In my reviews on Lunch, I'm not dictated by any rules or preferences. My way is to simply type the words as and when it flows, as if I'm simply a conduit, the words weaved itself through my fingers and are translated onto the screens. I type and type and sometimes it makes me laugh, at other times it makes me tears. All the time, it makes me glad to be alive and to be able to share my thoughts and beliefs. Is it not too long ago that we don't even have freedom to do so in the world? A woman, a minority race or a slave... a mere hundred years ago, many do not have this great chance. And here we are, the internet, where we have access to billions of people... think, how great that may be!
See the full review, "The Man in the Arena".
I like money. Money brings with it a sense of security and prosperity. Money buys happiness to some degree in that with money, you can bring your family to a nice restaurant, your friends to a great movie, your spouse to a high end & peaceful resort. If you are alone, you can cure boredom with it too. Without it or the lack of it, we sink to the bottom of society; we may even lose self-respect, we feel silly & useless and in the worse case, we simply vanish into thin air. Money is essential in our daily lives, we can't live without it no matter how much we don't like it or if we detest people with it. So, love money for what it is. It is a neutral object. What each and everyone of us prescribed the meaning to it is what determines if it's used in the right way. Like fire, it brings warmth. Like fire, it might also bring destruction. But like fire, it is essential and worthy of our time and thoughts.
See the full review, "The Color of Money".
If you are a fan of Yann, you will love this signature film. It has his trademark from beginning to end. You will enjoy views from up high and seeing the world you've never had a chance to see before, even if you're a world traveler. Patterns, formations, the land, the sea... you see them all in this film. I wish I was seeing it in an Imax/Omnimax, believe it or not. It is an inspiring film, even if you are merely interested in its artistic aspect. It is well narrated and it is something for keeps. It is also a wake up call. It is a MUST-SEE!
See the full review, "Our Home, the dying planet".
Japan is a very unique country and has its own unique culture to go along with it. I was fascinated by Japan since my first visit to Tokyo many years ago.Japan is the most fascinating country in the world, even after my many visits to this country since the age of 10. I love Japan for many reasons. If I could have my wish, I'd say I wish I'm living there right now this moment in time!
See the full review, "Irashaimase! To the land of the rising sun...".
When I visited Borobudur, it was with the thought & marvel that this was built at a time when modern machinery had not been invented. Belief in itself is power & I witnessed this in Borobudur. Knowledge is also power & again I witnessed it here. Faith is something which one can't help but see it here! For me, that instil something deep in the heart which even if it's only for a day, it has changed my course of journey in this world.
See the full review, "The Largest Buddhist Monument in the World".
New Year's Day marks a new beginning, another new chapter in our lives; it is the first day of the calendar each year, it is psychological, yet it is a powerful one that we humans have given to that new chapter. At times, New Year's Day simply passes by without any significance while at other times, it signifies the beginning of a great year!
See the full review, "The beginning of a new era".
What I truly liked about it is that it is not simply a documentary about China as a travel destination nor is it merely a National Geographic style of documentary. It is a combination of the best of both worlds with an added dimension, integration of city lifestyle and Chinese culture (like tea leaves cultivation and the Hakka people way of living). That is what makes this documentary such a watchable and entertaining production.
See the full review, "It is all about life, not just China!".
2010 is Year 4707 in the Chinese Calendar. The Chinese Calendar has been in continuous use for centuries, a lot longer than the Gregorian Calendar has been in used. This year, the animal of the year is Tiger. And in the Chinese Calendar the year begins on Feb. 14. The Year of the Ox shall ends on Feb. 13, 2010 which has been believed to be a year of toiling. Ox is afterall an animal associated with working in the field mostly. The Year of the (Golden) Tiger is believed to be an fearless & courageous year. Tiger is a symbol of power & authority. Having said that, Chinese New Year is based on astronomical observations. It has nothing to do with animals, myths or emperors. It is scientifically & mathematically determined; Chinese New Year is the 2nd New Moon (lunar) after the Winter Solstice (solar).
See the full review, "Tiger reigns for 2010".
What does Christmas mean to anyone or everyone for that matter? To a Christian, the entire world. To a Chinese and non-believer, just another festive day related to some other 'aliens' in the world. To me? Well, Christmases come and go. Almost 2 decades ago, I had myself baptised on this very day; I was given a new leash of life.
See the full review, "All I want for Christmas... A miracle!".
One is operating within another. Without a country, a business will not thrive. IMHO, politics and business do not mix. Laws are regulations made not for business but for the smooth functioning of a country. It's a framework, it will not changed because of a foreign institution. It might one day change when its people feels it is time to (& normally it will come after a revolution; in this case, I don't see the Chinese people heading that direction!). It is not that the Chinese do not have freedom of speech at all (as some media may try to portray), it is a case of responsible speech that is required of each individual, as with the case in Singapore too.
My favorite of the sport events is figure skating, especially the Pair Figure Skating. I've always that that's the most beautiful sport activity in the world. It's graceful, colorful & very romantic. Gliding through the ice with beautiful music is just so heavenly to me. The aesthetics of figure skating is undeniable to anyone who has a sense of flow and music. It is one sport I enjoyed watching, be it at the Olympics or the World Championships. Interesting enough, this year, both Chinese pairs won the Gold & Silver medals (Gold: Shen Xue & Zhao Hongbo; Silver: Pang Qing & Tong Jian).
See the full review, "Go for Gold, Canada!".
So, what is curry? I grew up on it and I can even tell from having my eyes blindfolded. The aroma, the taste ... well, it's hard to forget once you've had it. Curry is distinctive in that it has some spices like turmeric (which attributes to its color too), coriander, cumin and red pepper. Chili is also a main ingredient. Coconut milk may at times be used, depending on which type of curry.
Curry originated from the word "khari" in Tamil. So, I supposed it originated from India! In some southern Indian languages, the word means side-dish.
See the full review, "Curry Fancy".
Now, Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy for the adventurous. It takes a few sampling to get used to the thought of putting raw fish and seafood in one's mouth. I started young so I don't quite remember how that was like. I did know I didn't like it my first time though. Hence, it is much of an acquired taste.
See the full review, "Hooked!".
In Singapore, Hainanese Chicken Rice (or simply Chicken Rice) is synonymous with typical Singapore cuisine. Although originally from the island of Hainan, this staple dish of chicken and rice had been made famous and popular in Singapore more than anywhere else in Asia!
See the full review, "Singapore's "National" Food".
Yes, it's baguettes from the French & with the Vietnamese twist of the pate, cha lua, you've got yourself a most delicious lunch! For those who are not familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, you've probably no idea that even the Vietnamese has their own version of sausages. Banh Mi is the sandwich concerned and you must experience it for yourself to attest how delicious they are!
See the full review, "The French Connection".
Laksa, as exotic as the name sounds, is still not a common item outside South East Asia. I guess it has to do with its spicy and concentrated mix of spices which made it difficult to prepare. Anyhow, it is something very unique to 3 countries in South East Asia, namely Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The are 2 types of Laksa, generally, the Asam Laksa (found mostly in Indonesia & Malaysia) and the Curry Laksa (typically from Singapore). The main difference lies in the soup and its soup base ingredients. They taste entirely different as well.
See the full review, "Laksa Exotica".
Kolak is best eaten hot but can also be a great quencher when it's served cold. The main ingredients are banana and sweet potato (some prefer some tapioca as it adds texture to the mixture). In addition, jackfruit may be added for its fragrance quality. All in all though, these ingredients are mostly found in South East Asian countries. Hence, I've hardly found this dessert outside Asia. However, it can be easily prepared and I'm sure one can find banana, sweet potato and tapioca in America as well. So, there is no reason at all that you cannot have it and enjoy it at home in the U.S. and Canada. I like having parties for friends and it'd be so cool when friends enjoy the dessert one serves. For this reason, I'm introducing Kolak to friends here on Lunch and hope you can experiment with it and enjoy it with friends and family.
See the full review, "Childhood & its wonders".
Up in the Air is really not about up in the air. In these days of downsizing and business failures, a lot of retrenchments are in the pipeline for companies, be it big or small. American companies are known for being ruthless in this regard. It's a matter of survival. Entity first, people later. They will fire & then rehire if necessary. Understandable. Not desirable as far as I'm concerned as I think it's a corporate culture that does not foster loyalty nor productivity. People come and go as times dictate. That's the way it is.
See the full review, "Life is not a bed of roses".
We may think of time and aging as a linear approach or as a dynamic approach. Whatever it is we choose to believe, it is against time. And until we can understand time better (philosophically and way too complicated for me to try to define it; not to mention that I don't like to define time by mere analog or digital watches), aging is as far as I can tell, a process. A process that slips by us day by day without us realizing it. To capture this process ourselves, if you choose to do so, take pictures of yourself. I can guarantee that you will see it with your lens.
See the full review, "Benjamin Button & All the Hung Up on Aging".
No, this is not a review about cancer as a medical condition. It is about finding out and dealing with it. It is about learning how to cope and live with it. You will be able to find lots of information about any matters if you look hard enough and with the help of Googleand Wikipedia, one has the world information at his/her fingertips. I will not add more information about cancer per se. I am only reviewing it from a friend's perspective. I know it is not enough, but that's all I've so it will have to do. Before Farrah Fawcett died last year, she did a documentary (Farrah's Story) about surviving and living with cancer. Unfortunately, she didn't survived it. But, she showed us that living with cancer does not have to be a disease itself. One can live with dignity and courage. I saw that documentary online and back then I was totally touched by her courage. She was a living example of faith and of not giving up.
See the full review, "We must all exceeds our own expectation".
I think every girl should buy herself a diamond jewelry (albeit one that she can afford with her own money!). That is something that you give to yourself and if you buy it in the first year of your working life, it is a great memento which you will keep for a long time to come. It is a sign of accomplishment and something you reward yourself with. Do not, under any circumstances, cheapen yourself by buying a crystal or fake diamonds and passing that as real diamonds!!! Crystals are fine by itself but know that it is crystal and not diamonds that you bought. I like crystals, esp. Swarovski but it is not the same as buying a diamond at all!
See the full review, "A girl's best friend?!".
Gold is quite a good form of saving as it is especially good in times of high inflation. When oil price skyrocketed, gold prices go along with it. There is one loophole though, gold in the international market is transacted in the US$ and despite the increasing value of gold, at times, it's also offset by the ever decreasing value of the US$.
See the full review, "All that glitters".
Do you ever wonder why you may be attracted to someone without really understanding why? Does it has anything to do with your olfactory sense? Perhaps? Chances is that the scent of the person has quite a deal to do with it.
See the full review, "My affair with perfume!".
While this event has caused major disruption and some unforgettable experiences for many travelers (plenty were stuck in airport who were transiting within Europe but without a visa to enter Europe), I'd think that I'm lucky that I'm not traveling within Europe right now. In addition, more than 30 airports have been closed and some could not go home from Asia too. The morale of it all is that be prepared for these kind of events when you travel. A travel insurance is handy. We are lucky that other than major disruptions, no one has died. Unfortunately, for the airline industry, the lost is US$200 million a day! The main loser in this event! This event has now caused the largest air traffic shutdown in the world since World War II! That's even more serious than the airport shutdown during the 9-11 event!
See the full review, "Symphony of my mind".
So, US has finally decided to have a new note, a new image! The 2009 redesigned series which was unveiled a few days ago (Apr. 21, 2010) shall be issued to the public on February 10, 2011. I can imagine the excitement of the public and most will probably go and grab a piece of it so that he/she could personally feel it in his/her hands!
See the full review, "A new look & a new life?!".
So, the iPhone 4G leak saga is raging full speed now. Gizmodo.com has its fair share of publicity much to the chagrin of Steve Jobs. Life is full of ups and downs, isn't it? If you haven't heard the "news", it's been all over Silicon Valley for the past 48 hours or so. Blogger (cum Gizmodo Editor) Jason Chen's (reminded me of another Edision Chen case which have had Hong Kong movie industry its fair share of "excitement") house had been ransacked and his computers among other gadgets being confiscated, in lieu of his article This is Apple's Next iPhone. If you want to know what the fuss is all about, well… iPhone 4G naturally! And the person to unveil it to the world is not Steve Jobs! Well, you can imagine what those consequences would be, can't you?
See the full review, "This is Apple's Next iPhone by Gizmodo".