Monday, April 28, 2014

Overheard #29

"And no country is gonna succeed if a part of its population is put on the sidelines because they are discriminated against. Malaysia won't succeed if non-Muslims don't have opportunity." - Barrack Obama.

Well said, Barrack! Unfortunately it'll be falling upon deaf ears. 

My dear fellow countrymen, as we applaud this courageous statement from arguably the most powerful leader in the world, please be reminded that nothing, absolutely NOTHING is going to change if the change is not coming from within us ourselves. 

Sorry to rain on your parade.

Monday, April 21, 2014


We all know women are fickle creatures, but so are men too. OK maybe it's just me.

Something happened, or rather not happened over lunch today. I'm a bit conflicted over it, feeling bummed out. Here in Juba, I live in a compound with majority of non drinkers (Muslim) colleagues, and not even a handful of drinkers and pork lovers (non-Muslims, mostly Catholics). It's the Easter long weekend and a bunch of them Catholic colleagues were cooking up a storm and having a potluck lunch and drinking session outside. I wasn't invited.

Truth be told, they are not exactly the group that I want to hang out with. In fact if they would have invited me along, I'd be scratching my head making up excuses and trying to get out of it.

That said, it still hurts not being invited. To be excluded in such a small group, that hurts even more, like Jesus being condemned and crucified by his peers. I'm not trying to compare myself to Jesus, just saying how I feel.

In the end, no man is an island and we all yearn to be included. We all want to belong.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Easy Peasy Fancy Frenchie

This is perhaps one of the fanciest dessert but easiest to make. It looks classy mostly because of the velvety red and its French origin. It's called Poire belle Helene in French. But don't be fooled by the mouthful of Franco-pronunciation, it's merely pear poached in red wine with sugar and spices (I used cinnamon, star anise and clove) and vanilla beans over medium heat for 30 minutes or so. When the pear turn soft and red, remove them from the pot and set aside. Continue to reduce the poaching liquid to a third of the original volume, concentrating the sweetness, spice aroma and wine flavor into a lush thick syrup. Drizzle the syrup over the maroon pear and serve.

It's that simple. Easy peasy and super yummy!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Let's Go Hiking!

I'm longing to be once again surrounded by the wonderful lush green of trees, cooling off in the refreshing and rushing waterfall. I want to go hiking, now!

Let's go!

Photo from Sg. Pisang waterfall.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rest Stop

Life is surely unpredictable but one thing for sure, it's long, arduous with curves and bends. Sometimes it's a smooth stroll and sometimes it's a uphill hike and sometimes it's just a mad dash. 

Then again there are rest stops along the way, like weekends! It's time to unwind. Take a seat and take a breather. After that get up and forge on.

Oh what a hectic week! Then I got home and realized there was no beers in the fridge.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Pray for MH370

Some 48 hours later, there are still more questions than answers. We are still at a loss, like them out in the open space, afraid. There are difficult days ahead yet to come. The best thing, the right thing and most possibly the only thing that we could do now is continuing to silently pray for those aboard MH370 and their loved ones. 

MH370, godspeed.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Payback Time

The teaching of Buddha says that our family is our nemesis in our previous lives. I guess that is why we are so horrifically mean to our family, but so patiently indulgent with friends. Be it the raised voices or the snarky tones or the harsh words, they just spit out, so mercilessly and readily and swiftly. Or worse, all three spewing simultaneously! We just simply snap at each other so easily.

Perhaps after a lifetime later, it's payback time now!

Or this is just in my family?

Saturday, March 01, 2014

A Simple Life

A simple life. 

Those of us slaving away week in weeks out in the city yearn for it constantly. Remember even Paris Hilton wanted it so much that she had a tv-show about it.

Unfortunately, reality bites. No, in fact reality sucks. Here's a news flash: There's no simple life! Life is anything but simple. Try as you may, it is complicated, has been and always will be. 

So what do we to do?

Just deal with it, taking it as it comes one day at a time and remember to breathe.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Take a Break

Take a break from cooping at home in the death of winter and head out skating on the frozen over lake for a bit of a sweat out and fresh air.

Take a break from the almost unsolvable trouble at hand and grab a beer or a cigarette or both to take the mind off the bind and shut it out for some momentarily indulgence.

Take a break from the all-nighter chasing deadline and catch some shut-eye.

Take a break from the craziness at office and off to a short getaway to recharge the lethargic body and soul.

Take a break from the hectic day and go call mom as you no longer when was the last time you called.

Take a break from work and go learn something new or go do something new for the fear of unknown is terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Take a break from a friendship and keep a bit of distance to give each other some space as the city is suffocating as it is.

Take a break from love and spend some time apart for the yearning for each other is growing ever so strong and intense. 

Take a break... 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cheesecake Madness

While I was on my last vacation, I was just crazy about cheesecake, the baked kind. So I was online looking for the best and the easiest and the yummiest cheesecake recipe. And then I put a little spin of my own into it and made these two: mango cheesecake and raspberry cheesecake. Oh heaven!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's All About Timing

As in photography, as well as in life and in love, timing is everything. If it is not happening for you just yet, then just be patience, and persevere.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Be Nice

New year came and gone. Then the Lunar came and gone too. I'm normally not big on resolution (because I can hardly keep them) but this year I strive just to be pleasant and be courteous to the people around me. With that, I hope it'd make their day just a bit brighter and breezier.

If there's one thing that I'm quick, it must that I've always been quick at getting mad over some little things in the mundane daily grind. A waiter getting my order mixed up or a colleague not holding the elevator door opened or a car not parking properly or the telephone repairman showing up 5 minutes late or a stranger not returning my smile. I'd have no qualms of letting them know my utter dismay through some snarky remarks. Sometimes hurtful even. 

And then so what? So fucking what? The truth is getting mad drives my BP through the roof. That is it!  My food would take longer to get to my table, I have to take the next elevator, another round around the car park for a parking space, no call for the next 5 minutes, and the stranger, oh how is a stranger not returning my smile affecting me? The predicament that I'm in, if I can even call it that, remains. Oh my snarky and hurtful remarks remedy absolutely nothing, just very likely making the other party feeling like shit. That is how people get driven apart and life become cold and miserable.

For the past 2 years I been working in a country on a dangerous brink of a civil war. I grew up in a country with a uber-sensitive undertow of social and racial strain. I've experienced first hand the devastation as a result of such a divide between people. It ain't pretty let me tell 'ya. If I could have a super power bestowed upon me, I would like to get people, family or friends or foes or strangers, just closer together. 

And the first step, is simply be nice. Just a gentle smile or an acknowledging nod, I believe, has the unimaginably magical power to move mountains and gravitate people towards each other. And then the rest will just be falling beautifully in place on their own.