Its all about relationship

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I recently chanced upon a video clip from Youtube and that kept me thinking for a while. The video is about a university lecturer addressing his students. It was a science lecture and he was telling them that the basis of everything, or to be more specific the basis of life is relationship. Everything on this planet earth is all about relationship; one thing links to another. The mysterious thing about life is how all these things are interconnected and how, to a large extend, can’t do without each other. He explained that when God created the universe, He first created the physical elements that support life, such as light and heat, water and the air. These elements are then interconnected and eventually giving breath to other life-forms, such as plants, vegetations, living creatures and finally humans. After He created man, He found that it is not good for him to be alone, therefore He created a companion for him, the woman. There, humans are again interconnected through various kinds of relationships. When the man and woman fell from grace, this first relationship and the whole interconnectedness of things in the world changed.

Although shared from a biblical perspective, I find this whole idea of interconnectedness very mesmerising. The fact is we are more connected than we are divided. We need each other more than the fact that we are separated. And perhaps, we are more similar than the differences we thought we have.

Some years ago, I went through a very dark period of my life and I decided to cut myself off from the people around me. I did not physically isolate myself from them, but what I was going through greatly affected my relationships with them. I felt disconnected and life was very miserable. I went away for a period of time and started traveling from Thailand to Vietnam, Malaysia and eventually to Bhutan. In Bhutan, I found a very different kind of connection. I was connected back to nature, back to the mountains and back to the valleys. I was connected back to the living streams that gave life to the trees in the forests and the creatures that inhabit the ground.

In Bhutan, I was surrounded everyday by the Himalayan mountains and everyday I walked through the woods and passed through the rivers and streams. Each step I took and each breath I breathed in, I was making renewed connection with creations and rediscovering the lost connection. It was when I reconnected myself with nature’s energy, I realised how small and tiny I was in all of these networks of life; this vast interconnectedness that we are all living in. My Bhutanese guide often told me that Bhutanese do not see themselves as superior to nature, neither do they see themselves as inferior. They see themselves as all part of nature: the trees in the forests, the rocks in the field, the fish in the streams,  the creatures roaming in the woods and the humans that inhabit the ground, all are part of this whole networks of life and breath. We all breathe in the same breath and received heat from the same Sun and enjoy the coolness of the same moon.

When I came back from my retreat in Bhutan, the first thing I wanted to do was to restore my relationships with my family and friends. With the renewed relationships, I set to make things in order, set the wrong right all over again and slowly build up my strength to face the challenges of life all over again. We never have to live in defeat and despondence if we understand how interconnected we are and how we can draw strength from one another.

Chang, from Bangkok

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Cafe Hopper Review: Froth @ Middle Road

I was drawn to this cafe by its famous coffee jelly. Read a fair bit about it and was thinking of going there to try it out. I have tried the expresso ice cube in Bangkok and so thought this coffee jelly thing should be quite exciting. Froth cafe is located in Big Hotel along Middle Road. Its not that difficult to locate the hotel and perhaps I should have a staycation in the hotel soon.

I asked for recommendation and the staff did. I ordered the Tom Yum seafood risotto, the spicy winglets and of course the coffee jelly. The coffee jelly thing was really a plus point to this cafe. I have not heard of anything like this so far in Singapore or Bangkok. It basically coffee jelly mixed with fresh milk. Before drinking, you should break the jelly at the bottom of the glass and mix it well with the milk. However, as I feedback to the barista, I would actually prefer the coffee taste to be stronger. I couldn’t taste too much of the coffee and as such I felt like I was drinking some milk tea with pearls. The seafood risotto was served with prawns and shells and to be honest I am not a great fan of shell stuff. The good thing is that the Tom Yum taste was strong enough to cover the shell stuff in the dish. I love the tom yum taste to be honest, however, the rest of the ingredients in the dish didn’t quite impress me.

As for the spicy winglets, that’s the saving grace for the visit to Froth. I love the texture of the dish and the chicken was tender and juicy. The juicy chicken was sprinkled with smashed nachos and some shallots as well. Love this combination and truly a good snack for the afternoon.

Overall, my experience with the cafe was a good one. The cafe has a lot of potential given more time to fine tune its menu. They have a lot of fresh food idea and I am sure they will do all the necessary adjustments to make things better. I am looking forward to see Froth grow in maturity as a cafe. Good luck!

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Cafe Hopper Review: Cafe Insadong @ South Bridge Road

First the location map shown on Instagram indicated a wrong place. Instagram map shows the cafe to be on Smith Street in Chinatown and there was not Cafe Insadong there. I decided to take a look across South Bridge Road and lo and behold, the cafe was there. I was so glad that I found it as the weather outside was extremely hard to bear. Temperature was easily 33 or 34 degree Celsius that day. When I stepped in the cafe, I was greeted by one of the staff of the cafe and I feedback to her that the map on Instagram is wrong about their location. She seemed very serious about it and expressed that she would update the info which to be honest I didn’t quite know how that is done.

In any case, stepping into the cafe was already making me feel great as the weather out there was really very hot. I asked for a recommendation as I was really clueless what I should order and it was my first time visiting a Korean-style cafe. I actually found the price a little on a high side for their menu. I ordered the Beef Bugolgi Toast for a light lunch and the Red bean and sweet potatoes for dessert. Both items each falls within the range of $7 to $9. I do find that for a toast or ice dessert to cost around this range ….its a little too pricey. I can easily get a local ice kacang for just less than $3.

I was particularly fond of the beef bugolgi toast as I always wanted to do something with toast and kimchi and I must say they did pretty okay with their combination. I  messaged a group of friends that I was in this shop and one of the foodie friends replied me and said that she doesn’t really like their ice dessert. Well, I tend to disagree with her because you really can’t be too wrong with sweet stuff. But like I said, for this kind of price, I can get two ice kacang when I crossed over to Chinatown Hawker Center. One thing for sure, the korean-style ice kacang did help to beat the heat outside for me.

I guess, its still pretty worth coming here and enjoy the dessert after a tiring shopping at Chinatown…

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Cafe Hopper Review: Mad About Sucre @ Bukit Pasoh (Teo Hong Road)

It was my laze around day and I wanted to laze to a nearby cafe in the same area. However, the cafe that I intended to go had a private function, so I decided to hop to this one which I missed the other day when I was here for staycation. From the time I stepped into the cafe till the moment I left the cafe, I must say that I was very pampered by the staff of the cafe. I stepped in and was greeted by the staff. I was not allowed to order anything until the staff had finished explaining to me all their products on the classy glass display. It was very boutique indeed. They had a few dessert on display and the staff took a lot of pride and most importantly, a lot of heart to introduce all of them to me before I decided on one.

I was ushered to my seat and was made very comfortable there. When my dessert arrived, the staff once again explained in greater details about the making of the dessert and how I should go about consuming it. From his narration of the dessert I ordered, I came to know that this little piece of thing have ingredients from more than 3 different continents and countries. After all the narrative, I finally get to savour my precious dessert served by staff with so much heart and soul in them. With all the narrative still at the back of my mind and my tongue physically tasting it, I must say that the experience was heavenly. The chocolate was smooth and the fill inside this little thing is wholesome and and not overwhelming.

Throughout my stay in the cafe, the staff would regularly, at a very comfortable pace, check on my well-being and asked if I am alright with everything. The attention that I received from them was superb and I felt almost like a celebrity. After I have posted my food picture on my Instagram, they replied to my IG and they actually remembered that I came and remembered that I was writing my poem then and they actually refrained from disturbing too much. I was extremely touched by their service…or I should say more than service to me. They have made dining at Mad About Sucre an art by itself….They are inspirational!

Thank you guys for your hospitality…

 
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