Thursday, February 26, 2009

follow the bouncing ball!

Busy at work on a fabulous post on what grocery shopping in Kuala Lumpur looks like...hint: Safeway not included. In the interim, here's a window into what I spent approximately 50% of my childhood might be the best minute of your day!

Talk about a heady whiff of nostalgia!

Friday, February 20, 2009

take a big bite

Due to extremely popular demand (okay, only Jena actually voiced this but I try to believe that more of you want it as well), here comes a hearty take on Southeast and other things that were worth photographing. Ready?

Kuala Lumpur--I'm a big fan. On our first day, after some monkey business (thanks Jena for writing about it so I don't have to), we were famished and ready for some real Malaysian food. We made a beeline for a place that said "banana leaf" on it. I mean, if ever in your life you have a choice between banana leaf or no banana leaf, please for the love of your stomach choose the banana leaf!

(top, left to right: some unidentified pink thing, cucumber, radish, carrot. And the fattest hunk of rice you ever did see with curry on top.) We also ordered some small plates of chicken curry and fish (the infamous fish eye was consumed here). So my former roommate T-face really enjoys eating with her hands, thus she would have enjoyed this meal, but I used a fork and spoon..sorry T!

The second day...on to KL's finest kopitiam, or the original kind of coffeeshop, a place to gather and meet with friends, a place that far preceded Starbucks. Just saying. Okay, so this place we went to is a solid part of KL history. It's been around for 80 years, which is really quite remarkable. Jena really hit the nail on the head with the roti babi, which is fried bread stuffed with pork, onions, etc. Amazing. Aubrey also hit the nail on the head by smothering her pork chop in kaya (coconut jam). The owner was rightfully confused when she asked for a side of kaya with her pork chop, but can't deny the combination of two very good things.

half of the pictures I took on the trip look like this. It is because there is no standard of decent coffee that anyone cares to live up to in East Asia.

Chicken rice! Rice cooked in chicken stock, accompanied by deeeeelish chicken and cucumbers to balance it out. Oh, that's not a worthy description because it's one of those must-taste-to-understand sorts of dishes.

That night, we went firefly watching outside of the city. On the way was a pit stop to feed some monkeys because really, what is Malaysia without monkeys?

He's a cutie, is he not?!

Anyway, it is becoming very obvious that southeast Asia will go on for a few more posts--too many pictures, and there is this little rule that blog posts should not go on for forever. Fair enough. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

home sweet east asia

7 hotels/hostels, 1 night on a sleeper bus, 1 night in an airport, 2 nights in a sleeper train, and 72 showerless hours later, we're home!!! 3 countries in 3 weeks. More, as always, to come.

(credit to Aubrey for the stats)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

too much coffee?

HA, of course there's no such thing with me. So yesterday, I had 5, yes 5, cups of coffee. To clarify, I have totally downed multiple cups of coffee in one sitting, but never 5 all in different locations in the course of a day. To document this momentous occasion, I present Stephanie's coffee log for February 1, 2009.

3:30 am: kopi o from kopitiam in Singapore airport. So we spent the night in the airport since we had an early flight the next morning, and it was so COLD inside I couldn't fall asleep for the life of me. I decided to stop trying and embarked on my first coffee of the day, Malaysian style with a side of toast with kaya (coconut jam) & butter.

6:30 am: cappuccino from western-style coffee stand in the terminal. Amazing foam, and they sprinkled it with cocoa powder...bonus points! Lisa, I wish you were there.

12 pm: ca phe sua da (which translates to iced coffee with condensed milk) at restaurant in Saigon...a little weak.

4 pm: ca phe da (no milk) at a little place on our street. People watched with Jena and Aubrey. Pondered why Vietnamese women wear pajamas in the daytime.

9 pm: ca phe sua da with PHO for dinner. I can't believe I ate pho in Vietnam. It was so BOMB. And they brought it with the drip filter thing on top of the cup and it was like a dream. As I ordered it, I realized that it was the 5th coffee of the day, and I promise, reader, I hesitated a little, but then I realized that this stay in Vietnam is all too short, and I am returning to a land where the coffee is frightfully sum up, I needed that coffee. And it was the best one of the day.

I then slept like a baby in our amazing $11/night guesthouse.

I am so excited for tomorrow; we are going to eat the reportedly "best sandwich" in Saigon. Somebody pinch me!