Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CNY Greetings 2009

Now the Chief posted up a rather complete Chinese New Year greeting that did pique our interest somewhat. Only somewhat, becuase we don't have the energy to totally go interpret the actual meaning. But then again, we choose reinforce our dependancy on the Chief on all things Chinese by remaining a banana.

So with all the CNY wellwishings going about, this was what the Chief emailed:

It was only after the Chief added pinyin that we whipped out our Oxford Concise English-Chinese dictionary and managed to make out the characters that was written in the email (you know how it is when certain Chinese characters are comprised of two or more basic characters, it all gets so cramped up we can't make out what it is). Then we had fun using our Zig Calligraphy pen to rewrite it and scanned it in for bigger viewing.

Now here's the pinyin (and we've decided to uglify it a tad by adding numbers to indicate which accent it is):

gong1 xi3 fa1 cai2
wan4 shi4 ru2 yi4
bu4 bu4 gao1 sheng1
yi1 ben3 wan4 li4
cai2 yuan2 guang3 jin4
sheng2 guan2 fa2 cai2
xin1 xiang3 shi4 cheng2
wu2 wang3 bu4 li4
heng1 cai2 jiu4 shou3
shen1 ti3 jian4 kang1

And if that isn't enough, here's what the dictionary translation for each character. Mind you, we aren't translating it as it's supposed to be translated, meaning we aren't translating it phrase for phrase, we leave that for the Chief to tell us one day.

Of course, we're sure it wouldn't make too much sense but neither would it make too much missense too.

Respectful, pleased, issue, wealth
Ten thousand, matter, as if, idea
Pace, pace, tall, move upwards
One, origin, ten thousand, benefit
Wealth, source, vast, advance
Move upward, officer, issue, wealth
Heart, think, matter, become
Nothing, tearful, negative, benefit
Horizontal, wealth, move towards, hand
Personally, body, build, well-being.

We shall stay banana, for we find it much easier to understand the latin languages somehow.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Twenty-Eight, Pork On The Plate

If the night at Checkers wasn't enough to satisfy our pork cravings, the following night at El Cerdo did! As the Chief had already planned for last Saturday to celebrate our birthday, we celebrated mum's and our birthday with the family on Sunday instead. As it is, it seems that family celebrations are normally on Sunday...So dad somehow heard about El Cerdo, we thinks it was mum who'd told him about it as she'd been there before with her friends.

Got there, led to our table, and after a cursory glance at the menu dad got one of the Myanmarnese waiters to recommend dishes for the three of us. And that's how we ended up having a Cesar's Salad, potato wedges, mini-sausage (Farmer, Thuringer, German Pepper & Spicy Lyonner, not that we knew what each was when we ate 'em) platter, grill-roasted short pork ribs, and half a roasted suckling piglet (read: siew yoke).

Oh, and a Weihenstephan for ourself. Haven't had one since Bangkok last year.

In short, the peppery sausages were good, the ribs had excellent seasoning but lacked much meat (and for once we ate using our hands, and burned our fingers), the suckling piglet is siew yoke.

So it's sorta known that El Cerdo has this tradition of breaking plates after meals or something like that. Turns out that it's only applicable if you order the roasted suckling piglet. How does it go?

1. Order suckling pig.
2. Staff will tell you pig is so tender that it can be chopped using a plate.
3. Staff will ask for one of the diners to assist in chopping the pigl- pork dish. Chop-chop-chop.
4. After chopping the pork, staff introduces the plate-breaking tradition.
5. Staff will ask to choose between 'money' or 'relationship'.
6. The choice determines the way the plate is held before it is thrown into a bucket for luck.
7. Staff will stand opposite diner and throw plate for luck of the other choice for diner.
8. staff takes the dish back to the kitchen to slice up into bite-size pieces before serving.

So dad did the honours of chopping the pork and breaking the plate for money (since both mum and dad agreed that the relationship part is settled...). The suckling pig is whisked away, chopped up and brought back...

Only to have it facing us.

Already El Cerdo had lots and lots of pictures of cute piggies (take a look at their website!). Pigs actually can look very cute on photos, and that already didn't do much for our appetite, but to have half a pig look at you as you're eating it...

Pork. Must remind self that it is pork and no longer pig.

After mains dad surprised us both by having the staff come up with a birthday dessert cake, enthusiastically singing, "Happy Birthday to you, oink oink!"

They gave us two piggie toys as well as presents.

Given that dinner was just the three of us, naturally we all didn't finish the roast suckling piglet. Leftovers were packed in a nice paperbag meant for Monday's dinner.

We're certainly had one filling birthday babi bash!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Twenty-Eight, A Surprisin' Date

The Chief admits that it was a stressful job pulling off a surprise birthday party for us. And the Chief did do a great job making it a surprise!

See, what we were expecting was that our birthday dinner with the bloggers were supposedly planned to be somewhere the end of the month (or probably after Chinese New Year), and the Chief told us to keep last Saturday free. Sunday we had dinner with the family (more later), and knowing the Chief to be ever the romantic with ideas of romantic candlelight dinners, we decided to leave Saturday's plans entirely in the Chief's hands.

And so the Chief, on Saturday, feeds us with plans of dressing up in each other's favourite colours (so that we wore blue while the Chief wore green), eating at Westin (eating only, the Chief balked at our suggestion of staying overnight there). Then the Chief points out that, since we both were slightly sick at the time, we shouldn't be eating chicken. Now, we don't really follow the many pantangs so we weren't sure how legit this is after all, but since the Chief believes so, we weren't gonna say anything against it.

Chief isn't a beef or lamb person too. Which means that asides from seafood and porridge (both met with rather unenthusiastic response by the Chief), pork for dinner was the choice of dinner. And the only pork place we introduced the Chief to was Checkers (first introduced by otousan, yes here's credits to you), when we both dropped by there one night to sample their ice-cream (creamy vanilla with fruits and rum!) before heading for dinner (yes, desserts before dinner).

You see, how neatly the Chief manipulated us into suggesting the place ourself?!

And even during the drive there...
"Should we call and see if we can book a table? Even if we're 15 minutes away only, you've seen how fast the place fills up."
"No need la. If no place we go elsewhere to eat. There was another restaurant there right?"
"Yeah. The Hot Chocolat Cafe. Never tried there tho'."

So we thought that it was somehow an easy dinner thingy. Mind you, it's not that we had low expectations. There were already plans for a birthday trip up to Camlands again soon and the Chief took it to pay up first - and so told the Chief that we were fine with eating simple, there was no need to splurge.

So anyways, we reached Checkers, parked, walked up to the place and we saw the proprietor outside. Asked him if he had a table for two free, and he told us that the restaurant was fully booked.

Then we stopped and thought, "Aw shucks, ok, let's go have a look at Hot Chocolat."

That was when the Chief urged us onwards to go closer to the restaurant, telling us to take a look. That, was fishy. And when we reached the door we saw Leggie.

Haha, we aren't very good at looks of surprise ourself.

Everyone had to Go green, green, green, green, green, green, green !!

Even the cake was green, topped with fruits and specifically made to contain more kiwi fruits and even the cream had green colouring!

Must say that we're very delighted that our sweetie Chief did wonderfully in planning the entire thing (although during the dinner the Chief did pour out the stress involved in organizing a surprise dinner event, especially because big numbers of people were involved and that Checkers wanted an exact number of seats to reserve)!

The night was spent eating pork, singing ABBA songs, chatting with our neigbouring table of diners, doing a yamseng in harmony, and having loads of fun being ourselves.

Shoutouts (from one end of the table to the other)!
Our darling, who took the effort to print out and made a card replica of the iTunes Gift Card bought from eBay!
Bunny, for the QQ CD Box. No, we haven't tried fitting the Wee Wog in it!
Paul, Leggie and Froggie for the Umbra photo holder! More reason for us to print photos!
Alex and Jin for the Spongebob Lego Keychain and Giant Playing Cards! Come CNY we gamble with that ok?
Alice, for the Lego Name Programme Keychain and the Pastel Art Set! We only have to decide on a name now...
Little Prince, who got us Puppet Pinocchio! Something else to collect in the future maybe!
Apollo, Williamnyk, Derek and SK for the Japansch Zaky! We had fun reading the message on the bottle! Wonder how long we can let it age...
Adrien, Junior, Nivlac and Sinner decided to follow up from last year's Ultimate Bar Book and get us a Cocktail Shaker!
Nase and QR, supporters of alcohol and coincidentally, also got us the same Cocktail Shaker! Now we can make two different cocktails at the same time, once we stock up on different types of alcohol.
Lifebook, for getting us an Esprit bag! Now we have a bigger bag for when the Crumpler isn't big enough!
And thanks for the calls and texts from those who didn't make it!

Once again, everyone, welcome to the first birthday celebration of 2009 (well among BFFs that is)!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh Where Can We Hide Our Face

Let's see what we can remember.

Friday night.

Slightly fuzzy with a runny nose.

Empty stomach.

Beer cafe.

Three glasses Hoegaarden Grand Cru, one after another.

Waking up in the car when mum calls us asking if we're coming home tonight.

We tell her after dinner.

She says it's 4.30 in the morning.

A small pause as we check the time on our mobile's clock.

We tell her ok, we're on our way back.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Year-End Resolution Audit 2008

Dear Janvier Soldat,

Kindly see following report on Resolutions for 2008 and extension of Resolutions for 2007 (see 2007 report).

The Audit Dept. notes that progress of ref:Res/07/0207 has been continuing although at a slow rate. However, keeping to minimum requirements that all albums on the iPod Touch will have album art we will consider this Resolution as passed. Again, the Audit Dept. will entertain applications to remove this particular Resolution from your account at any time.

For ref:Res/07/0117 the Audit Dept. has considered this Resolution failed, and will be noted on your account. Please take note the following findings:
i) Your hard disk constraint claim last audit has been revoked as we have found a new 320GB hard disk added to your inventory.
ii) There has been little to no activity with regards to the Resolution.
iii) You have not applied for change of status with regards to this Resolution in the year 2008.
As of 2009 this resolution has been removed from your account. You may submit a renewal of this Resolution to have it added back into your Account if you so wish.

Your application for the following ref:AppRes/07/1211 to be Resolution for 2008 has not been approved.

The Audit Dept. wishes that update your account information, and submit your application for Resolution 2009 before the end of January. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

BFF New Year's Eve 2008!

The parties continue with us all gathering again a few day's just after the Christmas party at Bunny's place in PJ to welcome in 2009. Like the last New Year's Eve party, we had a potluck. And like the last party, we brought ice cream. Only this time we didn't get Baskin Robbins. We got Bunny glasses instead. We arrived after dinner at the Chief's, when everyone else had already finished eating and was busy camwhoring or chatting.

And proceeded to play the same games we played last year, because they worked so well. What were the games?

Mafia. Also known as Werewolf, or Lupus In Tabula. The thing about this game is that, different groups play different versions, and we rather forgot the other roles that the gang were familiar with. We're used to playing with the Werewolves and the Bodyguard, while they play with the Werewolves/Mafias and the Seer/Detective.

Anyways we'll explain some of the roles here (click for bigger pictures!). Then again, there are so many variants to the roles...Oh, and for cards we used the only deck of playing cards available: Chairman Mao And Friends. We cannot believe such a deck exist...

Maybe we'll actually print out this cards for future use. After we've probably drawn something else to swap the Tuzki pictures.

Interestingly, this game doesn't need to use the terms 'Mafia' or 'Werewolf' because it can simply be replaced with 'Rapist' and the likes...we remember playing with others were we had She-Ra and the likes involved...Anyways after three games we had a turn at playing while Jin took over as GM. Only to be lynched as Saint Janvier on Day One itself.

After that it was almost time for the countdown!

Now, there seems to be a sort of internet-dependency for bloggers. Or perhaps it's just a case of the need to stay connected somehow, because with everyone keeping different time and no telly to refer time to, some of us flocked to Bunny's laptop to go Google for the Atomic Clock. It may sound a bit drastic but at least everyone could agree on a time, after a false countdown 5 minutes before midnight.

2009 was greeted with a yamseng in harmony of voices. See what singing does for you?

Then after that, the next party game - Charades!

Now that everyone understood that, "There is no car!" participation was more sporting. And initially it was Charades as we knew it where an actor acted for others to guess, then we decided to go for a twist: Puppet Show from Cranium, where the player uses another person as the puppet to act out the answer. Imagine Alex using Jin to act out 'Scuba Diver'! The one we enjoyed the most was when Earl Ott puppeteered 'America's Next Top Model'! Very interesting concept.

The party ended with group photos before calling it a night. And hello 2009!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Malacca Merrymakin' 2008

Are we pulling a williamnyk? Well we are tardy in posting a couple of events but best we jot them down before we forget.

And so to end the year we had a Christmas party at the Dragon Doctor's again, only to celebrate it after Christmas instead of before. But it's still the season and everyone was merry, with Secret Santa presents to give out and lots of chitchat (not like we all don't do that on GTalk already) and alcohol to imbibe...ho ho hooooo joy.

Initially we sorta thought that there was gonna be some sort of convoy going down to Malacca with at least three cars going down (with us, the Chief and Junior heading down in Aidan of course) but Amiable Aix IM'ed us the day before asking if we were interested in carpooling. Yay carpool! With him being the driver.

So down we went, merrily listening to music from iPods and other mp3 players via our FM transmitter. Manage to arrive around 2-ish, where lunch of chicken rice ball awaited us. And a game of Life. And would we have it easy after lunch and Life? Dragon Momma pounced upon the lot of us to help prepare dinner. No barbeques for us this year - this time it's finger food and turkey and...and...noodles and rice and goodness knows what. Admittedly we're not too sure what was the entire spread laid out for dinner, as come dinnertime we were happily making friends with all the booze available.

So there the lot of us were that afternoon preparing food. And Dragon Momma proclaiming that she would trade us all for girls who can help prepare dinner. Goes to show what we all did for our Living Skills elective in school.

With the finger food all a-ready, the Dragon Clan headed off to get the turkeys and such while the rest of us took time out to play Coloretto. It's a good thing that we invest in the quick fast games and leave the heavies to 'Nic and Ivan. Speaking of which, we should get ourselves Bang. That's another simple yet fun party game.

Night of the party with other guests arriving and Dragon Momma summons us, the alcoholic, to make drinks. Now it's not that we know how to make fancy cocktails, we actually contemplated bringing the Ultimate Bar Book along but then we thought, "Let's see, as far as we know, our hosts have dessert wine, Doctor Dinokalor brought Jack Daniels and vodka, and we're bringing Malibu. Not like there's much drinks to mix about...let's not bring this." And so we left the book behind.

So. Colour us surprised when we walked into the kitchen and see this spread.

Drinks aplenty, the dessert wine not all chilled and people going thirsty. Blame our watching them Sprintcuts youtube clips as introduced by Adrienz and JOEry for choosing this method of chilling the wine, tho's each cup still needed an ice cube to chill it further.

Now there was only one hiccup with the drinks that night. Three bottles of Orange Muscat. Only one was opened (somehow). The other two remained unopened because the Dragon Doctor doesn't own any functioning corkscrews.

With drinks flowing the whole night, storytelling sessions, Secret Santa (and more) presents passed around, Mamma Mia, soon it was time to call it a night. Only this time Dragon Doctor didn't have enough room to house us all, and we ended up bedding at Bunny's.

It's a nice place, and we'd spend a bit of the night talking about how nice the sun looks over the Straits of Malacca, how the sun highlights how dirty part of the water looks, how the sun reflects sparkling light on the lapping's just too bad the sun wasn't around at that time really. Well the sun did come up the next day in the morning but we weren't in the mood for sitting at the balcony and talking about it anymore.

Before leaving Malacca, the next important bits as to why a Christmas party out of town.

Pork satay. Satay babi. Oh there's chicken and liver and intestines as well, but pork had the most votes. All at the Ming Satay Hut.

Nadeje's crepe mille. Hmmm check the food blogs and nampaknyer ada story. But for a first time experience it was still delish.

Biscuits! Got ourself rice biscuits to take home. This here KSA Food Trading was introduced to us by our driver home, Bunny.

Come next Christmas we know what to get the Dragon Doctor if we're his Secret Santa.