I eat so much until people call me Dr. Fish Fish.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Challenging Vlogging

Pretty busy these two days. Tomorrow once I submitted my manuscript, will be one more cross on my to do list.

Continue on my trip in Quebec.

On the 3rd day of the conference, my mood was different. So light. I was just enjoying my role as an audience watching some awesome talks by other speakers. Lovely, lovely.

The lunches were basically getting worse day by day. First day, we had a proper lunch at the restaurant. Second day, we had free style lunch in front of the lobby. Today, the lunch boxes were ready for you to just pick up and chomp.

There were three options. Saumon (salmon), jambon (ham) or vegetarian. I was attracted by the capers on the salmon, so I took it. Well, the salmon was ok. The beef was no good. The green wrap with mayonnaise tuna was probably the leftover from yesterday's lunch. -_-""" That piece of dessert in the middle was too sweet for me. I am curious to know what is the proper name for this dessert though. What I loved the most in the whole box - the raw vegetables. So fresh, sweet and crunchy!


My Tunisian friends could not eat non-halal food, so they opted for the vegetarian. Looks nice. However, I tried a bit on the soy sandwich... *sour face* They should learn the proper way to make delicious healthy soy-burger. I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 11 years, so I can tell you some of the vegetarian food can be super yummy. Nope, those yummy vegetarian foods do not have to be deep fried or use a lot of oil.

Tell you a little fact, I used to make very good vegetarian curry from scratch using coconut heart and dried mushroon stalks. Maybe I should recall how I make it again.

That evening, was much more exciting than the previous 3 nights. We went to a very nice place for dinner. Such a luxury. That will be in my next post.

Meanwhile, enjoy my little teaser from the dinner. ;) Especially like the flying bird effect. Beautiful flute sound. Took me more than an hour to wait for the uploading in youtube to be completed. Hehe, 1st video in my youtube. Gosh, vlogging is slow!

Monday, May 26, 2008

My first proper dinner in Quebec

The third day in Quebec was an important day for me.

In the morning, I attended talks by other speaker. While looking at them, I tried to imaging myself sitting in front of the whole hall of attendees and being stared like an alien.

During lunch time, I went to see some of the posters that I was interested.

One of the thing I like was a chance for me to make some new friends.

Samy, a new Tunisian friend. A very friendly, helpful and nice guy.

I was actually surprised to know that Tunisians are more common in French speaking regions as it is their second most common language.

Another Tunisian friend that I made. Wassef is a fun to be with guy. He was taking every possible opportunity to speak English, including with me. Way to go dude! ;)

Too bad, I could only reply in "Oui". :P

After the lunch, it was my turn to sit in front of the attendees.

I could see their "interesting" facial expressions. Maybe because I was the only Asian speaker for that conference.

Luckily, it went well. In fact, a few specialists in my field came up to me and said they love my presentation. Thank you for those compliments, it made me more confidence in the future. I was so glad I did not spoil my boss reputation. (Yes, that was what I worried the most)

After each talk, the speaker was given a nice wooden box as a souvenir.

Tralala~~~ a white marble figurine and a nice Quebec badge.

Ouch... the bear is biting a fish! I am going to give this to my mom. She loves stuff like this.

That evening, I decided to spoil myself a bit with a nice dinner.

I walked along Rue St.-Jean trying to find the right restaurant.

It was a street with old but nice buildings.

Like any other cities, the more quiet small streets have the wall stained with random paintings.

This was a very interesting entrance. A small aisle which was only big enough for 1 person to walk through. At the end of the aisle, there was a bar.

There are a lot of churches in Quebec. However, I learnt that it is more common for modern Quebecois not going to the church. They also tend to live together only rather than getting married as they do not believe church style wedding. (How true this is I don't know, this was told by a Quebecois I knew in the conference).

After looking at quite a number of restaurant, I stopped in front of this Le Moine Echanson.

Oops! All French. Luckily, there was a very nice staff that explained all the menu in English to me.

I was interested in either the sausage or lamb, but eventually I went for the sausage as I was curious to know how would it taste. (Quite a regret.)

Nice interior. Only two people were working in this small restaurant.

My bread and butter. Love the slightly salted butter. Not so much on the bread, a bit too dry though the air pockets on the bread looked good.

I never had an endive soup, so I decided to try it.

Oolala~~~ look at how thin the apple chips that came along with it. In fact, it is too thin I hardly could hardly feel the texture. It was almost soften in my mouth the moment I took a bite.

Quite a lovely creamy endive soup though. The creamy flavour with a hint of bitterness from the endive. A good choice for appertizer.

My entree came in a fancy small pot.

The sliced fresh sage on top of the warm dish instantly gave a very nice herbal sensation to my olfactory system.

However, I was very disappointed to see that the sausage was the "emulsion" style rather than "chopped meat" style.

I was right. Nothing great about the sausage. The sauce was too sweet.

I looked at the other table who was enjoying the whole lamb shank. That lamb shank was almost smiling to me smirkingly. *damn myself*

Oh well, think of the good side.

At least the portabello mushroom was good. Thick, flavourful and nice texture.

However, paying a Can$16 (not including tax and tips) for this pot of "sausage" was somewhat overprice. Tourist area, predictable.

I ended up paying Can$27 for that bowl of soup and this pot of "sausage" with mushroom.

The service was nice though.

By the time I walked out from the restaurant, the night was getting darker.

I could see the "400" signs here and there, as it is the 400th annivesary for this oldest city in North America.

Passing by a gelato shop. Quite a line.

Hehe... reminded me that I did not order any dessert during my dinner.

I chose the cheapest one, 2 flavours for Can$3.25.

Mascarpone cheese gelato (white) and hazel nut gelato (right). The mascarpone cheese was a bit too mild for me. They should put more cheese in it. The hazel nut was a good one. I could detect the nutty aroma with every bite. Yum~~~

Not a very satisfied dinner, but it was alright.

The next day dinner at opera house was a better one.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

First two days in Quebec city

^_^ I am starting my report about my Quebec trip for real today.

Will be many photos for the coming few weeks. I might have to update my photobucket to increase the capacity of my broadband then.

Anyway, for the first two days in Quebec city, I did nothing. I was not in the mood for fun as my talk was not over yet.

That morning, my coworker's husband sent me to the airport.

Since I have about 1 hr waiting time, I decided to have Popeyes fried chicken and biscuit as my brunch. Still, I prefer Bonjangles.

Greasy fast food style hash brown. I like it though. LOL

When you are hungry, you just don't care.

It was good that I took this brunch. In the flight, only drink was served.

Then, I did a transit in Newark airport. I came to this big airport 3 years ago when I was in U.S for another conference.

Revisiting this airport brought back so much memory.

But that day, I spent most of my time practising my talk, until I almost missed my flight.

Glad that I arrived in Jean-Lasage airport as scheduled.

A small international airport. Reminded me of the airport in Sibu.

It was very quiet. The airport was still under extention. It will be done in June to catch up with the big month for Quebec city celebration.

Cost me Can$35 to get a taxi to reach Delta Hotel which was only about 15 miles away. The taxi driver didn't speak a single English word with me. *sigh* My most silent taxi ride in my life.

This was the room where I stayed for the first 5 days.

Pretty comfortable, but lack of the "basic" facility. No microwave and no pot for boiling water (which are the common feature that one will get in U.S. hotel with much cheaper price).

Including tax, this room cost more than Can$200 per night.

Started to feel the high living standard in this city already.

When I turned on the TV, I saw a very interesting version of deal or no deal.

Guess what? The French speaking deal or no deal, have "Hot hot guys" at the last row holding the numbered suitcase.

Such a ladies' friendly programme.

Wait... is it because it is a gay friendly city, that these guys actually not really for the eyes pleasure of ladies?

Whatever, I wish the U.S. version will have hot guys holding the suitcases too. I for sure will follow the programme avidly. :P

Anyway, I slept pretty early that night. Need to stay alert for a long-day conference.

The next day, I was surprised to find out that the whole day talk, even the poster session everything was in French.


Luckily, they have a good audio English translation. Quite messed up the voice of the speakers with the translators some of the time, but better than not understanding a single sentence.

We had lunch in the hotel's restaurant.

Did not take any photo on that as I did not bring my camera along. The food looked pretty fancy, but the taste was nothing near its look. Small portion too.

Fake tiramisu ended up the lunch.

Then, another 3 hr of talk before it ended with Wine and Cheese session for the day.

It was okay. The annual wine and cheese in my workplace served much more cheeses and wines.

I stayed for about 30 min, ate some cheese with a few pieces of baguette and talked a while with a lady I just knew on that day.

While the crowd still busy speaking French to each other, I decided to leave the place.

Went back to my room to sleep for 1 hr.

Woke up with a stomach craving for non-cheese food.

Walked down the street to find some food.

The price in the restaurant was pretty expensive around that area.

I decided to buy my dinner in a supermarket. They sold 4 Activia for more than Can$4. I can get double that amount in U.S.

Milk, buns and pasta.

Not delicious, but better than nothing. However, the homogenized full cream milk was good. I never encountered with "homogenized" milk in U.S. It tasted more full and creamy.

I was so eager for my talk to be over the next day so that I could enjoy the remaining of my days in Quebec city.

My next post, you will see my trip is getting more interesting from this point. ;)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Good to be home

11 days of trip were enough. Strangely, I felt a bit uncomfortable to be so long away from my work. I am eager to start to work again tomorrow's morning. I miss my crazy and fun bunch of co-workers. Tonight, a real good long sleep is what I really need.

Thanks to SG, my trip to Quebec was truly unforgettable. SG was the driver, I was the navigator. LOL

Here is a challenge by SG, "I don't think you, the lazy fish will blog about it."

SG, you are so wrong. I will make sure I show off the things that I have done in Quebec. LOL Argh~~~ we should have went to those naked girls show for free!! If only we were a bit more brave that time!! Oh well.

Hey guys, if you want something totally naked, Montreal have pretty cheap price, only Can$5 per entry. FREE for ladies! You hear me.

Give me one more reason to be born as a girl again next life.

Ok, almost time to know who is the American Idol winner. Talk to you all tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The last night in Quebec

Went to Montreal for two days. No internet connection for free. Came back to Quebec today, leaving Canada in the morning. Finally, Thursday morning will be back to normal again.

I am so glad one of my friend, SG decided to come and joined me after my conference in Quebec.

Time to pack up and go to sleep. After this great refreshing trip, I am excited to start my work again.

We did quite a lot of fun things together, including buying penis-shaped candies for the first time. LOL

More on my trips when I am back in NC.

Goodnight everybody.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A great evening

My business trip in Quebec in turning from bad to better. My oral presentation went well. People came to me and said I did a good job, they like my presentation. I was very happy and proud of myself. ^_^

I learnt many new things concerning dairy. I made new friends from different places.

Tonight, was one of the highlight. We went to a banquent in an opera house in the historical beautiful city. Live performance of the new French music in the 17th and 18th century with some other great Indian music. It was such a charm on me. My dinner companions were a great crowd. We had a marvellous talkative dinner with pretty good food. Only my choice on the veal tortellini was not that nice.

Anyway, I am so tired now. Tomorrow still have a visiting to make. Got to get ready by 8.15pm. Yawn~~~

Night night.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hello from Quebec!!

Oolala~~~ My room has free internet access!! ^_^ Thanks to the conference I am attending. So I am going to do live updating from this oldest city in Northern America.

So tired now. Travelled from 9.30 am in the morning. By the time I reached the hotel, it is already 5.30 pm.

Usually when I am in one country, I have no problem communicate with the local at all, in fact, there were a few times I helped the local people to become their translator. LOL

In Quebec, for the first time in my life, I feel so like the main actor in Lost In Translation.

"Bonjour", was the 1st word greeted to me at the immigration. Then, the taxi driver "$%#$&%$" to me, none of the word sounded familiar to me, except "Oui". Luckily, he brought me to the right hotel. I am usually very talkative with taxi driver, even until the taxi driver wanted to invite me to his home to have dinner with his family. But today, the whole journey in the taxi, all I could hear was my own breathing.

The English that I hear more like Frenglish to me. I miss that though, remind me of my French friends back in Japan.

Mamabok, you know what, this is also the 1st time I see so many handsome guys!! LOL They are Canadian, somehow they don't look like Canadian for me. In the flight from NY to Quebec, my front and my back have good looking guys, except the one sitting beside me, turned out he was neither "Canadian", French nor American.

Ok, I have to go and rest now. Ate instant noodle as my dinner. Ironed 10 pieces of clothes. I need to sleep a bit at I only slept 6 hrs yesterday's night.

Ah~~~ still have my hair not ironed that. Don't care, sleep first.

Just hope Tuesday talk will pass soon, then I will be Free~~~.

Night night.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Flying tomorrow

*yawn* So tired now. Almost everything ready, will be heading to Quebec tomorrow morning.

I almost lost my passport few days ago due to my carelessness. Luckily, the counter person kept it for me. *wipe cold sweat*

Changed Can$300 with a US$15 service charge. %&$#&

Just checked the website of Continental Airline, they started new baggage check-in system from 8 May, only 1 luggage is allowed. Those that bought ticket before 5 April, get to check in 2 luggages. Hmmm... I bought my ticket in March, so not a problem. Not that I will be check-in 2 luggages anyway. But I do have a backpack and a notebook bag for hand carry.

Seem like airlines trying to make the passangers' life harder and harder. Or is it just the airlines in U.S.

Ok, I got to practise my presentation for the last time today before I am heading to my bed. Just hope it will go well on Tuesday. After that, I will be having a more relaxing mood. ^_^

See you all when I come back.

*hug* Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mommies in the world.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Engagement party for Tristan and

Three weeks ago, we were invited by Russell's family's friends to attend the engagement party of our coworker, Tristan with Russell.

After a palm-sweating heart-pumping adrenaline-rushing moment, Russell finally made Tristan to say the BIG Y to his proposal last summer.

It was fun to hear Tristan story about how the proposal happened. They went to their favorite Sweet Tomatoes, little did Tristan know that the extraordinarily small appetite of Russell that day was due to the anxiety he was going to face soon after that. LOL Luckily Tristan said "YES" when Russell kneeled down all of sudden to ask that moment of his life question.

The party evening, Tristan wore a lovely spring dress that she newly bought while Russell wore a Puerto Rico style wedding shirt.

The organizers prepared a wide array of beers...

... and more than just a thirst quenching white and red wines. I didn't taste these, but the guests were enjoying these wine.

We all liked the little bottle opener that was decorated for the party theme. At the end of the party, the couple were given this cute bottle opener as a souvenir.

While waiting for other guests to arrive, I took the opportunity to take a few photos for Tristan. It was the right time for clear and beautiful photoshooting.

Tristan with her parents who purposedly dressed in blue to match each other. Tristan's mom was all excited that she decided to wear something to match with Tristan's dad. Great choice! They definitely looked stunning and cool in the blue.

Also, with them is Lisa, one of Tristan very closed friend. She has very beautiful eyes. She loves Thailand and have been there to teach English. She was having fun that evening trying to speak a few Thai words with Jeab and Kik who came from Thailand. I was impressed.

Tralala~~~ the remaining members in my workplace arrived. All looking great and ready for the party. The front was led by our newest coworker from Ireland.

It was time for us to dig the foods. Yum yum~~~

EATING time!!

Well, Russell actually wanted to start earlier, but he was really patient enough to wait for me to arrive and took the photos before he made the foods on the table looked messy.

I enjoyed the food that evening. Usually, I am not a wrap person, but that evening, the beef wrap and chicken wrap were good.

Even the fruits were very sweet and fresh.

We were stuffed with the foods, but the highlight has yet to come.

Woolala~~~ a huge engagement cake.

The organizers decorated the cake with some sweet strawberries, fresh berries and flowers to make the whole white cake filled with color of love.

The couple were eager to start the ceremony. ^_^

Holding each other hands, they cut the cake.

Then, Tristan was cutting the other end for Russell.

Russell, "Wait, bigger please."

Tristan, "Bigger?"

Russell, "Bigger." followed by a wide grin.

Tristan, "Russell, are you sure you want to finish this whole piece by yourself?" She was smiling in her eyes when she threw this question to Russell.

Russell, "Why not?"

Tristan, "Don't you think it is too big, especially after a full dinner?"

Russell, "Yeah right. You want some, don't you?"

Tristan lifted one of the eyebrows.

Then, the smiling Russell gently scooped a teaspoon to feed Tristan.

A silent moment of Russell saying, "There you go, honey, I am sharing my cake with you. Just like how I am going to share my life with you." Sweet!

Russell has a sweet tooth, so we have no doubt he would be able to finish it all. LOL

It was a wonderful cake. I love the cake, it was moisture and buttery. Not too much on the frosting, too sweet for me.

While Russell was busy finishing his cake, Tristan went around to take photos with the tall guys...

... and the lovely ladies.

Even Scarlett was so excited with the event that evening. She is a family member of the organizers. She went around to socialize with the crowd. She knew to be a host, you have to make your guest feel at home. She sure did her role well.

So well that even when we were having a group picture, she just glared at us, "Hey, what about me??" LOL

Another 3 more weeks, it will be Tristan's moment of her life. We wish her all the best with Russell.

Like the Japanese say... "Sue Nagai Wo". ^_^

p/s: This post is especially dedicate to Tristan and Russell, who are going to get married in 31 May 2008.