Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alone? Lonely?

Coming home to an empty apartment tonight. Dark and quiet.

Mom and dad had gone home this morning after a short stay. Brother, D and the wife also returned to Vietnam this evening. All of them left before I came backd from work.

I made noodles for dinner, the instant kind. I ate alone, silently.

That's quite a typical depiction of a single man living in the city. It's kinda' sad really. Suddenly I'm not used to empty and quiet apartment, and the solitude. There was a sense of uneasiness in the air.

I'm alone.

But am I lonely?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So, 4-day long weekend, wasted.

Originally, the plan was meant to be an adventurous weekend, to drive up north to a quaint little eco-homestead, spending a couple days hiking in the mountains, walking along the beach, swimming in the ocean and learning some organic farming. But when I finally managed to get in touch with the owner, the place was already fully booked.

Still, the decision to stay in the city was consciously made. I could do some hiking nearby, log a few more laps in the pool, bake again and run some errands. It would be a somewhat active outdoorsy weekend as well.

Hiking did not pan out as it was a rainy weekend all in all. Of course, I was too lazy to drag myself out of the bed so early in the morning. The rain was just a conveniently lame excuse.

Swimming was out too. I enthusiastically drove to the pool just to find out that it was closed throughout the holiday long weekend. Oh damn! That was Sunday evening, and I realized then it was going to be a long weekend.

So what did I do? I stayed up late. I slept in even later. I cleaned the apartment a bit. I took the recyclables to the collection center. I had my grocery run.

In the end I found myself spending a lot of time fidgeting around the apartment, channel flipping and very sad to say, wishing to go back to work. How pathetic!

Well, I did bake. It was the only adventurous thing I did during the long weekend. I tried out a new recipe, flourless orange cake. But since I don’t recall tasting a flourless cake before, I’m not sure if the cake turned out to be the way it should. Well it’s a tad too moist and it has more of a custardy texture than a cake texture. Probably I put in an orange too many.

Monday, September 21, 2009


In culinary world, the holy trinity refers to chopped bell peppers, celery and onions, widely used as a based in a lot of the Cajun and Creole cooking in Louisiana. The French have their own culinary trinity too, which is the Mirepoix of carrots, celery and onions. For the Italian, the trinity is consist of tomatoes, garlic and basil. In the Orient, scallions, garlic and ginger are the trinity of the Chinese cooking.

In my kitchen, I'm building my own trinity. But I'm running into a bit of a jam. I'm down to the final four. I love the woody and earthy scent of the mushroom, the sweetness of the onions, the powerful fragrance of the garlic and the hot and spicy spike of the pepper.

One more ingredient to be kick off the island, I mean chopping block.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Overheard #12

"Yay! Next week boleh main siang."

Translation: "Yay! Next week can do it during day time."

Muslims all over the world will be ending the holy fasting month of Ramadhan and ushering in the festivity of Eid ul-Fitr around this Sunday.

Anyway, this is by far the best ever Eid ul-Fitr greeting or cheer I have ever heard. I burst out laughing so loud and so hard, tears in my eyes, almost peed in my pants and practically rolling on the floor.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Overheard #11

"Drop everything! Go get people to sing when the judges come. If we want to win this, we must do something extra, inject more raya (Eid festival) spirit." A senior manager was asking a junior geologist to round up as many people in the office as possible, to sing a festive tune to impress the judges for the office Eid festival decoration competition.

I couldn't believe what I heard. Drop everything! Now, talk about priority.

Perhaps he was trying to make this drab and cold office a wee bit more cheerful and fun.

I know, I'm such a buzzkill.

In His Shoes

It was like half an hour before the end of the day on Monday I approached a colleague for some clarifications. The simple conversation, kind of like the morphosis of a butterfly. I said kind of because it started off innocently and plainly like a humble looking lava with a couple of questions. One question led to another one. It then became a intense discussion, which later turned into a heated arguement. None of us were willing to budge. We stood our ground, steadfastly. So instead of turning into a beautiful butterfly, it morphed into an ugly moth.

I remember telling myself:"If I could walk a mile in his shoes, I would understand his perspective better." Cross my heart, I did try. Lord knew I tried. So I knew where he was coming from and where he was heading to. So, on principle I agreed with him, and even ready to compromise. But unfortunately, I did not see him reciprocating. He didn't even want to hear me out.

What's up with these bastards who think they are always right and their way is the only way, and willing to lie and scheme to make their points, refusing to entertain the possibility of an alternative option. What's up with that?

In the end, my querries went unanswered. I remained confused. In addition, it was draining, mentally, with such negative spin to end the day. It killed my Monday night, leaving me unsettled and annoyed.

So what do you do if you are walking a mile in someone else's shoes and that bastard is not willing to walk a mile in yours?

Just take off his shoes, first put on your own pair, then fucking toss away his bloody damn shoes, as far as possible.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Cake of My Own

When you've got lemons, you make lemonade.

When I've got some apples and leftover prunes, I tweaked a bit of my favorite carrot cake recipe and baked a apple prune cake, simply by replacing the shredded carrots and chopped walnuts with finely diced apples and chopped prunes. Dialed it down a little on the sugar as the prunes were sweet.

The final product, I love it! I love it a lot. The tartness of the apples and the sweetness of the prunes blended well with the fragrance of the cinnamon. The apple also added a bite of crunchiness texture into the cake.

Yummy! Love it.

Now can I claim this recipe my own creation?

I think I will.

I now present to you, Boonsky's Love It A Lot Yummy Apple Prune Cake.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Forgive, But Not Forget

I'll forever not be able to forget the repetitive images on tv that morning.

Camera panning along with the people falling/jumping off the crumpling building, to their death. They looked so small, so light, yet falling so quickly. Camera panning at the second plane crashing into the South Tower, exploding into a enormous fire ball. So Hollywood-ish, so fake, yet it was every bit real.

I can never forget those images.

Perhaps I shouldn't. We shouldn't.

Let's us forgive, but never forget.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Travel Mate

"Don't you feel lonely traveling alone?"

I get this question a lot when I tell people I'm going away on my own, often in a very startling tone of voice. Well I'm not traveling alone, and definitely not lonely on the road. My travel mate is just a free spirited fun loving lad, open and funny and flexible and accommodative and supportive. He let me call all the shots and there is never talking back. There were neither disagreement nor arguement thus far. Never once did he utter a word of complaint or dissatifaction. Most importantly, there is never tantrums and definitely no diva attitude. How cool is he?

Nusa Dua, Bali

Cape Rachado, Port Dickson

Cherating, Kuantan

Sahara Desert Nouakchott, Mauritania

Phra Nang Beach, Krabi

Tabur Hill, KL

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


A slice of chilled homemade (read: I baked that) carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a scope of ice-cream.

Mmm mmm...

My lovely Sunday night.

Oh those tiny black dots in the cream cheese frosting, they were vanilla, the real thing, not the vanilla extract fake stuff. That made the cake more fragrant and tastier, just so much better.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

That Day We Were Weeping

It has been about 2 weeks now, I think. He's gone.

That was a dark weekend. The sky was thick with the darkest clouds, threatening. The sun went away hiding. The wind howling relentlessly.

The doctor confirmed there was no heart beat. The pregnancy terminated. My brother, D called home to tell mom, weeping. Mom called to inform me, weeping. I shared that with a friend, weeping.

Then it rained.

That day, the sky, too was weeping with us, for us.

I did not know what to do.

The next day I went to the temple. I prayed for strength and hope for my brother and his wife, for my parents. I prayed for love and peace for my nephew.