Nov 20, 2012

The Ending of Fall

I sat facing the glass to watch the scenery outside as I ate my dinner alone in the crowd at the dining hall.

The beauty of leaves changing colour and filling the ground when the wind chose to show its might had all withered away.

In its place, a solemn atmosphere filled up. What once was is now no more.

A new kind of beauty exists - a dignified strength, with roots intact and branches holding strong.

When all colour has been taken away from you, stand strong and hold on. Colder times are ahead. Hold on and you will see Spring again. With every part of you blossoming to uncover a different kind of beauty.

Nov 5, 2012

Are you sure, as sure as the day and night?

When something as certain as the day and night
becomes questionable,
how would you look at the world today?

All my life, I knew that night hit at 7pm and
the bright morning came knocking at about 7am.

When I arrived in the US,
it mind-boggled me that the sun shone into my room as early as 6am! How could this be?
I could not go back to sleep even if I wanted to.

Now, after getting used to the fluctuating temperatures too,
my understanding of day and night got shattered with

As thrilled as I was to get an additional hour in my day,
it was rather surprising to see night at 4pm!
Back home, everyone was out around this time (or in, if it was too hot!).
Even right now, I feel like I've been up all night, but it's only 7pm!

Makes me wonder, when something you've known all your life to be certain
becomes uncertain in a different context, are you willing to see a different perspective?
Would you now question everything that you held to be true?
Will you be open to have your strongest ideologies questioned?

Noticing your own pastures..

Only when something is taken away from you
or when you choose to remove yourself from a familiar environment
do you get to see how green your pastures are..

People are surprised to know that Malaysians
generally are tri-lingual and are fluent at it too.
Aren't we a lucky bunch!

It has been so ingrained in our system
that we don't even see the efforts of the people before us -
People who made this happen are long forgotten
but the impact of their decisions and efforts
are a wonder to watch.

New Food Options

Being in the US, I'm getting a healthy portion of food every day.. Yes, I've been eating wayyyy too much than I usually do but I've also got to see the tasty healthy options that I may just start incorporating in my daily diet when I'm back.

1. Smoothies!!
They are an easy way of getting all that delicious goodness. The people at the dining hall get creative and change the ingredients once in a while and so far they've been doing a GREAT job.
They've experimented with strawberries, strawberry and orange, peaches, bananas =)
All you need extra is yogurt and crushed ice!

2. Grains and Oatmeal
One of the combination of food I created here was to scoop up a ladle of oatmeal (or cream of rice), add a thin layer of brown sugar, then a big blop of yogurt (I love the strawberry flavour here), and a big spoon of grains or cereals. Yum!
It is an acquired taste though. I love how you have a crunchy, cold feel first, followed by a warm and soft feel after. I usually dig the spoon deep into the bowl so that I could feel all of it in one spoon =)

3. Meat options
We are also served with a slice of meat every day. The type of meat and the way it is cooked is changed every day. Marinate the meat well few hours prior, grill it and have a slice for breakfast or lunch, and I'm satisfied!

4. Omelettes
This is one of my favourite! Every weekday morning, one of the chefs makes an omelette for you with ingredients of your choice. A choice of ingredients include paprika, mushrooms and onions. You are given a bowl to pick out your ingredients (and how much you want of each) and you have the option of adding cheese to it. Delicious!

5. Sandwiches
While I'm use to having sandwiches back home, it is a useful idea to mix up the ingredients every once in a while. Try out different vegetables, maybe a slice of meat, different type of bread perhaps, toast it and you've changed it!

One of the things I learnt here is the importance of watching what you eat. The dining hall staff go as far as listing out the calories in each meal. They even make suggestions for what would be a healthy portion of serving! How could you NOT eat healthy after that?