Saturday, April 30, 2011

For my Mum, a hobby gardener. Happy Mother's Day!

"We come from the earth. We return to the earth. And in between we garden."
--Author Unknown--
Chúng ta sinh ra từ đất. Chúng ta rồi sẽ trở về với đất. Và ở lưng chừng thời gian, chúng ta làm vườn.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Moleskine Japanese Album- The story of Four Seasons- Spring

 1. Part-Winter

Easter Sunday will be the day after tomorrow. According to the weather forecast, it will be sunny and warm. Normally, my landlord and his wife drive to Spain and celebrate Easter there with their grandchildren. This year is an exception. All of their three grandchildren are here in Germany. By day, when the sun shines brightly, they run and make noise in the garden. By night, they play and hop around indoors. I- my landlord's poor renter, who have lived in his basement flat for four years- wonder, how I (in the midst of such annoying noise) was able to learn for my important oral exam in Linguistics, which was taken place last week, and passed.
As soon as the exam was over, I drew again and tried to finish the pages of springtime in my Moleskine Japanese album before Saturday. This is the result:

Click on the picture to enlarge

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm forever blowing bubbles.

I remembered Doris Day's "I'm forever blowing bubbles" and drew this postcard for a postcrosser in Oregon, USA. "Pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, nearly reach the sky. Then like my dreams, they fade and die..."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vietnam and Malaysia

It's Spring Break!
I came back home in Vietnam and later, went to Kuala Lumpur with my family.
Most of the time I stayed at my hometown, Ho Chi Minh City- the craziest city of Vietnam. For three days, I stayed in Nha Trang, a beautiful city by the sea and my childhood's place. I used to live here with my grandparents for four years.
After that, I flew with my mum, my aunt and her daughter to Malaysia.
First, we visited Genting Highlands- a famous casino-based vacation resort in Malaysia, 90 km from Kuala Lumpur and spent a night at First World Hotel, the fourth largest hotel in the world by rooms- it has a total of 6118 rooms. Actually, we were not very happy at this hotel, which was remarked by Guinness World Records. Our rooms are tiny and strongly reeked of cigarette.What I like most about Genting Highlands is its cable car, which at its opening (1997) used to be the world's fastest and South East Asia's longest gondola lift. From the cable car, the view of the tropical forests is incredible.
I like Kuala Lumpur very much. The national capital of Malaysia is clean and full with green trees. However, the heat here is unbearable. We visited the National Palace, the National Monument and the famous Petronas twin towers. Nowadays, there is a lot of impressing skycrapers in Asia; but to me, this twin towers still are the most beautiful. We had a shopping day at Suria KLCC located at the base of the twin towers.
On the last day in Malaysia, we went to Batu caves- one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. At last, we dropped by Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia before heading to the airport for the flight back home.
After the trip to Malaysia, I had two days to pack my luggage for the flight back to Frankfurt. Within 3 weeks, I had to fly more often than a stewardess does. Four days are all I had to relax, before the new semester begins.

(Click on the picture to enlarge)

The first three days 15-17.03.2011: Snailburger covered by betel leaves; Fried japanese silk tofu with sea salt; Salami bought in London, Cheese bought in Germany; Salad with dried tomatoes; Steamed fish served ith chinese crystal noodle; Kabayaki-don; Mixed fruit juice

 18.03.2011: Lunch at Park Hyatt Saigon: Cooked rice with tomato flavour and fried chicken; Fried banane served with coconut ice-cream; Raw oyster; Rucola salad with dried tomato and pamesan cheese; Goose foie gras; Duck sausage and mustard; Dessert set: Ice-cream, Sorbet (Lychee, Passion fruit, Strawberry), Apple pie, Mango pie, Fruit cocktail with alcohol jelly cubes

Mum's blood cockle salad recipe: You need blood cockle, lemon grass, shallots, garlic, chili, lemon, fish sauce, mint, laksa leaves, coriander, vinegar

 19.03.2011: Best friend's wedding. It's a little bit boring to go to a wedding alone. Hmmm...

 24-27.03.2011: Nha Trang- my childhood's city. Mum and I stayed at Sheraton Hotel. We booked a room on the 10th floor with sea view. On my birthday, I came back the hotel room at night after visiting my grandparents and surprisingly saw a chocolate birthday cake on the desk. It was a present from the hotel.

Grandma's chicken meat balls recipe: You need boiled quail eggs, pork and chicken meat, salt, pepper, sweet ketchup, cooking oil

 31.03.2011: My Mum, Auntie, her daughter and I flew to Malaysia. Malaysians greet guests with a hand laying on their heart.

 On the same day, we drove to Genting. Then, catched a cable car to Genting Highlands.

02.04.2011: We had a shopping day at KLCC, located in the Petronas twin towers. The twin towers were the tallest building from 1998 to 2004, but remain the tallest twin buildings of the world. It's 452-metre high, has 88 storeys and 32000 windows.

Hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia. On the treet leading to the National Monument, all treetlights are designed to look like this flower. I now dream to have one in

A weird Nepenthes (pitcher plant) fountain is located not far from the historic Merdeka square, where the Union Flag was lowered and the Malayan flag hoised for the first time 1957.

03.04.2011: Kaya Pau filled with Pandan Lotus Paste is now my favourite Malaysian food.
At the Batu Caves, there are numerous macaque monkeys. One of them tried to steal my umbrella.

I also like the chin chow (grass jelly) of Malaysia. In VN, we also have chin chow, but I prefer the one in Malaysia. Its texture is tougher and the grassy flavour is milder. In spite of numerous green trees in the city, the hear is unbearable. Probably, that's the reason for my camera's defect.