Tag Archives: breakfast

living in london pt 10

26 May

london

I woke up this morning at 5am and opened the curtains and saw the street wet , suggesting it had rained overnight. and went back to sleep and half an hour later woke up yearning for a malaysian or singapore kopitiam breakfast. 

in those days u can order a kopi kau, (meaning the first straining  of local coffee from the cloth filter, so that it is strong) and then from the steaming tower of bamboo baskets chose your dimsum. usually there are not as extensive a choice as u would get in a restaurant at lunchtime, but there will always be har kau, siew mai, or pau, (char siew pau, or pork pau, or black sweet black bean paste pau). and that is filling enough. 

or you would take one of the nasi lemak banana leaf wraps that will be lying around on the table and eat the fragrant offerings inside, usually minimal ingredients with a sambal of anchovies,a slice of cucumber,  and very fragrant coconut rice. they are all very cheap. in those days. not sure nowadays. or even if they are available any more. 

or u might ask for a bread toast of kaya jam, and a soft boiled egg. 

or u might ask for porridge. 

mostly i would go for the dim sum. it is so nice to just sit and sip the coffee , in a thick lipped porcelain cup and saucer, which invariably will have spilt coffee in it, which you wont waste and tip it back to the cup.

i know some old guys would cool the coffee by pouring it onto the saucer and then sip the saucer . A bit gross but you kind of got used to seeing it haha. (though now i come to think of it, i wonder why i consider that gross. it sounds entirely logical.)

and enjoy the cool of the day, as mornings are the only times when the air feels so fresh and clean and cool, and so quiet before people crowd in and things get busy. 

these are the little things that come to me now and then, now that i live in london, memories of my days and childhood in malaysia. and i am filled with nostalgia when it happens. the happy days of yore. 

And i still dream of my working days as a dentist, and just now i got a new dream about my days as a multilevel marketeer. they are pleasant dreams, for eg one where i expertly and swiftly took out a wisdom tooth and feeling good about it. i wonder if people dream of their working days when they retire? I enjoy my working life, mainly because i can take long holidays away from it, so it never gets stale. i never feel overworked and stressed about it, i know when and how to balance it with life… but it seems strange that i still dream about it, now i am not working anymore and happy not to be working. 

these memories are nice but i realise there is no going back to those days. The long lazy evenings chatting about nothing with friends in the mamak stalls drinking teh tarik, for example. Even if i go now to malaysia and singapore and go to a kopi tiam , it wont be the same. i have changed, if the place have not.

I think this post reminds me of my days in singapore and malaysia. 

Now I live in london and breakfast is bacon and eggs , fried tomatoes , baked beans, toast with butter and jam, the traditional breakfast which brings along with it memories too. nowadays i seldom eat it, preferring just to have porridge with a sprinkling of sultanas everyday. though when simon breaks open a pack of bacon, and i have fresh tomatoes, i will have it and bring back memories.

I was in soho yesterday, where they had  street stalls set up as a market. there was one stall selling leather knapsacks and brief cases, from £90. in the old days i would be tempted to buy the leather knapsacks. they are lovely. but i love my gym style nylon bag i use now so i doubt i shall want to go back to using a leather one.

just as well, i was thinking, it saves me spending £90 haha.

It was pleasant walking the street in sunshine, and sitting in soho square looking at people, and reminds me of the old days when i would hang about soho, sitting outside cafe nero, or the long gone old compton st cafe(open 24hrs),  and soho square; and meet and greet friends as invariably they too will be hanging about there. now i dont know anyone. i wonder if i shall wake up dreaming of it years later if i live long enough. 

 

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wandering around london

10 Jan

London

Thursday 10.1.13 

I went to ikea again for the free breakfast. Didn’t planned to go today, but I was up by 8am, and thought well I have nothing planned and I do fancy a cooked breakfast, so off I went to catch the tube.

And I know the route very well and got to ikea at about 10.10am.

And afterwards I was at a loose end as to what to do.
I thought of taking the 112 and let it take me to its end destination, brent cross… but the idea of seeing another shopping mall did not appeal to me.

So I took the bus back to the tube station. This time though instead of taking th 112 back to Stonebridge park station, I went to another bus stop where two buses have routes going to harlesden station.

It turned out to be a better station to go to, to catch the train back to central London. More buses ply this route.

I could take it to Lambeth north station where my gym is, but I did not fancy going there just yet. And I was pondering which stop in central London to get off. Well, I wanted to piss, and so remembered there are free public toilets at oxford st, in carnaby st , and in marshall street, near brewer st.

When I arrived at the carnaby st toilet, I saw a turnstile, it seems u have to pay, but there was no sign as to how much.

I was going back up the stairs when a man came down, and I suddenly decided I shall go back and see if I can use it. The turnstile was a bit loose and there was some give which provided a small space to allow me to enter so I did. There was no attendant.

After I finished pissing, I tried to go out and the turnstile refused to budge. The man told me to press a green lighted button and that releases the turnstile. Glad he was there to tell me otherwise I would be lost what to do. I wonder if others have this ignorance of how these public toilets work.

Hmm, I did not realise they are making the carnaby st toilets a paid one. The broadwick st, (at the north end of brewer st), toilets are still free I think.

Added. 27.3.13 found this article that says a private company is running the toilets now. and they have been closing (link) the free toilets and charging 50p for the others. 

 

Anyway I went to a gay sex shop in soho to get the gay magazines, boyz and qx, which are distributed free and took them to soho square to read them and to eat my snack and chocolate hot drink which I brought from home.

I see in the magazine that nudityclub is having a free charity night, on 11.1.13. Or rather they are asking members to donate £3 for the terrence Higgins trust charity and for non members to pay £5, including a £3 donation.
It is a nice place, where guys can be naked and play and dance naked.

I went last year intending to just pay £5, but got persuaded to buy a £5 annual membership and pay £3 donation. It was not worth being a member as I did not go to any of their subsequent nights. The entry fee for members is a pricey £8 that is why.

So this time if I do go , and that is not certain, I shall just pay the £5 donation.

I went on to Chinatown and bought frozen mackerel 1kg for £3.25. And also they were selling their thai red curry paste. brand name is maesri, 1kg for 50p . Usually they cost £4. I think because the sell by date is 26jan 2013.
Similarly, they have this chinthe Burmese bamboo sooot pickle for 50p. Again because it sell by date is jan2013.

But I don’t mind as actually u can still use it after their sell by date. The shop cannot legally sell it after that date, hence the cheap price. I bought 2. It is a good buy as curry powder250mg is already costing £1.35 now.

I think it makes a good laksa dish eaten with vermicelli, or flat noodles.

Then I decided to return home as I have to put the frozen fish in my freezer, instead of going to the gym as I originally planned.

(my bus was actually waiting at the bus stop with its hazard lights on, so I did not have to wait for the bus, it was waiting for me haha.)

Back home, I went online and saw in one of the blogs I follow, that there is an ice carving exhibition and demonstration in canary wharf from 11jan(tomorrow) and over the weekend.

It sounds interesting, so I shall go to have my breakfast at ikea tomorrow and afterwards I have somewhere to go. I have not been to canary wharf so it would be nice to go there and have a look at the place as well as go see what the ice exhibition is all about.

I sent an email to a friend who lives in Harlesden and ask him whether he might like to join me for breakfast at ikea, if he got a ikea family card, or join me to canary wharf for the ice thing.

It would be more fun to go with a friend I think.

Last night, I got a call from a friend of my friend who lives in poole saying he intends to visit London and ask me if he can stay at my place.

Well, I said he can.

Only later I realise I forgot to tell him that I don’t have my heating on and so he should bring along some warm fleece. Hope he likes cold and not want to have the flat heated up.

I think as long as they don’t want me to heat up my flat for them, I don’t mind them staying here.

I am so used to not having the heat on that I am reluctant to warm it up even for guests. That is why I don’t invite people to stay at my place. They ask, and they can stay as long as they are aware of and accept my no heat policy.

U might say I am a awful host, haha. But I figured that if the guests don’t make too much demands on me I would be more willing to host them again next time. But if they give me a lot of inconvenience or costs, I wont have them next time.

Haha, that is the plain fact of it. Many people might not want to say it so bluntly, but there you are. That is my view. U will be welcome as a guest if u give me the least inconvenience and expense to host you.