My new blog: For those who came here for the cake pop class, I've created a new blog with updates on classes and photos over at guiri in the kitchen

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Arrival of Fondateur Des Slips Rouges & A Farewell

Gan finally arrived Chambéry. That poor chap had to undergo several transits, which meant several hours of waiting at the airport, then when he arrived Lyon, he had to wait again for the train to get to Chambéry. He almost didn't recognise me as I was soooo tanned...hehehe... anyway, he had to wait again at the A.L.E. office, because there was like another 3-4 persons waiting in line (which was very rare for the ALE office). His turn finally arrived, settled all the deposits and stuff, only to find out that there was no one available to show him to his apartment. And soooo, I became the guide, and with a map, we tried to search his apartment. I guess his slips rouges probably weren't very lucky.

Several days later, we organized a farewell party in my apartment for Carmen and Carin who were leaving soon and Gan joined us. We had Spanish tortilla prepared by Carmen & the gang, Ratatouille by me, fresh garden salad and Chocolate banana cake (yummy) by Misaki, a Savoyard speciality* by Ryo and healthy fruit salad by Carin. Everything was sooooo good, and in the end, we had too much food in our tummies that we couldn't move. *BURP*

*01/09/06 - I just remembered the speciality was called Tartiflette ;)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

3 in 1

Sorry I have been lagging again. I've got all my days and nights filled with trop activities that I get too mentally exhausted to update the blog. Last week I did 3 excursions with the school, which include 2 hiking trips, several cyling trips to St Alban Leysse, Lac du Bourget & Lac de St. Andre (almost 70km), walking, cooking, and homework of course, apart from my daily classes. Yeah yeah yeah, it's a bunch of crap. I guess I could have easily fill in a word or two in the blog if I really wanted to :P

Anyway, I have just updated the posts of my trip to Lyon, Beaufort & Vanoise

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Parc Naturel Vanoise

I was worried it was gonna be another rainy day as the morning started out really gloomy. But when we got to Pralognan, weather was really nice, though a little cold. I thought the climb would take probably about 2 hours, but I was SOOOOO wrong! Mohammed had earlier told me it would take approx. 4 hrs but I didn't trust him. *sigh* After probably an hour of climb, I was then told by Jean-Charles that we have just reached the starting point, and from there, it would take approx. 2 hrs to reach the Lac des Vaches. Bummer! In fact we took a little more than 2 hrs coz it was really tiring and we had more mini stops along the way to catch our breath. Except for the group of petit espagnols who were also with us on this excursion, the rest didn't want to eat until we got to the lake, which was about 2pm. *stomach growling*

I was whining along the way (I am good at that). WHHHyyy?? Whyy did I pay 18 euros to torture myself?? Blah blah...and so on. But seriouussly, the view was MAGNIFIQUE!!! I wouldn't mind doing this ALLLLL over again (not on the same day of course). Check out the album to see for yourself. It felt like I was inside a postcard, so unreal.

After resting at Lac des Vaches for probably an hour, we had to finally leave. At 2010 metres above sea level, Frans and I stopped at a bar to have some drinks. Manyak cantik larr..... with all the beautiful mountains and greens entouré while you slowly sip your beer, (or in my case...a Coca Cola).

Q: Why did the caterpillar cross the road?
A: To commit suicide, of course!

I almost squashed that poor little creature when we continued our way down. It's just so hard to brake when the hill is so steep. It's a good thing he was really bright green that I managed to avoid him. I really wonder how long he would manage to stay alive with so many people coming downhill. :P My legs got really wobbly by the time I arrived the bus, and the next day, it was really hurting everytime I tried to walk down the stairs. Ouch!

To Vanoise's photo album

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Beaufort & Lac de Roselend

We departed early in the morning to a fromagerie at Beaufort, yeeuuwww .... it stank. I tried to enter to storage area, but exited almost immediately as the smell was unbearable. How could people EAT this???? But Jean-Charles got some of it for us to eat during the picnic, and it wasn't so bad after all.

After the cheese factory, we went to see Lac Roselend, a really beautiful man-made lake, which was used as a dam. It was by the lake that we later had picnic, with fresh bread, Beaufort cheese and Vin de Savoie. Later we followed Jean-Charles on a little hiking trip in the hills. The hills are aliveeeeeeeee, with the sound of muuuusicccc ....... that was exactly how I felt when we went to the Cormet de Roselend at Beaufortain. Oh I just had to sing out loud! Erm....I was glad that did not cause a heavy thunderstorm though.

Anyway the walk wasn't really that tough, just that I haven't had enough exercise that it was tough to catch up with the rest. Ard was nice to stay with me, although he could have easily stayed in the lead. Of course, I was not the last...hehe....half of the group of petit espagnols who joined us in this excursion almost gave up! Both my shoes and socks were wet after sinking my feet into "invisible" puddles of water. What looked like a decent grass patch to walk on turned out to be soft muddy ground underneath. (I had to soak the socks overnight and the water was like kopi-o....BLEhhH). Malheureussement, I also sprained my ankle on my way down, having stepped on another invisible hole covered by a patch of grass @!@$!@#%#@^. Yep, I know => I am SUPER clumsy. Probably it's a sign that I should lose some poor ankle can't support me anymore!

To Beaufort's photo album

Sunday, August 13, 2006

How I Spent My Sunday Afternoon

Plucking "taugehs". That's what I have been doing this afternoon since it was so rainy and cold that I couldn't leave the house. Seriously, it's a good test of patience :D Of course, that was not the only thing I did. I have been saving some frozen crevettes in the fridge for a day like this. I found this nice recipe of Hokkien Prawn Mee, and decided to give it a try myself. But I didn't manage to get all the ingredients required, so I had to do some substitutes. I practically spent whole afternoon preparing the stock, but it was DEFINITELY worth it! It tasted just like the ones I had in Penang..... MMmmmm.. mmmm.. yummy ;) Care for a bowl, anyone?

*taugeh = beansprouts

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lyon & The Rain

It's the 2nd largest city in France (if I have my facts right). Compared to Paris, it's much laid back, but who am I to judge, having spent only several hours in this town? It was a little drizzly when we embarked on our journey, and we got into the bus just in time before the rain got heavy after our first stop at Perouges. We arrived Lyon close to noon time with sunny weather, only to be surprised later in the afternoon with a heavy pour, delaying our guided visit for a quarter of an hour. Just as quickly as it came, the rain stopped and after that came really clear blue skies. Although I was not really expecting any tough walking here, I climbed the hill TWICE on this very trip to see the Basilique! (it was with a diff group of course). *pant* pant* pant*

To Lyon's photo album

Thursday, August 10, 2006

First In First Out

I probably need to attend a course on Fridge Inventory Management. Voilà my problems:
  1. I can't keep track of the expiry dates of the meat and vegetables;
  2. I over-shop. I go to the supermarket with 2 items on my list, and I checkout with 15 items in the trolley;
  3. I thought I have shopped enough for one week, then I realised I need to go to the supermarket again after 2 days because I ran out of milk, eggs, etc. ;
  4. I have limited fridge space, but I keep buying things in bulk because it's cheaper that way. The last time I had to leave some carrots out of the fridge, and they went bad after 2, 3 days.

Anyway, I found a nice little solution for problem no. 2, i.e. if I only need one item from the supermarket, I get somebody else to do it for me....hehe.... hopefully I'd be able to find solutions for the rest of the problems soon. :P

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

L'excursion à Chamonix

Dimanche passé, je suis allée à Chamonix avec une excursion d'IFALPES. Il y avait peut être 40 personnes, compris aussi les étudiants d'Annecy. D'abord, il faisait très beau et il n'y avait pas beaucoup de nuages. Pourtant quand on y est arrivé, on voyait des nuages gris.

On s'est divisé en quelques petits groupes. Il y avait des personnes qui allaient marcher avec Philippe, le coordinateur, tandis que certaines personnes ont choisi d'aller à l'Aiguille du Midi ou la Mer de Glace. Moi, je me suis promenée au centre ville avec Anna, une fille russe. Depuis le centre ville, on pouvait voir le Mont Blanc. Du centre ville, on a fait une petite randonée jusqu'a La Praz, où nous avons fait un pique-nique. Et puis on a decidi d'aller à la Grotte de Glace. En route à Montenvers, où on devait prendre la télécabine, il a plu. Par chance, j'avais mon impermeable avec moi, donc je n'ai pas été très mouillée. Il faisait très froid dans la grotte, mais c'etait suprenant comment la glace pouvait soutenir la chaleur d'été!

On s'est retrouvé au bus à 17 heures pour rentrer à Chambéry. En rentrant, j'ai dormi dans le bus car j'étais très fatiguée. *béance*

Voilà les photos que j'ai prises à Chamonix.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Summer Rain

C'est triste! On my first day of class, I had to walk to school in the rain. Thank goodness I had not decided to let TW bring back my umbrella and my rain coat. Everyone was taken by shock that it has rained continuously for 2 days here, and it's really cold. The shops have a sudden surge in their umbrella sales, because many of those who came only for vacations did not have any with them. Who would have thought it's gonna rain during summer??? Both the bicycle and the pool pass are of no use to me now. :(

Par contraire, I am quite happy with my class. I was put in the Intermediate level after the test....Yaaayyy! I am no longer debutant. Everyone in class is nice, the pretty professeur as well, and we even have a special guest, Angie! She's the cute little baby Chi Hua Hua that belongs to Jeff, one of my classmates. He is inseparable from her, thus she studies french with the rest of us. Of course, she's almost like a vacuum cleaner, sniffing around the class everytime we return from a break.

Oh dear, next Friday it's gonna be my turn to do an exposé in class. We are supposed to just present anything related to our country, anything at all......hmm... what can I say about Malaysia?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

S.O.S. Call to Malaysia

I had to make that call back home to ask my mom for recipe for Prawn with Asam Jawa. She gave me a packet of asam jawa (due to some miscommunication...I had not requested for it) and I haven't the slightest idea on what I could do with it. Serves me right for not paying attention when my mom does her cooking.

And so, after a quick lesson on the Skype, I did my experimenting on some frozen prawns I bought from E.Leclerc. Having a chef with 10 yrs experience staring at you when you are experimenting can be also quite nerve-wrecking. That's Ryo, my Japanese housemate who is forever curious when you try something new in the kitchen. He's really nice actually, giving little hints and advices every now and then :)

Well, in the end my assam prawn turned out to be quite alright, although not exactly the same taste as how my mom made it. Just a little bit of fine tuning would do. My steam rice came out perfect too! Not bad for a first try ;)