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Thursday, November 20, 2003

2 more blasts from the past today. My old NY pal Lucien keeps putting up the bazillion photos he shot at his great Mondo 107 parties back when there were those 2 towers ... well .. i found 2 more that I am on:

This one has again Bebel Gilberto in it .. and i think that girl in that blue fluffy top is also some brazilian singer .. not sure ... and the shirt I am wearing is actually orange, not pink as it looks in that picture.

and this here I do not even have any recollection of ever having posed for :) ... seeing that the lights are on, that must have been at the end of a night ... 2 AM .. so .. i was most likely danced out, tired, ready to go home ... but still posing with a group of people i have never seen before ...

Oh, and Lucien just posted another one. I am only 98% sure that I am that guy in the back, brownish sweater (still have that one) and holding a cigarette (was smoking back then) ... and yes,.. i forgot all about that sirtaki thing ... ocassionally it would make the floor vibrate .. not a good feeling when you are 1000 ft above street level ...

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Today we finally got our typical Suva summer weather back: it is raining, cloudy, humid but not that hot yet ... the rain probably brought the humidity back .. it was only 60% yesterday, and rose to 87% today ... great !!!

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For tonight's dinner I actually ventured out into the neighborhood jungle to find a banana tree and cut a nice big leaf off of it.

I got us some nice Pakapaka (some local fish) and created a paste made of coriander, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, chilli and limejuice and smeared it all over. The banana leaf needs to be cleaned, and to soften it, pour boiling water over it ... then pat dry and wrap the fish in there into a neat little bundle. This now can be baked, or slow-fried in a pan, or I just used my trusty george foreman grill ... important to remember: the banana leaf is for keeping the juices inside the fish and to add flavor, it is not meant to be eaten !!!

With that you can serve rice, stir fry veggies ... I just made a little salad with bok choy, grilled yellow peppers and zuchini, bean sprouts and a dressing including soy sauce, honey, dry sherry and some oil.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Last week we went to see this japanese all-bamboo instruments group and some people were curious what they sound like ... I found this one mp3 file, the quality is not brilliant, but on the otherhand the filesize is small :) The song is "Shima Uta"which is a very popular okinawa style song.

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2 highlights for today .. but sadly no pictures:

First was my adventure of getting the car through inspection. Unless your car is brand new, you have to see the LTA once a year to make sure your vehicle is still street worthy. For first timers like me it is quite an undertaking. Best to start with calling LTA to make an appointment... that does not really speed up your inspection, but you can line up at the short queue at counter #7, while all the other joe schmoes line up at the long lines on counters 1-6. Inspection fee is a mere 14$ ... after you filled in your application you move your ass and your car over to the inspection garage ... there a huge, loud guy told checked out the car from beneath ... then later he hopped in (no idea how he fit his 450lbs body mass into this car) and drove it around a bit. After that I got some paperwork, returned to counter lady #7 and paid my 75.50$ wheel tax .. and got my sticker ..

there was actually way more detail to it. most of the times i had NO idea where to go or who to ask .. was all not very clear .. but in the end it all worked out and I have peace of mind for another year.

The second highlight was dinner: I had planned to try a certain thai recipe .. and it turned out quite nicely .. pork slices with koriander (Dhania, cillantro, whatever you call it), fresh pinapple ... served with a thai ginger / lemongrass rice (I actually found fresh lemongrass here) .. And here is a scan of that recipe (for you Berna):

This is from one of the nice cookbooks (well, they are actually rather magazine size) I bought in Brisbane: Thai Cooking from the Family Circle cook book collection.

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Sunday, November 16, 2003

I made some more panoramic quicktime VR files of Toberua, so you can get an good look around. Click on the picture to get the QT VR file.

First was made standing between the office, bar, restaurant/kitchen and utility bures. This is also the spot to play Petanque and you can see the volley ball court between kitchen and utility.

This one I took in front of 'our' bure #9, "Wakaia", you can see the neighbor bure and the jungle around us.

And here is my first try at a 360 degree picture, so you can keep spinning around if you like. Taken from the deck in front of the bar bure at sunset.

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We just got back from Toberua Island, and instead of repeating all the stuff from our previous 6 visits, I'd like to point out what was new this time: One nice new thing was that Saturday night was not BBQ (which has always been great by the way, but from what I heard, BBQ is now wednesdays) but a Lovo feast. Lovo is the Fjian way of using hot rocks to keep an earth oven running. Basically you make a fire in a sandpit, put rocks in there, once the rocks are all heated through, you start loading your food on top (chicken, pork, lamb, beef, all kinds of potatoes), cover it with banana and coconut leaves (their smoke adds nice flavor), cover it with earth and sand and let sit for an hour ...

Though, that huge Trevaly (Fish) in the above picture was actually NOT in that oven, but it was on the menu from then on every day for every meal (yes, even breakfast).

I also finally found a way to take a good picture of the inside of 'our' bure (we managed to get #9, again), this is stitched together from 8 seperate pics, but i think it gives you a pretty good idea.

Some more write up and panoramic pics are coming up soon.

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