Do not judge a cake by its icing

I’m taking a short break from Mallorca posts because I’ve been kinda busy shopping for my outfit for Piers’ annual company dinner.

It’s a black-tie event and I haven’t got anything with me in England, so I have to buy everything: Dress, shoes, bag, shawl, jewellery, maybe gloves.

I kind of left it too late. There’s nothing decent in the shops so I had to go online. The problem is, all the dresses I like that suit me are made to measure and will take a month to be delivered. Even the shoes I have my eye on are made to measure.

But the dinner is next week!

It’s very hard for me to find dresses because I don’t look good in bustiers, V-shape necks and halters, which basically describe the style of most evening gowns.

So I had to finally settle for this cheap ready-to-go dress. Ordered it two days ago and it arrived today, but it’s 10 inches too long (even though it’s XS / UK size 6) so I’ll have take it to the tailor.

 

Evening dress

 

Dress: USD84
Shipping: USD29
Tailoring: GBP30 (estimated)
Total: SGD200

Turned out not so cheap after all, for the quality. The stitching around the beads looks a bit poorly done.

But what is done is done and I have to wear it.

After shopping, there’s still the business of retouching my hair, threading my face and doing my nails.

Yep, very busy.

Actually, I wanted to talk about a cake today but got sidetracked, sorry.

The supermarkets in England carry very pretty cakes that look inedible because they look more like decorative items than food.

Piers assured me time and time again that they taste awful.

But I can’t help being drawn to them, especially this one.

 

Pretty cake
Do not trust a cake that you can stand upright.

 

I made Piers buy it because neither of us had a birthday cake this year so we needed to make up for it.

It’s so pretty it makes you happy, doesn’t it?

 

Pretty cake
It’s so pretty it shouldn’t be edible.

 

Pretty, pretty cake
Cut along the dotted lines.

 

Ooh pretty cake
Please unwrap me. Cos no one else would.

 

We should have just left it alone as a decorative item.

It tastes awful.

The description says:

“A Madeira sponge cake layered with plum and raspberry jam and vanilla flavour frosting covered with soft icing and decorated with a sugar plaque and candy flower.”

This is how I would describe it:

“A dry and hard cake with cough-syrup-flavoured jam filling, wrapped in a fatally thick layer of icing so sweet you could go into anaphylactic shock if you tried to eat it.”

 

Cake!
Do not judge a cake by it’s icing. And ribbons. And harmless-looking teddy bears.

 

Well, I have learnt my lesson now.

Next time, I will get Piers to buy the Hello Kitty one instead of the Forever Friends one.

The trouble with bikini shopping

I’ve been really busy lately (which explains why my blogs have been coming a bit slow).

More specifically, I’ve been really busy shopping.

Even more specifically, I’ve been really busy shopping for bikinis.

 

 

Bikini
Bikini from Simply Beach.

 

 

Shopping for bikinis is a colossal task of epic proportions, inversely proportionate to the proportions that the bikinis in question are tasked to contain.

In other words, the task is huge because the proportions are tiny.

In more words, I’ve been doing a favour to mankind by avoiding being seen in a swimsuit since puberty.

I’ve never had to worry about bikini shopping because I normally just beg off swimming or beach outings. We have a lot better things to do in Singapore than patiently sit on a piece of towel and grow skin cancer cells.

 

 

Sun bathing comic

 

 

But, this month, I’m going to Mallorca (pronounced mah-yor-ka), a holiday island in the Mediterranean Sea that belongs to Spain, with Piers and his extended family. And I don’t want everyone to think that I’m a hypochondriac recluse by hiding indoors all day when everyone’s out enjoying the sun by the pool or beach, never mind that I am a hypochondriac recluse in fact.

So, I need a swimsuit like everyone else. A proper bikini, because that’s what everyone wears, and none of those granny-style swimsuits that make men wish they’d stayed home that day and never gone to the beach.

Then again, me in a bikini probably inspires the same thought but I figure it’s a lesser evil.

If nothing else, I can always be counted on to dress appropriately for the occasion.

I did toy with the idea of just wearing shorts and t-shirts and pretending that I’m allergic to water or something. But even that might foster the impression of hypochondriac reclusivity, so I decided to just go to heck.

Meaning, I have an excuse to go shopping and Piers can’t say, “You already have enough clothes, dear!”

And he can’t blame me if, along the way, I also pick up a dress or ten, and a half dozen necklaces. And maybe a few pairs of shoes. And don’t forget bracelets because the wrists need loving too. Maybe some handbags to go.

Because having the appropriate outfits with matching effects is very crucial for a successful holiday.

 

 

Beach kaftan
Beach kaftan from Simply Beach.

 

 

(By the way, this is not advertising. Just happens to be the shop I bought some of my beach clothes from.)

 

I won’t say how much I’ve spent in the last 10 days because Piers reads my blog. Not that I’m spending his money or anything like that, but boyfriends have a funny way of insisting that you really don’t need another little black dress because they can’t tell the 10 that you already have apart, anyway.

What do they know, really?

So that’s what I have been busy with. You must understand that shopping for bikinis is very time consuming and frustrating for some people, due to the challenging nature of trying to fill a specific shape with nothing.

For some reason, they only make gorgeous bikinis for women with Barbie doll proportions. If your proportions resemble Ken more than Barbie, you have to settle for uglier, plainer designs that make you think maybe swimsuit designers have a shady deal going on with plastic surgeons.

But, after sifting through mountains of photos, I finally settled for less just to end the misery, so now I am done shopping and can get on with my life, which usually involves a bit of blogging and a lot of shopping.

Well, if you don’t tell Piers, I won’t.

Food, shopping and a bloated hand

Today’s blog will touch on delicious topics as well as very unpalatable ones.

I supposed I’d better show the food first so you can enjoy the photos before your stomach gets turned by the other photos.

Because we were out yesterday (hospital in the morning, shopping afternoon, theatre performance evening), we had to eat out.

After three days of icky hospital food and two days of bland home-cooked food, Kay went at the tasty offerings outside with wild abandon.

Lunch wasn’t too bad. We ate at the food court at Coex Mall (largest underground shopping mall in Asia).

 

Coex Mall food court

 

Sheylara

 

He had omu rice with grilled chicken breast. It was quite nice. We come across omu rice eateries in Seoul quite a lot.

 

Omu rice

 

I was persuaded to try New York Fries.

Kay used to eat it when he was living in Canada and he said, “You must try it at least once if you have the chance.”

 

New York Fries

 

I think he just wanted a chance to nick some fries for his deprived palate.

 

New York Fries

 

It’s not too bad. There are different kinds of powders, sauces and spices you can add as you wish, but when you throw the condiments in your cup, the fries at the bottom don’t get seasoned, so it’s annoying. But they do give you little cups to store more condiments to take away if you want.

The hotdog was a bit of a joke so I wish I hadn’t ordered it.

So far, in all the Korean food courts I’ve been to (which amounts to a grand total of two), I noticed they give you electronic devices that you can take back to your table after ordering so you don’t have to wait at the counter for your food. Your device will beep when your food is ready.

 

New York Fries

 

The only time I’ve seen this in Singapore is at Marche VivoCity. I think it’s a great tool which all food courts should implement.

For dinner, we had Indian food. Kay’s suggestion.

It’s a restaurant called Taj Mahal (surprised?) just outside Line 1 Jonggak Station (I think Exit 7 & 8 – underground mall exit).

 

Taj Mahal Restaurant

 

It was empty when we went up (the restaurant is located on the second floor) but then it was 9:35pm, just after our show.

We ordered a totally ruinous diet of samosas, tandoori chicken, butter chicken masala and naan. It was a set dinner.

I suppose we have to give poor sick boys a break sometimes.

 

Samosas

 

The samosas were a bit hard to photograph, insisting on looking mildly obscene no matter which way I turned them. But they were quite tasty, especially with the greenish dip they came with.

True to Korean style, they served us little side dishes, although we thought pickles and jalapeños were a bit strange to see in an Indian restaurant.

 

Side dishes

 

The tandoori chicken was awesome. Most tender tandoori chicken I’ve tasted. It was spiced just enough too.

 

Tandoori chicken

 

But the naan and butter chicken masala were mediocre. Naan was quite tasteless, but it didn’t matter that much after dipping into the masala, which was slightly too sweet for my taste.

 

Butter chicken masala

 

I know it’s very weird eating Indian food in Korea but it was a good meal, overall. Cost KRW36,000 (S$41) for the set meal for two.

But now the sick boy has to pay penance by eating bland food for the rest of the week! lol.

I did a bit of shopping at Coex Mall in the day. Bought three pairs of boots and a warm coat. I don’t know if it’s a winter coat because it’s not one of those shiny bulky ones with fur around the hood but it’s warmer than anything else I have.

Will get a photo of it next time I wear it out.

I can finally wear boots again!

The pair of boots I brought from Singapore to wear here fell apart on the second day of our arrival in Seoul, so I have been wearing my Nikes the whole time.

I’ve been looking at boots at the cheaper underground malls around Seoul but haven’t been able to find any nice ones. Coex Mall has really awesome ones, so I ended up buying three pairs when I only wanted one.

 

Shopping for boots

 

I bought both of these although they look very similar (differences only in calf height and heel height) because I’m sick and tired of boots that I like falling apart on me.

But now I’m worried about carting them home. I don’t think we have enough luggage space and we’re going to be so grossly overweight.

 

Boots!

 

Tried on some cute Wellington boots but they didn’t look good on me.

So I went book shopping, instead!

Coex Mall has a hugeass bookstore (Bandi and Luni’s) which has a decent section with English books. The books are priced about the same as you’d get in Singapore after conversion.

 

Shopping for books

 

I’ve gotten interested in reading about North Korea recently. Just finished reading Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick.

It’s really good, very well-written and engaging throughout, offering a very detailed look at the harsh conditions North Koreans are born to and subject to all their lives.

At Bandi and Luni’s, I bought a book called The Aquariums of Pyongyang, the memoir of a young man who was incarcerated in a North Korean concentration camp for 10 years just because his grandfather was suspected of engaging in political activities.

I was going to buy two more books but Kay stopped me, saying we can buy more in Singapore. Boo.

Okay, and now the gross part.

Kay’s splint was removed yesterday and his arm and hand swelled like a balloon.

Here’s another close look at his wound as it looks now. Click here to view only if you can stomach it.

The stitches will be removed next Wednesday.

His hand got bigger and bigger throughout the day. It’s very disgusting to look at, although what’s more disgusting is the fact that he keeps trying to make me touch it, knowing that it makes me feel eew.

 

Swollen hand

 

Swollen hand

 

It’s eew because firstly, I imagine that’s how a bloated corpse would feel like, and, secondly, although I know it’s illogical and impossible, I fear that if I press down a bit too hard, his hand will burst.

Kay is not freaked out by it because he’s experienced bloated hands and feet from past surgeries. So he enjoys freaking me out.

Suddenly, out of the blue, he’d go, “Give me your hand.”

I’d give him my hand thinking it’s an innocent request, then he’d put my hand on his bloated hand and give me a wicked smile.

So evil!

After a while, I started remembering and stopped giving him my hand.

But then he’d just randomly grab it and touch it to the bloated hand, anyway. Argh!

 

Okay, I’m going back to bed to nap for a little bit! (It’s now 11:10 am in Seoul, 10:10 am in Singapore)

Sleeping times are erratic now because we have to wake up early in the morning to feed Kay so he can take his medication. Then it’s sleep a bit more, then wake up to buy some groceries, then prepare lunch. Then sleep a bit more, then wake up to prepare dinner.

That’s when we’re indoors of course. When we’re out we don’t get to nap. But when we’re indoors, we get into a cook-eat-sleep routine through the day, lol.

Well, okay, for me, there’s blogging also. Cook-eat-blog-sleep.

 

OMG I just checked the weather. It’s -3°C outside now! CRAZY. Time to hibernate. Bye!

Why S’pore fashion is so uninspiring

So, I bought these giant, geeky specs in Korea, thinking I would wear them in Singapore once in a while, for fun.

 

Sheylara

 

But I’ve been back in Singapore for more than a month and I haven’t worn them in all that time.

With that and similar experiences in the past (bought stuff overseas then didn’t feel like wearing them back home) I’ve come to the conclusion that the Singapore weather is really uninspiring for fashionista wannabes.

Your face gets greasy quickly, your curls get weighed down by the humidity so they become limp and straggly, and your body thinks you’re in a sauna so you’re sweating out toxins by the bucket.

Just five minutes outdoors in Singapore and you’re ready to go back indoors, remove every article of clothing that you’ve spent a painstaking 30 minutes to carefully match, then put on a ragged oversized t-shirt and call it a day.

I prefer dressing up when I’m overseas in a cooler climate. I feel good and comfortable the whole day, even after being in the streets for 10 hours.

 

Sheylara

 

But the problem with dressing up overseas is that you don’t have your full wardrobe with you. You only have what you managed to pack in your little suitcase, and maybe a few things you picked up there, which is nothing to call home about.

 

Sheylara
Little suitcase. lol.

 

Plus you have limited time because your friends are waiting for you to finish vaining around so you can all go out and do some touristy things before the sun goes down.

 

Sheylara

 

Sheylara

 

Maybe that’s the reason why Singapore can’t be a leader in fashion. Given the weather, people can’t be bothered to dress up and fashion designers can’t feel too inspired to create breakthrough looks.

And, of course, since we only have one season all year round, the stuff we can wear is quite limited.

 

Sheylara

 

Not that I’m trying to give excuses for the uninspired fashion scene in Singapore but, really, think about it. How many people do you know bother to dress creatively?

And when you do get people who dress creatively, if they haven’t already died from the sweltering heat, they might receive jeering comments such as “ai sui mai mia” (willing to sacrifice your life for the sake of beauty).

Between the crazy humidity and the jeering comments, it’s a wonder at all that you can even spot the occasional fashionable person in Singapore.

Sure, you can be fashionable in light clothing suitable for our weather. But sometimes you don’t even want to bother with that because the heat has already fried your brain cells and you just wanna lie down in an air-conditioned room and go to sleep, right?

 

Sheylara

 

After several times of buying stuff overseas and then not wearing them in Singapore because it’s too hot to bother, I’ve kinda gotten tired of shopping overseas. In my last few trips this year (Korea, China and Hong Kong), I hardly bought anything, spending most of my money on food and entertainment.

But it’s making me feel boring and uninspired. Maybe it’s time to bugger it all and dress crazy again. I’m planning to travel quite a bit in the coming year so maybe I’ll start shopping again!

Kicking an addiction by going shopping

I woke up at 12pm today, which is a decent time for me at this stage of my life.

I had planned to blog and then spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning my room in preparation of recovering from my EverQuest II addiction.

Yes, one can plan to kick an addiction. But in the process of kicking it, you need to have other things to do, hence the preparation.

For example, you can buy yourself some pretty gym clothes so you can haul ass to the gym without giving off the impression that your last visit was in 1980.

At the gym

My room had gotten really disgusting while I was spending all my free time gaming. I need a clean room to indulge in my other hobbies.

Well, so, things didn’t happen quite as planned today. I ended up spending four hours searching for laptop bags online. I wish someone would start designing pretty laptop bags. I have half a mind to start designing them myself but I can’t draw.

You don’t want someone who draws like this to be designing your laptop bags, do you?

Apple

In between shopping, one can also get distracted by hundreds of little things requiring attention. For instance, cooking in Cafe World, crafting in EverQuest 2, and leafing through newspapers.

I was alerted today that my name had appeared in Digital Life under “Top Searches”.

Top searches

Unfortunately, the top search wasn’t me. Haha. It was Jipaban. I was simply named as being in association with it.

But I’m glad that Jipaban is getting the hype it deserves. It’s an awesome site! :)

Anyway, plodding along, I finally found a laptop bag for my Alienware and a laptop sleeve for my MacBook. Both aren’t even close to what I want but they are functional and cute enough to use for now.

Laptop cases

It’s a brand called Cool Bananas from GearZap.com. The MacBook sleeve is reversible so you can use the black or red according to your mood!

GearZap is a UK site that doesn’t ship outside of Europe so I had to go search around for a shipping service to use, which took up even more time. I decided to use Borderlinx since I’m a Citibank card holder.

So, it’s 4 pm when I’m done and I have 15 minutes to blog before getting off my chair to prepare for an event I have to attend tonight.

Of course, a moderately decent blog takes more than 15 minutes to write, so I’ll end up rushing and probably forgetting to bring something or other.

I think I’d better stop writing now.

I shall leave you with a link to my Star Blog post this week.

Why Singapore women are so desirable.

Fiona Xie

I’ll bet you have a zillion things to say about this. Hopefully good.

Chat tonight 9 pm at Star Blog?