Friday, November 30, 2007

Excitement Is In The Eyes of the Beholder

Events this week:

In the Philippines
An earthquake hit Manila!

In Gloucester
The sun sets at 4pm!

In the Philippines
A typhoon hits Zamboanga!

In Gloucester
The temp’s down to 6c at night!

In the Philippines
A coup attempt was squelched!

In Gloucester
There’s a Christmas Market at the Town Centre!

I miss home.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When in Rome...

..spell as the Romans spell...*sigh*

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Globalization in a Dish

No, not to worry, this is not cute Miss Squirrel from my previous post.

The story behind this dish is:

A Welsh classmate went hunting for rabbits with his friends over a weekend and promised to bring two 'trophies' to a Gambian classmate. My Gambian classmate decided to cook it for Sunday dinner for some of us. One he decided to make into rabbit in peanut soup and the other (in photo) into fried rabbit. He didn’t have any seasoning for the fried rabbit, so I gave him a packet of Indonesian Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken) Mix to marinade his fried rabbit in (which in the end I had to do for him…men!) His other problem was the peanut soup mix which he didn’t have, so he substituted it with cheap peanut butter from Tesco, which worked quite well. While he cooked his best friend from Malawi and a classmate from Korea assisted him by mashing the onions, all the while complaining that onions should be chopped not mashed.

An Indian friend realized that some of the Brits found it hard for their sensibilities to eat cuddly rabbits for dinner and so she decided to make some Indian chicken curry. The Irish classmate decided she will forego her ‘principles’ this time around and have rabbit for dinner. I cooked Thai Jasmine rice to go with the meal since Indian Basmati was more expensive.

While we were eating another classmate from China dropped by and joined the meal while another classmate from Zimbabwe asked “Is this really rabbit? Are you sure it’s not chicken?” three times while eating.

All the while we wondered if we can get the Italians do dinner next Sunday…

...just a wee personal take on globalization.

...and yes, it tasted like chicken.

..and yes, they are thinking of squirrels next time.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Morning Visitor

"Could you be so kind to spare a cup of tea, love?
There's a bit of chill out this morning..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

My 110th Post


Since I missed celebrating my 100th post, (I think I was in the midst of transition then), I decided to celebrate my 110th post instead, first, by turning my blog pink and now, listing 110 of my favorite 'stuff' in life , in random order…

  1. Sleeping in, tucked under smooth, fresh-scented sheets on a queen-sized bed on a rainy day.
  2. Eating my favorite instant noodle while watching a really funny movie on DVD.
  3. Chilling in Baguio.
  4. Blogging.
  5. Taking “artsy” photos that actually come out really artsy.
  6. Rainbows.
  7. Chatting non-stop about everything and anything over Figaro coffee with my favorite people.
  8. Reading a page-turner late at night when the world is still.
  9. Walking along nature trails in cool mountain retreats.
  10. Wide windows.
  11. Tomato ketchup.
  12. Worshipping at Christ Commission Fellowship.
  13. Going for a one-hour thai massage at my favorite massage place.
  14. Mining up spiritual treasures from my Bible.
  15. Longsilog Breakfast (with tomato ketchup).
  16. Having “whatever” conversations with my nieces.
  17. Serving friends my specialties: Chicken Curry or Spaghetti Bolognese.
  18. Sudoku.
  19. People-watching at airport lounges.
  20. Swapping belly-aching jokes with friends.
  21. Foot spa.
  22. Getting around on my own in other countries.
  23. The smell of the ground after the rain.
  24. Practicing my meager Thai.
  25. Bringing foreign visitors around Manila (on public transport!!) and getting them to enjoy our local food.
  26. Earrings.
  27. Spur-of-the-moment out-of-town trips.
  28. Giving the right gifts to people.
  29. Dark chocolate.
  30. Crossing out stuff from my TO DO list.
  31. A good bargain.
  32. A good sneeze.
  33. The scent of Sampaguita (I think its Jasmine in English?)
  34. Meeting up with long lost friends I never thought I’d see again.
  35. Filling up forms. (Yeah, I’m weird that way).
  36. Figuring out people’s personalities/temperaments through Myers Briggs (and finding out I am right.)
  37. Finishing assignments.
  38. Flip flops.
  39. Finally making use of stuff I’ve put aside (read: hoarded) for future use.
  40. NOT getting spam in my inbox for a change.
  41. That “Eureka” moment when I finally understand the convoluted sentences written by academic scholars.
  42. Surfing for and installing nice desktop images.
  43. My Canon digicam, TK.
  44. Listening to foreign friends talk about behind-the-headlines stuff about their countries.
  45. Japanese Green Tea.
  46. Some structure in life.
  47. No-beating-around-the-bush people.
  48. Pleasant surprises.
  49. Writing.
  50. McSpaghetti.
  51. Tulips.
  52. Making lay outs.
  53. Warm hands and feet even when it’s cold.
  54. Warm “jumpers.”
  55. Long emails from my favorite people.
  56. A heater (at least, while I am here in the UK).
  57. Jack Bauer (in case you didn’t notice).
  58. My laptop, CK.
  59. Denzel Washington movies
  60. Ice cold Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi (whichever is available).
  61. Crossword puzzles.
  62. Sushi
  63. Freshly laundered clothes
  64. Staying in Thailand.
  65. Carnations.
  66. Summer rains.
  67. A warm tight hug from a friend.
  68. Light romantic comedies like “While You Were Sleeping”
  69. Yahoo Messenger (alas! My friends are online while I am asleep, and vice versa)
  70. Being the first to “get the joke.”
  71. Witty people.
  72. Babies (when not crying)
  73. Nice clothes.
  74. Josh Groban
  75. Rich, deep colors
  76. Treats and freebies.
  77. Strong warm shower.
  78. Violin music.
  79. Sharing.
  80. Reminiscing about my time at the refugee camp. (No, I wasn’t a refugee, I worked there.)
  81. Picking up a foreign language.
  82. People who know how to say “Thank you.”
  83. Comfortable chairs where I can sit with my feet up or tucked under.
  84. Bailey’s and/or Kahlua
  85. My space.
  86. Autumn (for the colors not the chill).
  87. Fresh air.
  88. Considerate people.
  89. Pure unadulterated silence
  90. Mushrooms (not the magic ones!)
  91. Common sense.
  92. Sincere smiles.
  93. Nice, accessible, hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve good and reasonably priced food.
  94. Latin music.
  95. Class discussions (yes, yes, I am a bit of a nerd.)
  96. Thai/Vietnamese/Indonesian/Malaysian Local Coffee (served with condensed milk!)
  97. Different types of bath products (shampoo, shower crème, etc.)
  98. Nice immigration officers.
  99. Summer.
  100. Contact lenses (not the colored ones)
  101. Efficiency.
  102. Wings. (Ladies, you know what I mean.)
  103. Well-composed, powerful, emotive photographs.
  104. Everything from the 80’s (excluding fashion and hair)
  105. Picking an unfamiliar dish in a menu and discovering that I made the right choice.
  106. Philippine Mangos
  107. Pinikpikan manok at Café By the Ruins in Baguio. ( I don’t want to explain this dish to the faint-hearted.
  108. Clean, spacious, well-decorated, nice-smelling bathrooms (amply supplied with toilet paper and liquid soap).
  109. Neon yellow highlighters.
  110. Lists.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Owning Up to Pink

No, you have not made a wrong turn, my friends.

This is still Gypsy's Haven...only pink!

A big "Thank You" to Aleks who helped me set this up! When I wandered over at Paolo's Blog some time back, he had all these different links to nice blog template designs and I found this template to be quite nice...and gypsy-ish....until it was set up. And Aleks, bless his soul, with his busy schedule and with blog celeb interviews, even walked the extra mile (and did a great job!) by tweaking the template design a wee bit to make the posts readable in this template.

I just didn't realize it was!

Life can be ironic. But, as we sometimes say, "C'est la vie!" Some of you might think just because I am a gypsy, I love change and spontaneity--well, not really, not all the time. I can be a really boring, cautious creature of habit. (For example, today is a sunny Saturday and instead of going out with friends to the city center, I opted to have a warm mug of tea, stay in my room and finish my readings and essays as the deadlines are about to break down my door!)

So this will take some getting used to, but I do feel it's high time I get out of the dark (blue), so to speak.

...I know my pink luggage will be happy.

What do you think?

Monday, November 05, 2007

38 Questions

**Answered on Saturday Night.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? A schoolmate who slurred his words, pretending he was drunk.

2. What were you doing at 0800? Sleeping in.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Struggling to understand a book on Globalization.

4. What happened to you in 2006? I spent six months in Davao and worked out my enrollment to a college in the UK.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud? “Most of the financial growth has occurred in the form of high risk ‘hedge funds’ and other purely money-dealing currency and securities markets that trade claims to draw profits from future production.” I read out loud hoping this would help me understand what sounds greek to me. (Didn’t work.)

6. How many beverages did you have today? 3 cups of hot tea with milk and sugar and a cup of coffee and a punch.

7. What color is your hairbrush? Cream.

8. What was the last thing you paid for? A box of cup soup

9. Where were you last night? Talked til 2am with some friends in the dining hall.

10. What color is your front door? Murky avocado green

11. Where do you keep your change? Small thai woven purse

12. What’s the weather like today? Cold and gloomy

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Mango (Selecta only)

14. What excites you? Opportunities to travel and meet up with long-lost friends

15. Do you want to cut your hair? Did that before I came to England-- too expensive here.

16. Are you over the age of 25? Yes.

17. Do you talk a lot? Yes but I discovered I can be out-talked.

18. Do you watch the O.C.? No, am loyal to Jack Bauer.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yes, a good friend’s cousin

20. Do you make up your own words? Yes, sometimes.

21. Are you a jealous person? Think so, sometimes.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Aileen

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Keith

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? My classmate here.

25. What does the last text message you received say? “Sorry for late reply, when are you coming? I am excited to see you soon!!”

26. Do you chew on your straw? I used to chew on a pencil.

27. Do you have curly hair? Nope.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Ireland for Christmas!!

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? Rude people are never “in” my life.

30. What was the last thing you ate? Cold buffalo wings and a caramel apple.

31. Will you get married in the future? No idea.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? East is East (it is hysterical!!)

33. Is there anyone you like right now? Does liking Hugh Jackman count?

34. When was the last time you did the dishes? This evening.

35. Are you currently depressed? No way, even if the weather out is gloomy.

36. Did you cry today? Why on earth would I?

37. Why did you answer and post this? Because I have no idea what to blog about and was tagged by Lazarus and Niceheart.

38. 5 people you tag next? Mon, Hoop, Jenny, Major Tom and Kayni.