Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bak Kut Teh

I think I got the spelling right!

Two of the EAs at the place I interned at decided to take me to a farewell lunch (very sweet of them) and asked me what I have and what I have not tried - or what I like and maybe don't like. I'm not sure if I made a mistake or not, but I said - I'm pretty much open to anything... except beef & octopus (at which point one of my coworkers who was in the elevator when I was posed this question responded with: "octopus? that sounds like a very specific experience has scarred you..." <no comment ;)>)

SO back to the experience... we get out of the elevator and cab it to an area near the riverwalk. I can already see the genuineness of the area from the expression of the cab driver when my coworkers gave him directions. I was ready.

Ready like chopsticks... or chilies in soy sauce...

And so started a very intriguing dining experience - Not so "difficult" as in gizzards or odd edibles or any of that - but somehow the amount of available soup & meat & veggies - something about that. The taste, the setup. Something felt very different from any other place.

OH so what we did eat:
pork. more pork. veggies. fried-dough. rice. more pork.

And as much as I like pork, I've never actually eaten that much pork in any one meal in my life. And it was good - the meat was tender & soft & slid right off the bones. There were massive (whole) pieces of garlic in the soup which was probably the highlight of the soup and the flavors were amazing, but man on man was it a "heavy" meal!

I'm glad I tried this out - and it is quite traditional to say the very least. And my coworkers were sweet enough to pick up the tab. It was definitely a great experience and one I'm glad I tried with the people who knew what they were talking about... otherwise I know I probably could've made some fun mistakes.

That said - this event also made me want to start thinking more seriously about learning Mandarin, especially if I'm going to end up living in Asia (Singapore/HK?)

How is everyone?! My number is now: +65 8374 1423 by the way!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Rakhi to my sisters!

I feel blessed to receive these rakhis year after year, from sisters spread across the globe - I kid you not! Boston, Delhi, Dehradun, Philadelphia, Miami, Toronto, Singapore... all sending their love & best wishes.

First off, I did not receive any of the rakhis on the actual day because I was traveling. So my apologies to you! But then when I did get back from work and came into the office, I had notes from the receptionist, which I thought had to do with something completely different so after a day or so of just meetings & catch up I finally got a chance to see what these notes were - lo & behold they were rakhis! From all over the place! (Granted a couple of them are still in the mail) But I do think that the rest of them all made it here on time and right on the dot!

So I wanted to take a moment to give my gracious thanks, love, and Pranams to my sisters scattered across the globe who not only remembered this auspicious day for the last 28 years (pretty sure they were tied on my hand before I was able to formulate coherent memories), but also went out and purchased really unique rakhis for me!

Happiest of Happy Rakhshabandans to you! You really made it an amazingly auspicious day. I hope to see you all sometime soon...

P.S. I was glowing!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Finally moved in...

This summer has been quite something. I've moved around quite a lot. I will save the details as I am sure it will worry everyone if I start talking about where I was, where I went, how I moved, how much I moved and all that.

And honestly not looking for self-pity or sympathy.

Just wanted to point out - that after leaving Chicago for Bangkok and then Bangkok for Fontainebleau and now Fontainebleau for Singapore I am finally feeling settled in my actual apartment in Singapore where I will be until the end of December. I am quite excited about this. Although the location is slightly "far" from the city, there is a train that takes me right into the city - and from an INSEAD perspective - more importantly directly to the airport!!! I wonder if that's why INSEAD chose this location. Or did the location exacerbate the existing willingness to travel in our students?

Chicken & Egg if you ask me.
And please don't ask me, because then I'll start thinking about Basil Chicken with an Egg on top. And its currently lunch time.

But more on that - Singapore is an interesting place. I just learned (from this website, which I have yet to validate: that Singapore is 33% more expensive than Chicago, 5% more than New York City - and something like 90% more expensive than Bangkok! Housing alone is 155% more expensive in Singapore. And man-oh-man have I had a fun time trying to find housing and moving and... oh wait, we're full circle now. I did not want to get into this..............

Loving the diggs.
Loving the place.
Oh and the food bit - yes - so food in Singapore at the food courts is ridiculously cheap & quite good because the amount of choices blows your mind - you can eat ANYTHING you want. I mean it. Challenge me. I'll find the food. Whatever it is. And if its not there, it'll be there.

I do love the "Western" aisle the most. Fried chicken or chicken wings & random other very KFC friendly stuff :P OH and sausages... ham... toast? mustard. I love walking past that aisle and thinking - oh yeah, there are very many "cuisines" in this world that aren't really "cuisines" in the sense of having a complete selection of choices that are easily sold/marketed in a food court situation. Either too specialized (in very few cases) or just not all that great. And after traveling through Europe quite a bit over the past few months, I have to say, apart from selection of wines & beers I don't know if the "street food" is getting the right publicity in Asia. There are quite a few stalls all over the various cities I visited - Prague, Vienna, Amsterdam - to name a few... good food that could easily find its place in a food court. HMMMMMM... business idea? who knows!

Weekend fast approaching. Work still piled up. Time to get back to it. Miss you all!
get it?