Tag Archives: snake

snake year

10 Feb

London
It is 7.04am Sunday 10.2.13. it is Chinese new year. Or at least in London it is. You might already have finished with it if u live in Malaysia, or u might not even have it yet if u live in usa.

I have friends sending me emails with new year greetings showing white burmese pythons to illustrate their card. scary!! 

Not that I celebrate it even though I am Chinese.

I noticed that unlike the western new year, where each year have a date and so we know the time has gone by and we can measure it, the Chinese new year don’t tell u the year, but what animal it is.

So unless u know your Chinese animal calendar very well u cannot tell how old someone is nor can u get an idea of the passing of time.

Maybe it is a good thing, because being constantly reminded that time has moved on can make u aware of growing old.

Anyway, I was at the amoy food van in Gabriel wharf on the south bank of the thames, yesterday, and was eating the very small sample noodles that they were giving out.

A woman standing near me asked me what I thought of it.
I said it could be better. The noodles were too soft. I prefer them firmer, I said. She said like al dente. Yes, I said.

I said it would be better if the noodles are undercooked before they are stir fried. I was thinking they used dried noodles and so can control how long to soak them in water prior to stir frying them. But I found out later that they used ready to cook noodles.

Then she asked me what animal the new year will be, I said snake, she asked me what a snake year will be like, I said , I have no idea. Haha.

She told me she is a monkey. I know she meant she was born under the year of the monkey.

I commented that well, if u don’t want people to know your age, don’t mention what animal you are. Because someone who knows his animal calendar will be able to know your age.

But u are safe with me I said, as I don’t remember the animal sequence at all.

I mentioned that some people may be able to fool even the animal expert If they look 12 yrs younger.

She ask me to guess her age, I guessed late 30’s or early 40’s and was pleasantly surprised when she said she is 56. So here is one Caucasian lady who looked younger than her years.

I have noticed that people are stir frying with instant noodles. And amoy is capitalising on it by selling instant noodles too. I remember them as selling soy sauce and such.
They were giving out a booklet with recipes, and 50p vouchers off their sauce and soya sauce and instant noodles.
(added. I had a look at the vouchers, and realise they are selling ready cooked noodles, not dry noodles. So the soft noodles are a fixture, and u cannot control the softness of it. )

Anyway I think even Malaysia hawkers are using instant noodles. I wonder whether the woman in a noodle stall I used to go to still make her own dough and pass it through a noodle cutting machine operated by hand. She must be a minority now.

Instant noodles are a staple of a student diet. And a young person’s faithful standby for a quick snack. I wonder what those powder in the sachet that comes with it are made of. They are strangely addictive. The secret ingredient could be msg(monosodium gluatamate).

I have found out that u don’t need to use the powder . Just use half a stock cube. Instead. But nowadays u cannot just buy the dry instant noodles without the sachet. Or rather u might be able to but they cost the same as those with the sachet.

Nowadays even the basic ones cost 11p or 12p. They used to be 9p each.
Whilst the more fancy ones can be 40p each or more.