Birthdays

You can read this article about conservation of state here. It’s a pretty funny reversal of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, written by Murakami, no less.

So yesterday we had a pretty great time while celebrating liangze’s birthday – I took him to the national museum in the morning to look at the Samsung sponsored exhibition –
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– art done on a samsung tablet using an s-pen. It was a lot more amateur than I had hoped – not many of the drawings showed much finesse. But that’s what you’d expect after seeing people do magical things with Paper (the apple app for designers) – is it not offered for Android? There was a hands-on section with 6 Samsung tablets with the s-pen so you could do your own sketch.

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This was mine.

We milled about the museum a little bit (apparently it’s free for all singaporeans but foreigners have to pay $10 to see the permanent exhibits? – we didn’t have time to look at the permanent exhibits. Besides, most museums here don’t have really mind-blowing things unlike the National Gallery or MoMA or the Louisiana)

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It was raining outside so the pictures are a little grey.

Then was lunch at Jumbo (we wanted to use the monthly promotion coupon they send – this month’s was cereal prawns.)
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I really do like these.

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Another favorite dish – home made egg tofu with spinach and mushrooms.

Then we were off to shop at ToTT (okay so this part was more for me – I had to buy a cast iron skillet to replicate Chilli’s queso), plus I kind of missed my pyrex pie pan in the States (which is still in Brooktondale) so I bought another one. It’s great for deeper dish tarts. I also bought two rectangular metal trays for making chang fen – what is commonly found on menus in the states as “Chinese lasagna”, and the direct translation would be intestine noodles (no intestines involved! Just the shape of the roll is a bit remniscent of intestines) – Wenbin had us over at his place on Sunday evening for chang fen and it was really delicious and he made it look super easy. I observed a little bit in the kitchen and hopefully can replicate most of that.

After ToTT we headed to the HortPark – the last time I’d been was before I even left for Cornell. I wanted to go to places that would be at most a 15 minute drive from each other – the HortPark is really pretty. We are thinking of holding the wedding reception there but have not yet inquired as to the price of renting the place as well as caterers – but there are plenty of brochures at the Customer Service Station that state that they do in fact do weddings etc.

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At the entrance of the HortPark is this house (you have to remove your shoes) that shows you how to garden in landscarce Singapore – how you can make use of vertical growing plants and open air balconies and terrariums.

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We brought a little friend with us. His name is Angry, because one of the happyland passwords is angrybearsaregreen. LZ and I (actually LZ’s entire family vs. me) have a dispute over whether this is a frog or a bear. They say he has no ears and is bright green. I say his limbs are distinctly bear like and he is also furry. Have you ever seen a furry frog?! Anyway LZ got him for me when I was sick – he has a little satchet of porcelain beads inside that you can nuke in a microwave so he’ll become hot – yet another indication that he is a mammal, not an amphibian.

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The indoor garden had a lot of really nice tillandsia – another easy care plant, soil-less plant that can be suspended from the ceiling and misted periodically.

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We had tea at this quaint little cafe in Telok Blangah (hopefully we get a flat there!) called the Marshmallow Tree.
They serve marshmallows on a skewer inserted into a little terra cotta pot filled with green clay to form marshmallow trees. They are also known for their rose latte (quite like bandung, only with real milk as opposed to carnation milk). We also had some waffles
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with chocolate and peanut butter ice cream. The only awkward thing was that we were the only customers there, so anything you talk about will basically be overheard by the proprietors, who were pretty young (maybe around our age?)

mt3The interior decor of the marshmallow tree was really nice and the drinks are decent. The pastries (chicken pies, curry puffs, shepherd’s pies, cheesecakes) seem to be ordered in from a standard caterer, like Rokeby or the Blackbird Cafe does. I understand that they probably don’t have the time or manpower to bake all of those themselves however none of the “imported” pastries could tempt me.

It’s a good thing this was scheduled about 2 hours before dinner, which was at the Greenwood Fish Market and Bistro. We had the cold platter
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which comes with lobster, tuna tataki, picked anchovies, littlenecks, greenlip mussels, prawns, oysters, and an octopus salad. It was humongous! I don’t really eat raw seafood (no sashimi/oysters for me) so I ordered a lobser linguine which was really nice. LZ’s mum got a portabello starter. I liked everything here except the cold lobster. The prices were not too prohibitive, and on Oyster Tuesdays they carry $1.50 oysters, which was pretty much what decided it for liangze when his mum asked him where he wanted to go for dinner.

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The desserts were meh, but I’ve stopped thinking about whether I can make whatever they serve better – it’s not everyday I have time to bake an apple crumble or a lava cake so I have to remember that when I pay for desserts, I am really just paying for the convenience of not having to make it myself. Of course if I were to just not order anything that I can cook better it would probably be quite a good idea for a diet.

I like to think he enjoyed himself.
The whole family came to celebrate with him!

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This was what was inside the parcel:
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