Friday, February 25, 2005
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
This post has nothing to do with living in Singapore per se, other than the fact that I was checking my mail at the time. I love checking mail. I love that I have a mailbox that contains real mail - fun mail, from the U.S., that I can read without having to get out my dictionary to look up the words I don't know.
But I digress. I was checking my mail, which requires squatting, and when I did, Ethan and I both heard a gigantic ripping sound. Actually, I heard and felt a gigantic ripping sound. Yeah, it was my pants. My great bargain at Export Fashion pants. The ones I needed to wear to a meeting later this week (thanks to my mom for teaching me how to sew!).
Naturally, Ethan was quite curious to see what had happened. And then we both had a big old laugh about it. I just spoke at a MOPS meeting this morning, so if I had checked my mail before the meeting, I might not have laughed quite so hard.
Ethan wanted to know also, "Mommy, why do pants rip?" I told him it was because they weren't sewn very well. And maybe, possibly, because you're too big for them. Most certainly not the case for me. :)
Thoughts from Gina Marie at 12:27 PM
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
You might think I'm a little late to proclaim that, but today is the Chinese New Year according to the lunar calendar. Living in a country where many people are ethnically Chinese, we get to observe their celebration. We've chosen, though, to take an observe from a distance stance, since an island full of 4,000,000 people with the day off makes for a big crowd no matter where you go.
Case in point: we tragically ran out of skim milk today. I thought, "Hey, Indian people don't celebrate New Year so Mustafa will still be open." I suspected that there might be a crowd, but when I couldn't find a cart, and the lines were no less than about 10 people long (usually there aren't lines at all) I thought maybe I had planned poorly.
Anyway, this is what we know about how to celebrate Chinese New Year (For those of you who would like to participate). You should wear red, because red is the color of happiness. And probably prosperity. It's lucky ok?
Second, you should get together with your friends and family. Then you should make jiaozi. Or lao yusheng. Jiaozi we know as dumplings. Lao yusheng Erik compares to that napa cabbage salad, if you're familiar with that. You mix it together with friends. The higher you throw it, the more prosperity you'll have.
I think then you're supposed to watch the New Year's celebration on tv. Finally, you should give all small children hong bao - red bags full of money. I don't know how much though. Enjoy the hong bao while you shoot off lots of firecrackers.
I think we plan to play cards with friends tonight while eating peanuts, m&m's and cookies. This may explain why Chinese people tend to be smaller than westerners.
And of course, wish those around you a "xin nian kuai le!" Happy New Year!
Thoughts from Gina Marie at 2:38 PM
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
To counteract my criticism of Thai breakfast buffets (really, it's not bad food - just funny that you can find the same thing across many countries) I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about Thailand.
1. Beach massages! You can get these for about 150 baht (currently around $4) - one hour for your whole body. Or for just your feet, if you prefer.
2. Lime shakes - $1 for the most refreshing drink I think I've ever had
3. Beach, and lots of it
4. Really friendly people. Sawadika! (that's hello. That's all I know how to say, except kapkumka, which is thank you. And baht, which means money).
5. Motorbikes. We do the traditional Thai family thing and squeeze all four of us on the motorbike for trips to and from our condo.
6. tropical weather - we enjoyed it in Singapore, but somehow it seems even better here. Maybe because of the beach
7. Everything's really cheap! what else can I say about that?
I'm off to enjoy one or more of the above.
Thoughts from Gina Marie at 3:02 PM
Many of you may be unaware of the above conference which occurred some time in recent history and established conclusively for all Asian countries what Westerners appreciate for breakfast. I feel that perhaps actual westerners may have been unrepresented at this conference. This is what we have found at restaurants across Asia (and by that I mean Singapore, China, and Thailand) for western buffet:
cereal: corn flakes, rice crispies, some kind of chocolate cereal, and sometimes bran or muesli
a wide variety of sweetened bread - not quite doughnuts, but nothing included under Atkins
limited local fruits
eggs, bacon, pancakes, potatoes, sausage
salad (that's the Asian encouragement)
something like Tang
My ideal western buffet is a wide variety of cereal and skim milk. I'd like to say I'm not complaining, but after two weeks of corn flakes and bran (you know, the kind that looks like little sticks) I'm hungry for my own choices. Just a little glimpse into a tropical vacation.
Thoughts from Gina Marie at 2:47 PM