February 28, 2013

Food for thought.

It is apparently bad etiquette to beg for any kind of votes or followers from readers and friends alike. I know, I know…But guess what? I will do it anyhow. Because if I beg enough I could win dinner in Mexico. And breakfast. And lunch. Basically a whole holiday with no pretence to see ancient temples or museums, a holiday for no other reason but just to stuff my face with little thingies* and other Mexican delicacies. Considering that I come from a family of avid Tequila drinkers, have a Mexican best friend, and already know how to make a killer guacamole, I think I make an excellent contestant to broaden my food horizon in the land itself.

So take a look at my board here, follow me on Pinterest, and if I win - Tequila for everybody!

I found and used this video about the Café Dao and its wonderful owners in Hoi An as inspiration. Though not Mexican, it represents everything what food is all about for me...family, friendship, colours, cultural heritage, sharing, conversation, and love.

Cafe Dao from tewfic el-sawy on Vimeo.

*Taquitos. They are called taquitos. Gladys would make them for me if I begged and pleaded long enough. I could never remember the name so dubbed them little thingies. Not an appropriate term though if you try to order in a restaurant as I have come to realize.

February 18, 2013

And this is what you missed - the happy edition.

Guys, I’m suffering from serious writer’s block today. I had one of these weeks that just flowed past with ease, grace, and bubbly. Though I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I think it makes for uninteresting writing. Maybe because I feel little inspired to rub into your face how perfect my week was. I shall anyhow, but just a tiny bit…

I taught lots of classes and got a big head from all the kind words people told me in response. It made me feel truly blessed and this is not a term I use lightly.
V day, the most dreaded day of the year for a single girl, ended over dinner with not one, but two guys. Yes, you heard me and please feel free to envy me, because there was wine and pasta and cupcakes too.
The highlight was probably an unexpected phone call from my Mum giving me some unexpected funding for my Yay-I’m-Going-To-Vietnam-Fund and my Dad who basically emailed me an entire travel guide with food tips already (No thank you! to the fertilized egg omelette though). Thus I have been whistling One Night in Bangkok a bit too much – again!
Then there was also a Biscuit Mill followed by sneaking to a hotel pool afternoon, a bachelorette party, luckily sans penis straws, and a stargazing evening on my balcony.

It seems I am a lucky girl. When I realize that I’m too content to even write much about it, it makes me a happy one as well.

February 14, 2013

I love you.

Just in time for the V day I wrote another list, appropriately themed Ways in which you can love others. Many ways came to mind for me. Obviously most of them included making pizza or pasta, because we know the love-stomach connection and how I cannot really cook anything else. But then I thought about the times when I felt especially loved and I remembered how my first boyfriend would write me letters all the time. I kept them in a box for years and sometimes, long after we were no more, I would take them out and it would make me really happy to read them again. It made me happy to know that someone had loved me like he did and to sort of hold the proof of it…to have it in writing.
Is it conceited to presume it means something to someone that I love them? Maybe. But just in case it does, I thought I should pay it forward and also put it writing.

February 11, 2013

And this is what you missed - in the paper.

I made page 5 of the Weekend Argus!

Not that I did something to deserve it, unless you can call me deserving for being scammed by the evil travel agent. In which case I still think I’d rather deserve my R 16 000 back than my picture in the paper, but I wasn’t given a choice in the matter.
I guess it is still better than ending on page 6 due to a dubious outfit on a red carpet or an illicit affair with a politician, doing the walk of shame from his place in the wee morning hours. But of course the accompanying picture still managed to suck big time, walk of shame or not. I kind of knew that would happen though, even before the photographer arrived at my office and I could feel important for having my picture taken. As we know I hate to have my picture taken and usually there has to be much alcohol involved for me to volunteer. Bit of a task at ten in the morning. Then I got the instructions to gaze sadly out of the window and I knew all was lost. Just the thing I do, every day since it happened, gazing and hoping my money will reappear miraculously on the horizon. But I guess that’s how newspapers work and in all fairness it is not the photographer’s fault that my nose looks huge in the picture. I did after all just tell her to make my double chin disappear, which she did.

My friend in Canada found the online version here. Though it might not be the next Watergate, I’m happy it’s in print. We, the ETAAs (Evil Travel Agent Anonymous), are still keen to get her even beyond Dubai borders – so please spread the story and of course make sure your next e-ticket number is valid for a round trip before you board a plane.

February 7, 2013

A list.

This week I haven’t been feeling particular happy and definitely not very grateful for pretty much anything in my life. Grateful for stepmother’s throat? Please! Then I stumbled upon the blog of Moorea Seal and her 52 Lists project. Just because I always leave my grocery lists at home, doesn’t mean I don’t love a good list, so I was immediately intrigued. Especially since this week’s list was about things we are grateful for and that gave me something to think. And I realized that once again the devil is in the details and sometimes in the small things, the old, and the familiar.

So here is my little list:

¼Diamonds, almond croissants, and rosé bubbly.
I went to Cassis last night and there was a whole basket of sad looking almond croissants left from the day. My I-love-ugly-kitten complex almost won and made me buy them all. Almost. Sanity prevailed. Annika, an almond croissant is not a kitten, no it is not looking sad, it’s not looking at you at all. It is a croissant which has no eyes!!
¼The wonders of modern medicine and a GP who calls me angel, though god knows I don’t deserve it.
And anyone who knows me, knows how it would usually annoy me to be called angel, but for some reason he is the type who can get away with it, leaving me even feeling special. I blame the English accent.
¼Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book.
¼My new neighbour who looks like Antonia Benigni. But with a sixpack.
Antonio. Of course. I had to make the one typo a gender defining one. Sorry, but I don’t actually like girls with six-packs.
¼  Having a family and actually liking them. Most of the time.
¼My yoga mat a.k.a. lightsaber for inner demons.
¼My courage. Especially my courage to drink green juice.
I have come to the realization that green juicing is not for the faint hearted. So yes, I need courage to down that stuff.
¼My crappy, little camera which despite its crappiness has managed some of the most amazing pictures.
¼A non-windy Cape Town.*
*Which it isn’t. So that makes me also grateful for my never waning wishful thinking.
Pretty please, dear weather man – no more broken windows and basil blown off my balcony!
¼The tingling anticipation of planning a new trip.
¼Steve McCurry pictures.
Looking at his pictures feels like falling in love to me.


All pictures by Steve McCurry. Find more here: stevemccurry.com

February 6, 2013

And this is what you missed - belated edition.

As it seems I can’t even make three weeks in my attempt to have a weekly thing here. Sorry, I do try. In my defence all that you missed last week is that I had too much fun and then I got sick. Again. Certified sick, which doesn’t mean I don’t have to work, it merely means that the child has a name. Strep throat. Which I turned immediately into stepthroat because just like stepmother it sounds nice and evil and of course because I can’t spell. No surprise Google wasn’t helpful there in finding a definition for me, the ever eager patient, who didn’t really know what a st(r)ep throat meant. When it finally accepted my purposeful misspelling it gave me this: A disease which may lead to a sore throat. Dah! I could have told you that. What a let-down of definition and not nearly as horrible of a diagnosis as I feel it deserves. But I guess it’s good not to be mortally/stepmotherly ill.

So yes, all you missed is a very mopey, miserable me. As for the fun…you know what happens in Gardens stays in Gardens.
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