Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Birthday 2010!

I've been procrastinating all day with my work. I actually have loads to finish, but I just can't bring myself to start! It's like I need to finish everything else before I can start concentrating on work. Things like hanging up my clothes on my new hangers, organising my wardrobe a little more, making it a little better each day. NEW wardrobe, by the way. Photos up soon.

Then just as I think, okay, I'm ready to work on my computer, I see that my desktop is filled with photos to upload onto the blog. So I decide to blog first. Yippee!

I've been MIA for the past few days because we've been ripping up the old carpet in the hallway and living room, and thus we had to pack things up, move things around and disconnect from the outside world (via interweb!).

But I'm finally back!

And with loads of photos too.

Last weekend was my birthday, so I shall blog about that first.

Although it was nice to be with Schrobbenmaster, who made a big effort to make sure my birthday was special, I was feeling a little sad about not being around my family and friends for my birthday, especially when I usually have quite a social birthday.

Last year I celebrated on the 19th with Schrobbenmaster by having a quiet dinner and then a quick drink at La Bodega then to Bermuda & Onion on Changkat. Then on the 20th (my actual birthday), Sharry Berry had organised a gathering at Aliyaa, where I got totally KO-ed from the usual conveyor belt of Flamings. I didn't even notice that Schrobbenmaster had taken a few on my behalf! The next night Tequila Lin had organised another gathering with another bunch of friends, but I was admittedly quite a horrid birthday girl because I couldn't bare to touch any alcohol that night!

This year, I told Schrobbenmaster: No more house cleaning!

We had spent all week messing about and tidying up the house and I just wanted a break for my birthday. He had planned to bike down to the river and take a boat to see the windmills, but we woke up to a grey and drizzly day. Had to postpone the trip then. We then decided to take the train up to Utrecht for some sightseeing.

In the train.

We arrived for a late lunch and went to a pancake restaurant.

I had a ham and cheese pancake with hot chocolate.

The waitress was rather bossy and not very friendly at all. In fact, none of them were friendly, said Hi or Bye or Thank You. Even in Dutch.


(translated conversation)
Schrobbenmaster: One hot chocolate and... do you serve drinking tap water?
Waitress: Normally we won't serve you water but because you ordered hot chocolate, we'll let you have it.

Apparently that's exactly how she said it... how cocky!

Schrobbenmaster had apple and bacon pancake.

Stroop for the pancakes.

Some scenes from our walk in Utrecht.

The middle photo has the famous tower in Utrecht. Something like the tallest church tower in NL? Sorry, too lazy to look it up right now.

The next few are in the church courtyard, which is now, I believe, a college/university/school.

After walking around and into some shops, we felt really tired and dehydrated. Headed to Winkel van Sinkel, kind of like the Dutch Marks & Spencer, except it doesn't exist as a store anymore. Just as one of those famous old names from our parents' time.

Now it's a restaurant/cafe/lounge kind of place.

Waiting for my birthday apple pie. It arrived really cold and not very nice, but after we had it sent back and heated up, it was much better!

After that, we rushed back to the train station to go back to Rotterdam.

Back in Rotterdam, got caught in the rain walking home and had to jump onto a tram.

Got out of the tram, and got attacked by even heavier rain! Had to wait nearly 10 minutes in a bus shelter. Kinda romantic, though :D

Back home, rested a little, changed shoes and jacket.

Looked out the window...

Then collected the reserved tickets at the cinema before going in search of some quick dinner. Stumbled upon this tiny Chinese cafe and had some noodles. Not cheap, though, 9 euros for this!

9 euros for one plate, by the way, not both.

Big portions, but I still consider it expensive since I can get a most brilliant Dae Ji Bulgogi from the Korean 5 minutes away for €9,50.

After dinner, Alice in Wonderland! What a nice way to finish off the day :)

Okay, I'm getting quite nervous about finishing my work after spending so much time on this post, so I'm gonna just quickly post all the photos from the next day. Schrobbenmaster's parents came over to Rotterdam to celebrate my birthday with us.

They got me a camera for my NL adventures! From now on, much nicer photos for this blog!

After some chit chat and messing about with the furniture, we headed out to a Japanese restaurant Schrobbenmaster and I had found online. Glad we decided to drive because it was absolutely cold outside and the walk would've been about 45 minutes to an hour!

The restaurant is in a trendy and budding expensive area just by the water.

View from our table. Lots of construction going on to build skyscrapers and expensive apartments/offices.

We arrived at 6pm so it was still light in the restaurant.

I had a beef bento and the beef was absolutely perfect! Loved it so much. Red on the inside and so tender and juicy. The miso soup was really disgusting though. They said they put less miso in it to produce a lighter flavour and apparently "it's closer to the original soup", also that other restos put more miso inside to disguise the fact that they don't put any vegetables in it. This one had taugeh in it! Taugeh! Omg, I'm not a Jap food connoisseur, but I've certainly been to many different kinds and never before seen taugeh in miso soup.

What're your thoughts on this, frachely (the biggest expert on Japanese food I know)?

When it gets dark outside, you can really see the effect of the coloured lights in the restaurant. Kinda psychedelic.

My dessert was tempura ice cream, omg it was heavenly! I guess you can guess what kind of dish it is by the name. The homemade whipped cream and balance of honey and vanilla ice cream was perfection!

And back home finally, after a tiring week!


Schola said...

Happy belated birthday *muaks*

frachely said...

was gonna say 'u need to invest in a nice cam" when I saw the first few photos haha. so sweet of them to get what you need :D

And may I mention that I was at the Aaliyaa bday bash too :P *dont wanna feel left out haha

that Jap restaurant reminds me of Supperclub hahha. Not much of a Jap food connoisseur too but I've definitely never had TAUGEH in my miso soup before. And as for the amount of miso, well i don't know how light is "light" in this one,if u think it's bland then maybe it's not that good? I believe they 'localised' it to suit the dutch's tastebuds :P

Mei Yin Sharon said...

looks like u had a nice bday celebration!
hmm what did apple + bacon pancake taste like? any good?
oh and what camera did u get? thinking of getting a new digicam too, to replace my sony. its getting abit wonky on me. anyways i've always preferred Canon, and i've heard panasonic (lumix was it?) is quite good too.

shoobaba said...

Thanks! :D

Yeah, the soup was really bland and didn't taste anything like miso soup at all! I was quite disappointed! What Pinocchios they are as well, saying it's 'closer to the original', when you yourself have been to Japan, and have a Jap boyfriend who didn't insist you put less miso in your soup and include TAUGEH.

Mei Yin Sharon (hehe):
I didn't try his apple and bacon pancake, but he's made it for me before, in separate pancakes - as in, one with bacon, one with apple. Don't really like the apple ones, but the bacon ones are nice with icing sugar or stroop as a topping.

I got a Nikon Coolpix, pink one! I also like Canon (no.1 choice) but it was more expensive and I just wanted a camera real quick. This one was €80 and the Canons started from €130. I wouldn't have got a Samsung even though it's cheaper though! Hehe...

I think you're safe with Canon, Nikon or maybe Olympus. And yes, my mum has a Lumix and it's really good! Not sure about the other models from Panasonic.