Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chinese New Year in London - Year of the Tiger

I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this Lion Dance in Chinatown (London) today. Many festive performances took place throughout London within the last two weeks to celebrate Chinese New Year ("Year of the Tiger").

The Chinese believe that if business owners "feed" the lion with red envelopes (Ang Pao) filled with lucky money, the lion will chase away evil spirits and bring good fortune and prosperity to the business the upcoming year. My parents were always superstitious people, so when they opened up their first business, they made sure to invite the Lion Dancers to bring prosperity to the business. 

There's just something about the drum beats during the dance that brings me back to (somewhat) fond childhood memories. I was always excited to watch Lion Dance performances at local Chinese/Vietnamese supermarkets during Chinese New Year, but as soon as the Lion's long lashes fluttered near me, I suddenly became frightened and quickly hid behind my father. There's just something really creepy about the Lion's eyelashes...

Chinatown is filled with lanterns.

 Trafalgar Square hosted many traditional Chinese performances.

I'm suddenly in the mood for Dim Sum, but to be completely honest, the Chinese food in London doesn't compare to the Chinatowns in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.


My best friend thought it was a clever idea to send me bags of my favorite chips from the States, Cheetos, in honor of it being the "Year of the Tiger". Unfortunately, Chester is not a tiger, he's a cheetah! Nevertheless, I managed to enjoy the Cheetos and undoubtedly appreciated the kind gesture. Thanks Juan! xx 

Chester the Cheetah

How to say "Happy New Year" in Chinese:

Mandarin: Xin Nian Kuai Le (The most widely used Chinese dialect)
Cantonese: Gong Hei Fat Choy (Hong Kong and Macau)
Teochew/Hokkien: Xing Ni Ju Yi (Mainly in South East Asia and Taiwan)

Since I am Teochew, I'd like to say "Xing Ni Ju Yi!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Very First Pancake Day in England - Nom Nom Nom!

Pancake Man makes his first appearance in London on Pancake Day 2010!

Thanks to one of my lovely clients, Lyle's Golden Syrup, I received all the mixings to help me prepare for my very first Pancake Day in England! Since Pancake Day tends to sneak up on most Brits, Tate and Lyle decided to unleash Pancake Man to help remind Londoners to pick up pancake ingredients and toppings at their local supermarket so that they can properly celebrate their final day of indulgence.

My lovely housemate, Gareth, graciously offered to make us pancakes in honour of this special occasion - what a generous mate! But then again, now that I've given it some more thought, I'm starting to think it was his clever plan to keep me away from the kitchen! Doh, I'm so naïve! But then on the other hand, I don't blame him though...I did almost burn down Nick's flat last year...*sigh*

Gareth was kind enough to let me film him flip a pancake so that I could participate in CafeBebe's Flip-tastic Pancake Day Carnival.

So here is our Flip-tastic Pancake Day video! Check it out and let me know if his technique is any good. By the way, although I wasn't involved in any of the actual cooking, guess how I burned my bloody fingers! I'm starting to feel like I'm prone to accidents.

We made both American pancakes and traditional English pancakes, which look more like crepes to me. What a day full of #pancakefun!

It's almost midnight and I've managed to eat three pancakes covered with butter and Lyle's Golden Syrup....SWEET STUFF! Nom Nom Nom...

Have you seen Pancake Man lately?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mobi Headphonies: Perfect Speakers for My iPod!

My dear friend, Chris, who is a product designer at Spin Master Toys, sent me a cute little speaker - designed by his mates at Mobi Technologies - for my iPod! It's such a simple, yet clever gadget that I simply fell in love with immediately. The quality of the speakers is brilliant!

Thanks to headphonies, now I can now easily hook up Koko to my iPod and listen to some groovy beats from Jack Johnson, Paul Anka and Michael Buble during my relaxing bubble baths.

And better yet, you don't need to buy batteries. Simply connect headphonies to your laptop for recharge and you're ready to go!

You'll find that in most (if not all) London bathrooms, electrical outlets are nowhere to be seen, which can be annoying when you want to use a blow dryer or curling iron. I suppose it' for my own safety, but you'll find plenty of electrical outlets in bathrooms in America. Go figure!

Here's a quick demo of the quality. Click below to listen.

Mobi headphonies come in several different characters to suit your style!




- Loudspeaker output: 2W
- Sensitivity: 82±3db
- Loudspeaker impedance: 4O±15%
- Distortion: 0.5%
- Lithium ion battery output: 3.6V
- Lithium ion battery input: 4.2V±0.05V
- Suitable ambient: 0C±4C
- Weight: 113g (including packaging)

Thank for the lovely gift Chris! My housemates absolutely love Koko :)