Monday, 2 Nov
Today, I went to dinner with a guy friend of mine I’ve been wanting to get to know better. I couldn’t decide between a few places to eat and gave him a few options. Surprisingly, he chose Jo Jo Taipei. When we got there and ordered food, boy was I surprised that he ordered what I’d consider actually good Asian food (i.e. ma po tofu)! Surprised, shocked! Shocked beyond belief, I tell you! All I have to say is, thank goodness for yet another person to drag out for authentic Taiwanese food. Yay!
However, we did get into an argument over the term “water dumpling”. He thinks xiaolongbao (小籠包) is a “water dumpling,” as there was “water” IN the dumpling. Meanwhile, I — the Taiwanese/Asian — insisted that “water dumpling” is essentially your regular dumpling, potentially in soup, as dumpling translates to 粽子, and when boiled it’s known as 水餃, which includes the character for water (水). I hope I don’t have to disown him as a friend over this issue. Just kidding. He’s awesome — despite our discrepancies.
Tuesday, 3 Nov
Every time I’ve moved to a new place as an adult (twice), I keep hearing “Ikea!” everywhere. Yes, yes, I know that everyone LOVES going there to shop for basic furniture and the like, but I’ve never been fond of the place. I grew up with cheap Ikea furniture that didn’t last, wasn’t sturdy and wasn’t built by the best hands. So, I’ve cultivated disdain and distaste for anything attached to Ikea.
Now, I knew there was a Ikea in Boston — or outside of, as Ikea is never really IN a city — and it was too far for me to traverse to via public transportation. I was rather glad for it. However, the IT guy at work, whom I friends with, told me recently that he was going to go and invited me along. I figured it wouldn’t hurt — boy, was I wrong about that.
So, off to Ikea it was. I stepped into an Ikea for the first time in my adult life — yes, I have various lives; don’t you know I’m secretly a cat?! I wasn’t very fond of the furniture, as expected, but rather I was fascinated and tempted to purchase everything else. I wanted all the little knick knacks they had around: the decorations, the “room accessories,”…ALL THE LITTLE THINGS! What did I walk off with? Two giant glass bottles because they looked cool. Oh my.
Friday, 6 Nov
Today, one of my socialite friends invited me to celebrate her birthday with her and some of her friends. She chose to have a group dinner at Towne Stove & Spirits, a rather upscale restaurant in a fancy Bostonian neighbourhood, followed by some dancing at a club. At first, I totally planned on going. Then, I wasn’t feeling up for it. Then…you know how it goes, the flippy floppy fish. In the end, I decided I might as well go and socialise. It took me an hour and a half for me to FINALLY make up my mind, dress up — without make-up — and get going. I was rather late — about thirty minutes — to dinner, but thankfully she was still waiting on some other people before we put in our orders for the night.
The menu was quite pricey, but then again most Bostonian restaurant tend to be. The funny part was the “bread” appetisers they served us. They were sticks — okay, edible sticks — REALLY long, edible sticks. It was ridiculous. We were a group of young people who barely dressed up to go to this upscale restaurant staring at sticks — really long, edible sticks. For the longest time, we couldn’t decide what to do without looking ridiculous. Some of us tried eating — or rather nibbling — a stick (at least a foot long or more) straight on. Then, we tried to dip it in the hummus we were given at the same time; that just looked ridiculous. In the end, we settled for a “polite” breaking of the sticks into several small parts prior to dipping and attempted enjoyment after befuddlement. Oh food, why must you be so strange at times?
“Today” I Learned
- Wild yeast is a thing. So, years before packaged yeast, people used to catch yeast that simply floats around in the air to bake bread and whatnot. Even today, some people will still catch wild yeast for personal cooking purposes, such as making elderflower wine as one of my graduate student says they do at home in the Netherlands.