Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fujian-style Brunch in Xiamen: Bian Rou (扁肉) Wonton Noodle Soup and Zongzi (粽子) Glutinous Rice

Because I got booted out of the 100-year old Chinese mansion hotel I stayed at (they have no permit allowing foreigners to stay with them), I moved to a hotel just down the road which does not offer breakfast. Not that I mind though.

Bian Rou Wonton Noodle Soup in Xiamen

Bian Rou Wonton noodle soup in Xiamen.


The dumpling noodle restaurant is on Zhongshan Pedestrian Road on the corner of Jukou Jie street. The best landmark is the street gate beside it on Jukou Jie.

This is perfectly fine for me as this will give me the excuse to splurge on a brunch. My idea of splurge does not mean expensive, exclusive and eating large amounts of food by the way. Splurge for me is when I have the freedom to try out new things, and in this case, Chinese food.

For this brunch, I was searching for some warm noodle soup. I was craving. Noodles are my favourite dish in the world. I make a lot at home at home, sauteed or soup style. The Dutchman loves them as well. The only difference with the noodles I make is that I add a huge amount of mix vegetables. The ratio is probably 70% vegetables – 5% meat – 25% noodles. I am a veggie lover!

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Friday, August 18, 2017

My Daily Life in the Netherlands #001

I am going to start a new series on this blog, which is really born out of a personal need to document a part of my normal daily life in the Netherlands. It is a promise to myself you know. Something that I hope to look back to with amusement and contentment when I am old, gray and cranky, haha.


Having my favourite gelato flavours, pistachio and lemon in the city centre of Utrecht in March of this year.


We are driving to Friesland here (last June) to visit friends.

From the very beginning, like more than a decade ago (2004!), this blog was really created to journal my then new (expat) life in the Netherlands. I posted about my observations, my struggles adapting to Dutch culture and much more, but over the years, I have become so seamlessly weaved and integrated into the Dutch life and society that I began identifying myself as a local.

The shift of the theme of the blog as well has been made to accommodate my hobbies which are about travel, the love of food and the good life. But I still want to keep a part of the organic purpose of this blog alive, hence the new series.

These posts in the new series are mainly visually driven by pictures. I tend to carry my pocket camera with me all the time so I take snapshots of my daily life as I go along.

I will be posting random pictures about places, activities, things and what have you that I specifically will not be creating a separate blog post about. Many of them are not travel-related at all, they are probably more lifestyle directed in this case. Basically, a peek into someone else's life. Mine, LOL.

The baked goods I made. Attending a family birthday party. Having coffee in the city center. Shots of cool architecture or design of something. It can be as random as it can get. But nothing to worry, I will not be posting something too personal to help fodder up the gossip mill, if there is. I will also not be posting work-related pictures, although food and the places I have been whilst working will definitely go on the blog. They are my career life souvenirs and I post them for posterity's sake when I retire.

Anyway, I call these posts MY DAILY LIFE RUN RATE.

[To read the rest of the post and to see the rest of the pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park

A must-see when in Belgrade and most importantly, it’s free admission =)

Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade, Serbia
Kalemegdan Park and Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia

The old citadel of Belgrade lies at the junction of the Sava and Danube rivers in Stari Grad (Old Town) with its defence walls looking over to Novi Beograd. I visited twice, the first time on my first night in the city and the second time, during the day.

It is very easy to get to the fortress and park. One just has to follow the busy Knez Mihaolova pedestrian street until reaching the end of it where the trams pass. Across this street is the park leading to the entrance to the fortress.

On this park are many portable souvenir shops selling Vladimir Putin souvenirs. I am not sure if Putin is loved by the locals here but he sure is a very popular item on sale =)

I highly recommend this place and I will tell the reasons why....

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Walking Belgrade: Stari Grad to Vracar

One of the best ways to discover a new town or city is simply by walking. And it is free!


Kralja Milana, one of the main avenues in Belgrade with many historical buildings such as the Oficirski dom (mustard coloured building).

Not many people I know would prefer to hike around when on holiday but it has its own advantages as well, namely, burning the calories for the day, getting to see local things up close and personal and feeling the raw side character and personality of the city, which you can only experience when you walk on its streets. Most especially, when you venture out of the centrum.

But first things first, we have to understand the layout of Belgrade, known as Beograd by the locals.

Belgrade is divided into neighbourhoods:


Helaas, I have only visited Stari Grad (Old Town), Vracar and Zemun. I have, however, and I am sure of this, been around with my rental car and the taxi in the nearby surrounding neighbourhoods, including Novi Beograd. I even got lost in the city when I was looking for my hotel because my GPS did not properly work.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Friday, August 11, 2017

Road Trip: A Day in Preveza, Mainland Greece

When we were summer holidaying on Lefkada Island the other summer year ago (2016), we did a day road trip to mainland Greece, in the coastal town of Preveza located in the region, Epirus.

Church tower in Preveza centrum
Preveza in the evening

The evening scene in Preveza town.

Lefkada Island does not have an airport but luckily it is connected to the mainland in the area of Preveza by a small bridge. The nearest airport is, in fact, the Preveza Airport, approximately half an hour travel to reach the island and about an hour to Nydri where we were staying for the holiday. This is where we landed and then transferred by buses to our hotels.

We normally go for a 2-week summer holiday so that gives us enough time to explore the island and the nearby surroundings.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Last April in Amsterdam and The Seafood Bar for the Second Time

When girlfriend Bubbles was in the Netherlands last April, we visited many places and of course, Amsterdam cannot be missed, even if we are only going for 1 day.

The Seafood Bar in Amsterdam

Dinner at The Seafood Bar in Amsterdam.

PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam

PC Hooftstraat, a luxury shopping street in Amsterdam nearby the Seafood Bar.

Bubbles have been in Amsterdam a few times, so we only allocated a day to spend in the city. Well, an afternoon and an evening to be precise as we don’t want to behave like rabid tourists. We want to sleep in and have a late breakfast before hopping on the intercity train to Amsterdam. No need to rush.

Now Bubbles wanted to visit the famous Dutch museums as she has never done this in her previous visits. But because of a lack of time she had to pick only one, and so she decided to visit the Rijksmuseum. She really wanted to also visit the Van Gogh museum but I guess this will be another time, well another year I suppose =)

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Bologna Aeroporto: Plane Watching and a Ham, Salami and Rosé

While waiting for my plane in Bologna back to Amsterdam...

Snacking and waiting for my flight in Bologna
Alitalia Bologna

The airport isn't really that great. I arrived a bit early because I had to return the rental car. So I have exactly an hour to bum around in the airport.

La Vecchia Trattoria slash Italian gourmet souvenir shop is the only thing interesting and worthwhile dining at in the airport. My flight is scheduled late in the afternoon and it wouldn't be bad to have a late real Italian snack (well early dinner for me already) before boarding my flight.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

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