Chinese New Year and pineapple tarts

With Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year almost back to back, the different occassions seemed like it never really ended and started again, rather, it felt as if it went by in one continuous stretch. Yet, the end of the entire holiday season kind of hit me in my face. With reality set in so quickly, I don’t think I’ve quite recovered and gotten enough of Chinese New Year! I still think of coffee lapis cake, dumplings and not to mention, my absolute favorite pineapple tarts.

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To be honest, I don’t think I’ve eaten as many pineapple tarts as I’ve had this Chinese New Year. Somehow, this Chinese New Year rekindled my love and longing for pineapple tarts. Whenever we go house visiting, I would kinda spy around to spot if there’re any pineapple tarts among the stash of Chinese New Year goodies. Trying all the different kinds of pineapple tarts made me realized that my grandmother’s pineapple tarts are indeed the best!

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enroute to seattle! (okay, in 15 hours)

In about 15 hours, Jon and I will be on the plane and headed to Seattle!

My friends and I often talk about travelling and it has dawned on me that people have very different perceptions of what it means to travel. I must say that Jon and I have quite a similar idea on what it means to travel. To us, traveling = holiday = relax. We often stay away from holidays that require too much effort and like to lean towards a holiday that is enjoyable and relaxing.

We disagree when people say that not visiting the eiffel tower is tantamount to not seeing paris, or not visiting the forbidden city is tantamount to not seeing china. We do not particularly enjoy visiting crowded tourist sites often enjoy visiting the neighborhood places and trying their local food. When we went to bangkok on a recent trip, we did not visit the grand palace or jim thompson’s house but instead, ventured into random soi‘s (side streets) where there were only local thai’s, and tried different kinds of local street food, and wondered if we would get a stomachache or not. When we went to phuket quite a while ago, we would venture to small family owned restaurants and to local markets where we found out that we could go down to the wet market downstairs, and buy some raw ingredients where they would whip something up in a matter of minutes.

When going for a holiday, I think it is important to stay true to where your passion and interests lie. To some, understanding and experiencing another country’s cultures means trying all their local dishes and visiting local restaurants. To others, it could mean visiting their museums or visiting touristy sites. It could also mean driving out to the suburbs to experience nature. That said, I feel that it is important to understand that different people appreciate and experience cultures in different ways. Asking a foodie to go visit art museums or asking a person who loves suburban nature life to go to a famous, incredibly crowded sight will often be very torturous, no matter how representative of the culture or how meaningful you may think it is. Hence, if someone shares their holiday experience with you, think twice about saying things like, “I can’t imagine that you went all the way there and didn’t see the cherry blossoms in Japan! Its like you didn’t visit Japan at all!” because everyone is just different! Embrace that diversity in life :)

This trip to Seattle has been a long awaited holiday for us. Unlike many other holidays where we go to someplace foreign and experience new cultures, we decided to go to Seattle once again relive the happy memories we had in a place where we met and spent a long time building our relationship. Going back to restaurants and sites we used to frequent, visiting friends we’ve had so much fun with…is just a perfect holiday waiting to happen.