What spoils the beginning of a promising 4-day weekend?
The sound of a neighbour singing off-key along to his karaoke machine.
I don’t mean to sound mean. I know he and his friends must be enjoying to their hearts’ fullest, considering how the weather today was near perfect. To top it, a 4-day weekend is one of those rare bits in life that make you feel like everything in its place.
Even though work has kept my nose to the grinder, stuff has been upbeat. I’m making a trip to India soon.
I know! I’m wiggling my shoulders in pure joy as I’m typing this!
My mum’s chicken sandwiches, my grandmother’s mutton curry, phuchkas, unending plates of pav bhaji, and of course sweet sweet masala chai. I will also be hob-nobbing with fierce skin-burning sunshine and relatives who will no doubt pore over my stories of London. Both which I enjoy a lot, and will never admit to anyone.
However, I haven’t booked my tickets yet and am in the danger of worrying myself to a frenzy. This almost-vacation is coming in a good time. I’ve already loaded one of my camera and re-charged the other, laid out my sleeveless blouses, flip-flops and packed my larger-than-life shopper with sunscreen. I’m going on a photo-spree for three whole days. The only thing marring this joy would be the fact that my laptop needs repair and is being taken away from me…..correction, being wrenched away from me tomorrow but that’s not what this post is about.
Since I haven’t been spending much time in the kitchen, I have been spending money…on eating out. I won’t even bother mentioning anything about weight. I mean if I am getting fat by eating out, I might as well write and post pictures about it.
I have no shame when it comes to China Town. I can honestly say that I’d be happy to run naked through London’s Chine Town wearing nothing but a Chinese paper hat, waving a lantern in the air and gnawing on soy-braised chicken feet.
Uh, you can replace the image with half-eaten Taro cakes or rolls of sticky rice with minced beef stuffing or better yet, steamed buns with that darkly sweet barbecued pork center. My lunch yesterday included Taro cakes, the addictive buns, chicken feet and pork dumplings swimming in their own heavenly juices. The meal ended with a delicious steamed mango pudding, not too tart not too sweet, and which was accompanied with an eccentric puddle of salty milk custard.
I won’t lie…I have had more than my fair share of Chinese food but I’ve almost never ventured into Chinese sweet/pastry territory. The salty custard was startling at first and I somehow kept expecting it to get better. But it didn’t get better by itself. However, it perfectly complemented the gelatinous mango custard. A lovely end to a lovely meal.
I’ll try not to mention the braised tripe dish (charmingly named ‘Honeycomb’), which although I was open-minded enough to chew through, had too strong a smell for my belly to bear. I’m reminded of Fuchsia Dunlop’s rant about the insides of little piggies and the working Chinese man’s obsession with it all. Yes, I am getting through the book at the moment. Utterly fascinating and engrossing to say the least. Most of all, it makes me want to eat Chinese food all day long, much to my colleagues’ irritation as I keep suggesting Chinese fast food outlets for lunch rather than their preferred English pub. A dry steak over sweet-n-sour chicken?? NEVER.
Happy Easter, you jolly folks! And for those of you in the UK, happy long 4-day weekend!!