Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cours de Cuisine Française

Alors...I got up this morning excited and a bit nervous, I must admit, as I was attending a French Cooking Class, I was obviously nervous because I am not a cook, I mean, I may be able to do one or two things in the kitchen but 1)mostly mexican and 2)mostly not too elaborated so you can imagine the pressure I felt under...however (as usual), I was up and ready for the challenge; luckily, I wasn't all by myself but with my friend Charline, who's French and has more of an idea of how to cook.

The class is called "L'Atelier des Chefs" and it takes place inside Lafayette Maison, which is an apartment store near the Opera House; it's for 8 people and it's inside a small sort of glass cube with a kitchen inside--of course.

So, we got there and all the Chef spoke was French, obviously, so I opened my ears and tried to catch as much as I could...I got the main ideas most of the time, but not the little jokes and stuff like that. We were to cook Filet de Poulet au Pain d'épices (Chicken Fillet with Bread of Spices) with vegetables and Pain Perdu de Pain d'épices, which has no literal translation but it was Pears soaked in Caramel.

At one point, I must say I felt pretty horrible as I was peeling a carrot and the Chef came up to me and did ir for me, like it was the easiest thing in the world...and yes, it may be BUT, I haven't got much talent for the kitchen like I said before. Anyways, the class was good but a bit disappointing as we didn't get to do much of the cooking, but the Chef did it for us. We basically cut, peeled and stuff like that. I did learn some stuff though, such as making caramel should be without water, unlike I've done it all my life haha Also, that you can put the chicken on a pan to get a nice color but finish cooking it on the oven so it stays soft and nice.

In the end, we didn't get to eat the meal there and it wasn't quite finish (it needed a few more minutes in the oven) so we couldn't go picnicking in a park either, which was kinda of a bummer. But, all in all, I really enjoyed the class and it actually encouraged me to start cooking a bit more when I'm home...perhaps not very fancy and/or French stuff, but...well, we'll see.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Rendez-Vous à Paris

Rendez-Vous (French for 'encounters') are kind of odd enough when you're living in a big city, eg. Mexico City (though they seemed to happen to me all summer!), but after all, it is YOUR city, you've been there for quite a while (if not all or most of your life), you've managed to accumulate a certain amount of friends/acquaintances/and whatnot...BUT, when something like this happens in a city which is also big, very busy and quite crowded such as Paris, which on top of it, is not your city and is all the way across the Atlantic Ocean in a different Continent, AND you only know a handful of people..."what are the odds?", you would think, right?

Well, yesterday I beat the odds as I was happily walking on the streets of beautiful Paris...and by happily I may mean "a bit confused", going towards Montparnasse Train Station when I was crossing the street and suddenly, then and there, out of nowhere I ran into Jeremy, an old friend of mine! We met in Paris back in 2007 during my first trip to the French Metropolis and we've stayed in touch ever since though rarely talk--he's a really cool guy.
So, we did what french do on a daily basis...we went to the nearest cafe and sat down for coffee, a smoke and a chat. That encounter lead to arranging our next one, which will be tonight and we'll be, not French food to the surprise of you all, but Mexican food! I do kinda miss it at this point and Jeremy has some real Mexican ingredients he brought from his recent trip to Mexico so...let the cooking begin! I'll tell you how it goes on a later post.

After this event of randomness, I couldn't help but wonder...has the world gotten too small...or I simply keep on going through the same pads over and over again?...
Here, a photo of our Parisien Rendez-Vous.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

My good friend Marius recommended me to go see the Musical "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", based (of course) on the movie titled the same, which is showing in the West End--London's theater zone, sort of like the New York's Broadway, only better. Since Marius' recommendations have always proved to be good, I decided to give it a go and head off to the Palace Theater, where Priscilla is Playing.

The Palace Theater is actually quite a small venue, it can accommodate somewhere around 2,00 people I believe, which is a good thing, considering you can still get a cheap ticket and get a good place.

The musical itself is just absolutely brilliant!! I've always loved theater, but there's something about Musical theater that just thrills me completely and Priscilla was no exception. Everything from the cast to the production was wonderful, including the wardrobe and, particularly, the bus--Oh my word, was the bus fantastic! All in all, it was almost 3 hours full of good fun, wittiness, entertainment and loads of laughter. I'd totally recommend it if you are already in or planing to come to London--you won't regret it.

So, before someone discretely let me know I wasn't allowed to use my camera inside the theater, I was able to record some footage as well as take a couple of photos. I thought "Go West" would be appropriate to record since I like the song and the performance was awesome. Even though I got this with my little point&shoot Canon SD940, I think it's a good quality video, you know, considering, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Some more Quotes for the Cold, Cold Fall... the days get colder here in old 'n cold London, I keep on collecting quotes here and there...hopefully, laughter will help you keep warm...or entertained lol

"Ana - sabías que Inglaterra se cambió al Euro?
Diana - Noooo, no se cambiaron!
Ana - Claro que siii, actualízate niña!" - Convo between Me + Ana--needless to say she was embarrassed after realizing she wasn't quite right

"he's just an annoyingly talented young man!" - Kirsty on Plan B

"Un Don me dijo: 'Ahhh, yo a la Fergie me la comia enterita...sssss'...QueLePasa jajajajajaja" - Mario Albarran

"I think the Tube Gods are plotting against you" - Kirsty Marshall

"It's fucked-up how sweet you guys are" - Karen O

"chacheando y bailando lambada con la escoba" - Maria Daniela

"I am not G.I. Jane, I'm attachment Barbie!" - Teddy from Grey's Anatomy

"When you get knocked down you gotta get back up, that's the way it is in life and love, If you're gonna be dumb,You gotta be Tough." - Karen O

"We live in a world where we have to hide ourselves to make love, while the violence is made at the light of day." - John Lennon

"People Can Do The Most Amazing Things...ask my parents then!" - David Vigueras

Friday, October 15, 2010

What Makes London So Great?...

...truth is, I dunno yet. I mean, a whole LOT of people complain about its weather, its traffic, its expensiveness, its badly constructed streets, its public transport, its food, its government, its people and who knows what else! But then, what the hell makes London so great and what makes so many people from all over the globe want to live here and the ones who already do, stay?!

Sounds like a tough task, but I will find out! Yes, I am now on a quest to find out what makes London oh-so-great!

You Londoners out there, feel free to contribute!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Washing Bowl Experience

Now, for those of you who have ever done the dishes in their life, this might be a milestone as per doing the dishes goes...or not lol.

In Mexico (and the rest of Latin American, I'm assuming) people do the dishes in a sink, with a little sponge and the appropriate soap; wet the dishes, soap them and then wash the soap off, to later put in a tray to dry them off--the whole process may vary a bit depending on the region, but I do believe variations are minimal.

In the US, some people may do it "the old-fashioned" way, which is the Latin American way but most people use dishwashers, of course, why not? It's easier, faster...though not necessarily better, thing is they do and the like it.

Now, in India...they share the basic, and they also use a plastic bowl, so they kinda combine a little bit of both worlds, oh and also, they don't use soap/detergent or anything like that, AND, they do it while squatting the whole time--fun eh!

And in the UK -this is interesting-, they use a bowl! Yes, they have a plastic bowl in the sink and they use a little brush to scrub the dishes, so you basically have a smaller-than-it-should-be space to do the dishes; you wet them, scrub them with soap and then put them on the dish rack...without actually washing it the soap off--weird eh! So, I asked my friend Kirsty why they use the bowl to which she replied "I don't know!" haha Seriosuly, she did! So yeah, Brits use it and they don't even know why; she started a topic on Facebook asking the same question to which, surprisingly enough, she didn't get many replies because, guess what?...nobody actually knows the reason!! Some people said something like "So the sink doesn't get scratched - or because the plug doesn't fit properly.", which makes no sense really but they're trying to make it look as if it makes sense to have one lol Some other replies came, but they didn't make sense either and I say this because I've tried all the ways (Latin, Indian. well, not USaian and English one) and the English one just doesn't really work, far from that, I found it quite an obstacle, it just slows you down and it doesn't feel like they dishes are quite clean when you're done.

Conclusion: If you have a washing up bowl in the sink at home...try not using it once and you'll see the difference, you'll never use the bowl again. =)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Along with the Fall came some Quotes

Alright, here's your little dose of Quotes for a good start of the Fall--my fave season of the year. Enjoy!

"Dreams come and go, but you never get over some of the ones you dreamed of the most" - Paola Vigueras

"Dini - i really need to learn alot about men
Diana - we all do (...) thats why its a good thing to screw up's the mistakes you learn the most from" - Convo between me + Dini

"And everything i say is true. 'Cause if I was telling lies it'd probably show..." - Brian Eno, MGMT--exactly my case!

"...desde chiquito es así, nunca te va ningún corte porque tienes la cabeza muy grande!" - Ana Patró Roberto (her brother) lol

"ahí no quedé tan papi sexy como quería" - Marius

"I'm leaving...voy a besuquearme con mi noviecito..." - Abbie Díaz

"tu eres una gran fotografa (...) mira (...) yo soy muy detallista demasiado y he visto fotografos a montones y son muy pocos a los cuales yo les digo eso porque no tienen el enfoque que tu le das" Tatiana G.

"It's important to refrain from being bitter over life's disappointments. Not everything will go your way but if you learn to let go of the past and recognize the great things you've accomplished, you will be on your way to happiness!" - Random

"Art gives us an opportunity to fall in love with a stranger" - Walter Hopps

"...John estaba teniendo un orgasmo arbolar" - Marius

Friday, October 1, 2010

Finding a Home in London

Alright so...trip went well, immigration was okay, I arrived safe and sound in London and I was ready to get started with the series of things one has to do when settling down in a new place, searching for a place to live being the first one (for me, at least).

The very next day I arrived, I decided to start flathunting...I had sort of started back at home in Mexico, but it was not easy being there really, and I actually learned that even being here didn't make it all that easy, especially being "Back To School" Season, which I was not aware of. So, I started the hunt on several popular websites (Gumtree, Moveflat and others), there were TONS of options, many of them good ones, many of them bad ones, and other many of them too good to be, so good they turned out to be scams--fuckers!
Most of the times, whenever I either emailed or called for a flat, it had been already, super fast! Same thing happen for some viewings, I had some arranged and they turned out to be gone, the first viewing totally sucked because it wasn't until I got to the flat and pretty much woke up the guy I'd arranged the meeting with that I came to know it was, yet again, ALREADY TAKEN! That sort of pissed me off coz he could have called/texted me to let me know and avoid the trip all the way there; then another viewing got canceled because the landlady was working late, then...she never got back to me, pfft!

Anyway, I did a couple more viewings (not too many really) and just yesterday while going from one to another I ran into a little convenience store with a lot of ads/posts on the window and decided to start calling, I figured I had time to check them out since they had to be nearby, a few of them-you might not believe-were already gone! Then I saw the guy from the store putting up a new ad so I thought to myself "well, it's just up now, it HAS to be available!" and it was, called and the guy was nice enough to come back (as he was already on his way) to pick me up and take me to see the place, which was alright but a bus ride and a 10-minute-walk away from the tube station.

On my way back, I went to see another one I'd called for before, this one I liked right away. It was a house, not too big but not too small, a pretty decent size I'd say, the room size was also good and the Tenant was/is a Chilean lady who seems to be very nice; so far, it was a nice place not too crowded--which I have to say I like because I honestly don't know how tolerant I could be with a lot of people coming and going and partying and being noisy/dirty, I found this place quite convenient as I knew I'd be able to keep my privacy and be respected, while being in a very good location, surrounded by shops, markets, restaurant, cinema and most importantly, the tube station within walking distance, not to mention also within walking distance is Brixton Academy--a good venue for rock concerts! Um, did I mention it was properly priced on top of it all?
So yeah, after 5 days of being in London I found myself a nice place to live, which has me very happy for the moment because it means I can now go to step number two of the plan: jobhunting, but that...that's a different story so we'll leave it for another post.

So, here are a few pictures of what will be my new neighbourhood.