Tuesday 27 February 2007

Tough Love

I met a friend, Vivian from Dubai, for breakfast this morning. He’s here on business and likes to catch up with old friends.

He was telling me about a disappointing dinner with an old Australian buddy last night. He and his buddy went way back. They used to drink and make merry together…

Yesterday, his recently remarried buddy was a totally different person. He brought his new wife to dinner. First of all, he surprised Vivian by requesting for Japanese food. Now this big meat eater who loved his steaks not only asked for Japanese food, he ordered seafood teppanyaki because his wife wanted it.

The second surprise… he didn’t touch a drop of alcohol all night. He only drank water.

His wife wanted vegetables, so Vivian ordered tempura vegetables. The food arrived and she started peeling off the batter to the chagrin of the chef (and Vivian). The chef explained that it is a light batter, not considered unhealthy.

Right after dinner, his buddy thanked Vivian for dinner and said he had to go home early to rest. What happened to the guy who used to party all night? Well, he has to wake up at 5am next morning to swim 20 laps. Why? Because his wife said so!

Fair enough, today this middle-aged guy has managed to replace his pot-belly with a toned abdomen. When he started his swimming regime, he couldn’t swim even half a lap. Now, he can complete 20 laps effortlessly.

Vivian thinks his buddy was miserable and swears he looked uncomfortable all night and would be happier eating steak and drinking beer.

Kudos to the wife for making positive changes… which is good for hubby. But by being over-bearing, she didn’t make him look good in front of his friends. Maybe she should cut him some slack. Afterall, this is a grown man we’re talking about.

Then everyone will be happy. :-)

Monday 26 February 2007

Rusty the tough cookie

For the past three years, Rusty has brought us so much joy and a fair amount of anxiety.

He went missing yesterday afternoon. We looked everywhere and by bedtime, we were almost in tears at the thought of never seeing him again. You can imagine our joy when we found him at a neighbour's house this morning. Well, that's another long story...

Once he fell into a ditch and was only found the next day. Being small, he could sneak into the strangest nooks and crannies. He was locked in the storeroom once until we heard his cries for help. There was the other time when he was sound asleep all afternoon inside the room while we were anxiously searching high and low for him.

This feisty little fella has gotten into more than afew skirmishes with other dogs who have wandered into our yard. You've guessed it. He's been in and out of the pet hospital many times! By now, we're used to seeing him with a 'lampshade' around his neck.

Living in our farm, he has his fair share of thrills and adventures. Life here is a huge playground for him. He's always running after birds and geckos, or sniffing out toads and rats.

He's a tough cookie. He can outrun all the other dogs in the neighbourhood. He can leap onto my bed in a single bound and swallow his food in one big gulp. And he can stand on his hind legs for the longest time.

Yet, when the sky threatens to rain, he turns into the most timid creature. He'll seek refuge under the desk or bed. More recently, he has found the ideal hideout inside mum's wardrobe. She was puzzled at how her clothes have mysteriously formed a pile outside the wardrobe. :-P

Being a typical dog owner, we think he's the smartest and most handsome Jack Russell we know. Rusty is more than a pet to us. He is the kids' playmate. He is also my gardening companion. He keeps our friends and visitors entertained. He hangs around the dining table. He sleeps next to our bed at night and wakes us up in the morning. He goes for walks with my dad and watches mum do her cooking. He is Cookie's best pal.

Yesterday, the kids said "We must find Rusty. He's part of our family."

Sunday 25 February 2007

Where is the Love?

Today, a mother wrote in to the papers expressing her disappointment...

Her 9-year-old son fell and broke two teeth while attending a course at a community centre. The course instructor did nothing. He didn't attend to the boy nor inform the parents. He told the boy to wash up in the toilet and continued his class.

She rushed her son to the dentist after class and was told by the receptionist to wait for his turn as "everyone is in pain and wants to see the dentist first". There was a long queue. When they saw the dentist two hours after the accident, they learnt that the chances of restoring the tooth would be higher if it had been soaked in saline solution or milk. Of course they didn't know that because the receptionist didn't bother.

I have seen the same scenario being played over and over again. This little girl at the neighbourhood clinic was having a bad case of asthma attack. Her face was extremely pale and her breath was laboured. She was having cold sweat and looked really sick. Her father was anxiously waiting for their turn. Ocassionally he would walk to the counter and ask the receptionist to expedite. There were lots of other patients waiting but no one volunteered to give up their turn for the kid.

I couldn't stand it any longer. I walked to the counter and told the receptionist the girl looked really sick. Finally, they brought her into another room for treatment.

In the same clinic, I have witnessed a middle-aged man with a 2-inch nail protruding from his thumb. He worked in the woodwork factory nearby and had gotten into an industrial accident. He wasn't given any emergency treatment either. He had to wait for his turn. Later, I asked the doctor about his condition and was told that the injury was too severe, he was asked to go to the hospital to seek treatment. Now was the waiting (in pain) even necessary?

Years ago, I almost severed my thumb while cutting cardboard in the office. I was in alot of pain and bleeding profusely. I rushed to the nearest clinic and asked the nurse if I could see the doctor immediately. There were 2 other patients before me. She said, "You have to wait. Or you can ask the other patients if you could go first". My thumb was by now wrapped in blood soaked tissues. One of them avoided me while the other said "No" and looked away.

I almost cried, not because of the pain, but by their lack of sympathy.

Where is the love, people?

Keep the fire burning...

Remember when you fell in love? You were both starry-eyed and so full of hope. You could overcome every obstacle...

What about the time when you dived into your new job, with so much enthusiasm and vigour? You wanted to learn everything overnight!

Or that time when you started your exercise regime? You were so upbeat and raring to go.

Unfortunately, that feeling doesn't stay around too long. The enthusiasm plateaus.... Soon relationships become mundane, your job isn't challenging anymore and exercise gets boring...

When I started my business, I would stay up all night thinking of ways to promote the business, reading and surfing the Internet for leads and ideas. Then as business reaches a comfortable level, that hunger slowly diminishes. The passion is still there of course, but it isn't quite as urgent as before.

I think it's important to keep the fire burning at all times. Find ways to renew your love, or pick up a new sport, or attend motivational talks. Don't let the passion die...

Saturday 24 February 2007

Mr Cool-Headed

CH is Mr Cool-Headed. He is always a picture of calm while I am highly excitable.

Last week, I couldn't find my favourite watch. I left it on my desk when I came home and it was gone the next morning! How could it be? It must have fallen into the wastepaper basket below the desk. Everyone at home looked high and low.

I went to the trashcan outside the house to check. The trash was already on the way to the dump site.

I even looked in the office just to be sure I didn't leave it behind. Nada. I felt dejected :-(

CH said, "Don't worry. Give it a day or two. Sometimes lost things will miraculously appear."

How right he was! Two days later, SK lifted up his schoolbag from the couch and found it lying there! It could have been stuck to his bag and was transported to the couch!

That same week, SK came home from school with bad news. He couldn't find his brand new handphone in his bag after swimming lessons in school. That same day, his artwork on his desk was gone when he came back from the loo. He was feeling miserable and yet I gave him an earful. What kind of school is this? I must write a letter to the teacher to file a complaint.

I was jumping up and down when I told CH about this. Mr Cool-Headed said "Don't jump to conclusions first. Are you sure they were stolen in the first place?"

Bingo! Someone found the phone and handed it to the teacher. It must have fallen out when SK pulled his t-shirt out of the bag. As for the artwork, his classmate handed it up to the teacher while he was at the loo. Well, she should have told him...

Anyway, the point is, by staying cool-headed, you can think better and deal with situations better. You will probably stay out of unnecessary troubles and quarrels. Not to mention, wasting all that precious energy fuming away or worrying....

Friday 23 February 2007

Wake up call

I received a phone call from my best friend this morning. Her father-in-law passed away suddenly. I was just at their house few days ago. He was fine and still pottering around...

Death is so final. I couldn't stop weeping when my grandma died two years ago. Though I didn't see her very much when she was alive, the thought of never seeing her again was so sad, so final.

When someone close to you is gone, you are suddenly filled with so much regrets. You should have done this or said that.... It is almost always the case because you assume the person would be there when you wake up tomorrow.

From now on, please show kindness and patience to your loved ones. Show them you love and care while they are still around. Don't wait til it's too late.

Thursday 22 February 2007


This post is going out to all the people out there working in huge, reputable organisations...

I have never worked in a big corporation all my life. But in my business, I deal with people working in huge companies everyday.

I understand that working in such companies have its perks and a certain prestige. In fact, the employees may find it easy getting their way simply because they are backed by XXX company you know!

Without realizing it, some of them evolve into 800-pound gorillas. If they want it, they will get it! If you can’t comply, there is a line of vendors waiting for the business. It’s as simple as that!

I wonder if they have ever thought about what life is like if they were not in the safe arms of their employers? Do they understand what it feels like to be their vendor?

We read about high fliers who are retrenched from their jobs… and how difficult it is to get back into the job market again. For the first time, they face rejection after rejection. It is a very humbling experience.

I am lucky that I have the opportunity to see other gorillas at work everyday. It helps to keep me grounded. And I know for sure, I will never become one big gorilla!


I love sunsets. It is the most beautiful time of the day.
Have you seen how the sky is suddenly transformed into the most awe inspiring palette of colours?

The sun turns into a soft ball of fire and casts a golden hue on everything it touches.
The air becomes cooler... the ambience is simply delightful.

No matter what kind of day you’ve had, a gorgeous sunset will wrap it up nicely for you. It could signify the end of a bad day or it simply makes a terrific day even better.

Best of all, you don’t have to wait very long to see one. It comes around everyday, wherever you are. Like an old faithful….

Tuesday 20 February 2007

Chinese New Year observations

Relatives have been coming by the carloads to visit my parents over the past few days.

Here are some of my observations ...

The littlest ones are always the darlings. This year, my 2-year-old niece is the centre of attraction.

Next in line are the doggies. The littlest one, like Rusty, gets star treatment all day long.

The cute little cousins of before are now taller than I am. And their mums are no longer running after them. They're now running marathons!

The older aunts and uncles always look the same, year after year. Come to think of it, they say the same things too, year after year.

The law of attraction applies. When one comes, many will follow. When one leaves, all will leave... at the same time.

But it's all good. It's always a joy to see them again. They help to keep the traditions alive.

Monday 19 February 2007


Bumboats at Pulau Ubin jetty

After too many days of feasting and mingling during the Chinese New Year holidays, we needed a little getaway. The rustic charms of Pulau Ubin beckoned...

By late Sunday afternoon, we were on a bumboat to this little isle. When we arrived, most of the daytrippers had already left. We cycled to the Noordin Beach camp site on rented bikes and found our favourite spot by the beach.

We were pretty well equipped this time. Besides the tent and groundsheet, we brought the iPod, cooking utensils and a hammock. Dinner was nasi lemak from the famous stall at Changi Village.

By 7.30pm, it was pitched dark. Yet we could see the kelongs floating in the calm waters and the bright lights from the port in Johor. Every now and then, the Marine Police making its rounds on the speedboat would send waves crashing to the shore.

CH settled down to watch his sci-fi movie while I was happy enjoying the peace and quiet. I could see stars twinkling brightly in the sky. Gradually, a flock of birds including hornbills started cooing and chirping in the forest behind us. Crickets and cicadas joined in the symphony. In the distance, across the waters, we could hear karaoke singing throughout the night.

The cool breeze slowly lulled us to sleep...

Saturday 17 February 2007

Spare a thought

Reunion dinner last night was enjoyable as usual. My family gathered around the table for a wonderful steamboat dinner. My ‘Pot of Abundance” (pencai) turned out nicely.

When I sat down to read the papers after dinner, I was saddened to read about this 66-year old widow who had to spend reunion dinner all by herself. She was thrown out of her house by her son and his wife. This illiterate lady had worked all her life to put her only child through university. He successfully graduated and became a doctor earning more than $200,000 a year.

After her husband died, she continued living with her son and his wife. Because she worked as a cleaner in the food centre, she never gained the respect of her daughter-in-law.

One day, while having lunch with her colleagues, her daughter-in-law was so ashamed to bump into her mother-in-law cleaning tables. The widow returned home from work at night to find her belongings outside the apartment. They have changed the locks to the house. When she knocked on the door, they turned off the lights and went to bed. In despair, she brought her bags downstairs and started to cry. She was too embarrassed to turn to her own relatives for help. Finally, her colleague, another old lady living alone, took her in.

She recently lost her job and approached the Tribunal for the Maintenance of Parents to get her son to support her. After mediation at the Family Service Centre, her son eventually agreed to pay her $1,600 a month. But her effort to reconcile with her son was not successful. She said, “”If I could turn back the clock, I’d want my son back ..”

So this year, while families were having their reunion dinner, she was eating instant cup noodles and custard pudding. Why custard pudding? Because it was her son’s favourite dessert, something they would have every year.

Please spare a thought for our parents. Of course we’d expect them to be different from us. Most of them didn’t have the opportunity to receive a tertiary education like us. They don’t go to the office and gossip about the latest hairstyles. Or this season’s Ferragamo shoes collection. Or the hottest vacation spots. Or the newest gadgets. Or whatever....
But they are our parents. Without our parents, there will be no us.

Thursday 15 February 2007

Step by step

As an entrepreneur, I enjoy reading about how other entrepreneurs manage their businesses and lead their lives. I read about their failures and successes. I share their joys and I learn from their mistakes. I can relate to their struggles and triumphs. Every business has its ups and downs and we all know that.

Every entrepreneur has one thing in common. They all started with making the first step… the courage to go into business.

From the first step, they make the next step. Sometimes it works and the business flies. Even if the business flops, the owner must take the next step…

Just like the song? “You’ve got to know when to hold up, know when to fold up, know when to walk away, know when to run.” (though that’s talking about the gambler)

Life is all about taking steps. You take small steps, big steps. Sometimes you side step or back track. You never know how it’s going to turn out…

The Lonely Planet owners published their first scrawny book Across Asia on the Cheap in 1973. They were almost penniless. Today they sell more than 6 million guidebooks annually. Never in their wildest dreams did they think they would become the largest independently owned travel guide publisher in the world.

Subway Sandwich owners started with their first shop in New York in 1965. They had a goal of opening 32 submarine sandwich shops within 10 years. The latest count? 27,228 restaurants in 85 countries today!

We don’t have to look very far for inspiration. It is everywhere around us.

Five years ago, my best friend took the bold step of leaving a cushy job for a more challenging one. It was the best step she had taken. The company has given her abundant opportunities to grow, both personally and career wise. Today, this highly confident lady is very well respected in the industry.

My dear friends Viv and hubby moved from Singapore to the beautiful city of Bend, Oregon two years ago. From time to time, they worry about job security. Still, it was a good move. They now enjoy a better quality of life. They wake up to fresher air and picturesque views every day. And they have more time to enjoy outdoor activities together.

Yet I know of people who wallow endlessly in self-pity. They discourage themselves from making any positive steps. So year after year, their situations remain status-quo or even worse off.

Well, it is all up to us to make that first step.

Wednesday 14 February 2007

A low-key V-Day

V-Day has come and gone. Did you do anything special?

I know Viv baked brownies for hubby. How nice! She sent me the recipe but I guess I wasn’t as motivated as her…

It’s funny… even though we didn’t want to be sucked into this V-Day hoopla, it wouldn't feel right if we didn't do anything together. Hmm, if CH hadn’t asked me out for dinner, I would probably feel so neglected and unloved!

So, we agreed to celebrate in the most low-key, laid-back manner. Go somewhere casual, away from the crowd. Our thoughts veered towards Changi Beach. It has become our favourite haunt lately. He suggested Charlie's Corner of Changi Village. Good idea!

When we arrived at 7.30pm, most of the tables were already taken. Apparently many people had the same idea too.

I wanted beer to soothe my sore throat. The beer menu was too extensive, I decided to take the easy way out. I ordered Bunderberg ginger beer. He had Kilkenny which I promptly took a sip when it arrived. I drank only the foam! =_=

Dinner for me was Charlie’s special grilled fish. CH had the sausage platter. Though I’m not a big fan of sausages, I found the sausages very tender and succulent. Yummy!

By the time we were done with dinner, there was a line of people waiting to be seated.

There’s nothing romantic about the place or the ambience. Most of the folks around us looked like couples who have been together for a long time. Like us, they prefer a casual dinner in a familiar place, without the pomp of expensive restaurants. Most importantly, they looked relaxed and happy.

What good is a dinner if you’re sitting in a fancy restaurant, feeling uneasy all evening? Does that make you feel more loved or appreciated?

For us, dinner at Charlie’s, a slow walk along Changi Beach and sharing a tub of ice cream in the park was definitely a wonderful way to spend V-Day.

Tuesday 13 February 2007

Flower Power

I know it is Valentines Day, but these are not flowers that I have received from anybody...
These flowers have once blossomed in my garden.

Gardening is one of my favourite year-round activities and it is easy to see why...

Here in sunny Singapore, I get a good tan while working in the garden.
There’s always plenty to do in the yard.

The weeds grow profusely especially during the rainy season.
Tackling the weeds is backbreaking work and I can work up a good sweat.

Dead leaves must be removed and branches must be trimmed.
From time to time, I mulch the flowerbeds using sawdust which come by the truckload from the Saddle Club. This prevents the weeds from getting out of control and the plants get fertilized at the same time.

Carting the sawdust on the wheel barrow and spreading the mulch provide an excellent upper body workout. Good cardio exercise too.

Gardening is also a highly therapeutic activity. Watching the plants grow gives me a great sense of achievement. Having pretty flowers in the yard brightens up my day and boost my mood.

Hence it is no surprise that horticultural therapy is used in a wide range of rehabilitation services for cardiac patients, physical therapy and even for people serving prison terms.

In Singapore, the Institute of Mental Health uses gardening to help their patients. Those with schizophrenia can benefit form communal gardening. They learn to work as a team, communicate with one another, learn to plan and organize their task and improve their activity tolerance. Seeing plants grow can be a boost in self-esteem and motivation too.

Now, you don’t even need a yard to get started. Read about gardening. Begin with hardy plants. Nurture them and watch them grow under your care. It is not difficult at all.

Saturday 10 February 2007

A Catherine Zeta Jones moment

Remember the Visa advertisement whereby Catherine Zeta Jones as a female explorer, uses her Visa to order a truckload of bananas to barter back her stolen luggage from the orang utans?

Well, I almost had a Catherine Zeta Jones moment today!

We were at the reservoir to spend the afternoon. As I was relaxing on the mat, I saw two male macaques walking towards SK's bag. I ran towards them. Too late, one of them had taken away a bottle of Pepsi and made his way up the tree. I turned around and saw the other one creeping towards my handbag. Oh no! He made off with my wallet and scrambled up the tree!

We stood under the tree looking on helplessly. He started tossing the contents down slowly, one at a time....credit cards, driver's licence, $10 notes, ATM card.....even little pieces of receipts and (chewed) namecards. What if he decides to run to the jungle nearby with my wallet? How do I explain to the banks my cards were stolen by a monkey!

He almost emptied the wallet, tried to chew it, found it unpalatable and finally threw it back at me.

I can laugh about it now but it wasn't so funny this afternoon...

Thursday 8 February 2007

Everyday is a V-Day

"Raining cats and dogs"

Once again, the much anticipated V-Day is looming ahead of us.

It seems to be a dreaded day. Well, not many people embrace the V-Day. It’s the same old story every year. The happily attached couples coo, "Everyday is Valentines Day..." The singles sigh at their fate and cringe at the sight of lovebirds having candle-lit dinners .

We all know V-day is over-rated. The only positively happy people are the florists, jewellers and restaurateurs.

Even so, the most practical woman feels somewhat envious at the sight of other women clutching a bouquet. Why is this happening? Because of the media! For years, we are shown advertisements of starry-eyed couples, of happy women receiving diamond rings and flowers. Not just any kind of flowers. Only a dozen red roses will do!

How unrealistic is that? I think we should stop playing victims to these merchants! Let V-Day be a day to reflect on how special your loved one is. There are so many ways to express your love. I don’t even have to go into that. If you truly love a person, you will know how.

For me, all I have to do is look at this silly screensaver he made to cheer me up on a rainy day. It makes my everyday a V-Day!

Tuesday 6 February 2007

Happy Spring cleaning

It’s time to start spring cleaning! On the days before the New Year celebration, Chinese families give their home a thorough cleaning before decorating with paper cutouts of Chinese auspicious phrases that speak of "happiness," "wealth," "longevity."

Looking at the mammoth task ahead of me, I wished I have started earlier. I probably can’t finish cleaning the house in time, let alone sit and make auspicious paper cutouts! So, I turned to the Internet for help. Not that I expect the work to be done by sitting in front of the computer…

I found some tips from the experts on how to make the task easier, more relaxing and even somewhat spiritual.

I have to start by making a list of things that need to be done. Oh, have a cup of coffee or tea while doing this.

Next, list down the things to buy. Choose detergents with nice scents as great smelling products are good motivators. Ok, it should be easy to find "aromatherapeutic" cleaning products on the shelves these days.

I am advised to think spring cleaning in a positive light! We are celebrating a new season, see it as a time to do mental cleaning (and calorie-busting) as well.

To get started, open up the windows to let the light in! Spritz some room sprays and put on music…Rock n Roll for tasks like moping and scrubbing, soul for organizing the drawers.

Oh, there are even strategies to choose from: Do difficult before easy (you'll sail through the day after getting the nastiest job out of the way) or easy before difficult (so you'll be buoyed by quick results).

I can even take this approach: do a really mean chore (toilet and tub scrubbing, oven scouring and window washing) followed by a task that's pleasant (rearrange the bookshelf, polish the furniture, watering plants).

According to one expert, the real secret to happy cleaning is to be mindful and think like a Buddhist monk for the afternoon. According to him, if you sponge with your full attention and mop as if it matters, you will get the best results and you might create some zoning-out time for yourself.

So, I am ready to put on my gloves, play some music and clean the afternoon away!

Sunday 4 February 2007

Reunion Dinner

On the eve of the Chinese New Year, a reunion dinner is held where members of the family, near and far, get together for celebration. The dinner is usually very sumptuous featuring dishes like fish and chicken that the Chinese consider auspicious.

In our family, we always gather at my parent’s home for a nice dinner. I often bring friends home to join us on this annual occasion. We love having guests at our family reunion dinners.

My brother and I slave away in the kitchen all afternoon, cooking up a storm. We usually prepare steamboat and other special dishes. This year’s menu is not out yet but after eating Pencai yesterday, I am inspired to put together a simpler version for our reunion dinner too.

Pencai is a pot of delicacies featuring three layers of goodies - abalone, scallop, prawn, fish maw, dried oyster, chicken and duck meat, pig trotters, goose web, sea cucumber and vegetables - cooked in a rich broth.

Maybe it wasn’t so much the delicious ‘Pencai’ that I had yesterday that made such an impression. It was the wonderful and heart warming experience of sharing a meal with a lovely family….of seeing how cohesive the members are. I could feel the good vibes just being there.

Reunion dinner is not all about the food. It really is an occasion for family members to meet and renew ties. You can see how family members interact with one another or how closely-knit they are through a gathering.

I have seen reunion dinners where members of the family are estranged from one another. The siblings arrive at different time slots to avoid meeting each other. Or they simply don’t show up. And when they do meet, no friendly words are exchanged. Nothing pains the parents more than to see discord amongst the children.

In two week’s time, Chinese around the world would be celebrating the Chinese New Year. I hope everyone will enjoy their family reunion dinner. For some others, I hope they can finally put animosity aside and mend any soured relationships. Make it your resolution to appreciate your family. Learn to forgive or turn over a new leaf if you have to. That would be the most auspicious start to the New Year.

Saturday 3 February 2007

Chill-out Saturday

We decided to spend the afternoon chilling out by the reservoir. It was nice and quiet when we got there. I laid my mat under the trees and dozed off. Suddenly a big family descended upon our site and startled me out of my slumber. The kids started running all over the place, making a lot of noise. The mother caught hold of the littlest one and spanked him. He was bawling and making such a racket, we moved to another part of the park. Gee, what’s wrong with these people?

It turned out to be a blessing as we found a much quieter spot under some conifers. We were rewarded with such a beautiful view until dark clouds started moving in.

We drove to Casuarina Prata at Upper Thomson Road to buy roti prata home. The shop is clean and modern, but the business of selling prata is still very traditional. A family member mans the cashier. Another takes order. I enjoy looking at the people working in the hot bustling kitchen... one man shapes dough into little balls. Another flips and fries the prata. Someone packs and dishes out the curry. Then he takes a small slip of paper, writes a series of numbers and hand it to you for payment at the cashier. It's a well-oiled modus operandi.

While driving home on the highway, I came across a most interesting sight. A convoy of trucks, gaily decorated with brightly coloured flags was moving very slowly ahead of us. The trucks were ferrying colourful human characters dressed up as Taoist deities. One had a long flowing white beard and another had a pacifier in his mouth and rouge on his cheeks. An interesting sight really…in this day and age.

Pig-out Friday

I try to eat healthily on most days. Lunch is mostly a cup of milk and oats while dinner is simple home cooked fare. But Friday nights are special! CH and I make it a point to meet up every Friday night for dinner.

All our friends and family know of our special Friday date. I think it is nice to set aside time amidst our busy schedules for our ‘together’ time. Of course, sometimes things crop up and we miss our date. Other times, we invite friends to join us on our Friday outings too.

On our date yesterday, we were deliberating between going to the movies or museum …but we ended up pigging out on Pork Knuckle instead.

We were both wearing resort clothes when we met up. So, we decided to go to Changi Beach Bar! The alfresco bar and restaurant had a live band playing. It was nice and breezy but there was a private party going on.

So we strolled along Changi Village and stumbled upon Jacob’s Café. At 8pm, the restaurant was starting to fill up. It must be good! The special of the day was pork knuckle.

It took about 20 minutes for the knuckle to be ready. We had beer and snacked on tortilla while waiting. A huge knuckle arrived, piping hot and baked to a crisp. It was served with Sauerkraut and an assortment of condiments including mustard, garlic puree, brown gravy and chilli. When you break open the crispy skin, the meat inside was soft and tender especially when it was still hot.... absolutely delicious on its own or when paired with the condiments. It was such a hearty meal, we couldn’t finish it and had to bag it home.

If you happen to be in this part of the woods, do check out this place.

Chowmahalla Palace

During our week in Hyderabad, some of the places we visited include the Mecca Mosque, the Charminar (the icon of Hyderabad), Sufi Shrine, Bi...