It’s been very hot in KL this few weeks and when the weather leaves you all sweaty, nothing is as nice as some ice-cold juicy watermelon. When walking around Little Korea in Ampang on Friday, my friend Kio and I were excited to find a watermelon ice lolly. Fashioned like a watermelon slice, this ice lolly was made so realistic it even had seeds scattered all over.
This popsicle looked so good, it reminded me of a jumper I’ve had my eye on and keep meaning to buy. The handknitted jumped is from Dudua based in funtime Barcelona!
A quick research also led me to quite a few fruitwear (footwear) watermelon-inspired designs. These include socks from artist/designer Baron von Fancy , and at least 3 models of trainers/sneakers that Mike Perry had customised in watermelon including Nikes and Vans. Funnily enough Vans also released the watermelon themed collection for Spring/Summer 2009, giving Van fans quite a few different cuts of the fruit to wear.
Keep is also offering watermelon fans plimsolls that will hopefully keep feet fresh all day. I like the use of colour in their offering. Slightly more subtle than the crazy Vans version although I must admit I love the green soles.
The watermelon is a striking fruit. So round and so green with such vermillion flesh, dotted with black seeds. It’s no surprise that designers find it an inspirational fruit. This morning I had some watermelon with salt for breakfast and when I am back home, I will probably be digging out my copy of Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar to read again.
Update: Fans of Joakim can get his mp3 Watermelon Bubblicious here.
The best thing about compilations like Milky Disco is the discovery of new music. Really, nothing quite like finding some sweet, sweet tunes that you want to listen to over and over again. Thanks to Sarah and Resident Advisor, I now have Milky Disco 2 (which also has Glass Candy track The Chameleon remixed by Johan Agebjorn) and Hatchback in my life.
What’s better than falling in love with new music is discovering that the artist has also collaborated with another artist you like, creating even more new music to love and listen to. So yes to artistic collaborations between friends! I am excited that Hatchback and Sorcerer make up Windsurf and I am feeling gluttonous about grabbing as much new music as I can.
Colors of The Sun plays like a smooth road trip on a quiet highway. It’s sunbaked music, and it’s you, the vast landscape and a lot of tarmac ahead of you and the sun in your eye.
The best thing about traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language is the element of surprise when buying from street vendors. We’d walked past this lady carrying bags filled with discs and square-shaped wafer/crisp things. On a whim and feeling like we should take a gamble upon spotting a coconut over a tupperware, we signed for an order of this mysterious dish.
The lady spoke no English at all and of the four Vietnamese words I learnt while in Saigon (all words for food), coconut was one of them. We asked for “dua” thinking that perhaps some of these wafer-like discs could be coconut-flavoured, but we weren’t getting anywhere. We decided to just choose a disc- one with black sesame seeds and what proceeded to happen was a guarantee that this was going be a very delicious treat.
It was so beautiful and simple. First the wafer was covered with molasses. Next, she sprinkled freshly grated coconut, and quite a lot of it. Finally she snapped the wafer in half and covered the coconut. She handed us over this wafer sandwich and that first bite was off the hook!
Nothing like the joy of striking delicious with a food gamble in a foreign country.
I had the pleasure of visiting Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City) recently and one of my most memorable meals there was the traditional Vietnamese dish Steamed Prawns in Coconut. This had been on my list of things to try simply because it had all the key words that smelled like this is probably quite a flavoursome dish. What I didn’t realise was that when I ordered this dish, I was also going to be treated to a pre-dinner theater!
The dish came with the steamed prawns hooked onto the coconut prettily like some kind of ornament. The dish was lit up and the prawns were charred by the dancing flames. After awhile, the waiter started peeling each prawn and dropped them into the coconut. My sister and I were in awe. We had not expected to be treated to this spectacle when we ordered.
We fished out the prawns which were sweetened by the coconut juice, pleased that this dish was such a feast for the senses. It reminded me of other delicious dishes that moonlight as entertainers on the dining table. Immediately sizzling hot plates came to mind and so did Bomb Alaska. The anticipation of watching your food perform creates a mouth-watering experience which is mostly down to the ability to imagine taste.
I love the Chinese characters or Kanji for Ping Pong for self-loving reasons and also the quirkiness of it. My surname Khew is the same character without the stroke at the bottom. The word Ping is only different because of the direction of the stroke. Ping to the left and Pong to the right. Without those strokes, you get the surname Khew.
The last time I was home I took away with me a cute little sauce plate that is Chinese in origin. It had a little boy holding a ping pong paddle. This time round, I spotted my mum using a little bowl from the same set as the sauce plate. The bowl is decorated with four kids (two girls and two boys) playing a game of ping pong. It immediately reminded me of these cute little earrings I spotted in Tatty Devine recently.
I was interested in looking at what other items were out there that were inspired by this very simple game. I found the following two items which I liked. This ping pong lamp is a nice environmentally-friendly creation and is made from used ping pong balls and is available from Studio Kleefstra.
This ping pong table is a great design remix that doubles up as a work station. Inspired by the design on a pair of Paul Smith shoes designed by Hunn Wai . I especially love the lace that’s been used as a net on the table below.
He has since designed another ping pong table that goes back to its roots and doubles up as a dining table. I looked up the history of ping pong to discovered that ping pong has its origins as an after-dinner amusement in Victorian England, mimicking the game of tennis. Every day objects like books, champagne corks, balls of string and cigar box lids were used to play ping pong (once known as wiff waff).
I can’t really play ping pong but have always found this fairly amusing to watch. If you fancied watching a film about Ping Pong, seek this. Music lovers I recommend Michelle Plays Ping Pong by Daisy Daisy.
The thing I love most about KL is the randomness and incongrous buildings that sit side by side each other. Like the Hindu temple that sits under a shopping mall called Mid Valley. Or this Chinese temple I spotted today whileI was waiting around for my sister to finish in a meeting.
This shanty temple stood out next to the highway in vermillion and had a little one-stop bike thing filled with joss sticks, statues of deities, Malaysian flags and a sack or two. I walked into the smokey interior and witnessed a ladymonk/nun going about her business on a side altar and an older man rushing around the main altar which was filled with about what seem like a thousand gods.
Note the little altar that’s been propped to the side of that tyre complete with joss stick that’d been burnt.