29 January 2009

Please help me think of a name for my new food blog!!

It's going to be about the multicultural aspect of food in New Zealand and I really want to get it going, but I'm absolutely stuck for a name. Ask your friends, ask your family, ask the bloke who sells you your morning coffee. Any ideas are good ideas. I really need a giant brainstorm going on!
I want it to say something about New Zealand, food, and multicultural-ness. I'd appreciate any ideas you may have, even crazy ones. Muchas, muchas gracias!

La Tour Eiffel

Did you know the Eiffel tower had its own website? I didn't.

19 January 2009

I love New Zealand

...but why are there no jobs here?!

10 January 2009

Current musical interests

I may not have any money for music but this morning I'm taking advantage of the fact that my internet connection seems to be somewhat bearable (she says whispering so as not to jinx it!)and finding lots of good stuff. But if I DID have expendable cash,I'd buy something from either of these two discoveries.

Dengue Fever

Checkout the documentary trailer about thier trip to Cambod

Sa Dingding

08 January 2009

Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper by Fuchsia Dunlop

Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-sour Memoir of Eating in China Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book has 'me' written all over it. So much so that I wish I had bought it rather than borrowed it from the library. I may have to invest. Fuchsia goes abroad under the intention of studying Chinese and having a nice cultural experience. After becoming disillusioned with the Chinese way of teaching language and realising that she's not learning a thing, she chucks in her course and starts hanging out in cafes and restaurants, chatting to the locals about what they are cooking, and eventually wheedling her way into a somewhat prestigious Sichuan cooking school. This sets her on a learning curve that ends with her becoming one of the few non-Chinese experts on Sichuanese cooking.

The part I loved the most was her slow progression from one who could not even look at a thousand year egg, to one that would happily chomp down on goose intestines and duck tongues. Personally, I haven't made it that far yet. And my experiences have been mostly of a Japanese nature. But having been a vegetarian for 25 years and then slowly starting to become accustomed to eating flesh in the form of seafood (and the unavoidable bacon that is in EVERYTHING in Japan)I felt an affinity to Ms. Dunlop when reading this.

I think anyone who has gone abroad to study and/ or work and has lived in a foreign culture for a period of time could relate to her stories. If you are actually interested in Chinese cooking and the history of said cuisine, all the better.

View all my reviews.

Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper by Fuchsia Dunlop

Christmas in Japan

What can I say, I wish I'd found this two weeks ago so it would be timely. But, it's still worth posting. I have to say, I really didn't know about the chicken thing. I must've lived in the "countryside" for too long. It doesn't surprise me, though. These kinds of things just start to make sense and, in fact seem normal, the longer you've been in Japan.

05 January 2009

expat bars

Matthew Guttentag over at Brave New Traveler has posted a list of the 6 characters you meet in expat bars around the world. I have to say, amongst a few others, you really DO meet these people. In fact, it's amazing how consistent it is that you meet these people.

My Molskines have arrived! What the hell am I doing with my life?

My Molskines have arrived!
Originally uploaded by Shanti, shanti.
These are my first Moleskines, something I've wanted for a long time. The diary is no problem, but I had a "first page freakout" in the journal where I couldn't decide what was befitting. So, as usual with new journals, I left the first page blank to come back to later. Of course the first thing I did put in the journal is something about food.

I've been doing some heavy reflecting on why I'm not in the food and/or anthropology business. These things have been my true loves as long as I can remember. I think I was born just a little too early. The way I see it is that, if I had learnt about computers at school, and therefore was more comfortable around technology in general (computers, digital cameras and all the bits in between) I think I would been more brave in using this stuff to get me into what I'm into...if you know what I mean. There have been people around for quite a few years now who are doing their OE with a round the world ticket, updating their blog, and then selling the story to a local newspaper. How proactive, I thought. Getting a little kickback for when they get back home. Of course, they are mostly journalism students who know about selling stories, etc. and publishing on the web. And who knows what they'll do with their lives once they get back home.

Now, the other day I come across this http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/
A young couple decides to carry around two backpacks worth of equipment and fund their never-ending wander by writing articles and taking photos. Well, duh! If I'd had the marketing know-how and writing and photography skills needed (and I really don't think it's much if you see some of the crap that gets published) I'd have done this from the start.

But, herein lies my point. It took years of observing people like me working for peanuts to save travel money, travelling extremely frugally, and then having not enough left to buy peanuts, for certain people (10+ years younger) to figure out that you can just take your job on the road with you. Well, I'll be damned! I mean, why did I just spend the last year in hell on a crappy required course to teach in the public school system when I could've been honing my photography and writing skills and learning better the ins and outs of internet based marketing.

Rant continues so sit back if you're ready for this...

I believe there are two ways to go about the work thing, work for yourself, or work for someone else. I have never met an entrepreneur who didn't have entrepreneurial parents. And I think it's the same for small business owners. I really believe that, on the whole, if you are raised by people who work for people, then you start thinking about who you want to work for when you go out into the workforce. If you are raised by entrepreneurs, you start thinking about what you want to do when you go out there. N'er the tween shall meet.

So, the thing is, I think I was meant to be an entrepreneur but I had (and still have) no idea of how to do that. I mean, ideas flood, FLOOD into my head about things that are missing/ needed in the world. I went through a stage of writing lists of this stuff, some of which has been done now. But how in the hell do you get to the 'doing' part? Let's be clear, though, I'm not a business person, I am a creator of stuff. So, maybe that means I'm not an entrepreneur, but some other kind of creature...but what? Just a thought.

Right, gotta get back to updating my CV and writing letters to future bosses now.

02 January 2009

A little dancing inspiration

I love this bloke!

And here's his website