I have temporarily suspended my love affair with Korean dramas eversince the end of Secret Garden because I can’t seem to find any other production that interests me.
In the meantime, I have been watching Japanese animes online and reading the mangas online too.
After Itazura Na Kiss, I watched bits and pieces of Hana Yori Dango, then I went on to watch Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO) and Gokusen from start to end.
I loved the Japanese drama adaptations of GTO and Gokusen, especially the former. Both have a school setting, centred around maverick teachers trying to tame the most notorious class in the respective schools, with plenty of comic, touching AND sexist moments. 🙂 The perverted male teacher in GTO, Onizuka, was formerly a biking gang member while the geeky female teacher in Gokusen, Yankumi, is the heir apparent in a prominent Yakuza family.
Really really good stories with themes revolving traditional values such as honesty, loyalty, respect for the individual, etc.
Now, I’m reading the English-translated Gokuzen manga online. There is quite alot of stuff in the manga that was not shown in the anime or drama adaptation. If the Koreans decide to adapt this manga into a drama, I can totally see pretty bad boy types like Kim Jae Wook or Jang Geun Seuk as yummilicious Sawada Shin. With Gong Hyo Jin as Yankumi. Ooh-ooh-ooh.
That reminds me, I have to pick up City Hunter from where I left off.
Two ladies came up with World Nutella Day five years ago where chocolate hazelnut spread lovers are invited to celebrate World Nutella Day by submitting something relating to Nutella – be it a photo of them eating Nutella, a new recipe involving Nutella, a Nutella party, etc.
I was addicted to Nutella when I was in school. Then I went cold turkey for a good many years after I got married and started eating breakfast outside.
Eversince I stopped working, I became re-addicted to Nutella. I eat it everyday with a slice of bread. The taste of this chocolate hazelnut concoction is just SO GOOD. It is such comfort food to have. I never get sick of it.
My husband is the antithesis of me in almost everything. Not surprisingly, he dislikes Nutella and prefers peanut butter.
I thought about writing a Nutella haiku and submitting it to the World Nutella Day website. But my mind wouldn’t cooperate. So the thought remained as what it is – just a thought.
It’s the eve of Chinese New Year. While most people are busy enjoying reunion dinner with their families, the two of us are parked in front of the computer and TV this evening. We had already eaten reunion dinners with our respective families over the last two weekends.
There were certain years when I had to eat reunion dinners with my dad’s side of the family on Chinese New Year’s eve at a restaurant. Those were truly horrifying experiences because of the maddening crowds. Jostling with truckloads of people at the restaurants was a killjoy, not that there was much joy to begin with.
We had a Chinese dinner at the Imperial Treasures Cantonese Restaurant at Great World City with my in-laws. While it was super delicious and convenient, I still prefer to eat reunion dinner at home with home-cooked food. So for reunion dinner with my side of the family, my mom and I decided that we should have steamboat, which was perfect for the cold and rainy weather that we have been experiencing lately.
Instead of the usual steamboat, I thought that we should do it Japanese-style this year.
With a dashi-miso broth. Napa cabbage, tang-oh, enoki and buna-shimeiji mushrooms. Tofu and Japanese fishcakes. Boiled hotate and fresh scallops. Udon. Plenty of pork shabu-shabu slices. Dips – My mother’s home-made chilli, ponzu and goma dare.
The Japanese uses a claypot to cook their nabemono. We do not have one of those and made do with our stainless steel steamboat.
But yes, I was searching like crazy on the Internet for this song when I first saw the MV playing in the BBQ Chicken restaurant (it’s a place that sells Korean BBQ chicken – which explains the TV showing Kpop) where I was dining at. I could recognize neither the song nor the 4-member boy band so I had to hunt high and low in Youtube when I came home.
To digress a little. My husband thinks I am a walking encyclopedia when it comes to Kpop. That I should be well-aquainted with every single Kpop group and song that has ever descended on Mother Earth. He loves to quiz me on the name of every pop group that he sees on TV and would express (mock) horror when the answer is “I-Don’t-Know-Lah”, or tease me mercilessly with his “what do you mean by you-don’t-know…?”
HELLOOO, I don’t follow every single group in the Kpop disapora. Not all are follow-worthy.
Whatever it is, I must be losing my touch (well, I did lose my Touch once and it cost me alot of money to replace it) if it took me ages to identify this song, only to learn that it is a 2AM song called ‘Like Crazy’ from their Saint O’Clock album.
I also found several acapella versions of the song on Youtube. Love love love acapella versions. Because they sound so pretty singing acapella and also, this showcases their vocals (and not just their abs and pretty faces.)
Acapella ON. THE. SEOUL. METRO.
Blimey. Why is it that I never see these things when I’m riding on the Seoul subway?
Acapella during a talkshow. Poor chaps, they have to sing for their food.
CRIPES. Acapella IN SINGAPORE…!!! Last December. For a fanmeet and to participate in a MNET festival hosted in Singapore.
I am definitely losing touch with the Kpop disapora if I didn’t even know all this.
Dipping into Youtube also led me to several other interesting clips of idols that I like.
I have slept a night in a hammock once, when I was 18 years old, in Pulau Tioman.
A couple of friends and I spent one week in Tioman after our ‘A’ Levels and we couldn’t get any accommodation (read: CHEAP accommodation) for one night. So the ladies slept in a hammock and the guys had to make do with ponchos on the sandy beach (I think – can’t really remember now).
The hammock was quite comfortable, I recall.
That was a super super SUPER fun trip where we had so much fun hiking in the Tioman forests, living on nasi gorengs, mee gorengs and teh tarik all day long. I even had a short stint running a Ramli burger stand, cooking the burgers, for a few days while the owner collected money for the burgers, lying on a hammock somewhere close by.
You know, none of my other more luxurious holidays come close to being as wonderful or memorable as those Malaysian trips that I took with my junior college friends after our ‘A’ Levels.
I wonder – if I had an 18-year old daughter, would she be allowed to run amok in some Malaysian island with several pre-NS guys living in cheap, dingy huts…?
During autumn, the leaves of the gingko tree turn a gorgeous shade of yellow. And I can’t help but pause to admire the beauty of the gingko trees whenever I saw one in Korea, especially those which are very big and old. The older, the more beautiful.
Looking at these trees always make me recall Albert Camus’s quote about autumn:
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
However, the experience of admiring a gingko tree’s loveliness can be marred by the putrid smell of its rotting fruit on the ground. The smell is excruciatingly bad, akin to walking past several rubbish dumps, and makes one want to throw up. However, not every gingko tree produces fruits – only the female gingko trees do.
It is a good thing gingko trees are not found in a tropical climate like ours. I can’t imagine what the rotting fruit would smell like in humid weather.
My mom brought me on a walking tour of Bencoolen St/Queen St/Waterloo St yesterday. This area is so foreign to me now.
We had coffee at the Albert Court food centre, shopped in Fu Lu Shou Complex where I bought a little gold ingot for good luck, visited the dried goods wholesale centre in Albert Court (which I never knew existed), offered an incense at the Goddess of Mercy Temple (my mom, not me), browsed at the Chinese New Year stalls that were operating in Bencoolen Street, dropped by the Korean supermarket at Burlington Square.
I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I last visited this area with her. She used to bring me to the Goddest of Mercy Temple at Waterloo St almost every week – to offer incense to the Gods and ask for good results (for me) and good health (for everyone else in the family) – and thereafter, shopping in the Fu Lu Shou Complex and and the shops around the Rochor/Bugis area.
Maybe all that praying did do me some good.
I remember being totally unimpressed with these trips because going to a temple was very un-cool. I’d rather hanging out in places like Orchard Road. I also hated the devotee crowds and how the smoke from the burning joss-sticks and incense stung my eyes. After all the praying was done, she would purchase flower petals from the vendors outside the temple for bathing. This is the only bit about her faith that I liked – showering with water sprinkled with fresh petals.
I stopped going to the temples with my mother when I turned 10 – the age I started going to church (not that I do anymore) with my maternal grandparents (who converted to Christianity when they were close to 70. Come to think of it, my mother seems to be the remaining Taoist on her side and my dad’s side of the family. Even my dad has converted.
I think growing another year older is making me nostagic.
I scowl at most of the Chinese New Year practices (such as eating reunion dinners, having to go around the island visiting relatives and making small-talk, not being able to sweep the floor on the first couple of days of the New Year) but CNY-plant shopping is something that I thoroughly enjoy doing every year.
Last weekend at Jimei and Far East Flora:
Even if I don’t buy anything from these nurseries, I’m happy to just walk around enjoying these happy things.