Friday, September 30, 2005

Seoul thus far

I have discovered my inner geographer. Maybe it is a result of too much Discovery channel on Korean cable tv, but I realise now how much a country and culture is shaped by its climate.

My dad and I were discussing Kim Chi - the potent pickled and spiced cabbage (and other veggies) which is eaten at every meal in Korea (including breakfast). This is quite integral to Korean cusine, and is a result of their harsh climate - Long and cold winters, not much arable land. This means a single summer harvest of fruit and vegetables, and pickling and preseravatives the rest of the year. The national sport seems to be mountain climbing, and in recent times, snow sports. Once again, this is due to the lovely and imposing mountains around Seoul. Makes me wonder how Singapore developed a national sport at all.

This weekend we are going to the DMZ. Will post more about it later.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Expressions of Sorrow

I miss my husband when I am in Singapore. Last night was particularly difficult, because when we grieve, we look for support from our loved ones. But what if your loved ones are in separate places?

I want to go home to Turin, yet I feel like I have to stay close to my family at this time. What do you do when the interests of "home" and "family" appear divergent? My mother wants to go back to Korea. I will go with her, because I know she would appreciate the company, and so would my father.

I miss Fabien deeply, yet I dare not say it. Because if I did, it would be generally taken as if I did not want to be here with my family that needs me. Yet, a refusal to acknowledge that I miss my husband and my normal life in Turin, is a refusal to acknowledge that these were sacrifice which I willingly made.

Made even greater because I have to miss him without giving expression to my longing and lonliness. What is left unsaid is an aching, silent cry, building into a scream.

Can you hear it?

I am glad you can.
This is a necessary outlet.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


A Big Thank You
To all the friends that have sent condolences, I will thank each of
you personally in my own time. It is a tough time, and I appreciate your support.

For all the people who have been silent, and wonder what there are condolences for, perhaps you may wish to refer to the earlier blog post.

For all the people who recently have sent inappropriate emails or jokes, despite having access to this blog, shame on you. This is because the blog is updated for the benefit of people like you. If it is possible for you to log on to your CNN or CNA to find out what is happening in the world, why would it be so difficult to click on a link to find out what is happening in our world? It takes thought and effort to put the information online, and if you cannot be bothered to meet me halfway by going to read the blog, that's fine, but please do not complain about being left in the dark, and for goodness sakes, I just lost someone close in my family, I don't want to read inappropriate and thoughtless forwarded jokes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Emergency Trip back to Singapore

I have to go back to Singapore, and I am leaving this week.

There has been a death in the family so I need to go back and just provide moral support to my parents.

I am blogging this so that if any of my friends realise that I am in Singapore without saying hello, they can take this as an apology in advance.

It is hard for me to feel connected to this death, even though I am pretty close to this person. Being in Turin somehow distances me, and i feel like this is not really happening. Also I realise that my parents - particularly my Mum, is very affected, so it becomes necessary to be strong at this point, and I can grieve in my own private time later.

hugs to all - and treasure your loved ones because you don't know when they will be gone..

Sunday, September 11, 2005

have yourself an ambitious little christmas


Please email me your addresses early because this christmas, I have decided to create personalised christmas cards for everyone.

Inspired by all the artists supporting themselves in Brittany, I have decided to draw/paint/ and otherwise create cards for everyone.

You are to send me your addresses and try not to spurn my artistic endeavours.

this is where we were at the U2 concert

We got the newspaper after the concert, and realised we could see ourselves from the ariel photograph (well.. kind of!)

I have pointed it out on the picture here. From where we were standing, we could see the celebs walking through the runway to get to their VVIP seats right in the front. The Beckhams, Elton John, Bill and Melinda Gates were there. But I suppose the guys will be more interested in the fact that Jordan was there (I can testify to the fact that her breasts really do not bounce when she walks).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

our first few Hardelot photos

Fab jumping over water
Originally uploaded by vacheorange.
Okay I am starting with the Hardelot photos first. This is taken on the beach, where you can feel the wide expanse of space on the dunes. Nobody for miles around !

Just click on the photo which should bring you to the Flicker website where you can see other photos of Hardelot. AND the horses at the show-jumping competition.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

St. Malo - Sailing, Mont St Michel and Langoustines

From Hardelot we drove to Caen in Normandy. Basically Normandy's tourist attractions can be summed up as one huge graveyard. We didn't stay too long there, but drove from Caen towards St Malo, Brittany.

Our first stop was Honfleur- a historical seaside port town, very pretty and touristy with cobblestone streets and lots of restaurants with English menus (i.e. catering to British tourists). Whenever we saw the Breton coast or any of its portside towns, there would be LOTS of boats in every shape and description. The one that excited us lots (which we actually have a shot of and I will add it here once I find it) was an old sailboat with long wooden masts and looks like the Cutty Sark or something. It seemed like everyone here had a boat, ranging from the little tug that you take fishing in the afternoons, to whales which seem to belong more in St Tropez than St Malo.

Mont St Michel
We had some lovely mussels and steak frites there and then drove to an even tinier town (population of 50) called La Poultiere. It is so tiny that I cannot find a weblink for it. We stayed at this place called La Gedouinais, where the earliest parts of the house date from 1320! It overlooks the Abbey Mont St Michel, which we climbed once in the day and once in the night. I totally recommend visiting the Abbey at night because it gets lit up and you can feel like you have stepped into the set of The Name of the Rose and Sean Connery will pop out at you dressed in Bendectine robes.

From La Gedouinais we went to drove around Brittany pigging out on crepes and seafood. Hence Langoustines being the last keyword, because I had a truly marvellous seafood platter one night in Dinard. It involved different kinds of crutusceans served up on a bed of kelp and accompanied by various delicious dipping sauces. I found that there is some technique to eating Langoustines - this animal which seems a cross between a prawn and a lobster. (it has a head like a prawn but long pincers like a lobster). You need to be really careful not to cut your hands on the hard shell because it really doesn't want to be eaten!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hardelot - Horses, Dunes and Tarte Tomate

Back in Turin - arrived last night at about midnight, driving through the Frejus tunnel (connecting France and Italy through the Alps) with absolutely nobody inside is great! Now just bloging about our holiday, and decided to summarise each place we visited with the key words, begining with our first stop in Hardelot - Horses, Dunes and Tarte Tomate.

Fabien's grandparents bought the Hardelot appartment a long time back, and various family members just book it in advance, get the key from the concierge and spend as long as they like there, looking out onto the Opal Coast. French coastlines have lovely names - Cote d'Azur (Azure Coast), Cote d'Emaraude (Emerald Coast) and so on..

So I went horse-riding there every morning for the 2 weeks we were there. As I am a pretty crap rider, I end up spraining my fingers alot (- does that answer your question Mike?) and so they get so swollen I can't even close them, let alone wear a wedding band. Fabien prefers more sedate activities like playing golf, and had his first golf competition on Golf de Pins. We also spent afternoons walking around and exploring the sand dunes which go on for many kilometeres (it is a protected area so you cannot drive there). It is a childhood playground for him, so it was really nice to see the little kids running around there and imagining how he must have been like 20 years ago!

Right, so that is Horses and Dunes explained. Tarte Tomate relates back to the delicious meals that Fab's parents prepared for us (they came to stay for 1 weekend in the 2 weeks we were there). I had the best 20 minute meal ever! Tarte Tomate is store bought filo pastry spread in a tin, topped with mustard, melted gruyere, sliced fresh tomatoes, sprinkled with sel de guerande and whatever herbs you can get hold of. 10 minutes preparation time, 10 minutes cooking, and voila! French taste and elegance in a tarte...

Next post will be our next stop in St. Malo - Sailing, Mont St Michel and Langoustines!