Archive for September 2007

Visitor in the village

September 30, 2007

R lives in a sleepy Welsh village. It is a very quiet place with plenty of sheep, cows and horses roaming about in open fields. Fragrant lavender growing in people’s gardens, oak trees in the woods, wild berries and nuts within reach as you went for walks.

He has recently bought a new house, which I am helping to put together. So far, we managed to paint one bedroom and assemble a futon and a double bed. 

Being in bed when the inter-city trains went past the tracks near the house was quite an experience. You could feel the house rattling as the trains zoomed by. I woke up repeatedly during the first night as my bed shuddered but as days got by I became used to the shaking.

I do enjoy the daily walks in the fields and making my own food during meal times. There are very limited choices for outdoor dining or entertainment for that matter, not unless you have a car. However, I am not sure if that’s such a bad thing since I do enjoy wholesome homecooked meals and peace and tranquility.

Now all this sounds very idyllic I know, but the most important question is, will a city girl like me, be able to manage having to live, not holiday, in the quiet countryside?

Fowl play

September 29, 2007

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The best Chinese roast duck oddly, exists in a busy English city. And every year I’d make sure I got some of it, even if it meant travelling halfway around the globe and fighting jet-lag.

The duck is available in a very small restaurant in the heart of central London. It is the only reason why this place is always so packed with diners everyday. There are plenty of people like me, who fly in from different destinations just to eat the duck.

Getting a table takes on average 20-30 minutes if you were lucky. You get in the door and find yourself standing cheek to cheek with other customers waiting to get seated.

If you couldn’t stand breathing down other people’s necks and chose to wait outside on the street, you can forget about getting anywhere near the fowl.

A waiter in a black tie and vest stands at the till to take down names in the queue, while his colleague hacks at glossy maroon ducks. As you salivate at the sight and smell of the duck, it just makes the wait seem so torturous.

The porch is almost like a little trading pit, where people so tightly packed together are waving their hands and yelling out their requests.

But once you got past that and finally get a table, you’d soon realise it’s well worth the hassle. The duck, so tender and juicy, simply melts in your mouth at first bite. The skin is crispy with a thin layer of fat underneath. And the best part? It’s only £4 for a good portion of roast duck on rice with Chinese cabbage.

I shall torture you by not revealing the name of this place. Because if I do, it just means I would have more people to compete with for a seat.

Getting hot and sweaty

September 29, 2007

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The moment R and I got through the front door, we quickly got down and dirty. I hurried to remove the excess clothing on me. We quickly got quite hot and bothered.

R wouldn’t leave me alone and I had only just arrived. Still, I tried my best to keep up to his demands. We experimented with many positions just to get things right. Fumbling around, we were soon covered in sweat.

About 40 minutes after we had started, the moaning and groaning intensified. It was now impossible to catch our breaths as we exerted ourselves.

Finally, with a hard push and a tough tug, we managed to get the 5ft mattress (which weighed a ton!) up the narrow staircase in R’s new house and onto the bed frame.

I was told I would spend the next few days painting the bedrooms and putting together a futon.

I always knew R was the romantic sort.

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A step closer to 30

September 22, 2007

 

My mother was in deep agony some years ago on this day and she thought it would be all over when she finally managed to expel me, a bloody mess, from her womb. But little did she know that, that was just the beginning of the pain!

Still, being ever so magnanimous, she treated me, my auntie and my cousins to a lovely meal at Li Bai Restaurant in Sheraton Towers. I always enjoyed the food here because I think it offers good quality cuisine at a reasonable price, complete with attentive service and a wonderful ambience. It has been our family’s preferred venue for many birthdays.

In school, Ms Tall was sweet enough to surprise me with a yummy chocolate cake from Awfully Chocolate, which I shared with a number of my closer colleagues in the department. I am blessed to have them as my friends and support when the going gets tough.

As I grow older, I treasure and value relationships a lot more, and really appreciate the friends (esp the busy ones) who remembered to send me their well-wishes.

For the coming year ahead, I do hope my condition improves, and I will have the courage to move into the next phase of my life.

 

 

Another question I can’t answer

September 19, 2007

Today my students asked me in a very serious tone,

“Cher, what is the name of our school ah! East or West?”

I was so taken aback I could not speak.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that the holidays are around the corner.

I can’t answer this question

September 18, 2007

Everytime a student

Or a colleague

Stands next to me

And speaks to me

I look up at him

She looks down at me

I ask them to stand some distance away

So we can talk without straining our necks

I keep getting asked this question

Which I have no answer to

“Teacher, why are you so short?”

Just a few more days…

September 18, 2007

I do feel less uptight this week, and surprisingly more energetic too. Last night I hung out late with the girls and was amazed that I didn’t get tired and grumpy as the night progressed.

I really had a good time as we stuffed ourselves silly at Sushi Tei while listening to SL’s interesting stories. The girls were also thoughtful enough to buy me some really lovely stuff. Thanks for your love and friendship over these years.

Despite having just a few hours of sleep, I’m feeling quite alert today. Could it be the Chinese herbs which did the trick or am I generally in a more relaxed state of mind? Maybe I have finally learnt to lower manage my expectations, or maybe I’m just gearing up for the holidays next week.

I am all set for the three-week break and am really looking forward to taking the time to refresh and recharge. Finally I will get to see R again after 6 months! I can’t wait!