Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shit happens - one bottle down

We woke up this morning to discover this:

One of the wine bottle broke! 4 days after the making.

Since we had to rush to work I only clean up the floor tonight. All the alcohol were leaked out. We suspect that the fermentation was too strong so the bottle couldn't take it. I don't know how to clean the bamboo floor, it doesn't smell at this point.

Talking about hard work goes into drain. Pray hard this won't happen to my second bottle.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Malaysian citizenship for my children

I expected this, but still had that tiny little hope that Malaysia has changed it's constitution about the citizenship for children born overseas.

I sent an email to the Embassy of Paris a while back and got the reply:
2. The Embassy wish to inform you that according the Malaysian Constitution, a child born in Malaysia is Malaysian if one of the parents is Malaysian. However, the citizenship of the child that born overseas is being determined by the citizenship of the father.

3. In this regard, it is advisable for you to give birth in Malaysia if you wish to obtain an automatic Malaysian citizen for the new born child.

So, my child wouldn't be a Malaysian because I'm a Malaysian female. If I was a man, she could have qualified.

France recognizes double citizenship so it would be nice that my daughter could have the Malaysian citizenship. Who knows in the future, we would move back there for several years, then she can enroll in the public school. Besides, Asian countries might form some Economic zone like the European Union, with this citizenship she would have the choice to work in Asian and venture into Asian cultures.

France is a lot lenient on this. According to hubby, children born to a French would be French no matter what. I don't know why Malaysia practices strict rules like this. If you follow the recent news, even people born in Malaysia (mostly before independence) and have been living in Malaysia their whole life have difficulties getting their citizenship. Some of the reasons being they do not speak Malays, they have lost their birth certificate, or their parents were not married.

I hope it won't take long for Malaysia to grant citizenship to those who are born in Malaysia and to children born overseas, without discriminating its own female citizens.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Homemade Chinese red wine 自制红酒

Ok I need to clarify that this is not a wine only for consumption during confinement. In fact red wine chicken 红酒鸡 or red wine meesua 红酒面线 are two of the famous dishes that use red wine as the soup base.

600g yellow raisins (dried grapes)
600g ice sugar 冰糖 or brown sugar (from sugar cane)
2.52L water
5 wine biscuit 酒饼 (dry them for two days before using)
1 glass jar (can fill about 4L liquids)

I got these two glass containers from my in laws. The above ingredients will produce about 3L wine but it needs some space to raise during fermentation. Make sure it covers well.

Step one: Boil water with all the sugars. Once boiling, pour in raisins and let them boil for one more minute then turn off the fire. Put them aside and let them chill for at least 12 hours or overnight.

Step 2: Use a mortar and pestle to crush the dried wine biscuit. Pour the crushed powder into the glass container.

Step 3: Pour the chilled cooked combination into the glass container. Stir it so that the wine biscuit mixed well with the others. Make sure you leave some space in the glass container as the wine slowly raise during fermentation.

Seal the glass jar finely. Each of my glass jar has an elastic, if not try seal with a piece of cloth. Store it somewhere (not directly expose to heat) for 3 months.

Now fingers crossed for the result!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Package from Malaysia

In the Chinese culture, after deliver a baby, a woman would be on one month confinement, where you hire or have someone to take care after you so that you can have full rest. During this month you will have special diet (ginger, wine, Chinese herbs and medicine) plus some rigid practices.

I don't think I would follow all those rigid practices like not taking shower for a month, but I would like to more or less follow the confinement diet. My mother recommended Chinese red wine as one of the cooking ingredients. I don't think I could find it in France so we think about making it myself. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one of the ingredients which is called "wine biscuit" or "酒饼" in the nearby Chinese grocery store. So, my mother expedited some to me.

These wine biscuits are actually one kind of yeast, serve to turn raisin into wine.

She also would like me to have some Chinese medicine. The local Chinese store sells some of them but according to my mother, after knowing the price, the medicine they are selling are the normal type, not those high quality one for confinement. Therefore, my family also sent me some medicine herbs.

My sister also gave me some maternity clothes. They came on time as even though I bought some here as well, due to lack of experience, some of the clothes I bought are too small to last until the last day. I also didn't find those T-shirts that are getting loose only at the waist line.

Anyway, now the challenge is to make the wine myself, from the recipe it seems to be easy, I hope the taste will turn out good.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An unfinished knitting project

I mentioned in my earlier post that hubby's godmother is having a knitting project for our little one. Unfortunately, she won't be able to finish it.

She passed away on Friday, after fighting for different illness and going through many surgeries for over 15 years, leaving behind her only son (hubby's cousin), her aging mother (hubby's grandmother) and her life partner.

We rushed to B town as soon as we received the call from my in laws. Once we arrived in the emergency ward, my MIL and the grandma were accompanying her, lifeless. I hugged the grandma, who was in deep sadness, and kept saying that life is so unfair. It is so unfair that her daugther left before her. All I can tell her was that her daughter is in Paradis with God.

My MIL didn't want me to stay too long in the emergency room, so we went back to the Godmother's house. It was sadden to see that all her belongingness were untouched, but she will never step foot in this house anymore. While my parents in laws were comforting the grandma and the uncle, me and hubby took care of the cousin, who just finished highschool and just started his first year of a tertiary studies.

The funeral is scheduled to be on Monday. The hospital is equipped with rooms with special temperature as transition rooms. We saw her again in one of these rooms, dressed in her favorite clothes. I have never been so close to a dead body, but I was not scared. She had always been nice to me, there was no point to be afraid, alive or dead.

The cousin proposed me to sleep in his room. Since he is very close to hubby, it would be nice that they could sleep together so hubby could be around him whenever he needs someone to talk to. At dawn, about 24 hours after she left, I woke up and suddenly thought of a question: how if she comes back to see her son and couldn't find him? In the Taoism believes, someone who just passed away would come back to see their love ones before they reincarnate. Then, knowing how she loves her son, I know she would find him if she wants to. In the morning after talking to my FIL, I realized that the Christians believe that the dead one will be with God forever and will not decend again to earth. So, it was nonesense to even think that she would come back.

On Saturday, grandma insisted to go to see her again. We sent her to the transition room, but suddenly I lost the courage to enter the room. In the afternoon we sent grandma again after lunch, and there were many friends and relatives came visiting, after reading the orbituary in newspaper. I was so curious, are they so many people reading through orbituary everyday to know who passed away everyday? And the answer is yes, some people do especially those working in churches and old people. Also, one person tells another and soon the news are spread.

During lunch, we learnt about all those paperworks that need to be taken care of after the funeral. Get an appointment with a lawyer for all the heritage issues, visit a banker for all the financial issues, inform the different governmental and business agencies of her death... Already, the uncle and my FIL were spending long hours choosing the funeral is just so exhausted to even think of all things that have yet to be done.

Our regret, is that she won't be able to see her Godgranddaugther, whom she was so eager to meet.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


09/09/09 is another popular day to get married for Chinese couples. 9 in Chinese has the similar phonetic to the word "forever", so imagine being married on a day which wish the marriage last "forever forever forever". I heard that in Malaysia, most of the wedding registration agencies have been fully booked for this day one year in advance.

I didn't realize it is 9 Sept today until some of my coworkers pointed out. I need them to sign something and most of the them have the same reaction : "oh it is 9 9 9 today, such an easy day to remember." So it seems that it doesn't mean anything special in France. Ah should have told them what it means in Chinese.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Baby cloth

We got a parcel from our grandma today. She knitted a set of baby sweater. So cute with the little gloves. I know hubby's mother and godmother are knitting as well for our baby. I think we don't have to buy much for this winter.