Friday, 28 September 2012

Now Is Good

Though it's described as a weepie, I think the acting's fine (except for Jeremy Irvine, I'm afraid, as he gives the same facial expression for almost everything...). The ending did make me weep, though it's totally predictable (well, it's what the whole film's been building towards...what else do you expect). Don't think a weepie is a good description! Can't say it's 5-star but it's still worth checking out... btw, Dakota (Tessa in the film) is probably the nicest looking girl who's terminally ill...

Jesus Henry Christ... and Moonrise Kingdom

I saw the two films weeks apart, but somehow I think they're a bit similar, and I like them both.

I guess they're similar in that both films are about adolescent characters who are not understood. In Jesus Henry Christ, it's Henry and his half-sister Audrey. They're both vastly different from their peers and often feel very alienated until they find each other (or realise each other's existence). In Moonrise Kingdom, of course it's the adorable Sam and his love Suzy, both of whom are outcasts in their family / group. The films also resemble each other in that both are filmed in a light-hearted comical way, with an almost surreal style. The retro touch is ingenious in Moonrise Kingdom - it makes the film so much more enjoyable. Highly recommended. 

The Five-Year Engagement

Dear Blog, I'm back. I'm sorry I abandoned you without informing you before I did so. Such a bad girl I am.

So I'm back! Didn't really do anything interesting during this hiatus... apart from eating lots, as always. Haha.

There are a number of films I saw that I want to write about, and this is on the top of the list. The Five-Year Engagement.

Who would have thought? I saw it on the way back, and I wasn't expecting anything profound, just something to kill the time coz I hate sleeping (and can't sleep) on flights.

The plot is simple: two people fall in love, they get engaged, they are happy, and then they move to a different place. The relationship slowly turns sour because of the changed circumstances, and they split up, after a five-year engagement. Then they get back together, a few years later.

Simple, and yet the nuances of the difficulties in the relationship feel so real, so authentic, it is like you can feel it happening to your friends and you feel really, really sorry for them. *spoiler alert* When Tom moves to Michigan, he moves because of love. But reality strikes, he can't find a job in Michigan, and he becomes disappointed with and disillusioned in life, and in the relationship.

I find this particularly striking and realistic because this is something many of my friends (and myself?) are going through - striking a balance between our own dreams and ambitions, and the relationship with our loved ones. Perhaps this is even more pronounced and relevant for guys, as I imagine few of them would be willing to 'sacrifice their career' for their partners. I'm sure someone would disagree with this, but this is what I see in 'my reality', among my friends especially. At the beginning it may all be jolly and well, but slowly as reality sinks in, and you don't get the satisfaction and encouragement you get from accomplishing something at work, some people can become disillusioned and find it unbearable.

In the film, Tom finds a way out with his new taco van business, as he can literally go anywhere with the van (though it is still a question whether tacos would be popular everywhere...). I wonder if there is a similar solution for every relationship...

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Other Taiwanese food... :P

There's sooooo much to eat in Taiwan. Basically, every time I go, I come back with a big belly and I'm at least 10 pounds heavier. (Joking... or not?)

Some night market snack called 'sweet not spicy'... I don't get it... hahaha

Chicken and noodles

Braised minced pork with rice - standard stuff in Taiwan 

Bitter gourd soup - a Taiwan speciality!

Some braised pork dish... can't remember what it's called

Braised pork chop, pork mince, tofu, hard-boiled egg... 

Du Hsiao Yueh's famous Tan Tsai Noodles

Noodles in hot pot 

Marinated duck kidney

Marinated tofu roll

Fried egg roll

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Brine chicken

Seafood dinner... stir-fried seafood... hmmmm not really my thing! 

Crab clay pot 

Seafood soup 

After-dinner dessert 

Brekkie turnip cake 

More brekkie items! 

Hakka mochi

Hakka brine chicken - soooo yum! The skin's not fatty at all but full of gelatin! 

Hakka pork belly with preserved veg

Grilled pork belly slices

Some fish dish... can't remember

I just knew I had to try this. 

Pineapple, bitter gourd and chicken soup. Sounds weird but it's quite a famous dish, and it's quite nice. I have definitely tried it before...

My favourite Taiwanese drinks and desserts

I'm a BIG fan of bubble tea. No, I'm a HUGE fan of bubble tea! Nowhere can compare to Taiwan, the origin of bubble tea, when it comes to the variety and taste of authentic bubble tea! (Okay, this is kind of rubbish.) Too bad we stayed not long enough there, and I couldn't visit all the bubble tea places on my list. One day, one day...

(And sometimes I forgot to take pics of the bubble tea, so here are just some of them...)

Taiwanese desserts like taro dumpling and grass jelly are also my favourite! I can eat them all day...

Grass jelly with taro dumplings (sweet), eaten with evaporated milk. YUM YUM YUM!!! 

Mango ice. What is not to love??? 

Some regular iced milk tea 

Chunshuitang's original bubble tea. Didn't pay a visit to their store this time, but it's now available in Taoyuan International Airport! :D 

Another bubble tea drink I love - yakult-flavoured bubble tea with grapefruit (real fruit!) and bubbles. <3 

Can't remember the name of this but it's got pineapple (real fruit!) in it. GREAT TASTE :D

Stumbled upon this tofu dessert place when we were driving and saw a queue outside. Decided to park and get some to see how great their tofu dessert is! 

In Taiwan, their sweet tofu dessert is mixed with a variety of food including beans and sweet dumplings. I chose two 'toppings': taro dumplings (the brownish cube) and 'cui yuan' (the pink cube, meaning 'crunchy dumpling' but it's not crunchy AT ALL...) This tofu dessert is REALLY YUMMY!!!!!! The tofu is a bit firmer than the tofu sweet soup in Hong Kong, but it's still silky smooth. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

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