Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Blockage Clearing Slowly

Nose is starting to get unblocked, which is nice and the incidents of smokers cough are slowly but surely subsiding. This is, I believe partly as a result of drinking lots of hot tea during the day and subsidising it with a bit of wine and beer in the evening. Nothing like a bit of alcohol to kill the booze.

Anyway, the last two-days have been about family efficiency. Spent the better part of two-days around Tara, helping her to sort out some doccuments that she needed to sort out with the powers that be and showing her the fastest way to look for cheap goodies. My sister, the perpetual Tomboy spared me hours of painful shopping trips but did take a bit of time to look for some "cool" trinkets. She now heads off to Perth for cousin Luke's wedding - this will be the first wedding in the family in quite a while - mine, as my mother has delightfuly reminded me does not count (well, to a certain extent, I guess that's true - I avoided telling people I was married).

Managed to settle a major part of the phone bill and treated myself to a Pizza at Pete's Place in the Hyatt. I think Pete's is wonderful Italian resturant. I remember the place as a kid and now that I've aged to the unkidly age of 32, I still enjoy oven baked pizzas and the fresh bread.

Having lived in Asia (if you can call Singapore Asia), I'm generally spoilt for food choices. Somehow, we on this rather diverse continent, have managed to make the most trivial of things seem tasty. As a Chinese, I take pride in the fact that we managed to uncover the gastronomic delicacies of things like chicken feet and spare parts. When it comes to food taste, I'm all for my own kind. I actually despise Chinese who move to the West and brag about how they don't eat spare parts as a sign of how they have become developed - rather like I find Muslims and Indians who don't use their hands when they eat briyani to be distasteful. For some perverse reason, I see this is a sign of low self-esteem in Asians who are so desparte to try and ape cultures that have not discovered half the wonders on offer in their own culture.

Having said all of that, I find many Western things wonderful and nowhere is this more true than in many Western cuisines. The French have set the standard for Western cooking and the Italians are another group of magicians when it comes to food. I remember one of the best memories of my last summer holidays in Europe was a family trip to Florence. Personally, I found the weather too hot to make old buildings and cathedrals interesting. But what I took home from that trip was the joy of how the Italians managed to make magic with a few herbs, red wine and cheese. There's such an incredible smell of freshness in the early morning of the Italian countryside.

Pizza dough and cheese is one of the most amazing wonders of the Italian kitchen and somehow, for $22, I was able to find alot of happy feelings over a single pizza. I think food is like sex - its best enjoyed with the tounge and the mouth. Somehow when four cheeses are put onto a bit of dough - the flavours create a magical sensation that brings the whole body to a new level of joy - the Finns will of course argue that a run in the snow after a sauna produces similar feelings.

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