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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Not literally! Thank God for that. 😛

The past 3 months I have been cooped up at home due to all the vomiting and general feeling of crapiness. Now that it’s much better, albeit the once a day puking (which I gladly accept over the whole day puking) I have been hit by the restless butt@ Itchy Tush @ travel bug.

The hubs and I try to visit different cities whenever we can, and being in Italy means LOADS of them. Just last weekend we visited this castle in a nearby town in Sassuolo where we were entertained by actors in medieval costumes reenacting the history of the castle. Granted that they used philosophical Italian for the most part, which led to me understand say, only about 60% of what they were saying, we enjoyed it nonetheless. Hubs company which organised this tour was thoughtful enough to have provided us with a knowledgeable tour guide who spoke in English. She really knew her stuff! One had only to point to a certain fresco on the wall/painting, and she’d spew out information like she had grown up knowing it all along. Can’t be all that easy being a tour guide can it? Having said that, I am always amazed at the intricacies and details that painters put into details. The frescoes were amazing and made me wonder how they manage to paint all that on walls and ceilings; I can barely paint on paper! 😛

This Thursday is a public holiday in Italy; Festa Della Republica, or basically the birth of the Italian republic. Hubs co closes on Friday and due to this, we get a nice long weekend! I have been pondering where to visit during this time, and somehow Salzburg in Austria caught my eye. When the hubster comes home tonight, we will make hotel reservations. I am suuuuper excited and looking forward to visiting the sites where The Sound of Music was shot in Salzburg and to see where Mozart lived! I grew up watching The Sound of Music, and heck, one of my earliest recollection is running around the house with a piece of paper that had symbols drawn on them by papa singing Doe-A-Deer, a female deer (Do-Re-Mi). That song was of course, from The Sound of Music. I must have been about 3 or 4, and being unable to read well, papa drew those symbols for me so I could memorize the song. I especially remember that sun symbol (Re-a drop of golden sun) 🙂 This trip would be especially meaningful and symbolic for me for this reason, and this Saturday, 4th of June would have marked papa’s 64th birthday, thus making it all the more special. *teary-eyed

I hope to post pictures of the place when I’m back, so bear with me 😉

On the pregnancy front, I am now sporting a little bump 😀 I am ever so thankful I bought a bunch of A-line babydoll tops from Malaysia as I just about live in them. Have gotten compliments on this particular green top/dress that I’ve been wearing, as it’s very summer/spring-ish, and each time I’m tempted to shout to the world that I only spent RM25/EUR6 on it 😀

I have not been sleeping well though, been having backaches. I think I need some sort of bolster or support. I tried the regular bolster that we have lying around, and it’s more of an annoyance because its simply too fat for me to hug. And no, don’t ask me to hug the hubs. He drools snores 😛

My appetite seems to have returned but I don’t quite like pasta and cooking is still quite a chore for me. I could be fine one minute and all queasy the next, hence I stick to cooking simple stuff like soups.

I also had a nuchal translucency test done and the results came out fine, thank you Lord. We saw bub waving his/her hand around and it was just amazing.

So ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you, our little bub at 13 weeks and 3 days @ 21st May 2011.

It’s amazing how we’ve fallen in love with this little being without even knowing if it’s gonna be a boy or a girl, how he or she looks like, feels like, sounds like. I sometimes catch myself talking/singing to my belly. I’m sure he/she can recognize my voice by now. I sing Do-A-Deer and It’s a Small World while the hubs insists on singing his WRONG version of ABC. (I don’t know how his kindergarten got away with teaching kids an out of tune melody of ABC!)

Ahhhhh, for precious bubs, I am thankful. For the wonderful hubs, I am thankful. For the opportunity to see the world, I am thankful. Life is good 🙂

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I have never intended for this humble little blog of mine to be a food blog, but it seems to be veering towards being a food blog, simply because I love tinkering about in my kitchen. I do have a social life too, believe me 😉

A few weeks back, the hubs and I joined a few other friends for a day trip to nearby Parma. It’s not exactly the place one goes to for sightseeing, but the original plan had been to visit a ham factory and the ham museum followed by a barbeque. We only managed to go to the ham museum which was quite a letdown really. They had some ancient tools on display, a video presentation and not much else. I was actually looking forward to sampling some ham, which I was told could be done. But they didn’t have any of that when we were there. There wasn’t even a rudimentary step-by-step process to show how ham is made. One would think that something as basic as that would be available at a ham museum. It was quite blah so I didn’t bother taking pictures.

We drove to a ham factory next but woe is me, the queue was incredibly long, and there were loads of tourists buses too, and we were in the queue for about 10 minutes before we left, because the queue was moving so slowly we figured it would take at least an hour (if not more) for us to get in. I would definitely want to visit it if another opportunity arises. One cannot be living in Emilia Romagna without knowing/seeing how Parma ham, Parmigiano (Parmesan) cheese and balsamic vinegar is made 😉

We drove quite a bit before arriving at this secluded but  beautiful spot for our barbeque.

The water was incredibly clear and though it looked really calm, as they say, still waters run deep, and quite deep it was indeed. The hubs and the friends tried to swim in it, but were quite overwhelmed by the current.

Yours truly is not a fan of cold water, and thus I sat at the edge of river with only my feet in the water 😉 I also must confess that I can’t swim to save my life. How embarassing 😛

L setting the table, P and A in an embrace, PJ tending to the barbeque and the hubs lazing as usual taking in the sun.

 

The hubs (in yellow) ever ready to tuck in.  His hands say it all.

After a hearty meal, we lounged for a bit, the rest went for a swim while I sat in the beach chair and napped under the sun with the cool breeze on my face. Pure bliss I tell you. Pure bliss.

We made our way to Bardi Castle, about 15 minutes from our Secret Spot By The River. After the disappointing ham musuem, the castle was much better.

Beautiful view from the top of the castle. From the top of the castle, I could see the village and I saw a farmer walking a huge dog. I was quite amazed by it’s sheer size. After I squinted a little, turns out he was walking a black horse >___<

This was quite ingenious I thought. This was the primitive version of a refrigerator. The room was called the Ice Room. It was where the folks living in the castle would store their foodstuff. There was something about the positioning of the castle and the room which led to low pressure, and snow that would fall into this room would remain as ice for the rest of the year, preserving the foodstuff throughout the year. If I remember correctly that is. 😛

The pictures below were taken in the torture rooms.

 

 

With contraptions like those, I would be the most loyal, law abiding citizen ever 😛

After the castle, we had coffee/hot chocolate/beer before leaving for home. I may be quite an introvert, but sometimes, these trips are best done with friends. I wonder where we should go next. I’ve been bugging the hubs to go see how balsamic vinegar is made. I should start digging up more info but instead, I’ve been quite obssesed googling for cooking/baking classes for when I go back to Malaysia for my long awaited holiday 😛

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Malmö, Sweden 2010

We were in Malmo from August 8th till August 26th. I spent my birthday there this year. 🙂 It was a pleasant holiday. I think this was probably the first time I went on vacation and came home not needing another vacation to recover 😉 I think that’s how a vacation should be. Many people tend to want to visit and do everything possible in the shortest possible time only to come home feeling utterly exhausted instead of rejuvenated.

Malmo is a pleasant town of about 293,883 inhabitants (as of December 31 2009). More than one in four (29% of the population) have foreign roots which makes Malmö a multinational city. The largest immigrant group is from Denmark (9.500). Then comes people from former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Poland, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Hungary and Somalia. (Source: Malmo.com).

There were shopping malls everywhere, and the largest one, Triangeln, was literally next to the Hilton where we were at. I was pleased to see MAC, H&M, The Body Shop, Acne and many other stores nearby. I do think I have lost that shopaholic bone in me though. I was more interested in household gadgets, decor items and art. Talk about getting old. I did pick up some items from MAC, H&M and The Body Shop though. The first week we were there, it was raining almost continuously, and then when Malmofestival began, the weather cleared up, and it was sunny for a few days before it got really windy and quite chilly at about 15 degrees a few days before we left. I can only imagine winter! Brrrr.

Turning Torso - Tallest building in Malmo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horse & Dog show

 

Horse & Dog show

 

 

 

 

There was a sailing competition going on

 

Boat on a house/House on a boat

 

Malmo's City Hall

 

Hedmanska gården

 

Design exhibition

 

 

 

Streets filled with stalls during Malmofestival

 

Streets filled with stalls during Malmofestival

 

Free Jazz Performance for all

 

Coffee making car-cum-stall

 

Crayfish party on the first day of Malmofestival

 

This was quite funny. I had read about how a crayfish party is usually held on the first day of Malmofestival. I got quite excited at the prospect of having yummy crayfish, so the hubs and I made our way to Stortoget Square where its usually held. I was amazed at the sheer number of people neatly standing and eating at the long tables. So we went around, in between, through, behind the crowds to find the stall(s) that were selling the crayfish. We couldn’t find any! We deduced then, that everyone brings their own crayfish to the square and eats them there! This was confirmed later on by a Swedish friend. I found this really odd, as I thought it would make better practical and financial sense to have stalls selling crayfish so everyone, including noob tourists like us could partake in the crayfish party 😀 The big black thing you see at the back is actually a big stage where live performances by artistes were held every night during the festival.

 

 

 

 

The queue for churros was crazy!

 

One night, after a few nights of seeing the endless queue for churros, we decided to queue up ourselves 😛 And I must say that the churros was quite good! Comparable to the ones we had in Spain.

So, after close to 3 weeks in Malmo, we made our way home, not before a certain someone *cough cough* left behind his certain piece of circular shaped jewellery in the hotel room *rolls eyes* Thank goodness he got it back the very next day through a colleague of his who happened to stay at the same hotel. Otherwise, he would have incurred my wrath which can be, I must say, quite comparable to Medusa’s at times 😛

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Coming from Malaysia where Thai food is abundant and quite authentic if you choose the right places, I have always proclaimed Thai food as my favourite type of food. I could have Thai food every single day and not tire of it. My ultimate favourite would be the good ol’ tom yam. The hubs who does not quite like anything that has a hint of sourness to it prefers green curry.

The hubs has been to Malmö a gazillion times, and was introduced to this Thai restaurant by his colleagues and it is his must visit food place whenever he is in Malmö. He has stopped short of waxing lyrical about this place I suspect, because he knows how I crave Asian food and am always lamenting the absence of any decent Asian eateries in Modena, and worse still the absence of a place that sells Asian food ingredients rendering it almost impossible for me cook a decent, authentic Asian meal. Most of the Asian ingredients I have at home, have either been  smuggled brought in from Malaysia or London during my trip there last year. But that’s a story for another day.

So on Monday, for our very first dinner in Malmö, we unanimously decided on Thai food, and so he brought me to his favourite Satang Thai Restaurant.

The restaurant is run by a couple; Swedish husband, Thai wife. The hubs introduced me to the affable Thai lady who took our orders and we engaged in friendly banter as she cooked. The restaurant itself is small and cozy and decorated simply with Thai accents. Truth be told, I did not think the food would be all that spectacular.  I mean, authentic Thai food in Sweden? Yeah, right. Oh how wrong I was.

I ordered Tom Yam Goong with steamed rice, while the hubs ordered Green Curry with steamed rice. The food arrived and at the first slurp of tom yam, I was blown away. This was the real thing. Hot, spicy, sour and really authentic. Chockful of juicy prawns, mushrooms and coriander leaves, it was even better than some of the tom yam I had while in Thailand (believe me, I had plenty). The hub’s Green Curry was also superb, and I tasted bits of bamboo shoots and Thai basil in it. To top it all off, the serving was very generous and I was stuffed!

Tom yam goong

Green Curry

Pardon me for the pictures, we were in a hurry to eat (what’s new) and I only remembered to take a picture almost halfway through our meal.

We walked back to our hotel happy, stuffed campers. 😀

That was on Monday. Guess what we had for dinner on Tuesday? 😉 Haha, that’s right. We went back to Satang Thai again on Tuesday night for dinner 😀

This time, the hubs ordered wok-fried glass noodles and I ordered wok-fried noodles, the exact name eludes me now, but it’s very much like Pad Thai.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai - exact name eludes me

No picture of hub’s glass noodles as he had happily tucked into his meal and I didn’t want to stop the angry hungry man from eating 😉 As you can see from the picture above, the serving is really generous, the prawns were fat and juicy but what you don’t see is the side condiment of fish sauce with chopped bird’s eye chilli. Not for the faint hearted.

The folks here are really nice and ask about the level of spiciness which you would prefer. The menu is also extensive and they do takeaways. We will definitely be back a few more times before we leave Sweden. Drat, now that it’s lunch time, I am hankering for some Thai food!

So the next time you’re in Malmö and wondering where to eat, give this a try, you won’t be disappointed. *smacks tongue*

 

Satang Thai

Östra Tullgatan 1
211 28 Malmö, Sweden (close to Radisson Hotel)
040-611 50 26

Monday – Friday 11:00-21:00

Saturday 12:00-21:00

Closed on Sunday
 
 
 

 

 

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Hej, God mórgon!

That’s Hi, Good Morning in Swedish 🙂 I am now in Malmo, Sweden. The hubs and I will be here for the next 3 weeks. Since I have so many days to laze lounge about, I’m gonna take it easy and chill! We are staying at the Hilton, and I have a good view of the city from where I sit now.

McDonald’s is downstairs, so is a mall, a moneychanger is across the street, Asian restaurants at the next street, H&M is just downstairs too, and so is MAC (the cosmetics, not the electronic version). I couldn’t ask for more! Maybe better weather perhaps, coz it has been cloudy and drizzly. But as I said, I have 3 weeks here, I’m sure the weather will clear up.

View from my room

 

Spot H&M and McDonalds 😉

 

The flyer provided by the hotel says that there will be a Malmo City Horse Show from 13th-15th August, a Streetdance competition on 14th August and from 20th-27th August there’s the Malmo festival – the oldest and biggest city festival in Sweden with music, food and much more. That sure sounds like fun *rubs hands in glee* Looks like we chose the right time to be holidaying here.

I’m really liking the people here. Very friendly and polite, always with a smile, so unlike the nasty people in Italy. If only the weather was better, I would have half a mind to ask the hubs to move here instead 😉

Let’s hope the weather clears up a bit for better photo opportunities!

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So sorry, it’s been ages since I wrote in here. Toooooo maaannny things to do arghhh. I decided to take a shortcut and compile the pics into aslideshow. So, without further ado, here’s a lowdown on our trip to Spain 🙂 

 The first picture you should see is the one captioned : Driving into France. Click on the square/arrow buttons on the pics to control/ have a look see at the slideshow.

Barcelona pics coming up next!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

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*Waves*

Goodies from Spain

 

Yes I’m still around. Just running around getting the tonnes of laundry done, and of course it has been raining for the past few days.

And yes, that’s just HALF the loot from Spain. Not in the picture – a dozen bottles of wine and loads of other stuff. We couldn’t help it. Things in Spain are close to HALF the price of things in Italy! I stopped short of stocking up on vegetables and fish >___<

Anyway, I’ve tonnes of pictures up on Facebook, but will update here too. Soon, soon. In between the cleaning and the laundry and putting away all our goodies, I’ve to prepare for a tapas party this Saturday.

Need.More.Time!

Be right back!

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