things I can think of in history. It fascinates me, it upsets me, it makes me reflect, and I hope it teaches me. It is a wonderful thing that so many decades after the events, schools are signing up for student travel and coming on these trips to learn more about them. I am still processing much of this: I hope that the students have gained a new perspective and that the places they have visited will bring their lessons back at school or college to life.

[The original of this blog post appeared on the ACIS travel website on 1 March 2013]

Butter chicken attempt

Since I always have cravings for butter prawns and butter squids, its high time I learn how to make it. Few years back I did try but it was unsuccessful.

Of course, when trying something, we should always try it on chicken first as chicken is cheaper than seafood. Also, we wont feel so sakit hati if we ruin the dish.
So i bought some chicken fillets, marinated it and began my experiment.

It turned out ok. Still have room for improvements but my housemate likes i, so thats fine. And it looked and tasted good!

Im ready to make butter crabs :):)