Saturday, May 27, 2017

How my teeth will forever be clean

thanks to Darlie and their excellent marketing campaigns.

First the Singapore Darlie had that massive mugs that came with two tubes of toothpaste.  Was great, I bought two sets (i.e 4 tubes of toothpaste), and broke one mug. *heart break*
[photo credit: MyFatPocket]
Then there was the mug where Hello Kitty is riding the great tube of white (less pretty, Darlie everywhere). 2 more tubes of toothpaste...


Then when I was in Hongkong with the girls last week, what happened? I came across Darlie in Wellcome.... and they came with Rilakkuma summer edition procelain bowls.

Yup you heard me, I lugged one set back (earning me massive eyerolls from the gals, especially since I was already lugging lots of weird shit back). Which brings to a wonderful total of 8 tubes of toothpaste to be used by my tiny household. Damn you Darlie.

There~! Proof that I am a victim of cartoon gimmicks. Thank god the plate didn't shatter during the flight. I might have committed seppuku if I only had the darlie. That's how I ended up with a Brown cup (exclusive to HongKong Airport, or so they say), the summer Rilakkuma plate with 2 freaking tubes, and some toy vehicles).

Going overseas with gals is sure different from going overseas with Bobo. Tripping with him, all running around capitalizing on time and making sure we catch every single sight (leaving us super exhausted. Though in the last 3 trips, I have started to set aside some relaxation, e.g. cycling around Lake Forggensee, admiring the clouds at ChingJing and spa in Busan). Tripping with the gals, small catfights, sleep-ins and lots of girl talk. Last year we didn't manage to kill one another in Ho Chi Minh, but this time around, we destroyed one another's wallets, 损友 style. At one point, it became like this:

Miss Bear: Do you think I should buy this luggage tag (which I totally don't need?)
Me: Why ask? Buy la.

She ended up with 3 luggage tags and 7 foldable shopping totes (as did I).

The other Miss Bear also insisted that we wipe out to the last Hongkong dollar we had, down to the Octopus card, which is how I ended up with the McDonald's cup and the Hello Kitty roller coaster toy.

The obligatory Omiyage. The yellow purse I bought simply because it is a long running joke between Bobo and I.
The gardening crap were stupid buys, in general, especially the hangers. Was a pain trying to pack them since they couldn't fit into my luggage or my bags. I had to go around Hongkong begging for cardboard. Fuck, you have no idea how big Hongkongers are on recycling. I literally had to almost fight with the cardboard collecting uncles and aunties. In the end, a super lovely cashier from Wing Wah took pity and emptied a box for me (which also led to me overspending at the shop in gratitude).

I endured some whines from the Misses Bears, who couldn't understand why I would wanna compete with the old people for cardboard, and told me to buy a 红白蓝, 损友 style. I would except that the only one I saw, sold for 65 Hongkong dollars (Perhaps they upped their prices after being copied by turn-cheap-into-expensive Balenciaga). Seriously go rob a bank or something. Almost S$13!!!!
It's all Balenciaga's fault

I have to say, this is the first trip I spent so much money without blinking. When I told お母さん, she said, "Good!" (alluding to the fact that I am a skinflint and seldom spent money on myself, other than food).

Monday, May 15, 2017

ユーリ!!! on Ice

#yurionice Doujinshi from sukac
I am late to the fangirl party, seeing that this anime ended in Dec 2016 already. I have developed an unhealthy thirst for variety shows where people complain about their relationships these days. So I usually rely on Bobo, who of course, filtered this anime because it contains Yaoi.

Gravitation's Shuichi and Yuki
I don't have a preference for Yaoi themes, though one of my favorite anime of all time is Gravitation.  My preferences for anime run along these lines, specific theme + excellent OST +  biantai relationship. Which is why I loved 2015's Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.
#yurionice Doujinshi from sukac
But Yuri on Ice!!! It's really вкусно!!! An excellent combi of men's single ice skating and self-inflicted stress + wonderful music (i.e. compositions by my new favorite 松司馬拓, though I love "La Parfum de Fleurs" as much as I hate  "Shall We Skate") + the will-they-wont-they-are-they-gay relationship between Yuri Katsuri and his ice-skating-rival-turned-coach, Vitya Nikiforov.

I had to admit that when I saw Vitya's eyes narrowed as he watched the viral video of Yuri emulating his own freestyle program, I thought he was a twisted individual who was going to fuck Yuri over after he steals his heart. Nope, the only twisted individual was me. It was pure BL at its best. He saw the video and recalled the poor drunk sap who clung to him like a desperate leech and beseeched him to "be my coach" if he won a dance-off with other Grand Prix finalists.Of course it might also have been because he was also in the doldrums after winning the championship 5x. You know it has become the "this is nothing, it is to be expected"?

There are plenty of guffaws that sensual yet flawed Vitya made as a first-time coach, to one sad, yet poignant point that he made Yuri cry and then the latter even had to console him. Like Yakov his former coach, said, he thinks only of himself, so suddenly he has to start putting the introverted, self-deprecating Yuri first, must have been tougher than teaching him any of the jumps he knows. Yuri's low self-esteem is quite unbelievable, he says a few times in the anime that he is a dime-a-dozen JSF skater (when he was the top Japanese representative for 2 years *I felt like smacking his head with a slipper everytime he said that, what a diss to the rest of the JSF*). Kein wunder why he received a nice burn from his coach.
 
That scene

There is a lot of obsession online about whether Vitya actually kissed Yuri during Cup of China. IMHO, this is the power of suggestion at its best. The fact I don't see it makes it even more powerful and magical a scene :D And then at Episode 10, we find out that the whole relationship was Yuri X Vitya and not Vitya X Yuri? It just made everything make sense.

Anyway during the same weekend wannacry was wrecking havoc all over the world, I was immersed in fangirling the **** out of the anime. From finding the songs (I discovered that Soundcloud has nicer versions than Youtube *no diss to the covers* - just own preference), hunting the doujinshis and rewatching favorite scenes in the anime like 100+ times. My favorite scene is the first episode where they sliced in Vitya's performance with Yuri's one of "Stand by me", as if they were skating as one.

I also liked the screenshots of the skaters' instagram (very realistic and engaging). I bet every girl who watched the anime tried to set up v_nikiforov (only to discover that there is a real-life Victor Nikiforov from Novosibirsk, who has already taken the handle
The real victor, surrounded by the anime victors, poor guy

this is what we wanna see
I am very intrigued by the recent Japanese animators' including real-life locations into anime. Say for example, Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari which hard-sold Kagawa and Shodoshima Island in 12 episodes (I have to say that this "product placement" worked for me, watch this space for details later). I now have a burning desire to visit Saga, Kyunshu prefecture lol.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Interesting quips from 涂磊

Our fav youtube show before we got netflix was 爱情保卫战, though it is slowly being replaced by another favorite 一转成双, which I was reassured by Mr Bear that would deliver violence on top of the volatile relationships ( I had to watch like 20+ blurry episodes before someone finally got slapped).


But of course 一转成双 does not have the erudite 涂磊, whom we cheekily nicknamed a nice foul word courtesy of the Canton dialect. He can toss 4 worded, 8 worded chinese idioms 蒺藜火毬-style at warring couples. Sounds very bombastic, but I cannot really understand them (possibly because my Mandarin is pretty shite).

Here's a great sample:

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Korean adventures in Blowfish aka Pufferfish

Yesterday, we wanted to have dinner at my aunt's favorite Korean restaurant, Xing Xing Korean Restaurant, along Tanjong Pagar road (which I also had lunch at with colleagues to celebrate the end of fucking horrible 2016 *an epic horrendous year of losses*). Unfortunately that evening the restaurant was fully occupied with a Korean tour group (seriously,  you come to Singapore to eat Korean? It's like me going to Korea to eat mee pok :D but I can understand. After a few days in Australia, my mother and I wanted to just find rice, any rice.). 

So we ended up at another Korean restaurant which I had eaten before, because I wanted to ask Bobo to try sea squirts, only to receive a vehement "NO". The BBQ was cheaper but because we were freaking cold from the relentless rain, we decided to order a hotpot. I wanted to get codfish (they were out *sigh*) so I suggested blowfish. 

"Blowfish? Is that pufferfish?" Bobo asked. Yeah, turned out it was. After a few grumbles about being poisoned, we chose the pufferfish. As we were eating the hotpot, Bobo suddenly piped up, "wait a sec, didn't we have pufferfish the other time?"

"You mean at Jagalchi? It was abalone."

"No, that pufferfish specialty restaurant."

금수 복국 specializes in pufferfish
Oh Yah! That pufferfish specialty restaurant 금수 복국! Back in Jul, we decided to go to Busan and Seoul for a week. As usual, I used blogs for references, earning me a lot of brickbats from Bobo this time as many of the suggested eateries are no longer open. I must say that South Korean turnover is super high, as compared to other recommendations I get from blogs for other countries, we encountered close to 70% failures.

Fortunately, 금수 복국 was open. In fact, it was bustling with lunch hour business when we reached in our usual blundering, confused mode (GPS and Google maps suck when standing along narrow streets especially with nearby tall buildings. The business is split into two floors, one floor serving the busy lunch crowd of ajummas and ajussis (I noticed an overwhelming proportion of older folks) who just want to eat, gossip, and glare at us two strange morons not necessarily in that order. The top floor is the more atas, zen establishment where you can dwell in silence about being potentially dying from a bite of the poisonous fish.
The saner priced menu (downstairs)
I was determined to try the atas "Kaiseki" menu, of course, having read that the blogger had a romantic set which I thought was reasonably priced. Bobo kicked up a fuss of course, because that salty olive wanted to eat the cheaper dishes downstairs.

But of course I prevailed.

But the so called romantic set was no longer available. Instead we ordered the fugu sashimi lunch set (40,000 won per pax). On hindsight, this is still cheaper than eating in Singapore (the hotpot alone was S$75, didn't even come with rice. Is so banned by me now).


For this price, we enjoyed the following:
See? Upstairs is different. Once you sit down, there is a chilled pumpkin soup

Banchan comprising of anchovies, cabbage kimchi, eggplants and octopus (or was it Jellyfish?)
Palate cleanser of "gelatin-like" fugu skin salad

La piece d'Resistance, Fugu sashimi


The service is different upstairs and downstairs. Downstairs they were polite, efficient but abrupt, even had a lady who could communicate in Mandarin. Upstairs, while the Manager could not communicate well in English, he was really effusive and endeavored. The lady who served us could not speak a word of English, but was very kindly and gentle, guiding us on how to eat the fugu sashimi. To roll chives and fugu skin (white strips in middle of plate) in a slice of see-through flesh before dipping in wasabi or gochujang, whichever floated your boat.

Some fishes. We can't understand Korean, but by the staff's hand gestures, they should be and were super yumz
More fugu in a yummy sauce
Fried Udon to fill us up. I super like!
Tempura. So-so I thought.
Finally we had the fugu stew. You could choose between spicy and non-spicy, which both of us tried. Spicy was better.
Both spicy and non-spicy versions came with golden mushrooms, watercress and bean sprouts with the fugu. You could add condiments, which came at the side.
I thought that for the variety and service we had, the price was worth it. Also there was the beautiful and quiet ambience, nice to relax and cool down after a morning trek to the gorgeous but bloody ulu Haedong Yonggungsa (famous temple by the sea). Note: one of the Busan's outlet malls is about two bus stops down from the temple's bus stop. I would have stopped but Bobo didn't let me *infuriated*.

Seriously no joke, trekking in the hot Korean summer to reach the temple.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Lisa Beazley - Keep me Posted












Two sisters separated by oceans started writing to each other after being inspired by their grandparents during Christmas reunion. Each sister encountered family life problems, one self inflicted by her own unhappiness and low self-esteem, the other by her husband's infidelity.
The book is written from Cassie's perspective, so we only hear about the other Sid from her letters. Sid is definitely the more lovable and zen character, reminded me of my own aunt, than her sister who is hung up about her own regrets to a point where she neglects her wonderful husband (he splurged his life savings so that she could have IVF treatment to have their beloved twins, ceded to her when she wanted to stay in their beautiful apartment which became too tiny to contain the same boisterous twins and didn't even complain when she spent nearly 4K on clothes), preferring to get excited about meeting an ex who treated her badly.

I thought it was an easy read for a dull afternoon, though the happy ending had me rolling my eyes a bit lot. Oh come on, it's a little too good to be true.. [spoiler in white: Cassie gets to share a beautiful new compound with her beloved sister and their families]. I kinda want to slap Cassie, I thought her husband and her sister gave in a little too easily. I mean her sister spurns social media and her idiotic little sister accidentally posted their letter exchange online with "Slow News Sisters" blog that goes viral. I WOULD HAVE PLACED HER BETWEEN MY THIGHS IN A MOUNTAIN POSE AND SLOWLY CONTORT THE BREATH OUT OF HER. I am not convinced that Sid loves her husband, it felt a little as if she just went with the flow since she is so zen. And the husband character just existed so that he can pay up for the expensive alimony at the end.

It was like the author gave up towards the end, and like "fuck it, lets give a nice ending so that I can stop writing."

3 out of 5 stars (because of the ending).

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails