Speak it or drink it

Speak it or drink it

So there’s been this little hooha about someone speaking Mandarin which, if you ask me, is no big deal. Hey, lots of people whose native language isn’t Mandarin speak Mandarin, many much better than him, I might add. You don’t see them in the news. This is just like the case where if a dog bites a man, it’s no big deal but if a man bites a dog, it is.

Same thing here. He speaks a splattering of Chinese, and suddenly it’s a big deal. People are all aghast and praising him to the sky (why?) and his video gets a bazillion views. Turn this around, and you have lots of people whose native language is not English, who can speak and write English, way better than his Chinese there, I might add, but no one thinks anything of it. Just sayin’.

I think anyone can master a language, any language, if they set their minds to it. In fact, Chinese is easier to learn because there are no tenses. No present continuous, no past perfect continuous, no wading through that barrage of English tenses.

There’s a joke that if you (are in the habit of sharing drinks and) ingest enough of someone’s saliva, you’ll be able to speak their mother tongue… and he has a Chinese wife? See where I’m going with this? So now you know the secret. Hmm, maybe someone should think about selling language in a bottle. Brilliant *pats self on back*.


And with that, I’m outta here, off to buy myself a few bottles of Korean at a grocery store near me. And after I get through drinking them all, my next post may or may not be in Korean 😉 . Stay tuned?

The breakfast

The breakfast

Saturday, we decided… heck, forget the budget, forget the calories, let’s blow 20 of our hard-earned bucks on this reasonably-priced breakfast that everyone and their poodle is raving about. The place was packed. Not to worry though, they have an all-day breakfast.

A choice of exotic ham, sausages or smoked bacon… we picked bacon. The egg came… with a buttery whiff, for free. Hash brown, sauteed mushrooms and spinach? Nah, spinach is too healthy. How about baked beans instead?


Out of all the fresh fruit juices on the wall, we chose to have a combo orange and apple juice, supersize please. A regular orange juice would’ve set us back 9 bucks. Can you imagine how much this supersize cost us? Don’t even blink!!


We were not disappointed. Best breakfast ever.

Laughs. Out. Super. Loud.

Name of restaurant: Hip to be Mom’s Kitchen, California

Wait time for order to arrive at table inclusive of cooking time: 25 minutes

Aww, but we miss that hydrogenated fat. And this costs a fraction of the price our friends pay to be served a breakfast like this. Man, how can we face them tomorrow? 😉


To the person who called me Madam

Yes, you did tick me off. I picked up your call on a sunny morning and when I heard you call me “Madam So-and-So”, the skies turned grey outside! I don’t like being called Madam. I may be okay with Ma’am, or maybe not but Madam is a definite no!

I don’t like the sound of it. It gives me da goosebumps and makes me go, who? me? madam? It’s archaic, antiquated, like aged paint peeling off the walls. It conjures images of a huge woman standing over the stove, wooden spoon in hand, ready to smack some poor kid. That’s not me. I can’t see myself.

I know you’re trying to be polite and all, being that you’re trying to sell me something. I get that. But you could’ve asked, “How should I address you?” and we could’ve happily sorted it all out right there.

I mean, come on, Madam? Seriously? In this day and age? Take a look outside your window (if you have one). Hell-llo?!! It’s the 21st century. You can’t go around calling people Madam. Ask around, there’s many ladies like me out there, I’m sure!

Through the roof of the bus stop

Through the roof of the bus stop

Have you ever been bored? As in bored out of your wits? As in waiting for the bus that’s taking its own sweet time? So what do you do? What, you would look straight down at your smartphone? Yeah, I knew that.

I’m not used to waiting for buses. I get all fidgety and impatient. What’s there left to do but snap aimlessly through the roof of the bus stop, of course!


Cloud formations are a gazillion times more interesting than that stuff they post on FB. I love how the beam separates the dark clouds on one side and the sun is shining through the trees on the other.


Doncha just love how the sun is trying to break through and the clouds are saying “get lost”? I love cloudy days, what can I say?


Bus rides – the good, the funny, the forgettable

Bus rides - the good, the funny, the forgettable

It’s hard getting used to the fact that I don’t have a car right now *bawls*. So the bus it is, if I’m to go a little further than where my legs would take me. Riding bus is never without its drama though. For me, at least.


Imagine me stepping into the bus, saying hi to the driver only to be greeted with silence, or a disgruntled hmmph, who then proceeds to hit the accelerator, sending me hurtling forwards, bag and umbrella flying – before I can grab on to the rail. That’s me straight out of an action comedy! Oh well!

So I find a seat and bump along and I’m recalling my teen years when I had to take 2 buses daily to get to and from college. In the absence of queues, and courtesy in the third world, or bus doors even, I literally had to fight to get on the bus. Not that I was ever very good at shoving and elbowing which explains why I would often end up being one of the last few to get on… if I can even call it that. To this day, I swear I still have PTSD from hanging out of moving door-less buses and being pasted against the windscreen of the bus. Not funny!

Then there was that time adventurous lil me hopped on a bus in Australia to go check out the Queen Victoria mall in Sydney. This was before the days of GPS and smartphones. I asked the bus driver where I should get off and he wasn’t very helpful. Maybe he was having a bad day. I tried asking some of the passengers and they were all having a bad day. Sometimes, you just can’t win.

Then there’s the story of my first bus ride in California. I was new in town and didn’t know my way around. One day, I took a bus to the university to settle some admin stuff. On the way back, I watched helplessly as the bus sped past my stop before I could ring the bell. I panicked and stumbled to the front of the bus to tell the bus driver that I’d missed my stop. I’m not sure what I expected him to do except maybe to let me off at the next stop.

But you know what? Instead he told me to sit back down, then he turned around and announced to everyone on the bus that he was going to circle back so he could drop me off at my exact stop. An even bigger surprise was that everyone on the bus was okay with it too! I know, I couldn’t believe it either. The whole bus took a turn back just for me. H*ll yeah! Talk about the kindest bus driver ever, and such an agreeable lot of passengers too, bless them.

So these are some of my bus stories, the good, the funny and the forgettable. They’re always fun to tell. Do you have a bus story to share?

The day we had to wash the dishes

The day we had to wash the dishes

… well, almost. It’s happened before. I couldn’t believe it was happening again. It felt like deja vue.

So we decided to do fish and chips again for lunch. It’s the place where we practically have a table with our name on it. The entrance is by the open kitchen and when the chef sees us coming in, he always gives us double the order at NO extra charge.

The weather was gorgeous (isn’t it always?), just perfect for my short walk out to meet the kids. The girls were coming from college, and my son was joining us after his workout at the gym. We order 2-piece cod dinners and the chef sends us each 4 pieces of cod, as always. I kid you not! #wonthappeninthethirdworld


What started out as a wonderful lunch of chitchat and laughter became a heart-stopper when it came time to call for the check. My daughter looked in her wallet and declared she’d left her cards at home. Oh well, no problem, my son should have his, right? Wrong. I don’t usually bring my wallet to the gym, he declared. My youngest didn’t have her wallet on her either. Now all eyes were on me. I’d happily skipped out of the house empty-handed on the assumption that at least someone would have money.

Just great! I could see us crammed into that tiny kitchen, sleeves rolled up and elbow-deep in greasy dishes, working off our 4 pieces of cod. What a laugh!

Oh wait, says my daughter eyeing the notes in her wallet. Okay, I’ve got 40 bucks here… no, wait, it’s 30, not 40. How about coins? we chimed, count the coins quick!

She shook every last penny from her wallet and I tossed in the few coins from my pocket which amounted to a grand total of 4 dollars and some cents. We bit our nails as she laid them all out on the table and counted, and recounted… and we were out by oh, just a teeny bit only something like 15 bucks! 😯

We eat there often enough to know the bill would come to around $50. Uh-oh, we’re going to have to wash dishes, Mom!! someone burst out. Yup, either that or some of us would have to go home for the money. Good thing it’s only a 15-minute walk home and it wasn’t raining that day. We were saved!

Yeah, the Leave-our-wallets-at-home Syndrome has struck again! One of these days, we might just end up washing dishes 😆 . So tell me, has this ever happened to you?

The fry guy

And so it would seem we can find humor in the oddest of circumstances. I’m standing at Customer Service of our local mall waiting for someone to sort through the usual administrative inconveniences imposed by broken systems that don’t do what they’re supposed to do.

Being at loose ends, I start paying attention to the folks dancing up to the desk with their inquiries about oh, the usual. First a guy asking where’s X (a restaurant)? Then a gaggle of young women approach with a similar question, where’s Z (another restaurant). Food sure seems to be on everyone’s mind today. Or is it that everyone’s from out of town?

Mr Customer Service reckons the women are referring to a Japanese eatery by the name of Z. But apparently they’re looking for some sort of place that ‘serves cake’, or so says the young lady.

At any rate, Mr CS is a busy guy and frankly who has time to argue on the busiest weekend before Christmas? So he sends them merrily on their way to said Japanese joint… at which point, I turn to HipebDaughter1 and mumble something about frying eggs. Mr CS catches my last two words and looks quizzically at me. Oh nothing, I replied, not that interested in explaining to him what I just said.

But somehow we made eye contact again and he took that as a sign to pick up our little conversation.

He: Z is where they serve a cracked egg over rice in a bento box, right?

Me: I think they’re referring to one where they serve omelets with bacon and toast.

He: (puzzled look)

Me: Many people like to pay an arm and a leg to have someone fry up their eggs and serve it to them with toast and coffee.

He: (laughing out loud) I think I can easily fry the eggs myself at home!

Me: Exactly 😉 .

Now there’s a guy after my own heart 😆 .

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