Thursday, May 28, 2009

Missing the rice dumpling

Today is the Dragon boat festival, during which the Chinese community prays with bak zhang (rice dumpling in Hokkien) and organizes dragon boat competition. Some people believe that this festival is aimed to remember a famous Chinese poet, who killed himself during the Zhou Dynasty when his country fell into the enemy's hand. People who love him prepared rice dumplings and throw them into the river so that fishes won't eat his dead body. Some people were riding on boats to look for his body thus come the Dragon boat festival.

It has been years I haven't tasted a real bak zhang. Last time I ate some homemade one was back in 2002. Hubby was with me in Malaysia and he immediately fell in love with these mouthwatering dumplings. It requires long hours of preparation and usually we will eat them as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Neighbors exchange bak zhang as every family may have different fillings inside the bak zhang. My favorite remains the one with salty egg yolk with lots of chestnut and dried shrimps.

Austin has a huge Chinese community so during my days there I managed to find some bakzhang (with very different tastes) to ease my craving. Me and hubby even volunteered for the Dragon boat festival by transporting the boats through the Travis lake during the training seasons. Beside the Dragon boat competition, some groups were playing traditional Chinese musics, presenting Chinese art crafts and of course some festive foods.

I have asked the Chinese shop in my area whether they sell rice dumpling during the festival and the answer is no. They said I have to order from Paris. I have not heard of any community organizing anything about this festival. Probably one day when the Chinese community is growing, we are going to have Dragon boat festival on the Erdre river. Let's just hope. :-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cute animal

Saw this rabbit beside a parking. I was wondering why we can see so easily these rabbits whenever there is a park nearby in France, but seldom in Malaysia.

Squirrels, they are everywhere in Austin, but you don't see them often in Malaysia.

So what do we have in Malaysia? An animal that wander around? Monkey! But they are absolutely not cute as they steal stuffs from houses and play tricks with you. Once a monkey stole a banana from our old house and he was eating it on the tree while looking down at us. His attitude pissed us off but we can do nothing.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The slanted eyed Chinese

Since there are not many Asians in my community, I sometimes get stared at especially from kids. I didn't know this applies in Spain as well.

When I was in Estartit, I was walking towards a Spanish boy who was around 5 years old. He was looking at me from far and when I was almost passing him, he slanted his eyes at me.

I was not offended at all but it is just something to ponder upon: Why does he know to do this eyes gesture when he sees an Asian? Do they teach this now in the school?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A dive in the Mediterranean sea

Despite the shining sun and the blue sea, I was bored to death in Estartit. After two days, I have wandered in most of the streets and even climbed up the mountain to have a panoramic view of the stunning Mediterranean sea. The rest of the week I had nothing else to do so I decided to go on the boat with hubby one day just to see how a dive goes.

We departed from this harbour

Passing by these two rock islands

Briefing of the diving areas before jumping into the water

Every first level diver is accompanied by an instructor

Well waiting for hubby I was accompanied by this cute little dog who seemed to enjoy herself with the view.

Everyone is underwater now but the bubbles on the surface show their positions

Everyone is back after around 45 minutes of dive

Some divers have underwater camera so I managed to see the undersea view. They saw a fish with only one tooth, it just cracked me down. :-)

Friday, May 08, 2009

We are back, but have to go again

We are finally back from the 11 hours road trip from Spain. It was a very painful journey as due to the heavy restaurant food for the whole week, both me and hubby are not feeling well, bad digestion I guess.

We have a wedding to attend tomorrow, so have to repack the luggage and go on road trip again tomorrow. I'm really not looking forward for it as I know it is going to be a long long long dinner again, not really in the mood for that. :-(

Monday, May 04, 2009

Estartit - Apéro everyday

We are having apéro everyday on the apartment balcony facing the Mediterranean sea before going to the restaurant for dinner. I don't know how those French handle their stomach but I certainly can no longer take all those ham and nuts and drinks before going for the fatty Spanish food. I skipped some of the apéro and I know it is impolite but at one point I just don't care anymore.

Last night in Spain and I guess we are going to have a long apéro again.


Ok. Some updates from Estartit but my laptop battery could die any time and the bar owner just told me that I can't use their plug to recharge. Well, the wireless hot spot is in front of the harbour and there is no plug available anywhere except if you are in a building. The tourism office refused to let me use their plug so I don't know where else I can use one.

Here is just a photo I took from a walk to the mountain while hubby was diving. He is having two dives per day so I have plenty of time to wander around.

More update if I manage to find a bar that allows me to use their plug.

Vacationing in Estartit, Spain

We are having a diving trip in Estartit Spain and I will not be able to update the blog until 8 May.