Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Cat's Hole and Shanghai Bound

Yippee... even the cat is excited to come home. She balked at the cat carrier for about 2 days, then saw that her favorite cushions were inside. Now she never leaves the silly carrier. She gets in there and purrs and purrs, she kneads the cushions and rolls into a ball as much as her fat blubbery body will let her.

Let's see... some other things we are getting done... We have sold all of our 220 volt appliances and electronics. All of my plants are sold. I have sorted through all the goods that are going to charity. I have even cleaned out the extra fridge and sold it to my maids friend Tuna.

We are off to Shanghai this Saturday. We will stay there for 4 days then we fly toXi'An where the Terra'Cotta warriors are being excavated. I hear that is really incredible. Then we will be going to Beijing for several days, I want to ride bikes with all the other Beijinger's, climb the Great Wall and visit the Forbidden City.
One thing we are going to do that is really different is ride the overnite train from Beijing back to Shanghai where we catch the plane back to Singapore. We'll stay in Singapore for the nite then hop up to Penang. I am hoping none of us gets sick. My friend Bonny (who has a 2 month old) will be going with her husband for the Shanghai part of the trip, so we'll be hanging out shopping whilst our menfolk are at business. Sounds like fun to me...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

For Malaina

My darling daughter came to Malaysia and fell in love with Indian food. This magnificent feast above here is authentic Penang Tandoori Chicken. It is like none other in the world. I mean that quite literally. In Penang the Indians make it different than Indians in India. In Penang it must be served just like this on a stainless sectioned tray, with red onions, limes and sauces. The green sauce is wonderfully minty, and the red, is dahl. This dish has garlic naan. You can get butter naan, butter-garlic naan, garlic, naan. All is equally good. The chicken is incredibly juicy because it is marinated in yogurt and spices. Real tandooi chicken for us needs to be orange in color. The Asians have a special way of cutting those limes too, for maximum juiciness and no seeds. I promise Malaina, we will get this recipe just right if it takes years!
The rice dish above is usually served on a real banana leaf. The one above is plastic... the cuisine is called Nasi Kandar. Or rice -stick. A hundred years ago the Indian-Muslims would go around and sell their wares balanced from a large stick they carried on their shoulders. Pots of rice on one end and curries on the other. Now we line up to go to their amazing shop houses. This is a typical one above. The patrons circle the food. And you don't leave hungry! Oh my gosh the curries are insanely good. Hot, sweet, chicken, beef, fish. There are wonderful veggies too. The food is Halal the Muslim equivalent of Jewish Kosher. The price is right too. We can eat stuffed to the brim for under 8 USD. Most Nasi Kandar stalls also have various other Indian foods to order like Butter Chicken, Palak Paneer, uuummmm!!
I must confess, these photos come from another blogger, but I am going to go out this week to Little India and take my own photos and eat some chicken. I will also be buying some trays like these above too. I have to stop this blog now because I am getting hungry just thinking about the food, and it's bed time, but that is not usually an issue in Penang because the Nasi Kandar stalls are open 24/7. Agghh

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Strangely Delightful Movie

Stranger Than Fiction with Will Farrell, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, and the adorable Maggie Gylennhal was filed in the huge collection of DVD's we have amassed so far here in Asia. I hadn't watched it yet because I wasn't sure if I cared to see Will Farrell in such an unusual role. But I am a huge Will Farrell fan, and I just finished it while I sat here at the computer working on other things. I have to say this movie has been one of my favorites that I have seen in a very long time. It was romantic, funny, thoughtful, and all of the characters were so likeable. I can't imagine why it didn't get a bigger response in the theaters.
It is about Harold Krick and his mundane life, and how it all begins to change as Harold becomes the main character in a "blocked" authors latest big book comeback. Harold starts to hear the author as she writes about his life, and he begins to realize that he needs to start living life to the fullest. It was absolutely charming and I love Will Farrell even more after this role. Also, the character that Maggie Gylennhal (the cute Jake Gylennhal's older sister) plays is so totally darling in this as Harolds Love interest. If you happen to be at a video store or you see this on sale at Walmart, it might be something your whole family will like. I will warn you there is one scene where Will Farrell and Dustin Hoffman walk through a YMCA locker room and you see about 4 bare butts of some hairy old farts taking a shower. Other than that there is nothing else that I found questionable.