Friday, August 27, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes

I have been sleeping very strange hours due to jetlag. Last night, I nodded off from 8pm - 2am, and then again from 4am - 8am. Being up that early with nothing to do, I decided to make blueberry pancakes for Paul. I'm not a sweet breakfast sort of person (I prefer scrambled eggs with chives and other savoury goodies) so I took only a few bites before surrendering my portion to my boyfriend.

These were good. Fluffy, sweet and satisfying. I substituted milk with vanilla almond milk; I thought it tasted lovely like that! Vanilla almond milk is my absolute favourite.

Anyway, we are going on a mini trip somewhere close today! Tip: it's Southern.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

From Kuala Lumpur to Chicago

Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Changi, Singapore (SIN)
Changi, Singapore(SIN) to Incheon, Korea (ICN)
Incheon, Korea (ICN) to San Francisco (SFO)
San Francisco (SFO) to Chicago O'Hare (ORD)

We had a surplus of miles with United's Mileage Plus program so we decided to use it on an international award ticket, which we've done several times now. The only downside to this is that you do not necessarily get the route that you want because there are only a few award travel seats allocated on each Star Alliance flight. My preferred route is through Tokyo Narita flying straight to Chicago, but those seats were full at the time of booking.

The upside? My Singapore Airlines flight to the other side of the world set us back a grand total of $54.20.

I love miles, and I am looking forward to eating good food at Incheon!

Bring it on, jetlag.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No Place Quite Like Home

It is nearly time to leave. Why do I feel robbed by time? When I left Chicago in July, August felt so far away, and now it's past mid-August and my string of flights over the Pacific is only four days away.

So I have been absorbing a year's worth of memories and sensory details to last me the next 365 days or more. Probably more.

Like falling asleep to the music of Malaysian rain at night. I say 'Malaysian' rain because it sounds different compared to rain in Chicago. I'm serious! Rain in Chicago often strikes fear in my heart. It's almost vengeful. But the nightly showers here are like beautiful wet xylophone notes to my ears.

Oh, and being woken up by a pair of sand-coloured paws prodding against my arm. It's almost always too early for that, but dogs don't always have the greatest sense of time. Sometimes as I am typing away on the computer, she decides after an hour that she has had enough of this lack of attention. So she plants herself next to the desk and whines until I call out various permutations of her name (Lou-Lou, Alou, Louette, Woo Woo, Booette, Little Lou-Lou, etc.) in her favourite language... Babytalk. Alouette has my heart.

Let's not forget durian, and the wonderful durian stalls with their huge colourful umbrellas littered around the city, ready to serve you the creamy custard fruit of the gods. If you are Southeast Asian and you do not like durian... I cannot trust you.

Kuih tako, I saved you till last because I am most thankful to you. Your soft pandan and coconut milk self amuses my bouche and has saved me from the monotony of a strict post wisdom teeth extraction diet. Mashed up fruit gets old after a while.

Sigh. I am sad to leave home, but very happy to have been here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


What an eventful and busy few weeks! After my sister's Chinese wedding reception in Kuala Lumpur, we packed our bags and boarded a flight to Sabah, located on the island of Borneo, Malaysia. We had a rather large entourage consisting of 10 and spanning 3 generations! It has been a good while since I last travelled in a large group, but it was very fun.

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru was beyond lovely. Upon arrival, we were greeted with the strong resonant boom of a gong at the entrance to the resort. Sipping on our welcome drink of chilled lemongrass tea in the dark wood and amber-lit lobby, we enjoyed the gentle lulling of the gamelan musician. Fell in love with Shangri-La from this moment on! It's the little things that make a lasting impression: having a bowl of fruit in your room every morning and pink and white shells as delicate little soapdishes. My future home will have shells as soapdishes. :)

Visiting a cultural village deep in the Sabahan forest made me see things very differently. Such richness and variety in culture. And all in my very own Malaysia! These were all things I learnt in textbooks growing up, but seeing things in person is something else. I felt so bland and boring culture-wise, being raised in the city of Kuala Lumpur instead of some obscure tribe of Borneo. The village itself was lush and green, with babbling waterfalls and creeks and slightly rickety bamboo homes. In that idyllic setting, I found myself wondering if I could live such a simple life. It would be nice to get away from the concrete jungle of Chicago and lose myself in all that greenery and fresh fruit (haha), but the answer is probably no. I'd have to work a little harder on my blowpipe skills, for one. Oh, and I would miss sushi, Anthropologie, and um... the ability to Google.

Meet my friend, Masa. Masa is an orangutan and she was my favourite in the sanctuary. She would look right into your eyes if you called her name, and such warm and kind eyes she had! The tigers are clearly in love; the one in the foreground is obviously me and the one displaying his masculinity/trying to get me to leave him alone is Paul, my boyfriend.

I cannot wait to go back to Sabah or anywhere else in Borneo. It did not feel like I was in Malaysia (it felt more like Indonesia) and it was agreed upon by all that Sabahans are much friendlier than KLites! Also, the seafood. Mmmm, sweet sweet seafood. Till next time, Borneo!

Friday, August 6, 2010


- Ruche

I don't remember the last time I wore jeans or pants (aside from American Apparel yoga pants for lounging around). I live in dresses. With a wardrobe devoted almost exclusively to a good variety of this feminine one-piece garment... I find it easier to get dressed and out the door. Pick a dress that strikes your fancy, a cardigan (if needed), and a pair of shoes! Efficient.

Oh, and in the winter? Thick sweater tights are my best friend.

I sort of really want these dresses to be waiting for me in Chicago when I return. That hemline of the second one is whispering my name across the Pacific. "Have me. Wear me. I'm frivolous and fun, and you will love me." Hmm...