Cha Soba Bowl with Orange-Miso Dressing

 

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Some people loathe early Christmas decorations. I don’t. To me the anticipation before any holiday is the most exciting part of it. You plan activities, organize meet-ups, shop for gifts, watch people shop for gifts while sipping coffee resting from all the shopping you’ve done. Then all of a sudden, Christmas passes, and soon enough you find yourself humming to festive songs with dragon dance drums playing at the background. Early decoration for Tết – the equivalent of Chinese New Year in Vietnam – is never a sin either. Continue reading

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The No-Recipe Roll-it-yourself Platter

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Recently two of my very close friends (one of them an expert in pumpkin prep) decided that their current jobs have become too much to bear. There comes a point when all the long working hours, the taxing straining professional relationships and the constant supervision will no longer justify the monthly paycheck. There comes a point when the learning curve stagnates and you start churning out results like a robot. They have reached that point, and they quit. Continue reading

September and My Xôi Memories

Autumn. September. Time to get back to school. Streets are full of motorcycles with students in uniform at the back seat carrying colorful backpacks. School entrance is a battleground of various sounds demanding to be heard: lively music celebrating the wonderful student life and how exciting it is to learn new things, chattering from breakfast vendors whose trade relies entirely on a bicycle, gas buzzing from the pump of balloon sellers (my primary school requires each student to bring a balloon to release to the sky so yes balloon business thrives on 5th September), and of course the first-school-day encouraging and motivating conversations between parents and their children. That is the picture you can paint for any primary schools. When students grow older, 5th September seems less of a fun fair and more of an orderly unloading bay, where parents drop children off and then leave for work. Continue reading

The Eyes

The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye. Charlotte Brontë

Have you ever looked into people’s eyes, wondering what exactly they have on their mind? What’s it like to be them? What have they gone through in their lives? Are they the person they appear to be?

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My Pb’s Porridge

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It sucks being an adult. Work on that proposal! Apply for that job! Find a boyfriend! Get married! Responsibilities everywhere. In the midst of completing the endless task list, I fall into little periods of hiatus which I call my occasional episodes of quarter life crisis, worsened by the mood swing like London’s weather. One moment I’m Mother Teresa on a mission to change the world and the next I’m a bed hugger binging on junk food and Friends for the nth time, mouthing Chandler’s jokes as he speaks. When that happens I go with the flow and allow myself to reach the bottom of the pit, at which point I finally get out of bed and make my Pb’s porridge. Why such a name? Read on. Continue reading