Breaking a World Record!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Yes, you read that right!

Broke a WORLD RECORD, ladies and gentlemen!

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I’ve had ‘break a record’ on my bucket list for a pretty long time. I wasn’t even ambitious enough to state world record; I would’ve been content with a national one!

But for someone who isn’t athletically inclined in any way, sports records seemed out of the question. I don’t have the patience for endurance records (hug a person for 30 hours, etc.) and couldn’t possibly break a legit achievement record! At one point of my life, I considered attempting the record for highest number of words said in a minute (I do speak very quickly!) but even that seemed highly improbable!

Who knew that London would be the answer to my seemingly impossible dream?

But before I get to the actual record breaking, I just wanna share a little about my new friends! Open-mouthed smile (LOL, so sad, as though I’ve never had friends before. Smile with tongue out)

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Andrea, Tiffany, Annie, Ces, Cherry, Arisa, Michelle (with a missing Ayman!)

Despite the stories of competitive back-stabbing peers you’d meet at LSE, I think I managed to find myself in a really encouraging, genuine group of girl friends! They’re all from different countries so we have our own quirks and our respective accents, but it’s always a pleasure when conversation steers towards ‘In my country, we do…”.

As I try to grasp the concept of saying “Cheers” in place of “Thank you” and hear the word ‘dude’ used about 25 times a day, they try to get used to me saying lah all the time. And it is so weird when it’s reciprocated!

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(LOL please note how my love remained mostly unreturned)

Well, this group of friends (+ En Leang) headed to Canary Wharf at the invitation of Ces’ sister in an attempt to break the record for Longest Conga Line on Ice. Surprised smile 

For starters, I think you all deserve to know that I doubt I’ve ever participated in a conga line in my entire life and ice skating isn’t exactly my forte. But it wasn’t as bad as you’d think! We got to hold on to the person in front of us by the waist and if we held on tightly enough, didn’t even have to put in much effort as we got dragged around the rink! Smile with tongue out At first, we were worried we’d be the cause of the failure of the record, but then again, even if the conga line didn’t work out, we could have the longest human domino chain on ice. Winking smile 

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With Arisa. For some reason, we both look pretty alike in this photo! Don’t be fooled by her smile though, she’s absolutely terrified. ;P Can’t skate at all. Smile with tongue out

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And here’s En Leang and I breaking off from the conga line before it started for this photo. (ugh, such show offs)

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Look at all the sparkly lights! Oooooooo.

This is the first time I have ever skated outdoors and it is really cool.. literally! Ha ha ha. Ahem.

In all seriousness however, skating outdoors is quite an experience. The ice turns into water quite quickly so at certain parts of the rink, you’d be skating through puddles of water rather than ice. The temperature isn’t quite low enough to keep the rink frozen, but it is still a lot colder than when you skate indoors. Brr! So, be sure to dress warmly!

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<3

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With girls who grew up with ice skating lessons. Apparently it’s a thing in Hong Kong. Who knew?

As for the actual record breaking, it took two attempts before it was declared victorious! The first time we went around, we managed to conga for about 3 minutes before the line broke and we had to start over.

The enthusiasm for actual conga-ing wasn’t quite there though as you could tell most were just trying to stay balanced. Smile with tongue out We had to shuffle, shuffle, kick and repeat that throughout for 5 minutes straight but by the 3rd minute, you could kind of see half-hearted leg lifts in place of a kick. Smile with tongue out 

But a couple of kicks later and some mild screams, we were officially record breakers!

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Woohooo!

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Just us girls. Smile with tongue out

It was such a good reward after the many thousand word essays we’ve been assigned and we were all tickled by how  the biggest achievement we’ve gotten since arriving at the LSE was completely non-academic! Smile with tongue out How much better can you get after breaking a world record??!

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Saying goodbye to Canary Wharf!

I personally loved Canary Wharf at night, with its skyscrapers and city lights! As beautiful as Central London is, a KL girl like myself can’t help but miss the glass and steel of an industrial city and Canary Wharf has been the closest I got to that since getting here. Smile 

And to match the slowly declining temperature and my increasing indolence, here’s a polar bear!

Toodles!

Siam Central Review

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I have a confession to make.

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Although I proudly share of my Malaysian ancestry and say I’m Chinese to whoever who asks, I now confess that it isn’t completely true. In fact, through my veins flow a smattering of Thai blood and although it is so insignificant that I wouldn’t be able to claim any relatives in Thailand, I’d like to believe that my absolute weakness for Thai food can somehow be attributed to my love for ‘my’ culture.
And of course, my Chinese side shines through when this love extends to delicious and affordable Thai food. Winking smile

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Greeted by a wave of prosperity.

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Just a couple of metres away from UCL and Tottenham Court Road, Siam Central is a treasure in the expensive city that is London. I went at about 1pm and throughout the whole time, it was busy and brimming with people looking for their Thai fix.

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Yikes. The awkward eye-contact photo. Why couldn’t you just keep eating??

Siam Central serves 2 course and 3 course meals for their Express Lunch at £8 and £10 respectively, which is very reasonable! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take a picture of the menu, but there were quite a number of items to choose from and most of them sounded delicious! A good idea would be to come with a group of friends and order different dish combinations to sample as much as possible. Open-mouthed smile

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Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Crispy and hot, but not too oily, the spring rolls were really good! It definitely wasn’t extraordinary in any way, but the glass noodles in the roll didn’t taste as though they came from a frozen pack and the vegetables weren’t overpowering. Coupled with the sweet-spicy Thai chilli sauce, it was just enough to whet one’s appetite.

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If I’m not mistaken, this was the Prawn and Chicken Toast.

This was savoury and pretty good, but I wouldn’t go back for more. The bread at the base was much too drenched in oil for my liking, but it’s worth a try just to break the monotony of regular Spring Roll appetizers.

They had a couple of Chinese dishes as appetizers such as dumplings, so don’t be worried about not having much of a choice! I would still recommend spring rolls for sure but for the price, feel free to experiment with the combinations!

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Pineapple Fried Rice!

The serving of Pineapple Fried Rice was absolutely fantastic! Huge chunks of pineapple were cooked in with the rice, complete with egg and a choice of either pork or chicken. The pineapples left the rice fragrant and flavourful and the meat gave it just the right amount of bite. It could be that the cold winter makes hot food taste all the better, but this dish really did the trick for me!

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Green Curry!

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Their green curry (with a choice of either beef, pork, or chicken) came with a helping of rice and a salad.

The curry was good and had a good portion of meat. Although I would have liked it had there been a little more of it (because we ate it with the fried rice as well, heh) and it could have afforded to be a little more spicy, it was creamy and didn’t lack in flavour. The vegetables weren’t too hard (which tends to be a problem whenever I eat Thai food, as though they decided to throw them in the pot at the last minute, ugh) and I appreciated the salad on the side.

DSC_0218Banana Fritters!

The moment this arrived at the table in all its golden glory, I could immediately smell the honey that glazed the bananas and was drizzled over the vanilla ice cream. There’s really not much to say about banana fritters because everyone just loves the contrast of fried, hot food against creamy, cold ice cream. I’m glad to say that the ice cream wasn’t sickeningly sweet and neither were the fritters. I would have liked it with a little less honey and probably bananas that were more ripe (I felt that the insides weren’t mushy enough), but that’s just me being picky and it was decent. Smile 

All in all, for 5 perfectly delicious dishes at a total of £19.80 including service charge, I’d say it was a pretty good deal! I’ll definitely be back again for more, and I would recommend that you do too! Thanks to Shane for taking me there. Open-mouthed smile

SIAM CENTRAL,
14 Charlotte Street (Windmill Street),
London W1T 2LX,
England.

Opening Hours:
Weekdays:
12pm – 11pm
Weekends:
1pm – 10.30pm

The Five Types of Shower-ers

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ever since moving into halls with communal showers, life hasn’t been the same. No longer do simple towel woes burden me. Besides the irrational fear that when I shower behind the pathetic excuse of a door they call the shower curtain, someone’s going to pull it open a la Pitch Perfect (scene embedded below), I’ve pretty much gotten used to the mad grab-drench-and-dash routine I’ve established.

Of course, I don’t exactly share the same woes as Anne Kendrick for the plain old reason that I can’t sing to save my life, but there is a possibility that my shower singing could inspire a violent struggle to shut me up.. So, I keep absolutely silent when I shower.

Which brings me to, ladies and gentlemen, the types of people who you encounter in the shower room! Which one are you?

1. The Opera Singer

This is the flashy, top-of-lungs singing (may be good or bad), no shame type. The one who doesn’t mind asking you to pass a bottle of shampoo she left outside, even if it means that her shower curtain has to open a crack. She is the one who walks around in a towel in the shower room and all the way out to the corridors. Confident and comfortable in her own skin, she leaves the more shy ones feeling sheepish and awkward as she strikes conversation in nothing more than a towel.

2. The One With a Habit

This is the person who showers in that ONE stall in that ONE way. And if anyone uses their shower stall, well.. They would rather come back another time. Maybe even another day. Probably the one who had the most problems leaving their comfortable attached toilet at home and cannot get used to the fact that the toilets and the showers are separated. The moment these showerers build their habits, don’t expect them to change anytime soon.

3. The Prune

These are the ones who enter the shower on New Year’s Day and leave by the time Christmas comes. Not content with a quick rinse, they allow their hands to wrinkle and bodies to prune before declaring the shower satisfactory. If they have classes at 10am, expect them to be in the shower by 8am, or they’ll never make it to class on time. Heck, they would rather be late than shorten the shower of theirs.

4. The Loner

This is the one who feels most at peace when the shower room is completely empty. They pick odd times of the night or the wee hours of the morning for their daily cleansing and when they hear the sound of another person entering their territory, they freeze, roll their eyes and curse them away mentally. The Loner would rather skip events than have to share the toilet with a bunch of naked strangers and can only truly relax beneath the scorching water when not a soul is nearby.

5. The Polluter

Often confused as a hygiene freak, the polluter uses so much shampoo, body soap, conditioner, and other miscellaneous product that the entire drainage is filled with soap suds. For every square inch of their skin, a handful of soap is required to leave them content. Their body products are often overpriced and smell of some combination of strawberry and/or vanilla and when they leave the shower stall, the floor still remains slippery from the oversaturated suds that didn’t have the chance to be washed away.

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But no matter what kind of showerer you are, remember to keep yourself dry after, just like this cuddly kitten.

Old Town 97, Chinatown

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Just hearing the term Old Town brings me back to Malaysia where white coffee in small ceramic mugs and a side of kaya buttered toast sit on a rickety brown table ready to be consumed. You won’t get that from the Old Town in London but just hearing the name brings back fond memories. It just goes to show how much a Malaysian abroad can miss the food  back home when Old Town 97, a Chinatown branch with servings 5 times more expensive than the dishes back home (but fairly priced for London food), sits high on her list of best London meals.

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There is a lot more to me and tiffanykml.com than just food, I assure you, but blogging about anything else just requires so much more effort! I really am excited to share about my Halloween here, my course, my new friends, and all the new places I’ve been but writing about food is such an easy touch and go subject that in comparison, other (shallow) things I’d like to blog about feel a lot more difficult to breach.

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At the International Hall cinema with En Leang in an attempt to do something besides reading and writing. >.<

It doesn’t help that I find myself indulging in good food so often! Back in college, because En Leang and I were from different classes, we dedicated some time every Wednesday for each other to help us ‘maintain our friendship’. Most of the time it was spent with me bombarding him with all sorts of questions pertaining to Mathematics and Physics, but now, our “Wednesday time'” (if I don’t cancel due to the ridiculous amount of reading required Crying face) is spent exploring good food places!

And this guy here..

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… is Shane!

Because we go to different universities and share a huge appetite for good food, we allocate a day for us to spend time together as well! Because I’m the only Malaysian in my hall taking this course at LSE, my schedules are vastly different from my friends’ and I feel blessed that Shane and I get to have some time on Friday for often, very good lunch! Open-mouthed smile

I think this day allocation thing is a really good way to ensure that you always find time for your friends. Although it sounds a little ridiculous, it often is just an hour of your day that you plan to set aside for a friend and in the event that you have work or other commitments, cancelling is totally okay! Oftentimes, people take for granted the time they get to spend with the people important to them because they think, “Oh, they’re so nearby!” but unless effort is taken, it can become really easy to lose certain relationships due to the new lifestyles we all have.

Baby J and I have agreed to have Thursday phonecalls because she’s all the way in Coventry but honestly, we haven’t really been keeping to that. But I will make more of an effort after this blog post!! Open-mouthed smile 

But, enough digression! To the food! After this picture of me. Smile with tongue out 

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Siew Yuk & Char Siew Rice (£6.80)

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Gah, just look at how glorious that looks!

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Shane had this and I only tried a piece of siew yuk (which was good, but didn’t stand out from the usual Malaysian hawker fare) but he said that it tasted better his first time there when the siew yuk was crispy but was lacklustre on his second visit. But he said he loved the char siew on both occasions! Probably a gamble with this dish then but at least you know where to get your fix if you have a desperate craving for it.

For me, the highlight of the place, and the reason why I Instagrammed and Tweeted about it is because of this – LSE Fried Rice (£9.80)

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If you love eggs and have a gigantic appetite, this is the dish for you! Although I might have been a little more in love with it if the fried egg had runny yolk, it was still so eggy and good! After a walk in the drizzly London weather, cold and hungry, this dish definitely made my stomach very very happy.

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Look at what a gigantic portion that is! Definitely enough for two girls, although I may have almost eaten the whole thing on my own. *shifty eyes*

LSE Fried Rice isn’t on the standard menu, if I’m not mistaken and rumour has it that some girl was craving this dish and gave the recipe to the chef. He tried making it and found it so good that he wanted to include it in the permanent menu! When he asked her to named it, she named it after her university and tadah – LSE fried rice was born!

The pork on the side comes with a goeey eggy sauce that was somewhat sweet and peppery and I found that the whole dish tasted better with everything mixed up. Definitely something worth trying at least once if you live in London! Open-mouthed smile 

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It was raining again and we had no umbrella so Shane had to wear my jacket (which fit him a little too well!) and I wore his leather one instead which came with a hood!

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The day concluded with the sweetest £1.90 strawberries (from the cart outside Russell Square station) and a toothy surprise!

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Now I knew I dropped a tooth somewhere! Winking smile 

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Stupid Shane went and ate my special strawberry, forgot he did, sent me on a mad hunt around my room for a strawberry to end up with.. “Okay, maybe I ate it.”

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Ah well, at least it isn’t rotting somewhere in a corner?

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