Tom Yam Game

I did the unthinkable. The most heinous of crimes that any newly-landed immigrant to West Canada can do, was actually committed by me. I, the very same person who pride myself in being a great adjuster, adapter, and ever-so-willing to soak in a new country have denied, vehemently – an opportunity to watch the greats slash ice and allow myself to mesh with the thousands of cheers, most screaming at the top of their lungs (trust me, THAT is something I definitely CAN do – thanks to Malaysia Cup and F1 days) and alas – declare myself a true blue Canadian virgin. I could even do a mandi bunga after that you know, now that it is Spring here. Daffodils can make good substitute for bunga cempaka, no?

And what in heaven’s name did I trade the Canucks game for? THIS bowl of heaven.

I seriously do not know what to say to myself. DH had not one, but TWO free tickets to the game with Minnesota yesterday, but my mind was too fixated with having Thai food for dinner after waiting for him for 2 blinking hours at Starbucks. The story goes that he could not get out of a meeting, and I was left waiting at Starbucks sipping Chai Tea and fantasising hot bowls of Tom Yam Goong at the same time. No doubt I had the company of 2 girlfriends with me – but I was still daydreaming in between pauses.

So when he appeared at the Starbucks door, flashing the 2 tickets in front of my face – I swear to you, I did SEE the words CANUCKS printed on the tickets,it DID register in my head, BUT flashes of the oh-so-tempting smell of lime leaves, lemongrass, chili and celantro could not escape me. I was hallucinating Tom Yam, and DH was frantically trying to convince me: “It is the Canucks game, woman! You have never been to one before, and you always said you wanted to go! “. Well, he didn’t say it like that, but I am sure he wanted to.

My whining for food and waiting and dont-know-what-else finally made him gave in to my craving.

It is now the day after, and I am happily seated at the sofa looking out at the lawn, and damn, I should have not insisted on eating at that Thai restaurant last night. The Tom Yam and Pad Thai and Fried Rice and Spring Rolls and Fish Cakes were all so delicious, but the game at the BC Stadium would have had me tasted electric. Awesome.

Oh, did I tell you the FREE tickets he got from his boss would have cost CAD$100 to purchase?

Yes I know, slap me.

Cold and the Kambing Craving

Boy boy…naughty me. Never aggravate a cold by being in the cold, but … do you do that when you are in country where locals think 8 degrees is hot?

My cold (yes all the way from Singapore, started the day I ransacked my house and turned it upside down to pack the boxes) has worsened. It was all ok while in sunny California, I could even shout and scream during the rides and had the energy to dance up and down to Footloose during the street parties. But no, not in Canada. It came back like a whoossshh. A bad whooosh. Ok correction, it was a WHOOOSH. Sheesh.

When the plane started descending on that March 17 Friday in Vancouver, I was looking out of the window lovingly and thought about what excitement DH must be feeling at that moment, standing right behind the steel bars, and he would have, in all excitement, pushed his way through the crowds so that he could stand right in front of the exit door at the arrival hall to see me. The mountains surrounding Vancouver still has snow at the tops, this is Spring, but hey, this is also Canada. So near the Arctic Circle we are, so the snow stays till they are pushed literally away by the aggresive late Spring sun. I love the change of scenery – from hip hop LA to scenic Vancouver…aahhh..bliss. Until….

The queue lines at the immigration was snaking…and I mean realllllly snaking. It was easily 500 people in front of me. I was so bored, and so not happy, and thought. oh…poor DH! He must be waiting outside for a long time. I did what I do best, call him to play a prank on him that I was stuck in LA airport with no flights out, but my trickery backfired. He was not even at the airport, was still driving some 30 minutes away. Obviously Canadians know how long it will take to clear the lines!

It was nice to see not only DH at the airport, but all my siblings-in-law there . DH and my MIL organised a BBQ dinner that night with Uncle A’s family over and DH diplomatically forced everyone to watch JALAN together. Hahaha…I could never shake it off. JALAN is stuck to my bums.

It has been 5 days in Canada and I am back to watching Ellen, Martha, Oprah,Food Network and shivering. I thought I would acclimatise faster but my own cold is not helping.

Can’t wait to be able to breathe normally without opening my mouth wide and looking like a I am perpetually uttering ‘Ahhhh..’. There is nothing ‘ahh-ing’ about having a cold in the cold I tell you, its punishing. Sigh….here I go again dreaming of Sup Kambing at Boon Keng…

Teh Tarik and Theme Parks

Having teh tarik while you are 30,000 feet above the seas is a soother, I tell you. Especially so when your a** have been sitting on the blue-holstered seat for more than 10 hours, and your mind play infallible tricks of sadness when you realise that the dreaded day of ‘migrating to a new land’ has finally arrived, albeit in disguise of a Disney holiday.

I cleverly packed 3 packets of tissues with me when I was about to leave for the airport on that Friday afternoon on Mar 10, but they didnt last me an hour. My niece In had to run to the nearby convenience store inside the terminal to get me 12 more. Yes, that was how much I cried. I hugged Mak first and last. The first hug I did, she didnt shed a single tear, only to send my mind racing that my mum indeed wants to be strong for me, and to leave me with the memory of her being the strong woman that she is. But I have proven to myself again that I am not a match for her steelness, and my tearducts broke like Niagara Falls whirlpools. The second time I hugged her she teared as she whispered, ‘Jangan lupa pesan Mak’ – and by that she did not mean calling her 3 times a day, or buying her gifts or coming back once a year. Mak just wanted me to read a surah she found in her doa collection every subuh morning. She rested my safety in Allah’s hands. And that is, a classic of my mum’s – something I learnt to cherish till this day, the virtue of being redha and all willing to what God plans for.

My teh tarik solace came in the form of Yaser, who was one of the cabin crew on that SQ 30 flight. It is not often that I get a ‘Bom!’ shouted at me from across the aisle, but I did. We had a good chat at the galley while everyone was asleep, and that was when he offered a soothing teh tarik made for me. A few hours later, when the entire cabin was having breakfast, I had a special teh tarik delivered to me again by the LS, and that, has just made the USD200 more I paid for that SQ flight all worth it.

L.A is the same, except that Anaheim is much more sleeker now. I sleep with the kids in one of the 2 suites, and we are having a rocking good time making silly jokes. Disneyland is all hype, but I am joyous that I get to ride in the tea-cups and and the King Arthur Carousel – except that my tight jeans means I can’t spread my legs wide enough to get on the horse, damn! The 3-D shows were awesome, and no guesses who scream the loudest.

I am a wimp when it comes to adventure rides. I detest roller coasters, and all those Space Mountain-types that most people go for when it comes to these theme parks. I can tell you a lot about the Mark Twain steam ship, but no thank you sir, I didnt’t take ’em rides. So sue me.

California Adventure Park is a thrill! I love it…especially the A Bug’s Life 3-D show. The screaming only made me lose my voice more, but hey, it was cathartic ok! And oh, how can I forget the mood-thumping, hip-rocking Block Party Bash, where everyone danced and clapped their hands up high. I was so into my 80’s mood, that I must have embarassed the kids. They were watching me in disbelief. ‘Oh God!’, they must have prayed. ‘Is this mad woman really my auntie?!’

DH said that there is a barbeque party waiting for me when I arrive in Canada on Friday. Everyone will be there, and I can’t wait for that.I can’t wait to see his face and munch on pancakes at IHOP on Sunday mornings and irritate him with my stories. I feel blessed by how God plans this entire transition, He is indeed, the personification of greatness.