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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Just came back from our favourite local beach!

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Ponies of the New Forest

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The Romantic Rhine/Mosel valleys

p.s. sorry regarding the hasty nature of this post, but after a week camping in Dorset and yet another week of holiday in Germany, I am anxious to get back to work! Enjoy the photos!

(Ignore ugly umbrella. This is the view from the youth hostel at Bacharach, which is situated right in a castle!)

Grapes grown for wine.

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1. Cambridge gowns look wayyy better than Oxford gowns. For instance, the Cambridge undergraduate gown has sleeves and a faux fur trim at the back. Meanwhile the poor Oxford undergraduates have to wear a skimpy gown with no sleeves at all. No wonder it’s called the “commoner’s gown” (perhaps “commoner’s rags” would be a more appropiate term).

p.s. if you are in one of the pictures below and do not wish to appear on this blog, please contact me and I will remove the picture.

Cambridge…

vs. Oxford?

2. However, the Sheldonian beats the Senate House in terms of practical design. Ok, the Sheldonian is a bit skimpy on seat space on the upper floors, but the seats are so far back on the balcony of the Senate House that you can barely see anything on the ground floor unless you stand up. Fail.

3. Blackwell’s of Oxford exists in Cambridge under the name “Heffers”. I wonder why?

4. In Cambridge you get accosted by people trying to get you on punting tours every 5 minutes, while I have never noticed such blatant eagerness to get people on punts during my 2.5 years in Oxford.

5. A last bit of sanity – postcards (as of June 2010) cost about the same in both places – 35p.

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Bingka Ubi

Kuih comprises steamed Malaysian/Indonesian puddings and “cakes”, made from and flavoured with uniquely local ingredients such as mung beans, pandanus, palm sugar and so on and so forth. My favourite has got to be bingka ubi or cassava kuih – yellow, starchy sweet and flavoured lightly with coconut milk.

Picture courtesy of Miss Fiona!

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Mooncake

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is coming up! In celebration, mooncakes are often consumed as it was once said that rebel messages were circulated inside the mooncakes, allowing the current tyrannical rule to be overthrown. Mooncakes are a rich pastry, both slightly oily and sweet. The most traditional mooncake is a brown-skinned mooncake with lotus seed paste or red bean paste; but these days there are mooncakes with various fillings ranging from coffee to durian and even different mooncake skins e.g bing pei / snow skin or ones infused with green tea. Here is a picture of a green tea mooncake filled with lotus seed paste.

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My Indonesian friend told me not to buy this as according to superstition I would have conjoined babies in the future, but I ignored her kind advice in order to present this picture.

As you can see, the 2 bananas at the back are conjoined while the banana my finger is touching is connected to the other three joined via their skins (have a look at the base of the next two on the right).

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