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Thursday, March 09, 2006

My new fantasy is to wear a pair of pointy shoes - steel-capped ones, and then go kick people.

Many days, my hair, pullover designated for house use and sometimes even my clothes smell of smoke. This sucks.

Walking in a drizzle isn't so bad here, because you don't feel the rain drops through the coat. However, when the drizzle turns suddenly to sleet and starts stinging my cheeks - gah.

It seems Germany's the only country not to give youth discounts on train tickets. Bah.

Train tickets cost €0.50 more if you buy them from the counter. This sucks because for long trips (eg Maastricht) I'll go to the counter anyway to enquire about the fastest way to get there - my trip to Maastricht, for example, involved a transfer from a fast intercity line train to a slower stoptrein instead of being a direct trip. The self-service ticket machines really should provide this sort of information, with your ticket or otherwise (also, to boot neither type of ticket machine accepts notes - only coins, Chipknip, credit card or Dutch bank card). Unfortunately, there's no contact email address on their website and I'm not going to bother calling them up and/or going down to tell them this, wading through layers of bureacracy along the way.


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Pork fried with cashew nuts, red pepper and carrot.
Carrot was a bad idea since it was quite tough - I should boil it first before throwing it in next time. I wanted to add the rest of the broccoli I didn't use in the red wine stew, but there was mold growing on it so I dumped it (the carrot was wilted but otherwise intact). The flavour of the cashews didn't come out - I think they're meant more to give variety and crunch (most recipes say to scatter them on top), since later even when I fried them for a while before throwing them into my spaghetti, they didn't really release their aroma either.

So many recipes call for chicken broth, so I bought a tin of chicken broth granules.

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Spaghetti fried with Babi Pangang sauce, chopped sausage, onions and egg
I'd actually made this for lunch the same day, but because I was preparing a presentation I was trying to do many things at once. As such my oil was too hot when I put the garlic in, and I watched as before my eyes, my chopped garlic was cremated within seconds. The end product had many black specks in it. For dinner I was originally going to eat at the UCU dining hall, but as previously mentioned didn't feel like having what they had; I contemplated stopping by the pizza parlour near my place, but there was a long queue, so I ended up returning home. I paid more attention to what I was doing this time and it turned out okay.


Inspired after watching Goo Goo Gai Pan, I made General Tso's Chicken according (mostly) to this recipe.

I followed the ingredients list closely this time, except for ginger and green onions (forgot to buy), MSG (decided not to use), chiles (for obvious reasons). Deep frying is also easier than I thought.

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Some very expensive (€2) Kai Lan can be seen in the background.

I only faced 3 problems:

1) I used tapioca starch instead of corn starch and it's more powerful, so my sauce became too sticky, resembling a sea cucumber's natural defences. When we finished eating the remaining sauce was coagulating into a bouncy stream.

2) My chicken wasn't crispy. I mixed the starch into the chicken-coating before adding the chicken instead of dumping it on top after the chicken was in the liquid and then mixing. Oh well.

3) No wok hei. But since I've no fire, this was probably the best I could do.

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Quotes:

affect economical growth (economic)

[On pasting group members' pictures on South Park character cutouts] I've been sitting here for 9 hours listening to presentations, I'm very tired. *makes whooshing sound*... I like it. Other tutors may not like it as much.

Why do you drink?... In Finland, it's different. People drink for fun. During summer - in Finland, there's no summer. People just drink... After a few beers, they feel better... They go to sleep, they do't wake up.

[On the economy of Finland] A few reindeers, that's about it (reindeer)

[On deregulation] We have some papers on Finnish alcohol consumption. They're quite amazing... Maybe they'll drink less, but it's Finland.

[Tutor: ***, reflect on his presentation skills.] I can't. I'm part of his group. [Tutor: You can. I'm asking you.] I was looking away.

Yes, you have to entertain us. But you're not an entertainer, you're an economist [Student: I will be]

[Student: One minor point - chewing gum during the presentation.] I don't have chewing gum. I'm chewing on my tongue.

Dutch people don't talk using their hands. They put their hands in their pockets... It's ok to start talking with your hands, but you started clapping yourself... I start counting the claps.

croo toe (crude oil)

inter diction of the problem (introduction)

We're going to con'kood (conclude)

[On a student looking at the ceiling while doing a presentation] It's like he had a slide on the top of his head.

[On a nervous student shifting from foot to foot during a presentation] It's funny if you tape it then play it back. It's, like he's dancing.

They became the world's greatest traitor, trade country (trader)

You put your hand in your pocket and you started - *tries to click pen with hand in pocket*. I even can't do it. It's a good trick, but don't do that. (can't even)
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