Monday, May 28, 2012

Malaysian Meal

Malaysian Meal by rachlyf
Malaysian Meal, a photo by rachlyf on Flickr.
International student away from home? Bet you have a stash of food packets or spice mixes tucked away somewhere. Little reminders of home that usually end up unused for months. No? You're probably not too fond of cooking, are you?

It had been a while since I last cooked Malaysian food. I have lots of spice mixes, but the only time I seem to be able to find any use for them is if (a) I have the same dishes for the next few days; perfect for exam period, or (b) I cook for a big group of people.

When Charlene, John, Michael and Derald came over the other day, we had chicken curry (spicy as spicy should be), fried long beans with carrots, stir-fry beef and "bak kut teh" (also known as pork ribs and tea soup). All served with rice. Also, John baked a raspberry cheesecake for dessert.

Speaking of Malaysian food, I've decided to fly back for the summer. There will be a lot of that when I'm home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring, at last

Spring at UEA
Spring at UEA
It's a lovely, warm day outside. The area by the lake is carpeted by greens and dotted with yellows. There is an indistinct pathway around the field in which I cannot, for the life of me, seem to find. So I must wobble through the tall grasses until the cleared pathway inadvertently appears. Beautiful weather all prepared for students to have barbecues (which has been ticked off the list), walks and picnics. 

As friends start and finish their exams, those taking the second-year Shakespeare module purse their lips and wonder whether it is worth having over a month's break in between exams. Since, you know, we clearly use that whole time to study.

Besides, it's a lovely, warm day outside. Too inviting. Too tempting. 

Friday, May 18, 2012


As cosmopolitan as London is, I'm not too fond of the city. The theatres and restaurants are no doubt plentiful, but I cannot walk down the streets without having to thread through large crowds or stand in the Underground trains without feeling stuffy.

When I read that Brighton is nicknamed London-by-the-Sea, I wasn't sure what to make of it. Surely not like London? Still, I've gotten nothing but good reviews on the place and that's why Rachel and I chose to go there for our Easter break.

Yes, this is another Easter adventure. Don't worry, it'll be the last of it. 


Brighton is beautiful in its own way. It's probably called London-by-the-Sea because of how close it is to London...and the sea. That aside, it wasn't too "London-y". Lots of restaurants which become bars by the evening (finding dinner was slightly difficult) and there are many odd shops that sell antiques, vintage goods and unique trinkets. 


It must be the sea breeze that renders it different from other cities. You know that scent you can't seem to dissect yet lets you know you're definitely near the shore? It has that tangy, fishy smell laced between particles of fresh air and salt. A faint stink of decay that evokes the pleasure of aquatic life. A paradox I can't explain.


Fish and chip bars, ice cream stalls, candy shops, and a funfair make up Brighton Pier. It even has the token ferris wheel.

Victoria Garden
Of course, we didn't just stay on the beach. 

An artist at work
Pan out
An ice cream parlour
The ice cream in here is delicious. The place looks like somewhere people would hang out with their friends.


We spotted the casino above in Brighton. I was pleasantly surprised. Thought it was a coincidence at first but I'd recognize that logo anywhere. 

For those who don't know, and to put it simply, Genting is the only Malaysian-based company with a license to run a casino in the country and owns a chain of resorts, a commercial theme park and one of the few proper arenas to house concerts. 

It's one of those places schools would annually, without fail, organize school trips for; the place people go for entertainment purposes. And you can never be sure if you're bored of it even after years.

I digress.






Above: my favourite beach side scene of the lot.


The Royal Pavilion
The following day we visited the Royal Pavilion. If you remember my Harry Potter Studio Tour post, there is a picture of an ice sculpture prop made for the Yule ball, which happened to have been inspired by this exact architecture. Coincidence that we visited Brighton right before the tour?

The interior design inside is quite remarkable. King George VI, who oversaw the building of his palace, had the most unconventional ideas with the designs. He was very interested in the oriental, and it's quite a grand palace. I love the exhibition dedicated to Princess Charlotte, the forgotten almost-queen. Imagine - had she not died, Queen Victoria would never have been born. 

North Laines

One of the curiouser and curiouser shops in Brighton. There are lots of Wonderland-related shops here (we actually walked pass a Mad Hatter's Hat Shop). Recently found out that it's because Lewis Carroll used to visit his sister regularly in Brighton.


Down by the beach there is the Artists' Quarter where artists sell their paintings, as well as where fortune tellers offered their service. 

Pebble Beach
We eventually ended up on the Pebble Beach anyway. It was all serene and peaceful, not too crowded since it wasn't summer yet, the air punctuated by that curious seaside pot-pourri.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A New Issue

Long days in the office with the senior editors and section editors finally paid off. It was a lot of fun.
Another reason to pick up a copy of Concrete, UEA's Independent Student Newspaper.
And don't forget to check out Venue, the cultural pull-out. 

Or you can check it out here. Enjoy.

Looking forward to future issues!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sweeter Side of Life

"Oh. My..." That was my reaction when CSI and Rachel resolved to bring me to places in London that I supposedly could not afford to miss. Where now you say? 

A place choked full of chocolate. M&M's World. M&M's. Hardened droplets of happiness. Tasty rainbows. In one shop. With four levels. Full of sugary goodness. 

Did I mention the chocolate?

Joyce, you would love this place. 

There are two levels worth of these. 
Anyone reminded of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

So that's how you read it.
So I indulged in some desserts. My sweet tooth needed to be satisfied one way or another, and frankly given that it was the holidays, I couldn't find an excuse not to.  

Macaron Ice Cream
I had my first taste of macarons too. On rose flavoured ice cream. Meringue. Ganache. Melted in the mouth.  Like M&M's. Retreated into that happy place in my head whenever I have my sugar fix. Well, for a little while.

Did I mention the ice cream?

I leave you to drool in peace.

PS. My first paper is on this Friday and it's making my head turn into slush. I think a dessert should cure this. I ought to stop my rambling. And waffling. Mmm... Belgian waffles. Should be doing work. And revision. And having some sleep.

Did I mention that I want a dessert?