Category: GEOGRAPHY & HISTORY

[caption id="attachment_51661" align="alignnone" width="600"] Boadicea, photo by PH Morton[/caption]

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
– Edmund Burke (1729 – 97)

Must See Filipino Dramas (FDrama)

Must See Filipino Dramas (FDrama)

I have to be really honest here.  It is really hard to recommend a Filipino drama to international audience.

It is unique in that it is even more surreal than Korean’s makjang, a form or drama where absurd circumstances occurs.

As a case in point, there is currently a drama called Ika-6 na Utos (Sixth Commandment) which is both wowing and frustrating viewers.  The drama has gone on and on showing mind-blowing scenarios after another, which has gone beyond a joke; highest level of absurdity.

Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai and Chinese have set numbers of episodes but Filipino dramas tend to go on forever when it is deemed popular.  They extend the series and tries to wring every emotion that can be wrung until there’s none left.  Viewers then would get bored watching the same story line but with a different dialogues or scenery; it is like milking a dead cow.  Rating then would go down and finally an ending is imminent.

Of course there are gems to be had and here is my list but not in any order.


Not too sure:

  • My Korean Jagiya, I quite like this at first but it gone way too tedious.  The cute potential love affair from a contract marriage between Gia and Jun Ho has gone on long enough and yet there is no resolution in the offing.  They are prolonging the story line until ennui sets in and no one bloody cares.  How can a stupid sock-wearing probinsiya plays hard to get for such a long time from a supposed to be KDrama superstar?!!!  Tell me?  No don’t, I don’t really care anymore. 🙂

 

 

Happy Sisters – KDrama Review

Happy Sisters

Happy Sisters – KDrama Review

I have to say I have been totally sidetracked by A Love So Beautiful, a Chinese drama, that I have lost much of my appetite for Korean dramas lately.  I did try to watch a few and can’t really get into them but for some reason this new Korean drama, Happy Sisters, managed to piqued my interest.

Actually I first watched it while waiting for the twit (from Twitter) from Noumi that ALSB has been subbed.  Oh the time I had waited for the English subs!!!  Well worth it.

Anyway, I began to watch Happy Sisters., thinking what is this?!!!  There was that monstrous looking mother-in-law, the lead girls where ajumma (older lady) looking.  I have to confess that I like my leads to be young, drop-dead gorgeous or famous.  But the actresses who played the two sisters Ye-eun and Sang-eun, though not unpretty, were not the leading lady material of the more highly sought dramas I am used to.

But I was pleasantly surprised.  I have to admit that I have fast-forwarded a lot of the scenes from the first 7 episodes and concentrating mainly in the stories of the two sisters.  By episode 8 I am totally hooked and even loving the monstrous mother-in-law.

Main Cast:

  • Shim Yi-young as Yoon Ye-eun
  • Han Young as Yoon Sang-eun
  • Oh Dae-gyu as Choi Jae-woong
  • Kang Seo-joon as Lee Jin-seop
  • Lee Shi-kang as Min Hyung-joo
  • Ban So-young as Jo Hwa-young

Ye-eun is the younger sister, who has been married for seven years to Jin-Seob, who is having an affair with his personal assistant, Hwa-young.

Sang-eun is the older sister who got into so much debt that in desperation entered into a contract marriage with a prosperous plastic surgeon, Jae-woong, who is not interested with a traditional marriage but just to give a mother figure to his beloved daughter.

In the background at the moment is a young good-looking man by the name of Hyung-joo, who met Ye-eun by accident and taken her to the hospital.  He found Ye-eun rather interesting.

The real fun began (episode 10) during the wedding of Sang-eun and Jae-woong.  Hwa-young gave Jin Seob his final warning of not attending his sister-in-law’s wedding or else all hell will break loose. But Hwa-young attended anyway as he is expected to walk the bride down the aisle.

Hwa-young was a feisty woman, who refused to be thwarted, so she sent a couple of selfies with her and Jin Seob in bed together to Ye-eun.

At this same moment, Hyung-joo, who happened to be a good friend of the groom spied Ye-eun in the bridal welcoming party.  As he approached her, Ye-eun just walked passed him in a rather agitated mood that Hyung-joo fallowed her.  There he witnessed Ye-eun husband confessing his love to his mistress, while Ye-eun was catatonic in shock in a nearby wall.

 

Jugglers – Korean Drama Review

Jugglers

Jugglers – Korean Drama Review

I have just started watching this new South Korean drama and I much say it is very promising.  The lead actress plays Jwa Yoon-Yi (Baek Jin-Hee) is adorably quirky but extremely efficient, while the lead actor is Daniel Choi playing the reluctant boss, Nam Chi – Won.

Jugglers pertain to the so-called office wives, the personal assistants.

Love of Aurora (Chinese Drama Review)

Love of Aurora (Chinese Drama Review)

 

Love of Aurora is a modern drama romance which will be made up of 50 episodes and directed by Liu Bo.

I love the leading girl in this because she was so cute in that 2016 drama, Hello, Mr Right with Korean actor, Lee Dong Gun

Cast:

Ma Ke as Li Jun Tai

Guan Xiao Tong as Han Zing Xi

Zhang Xiao Long as Li Ming Zi

Zhao Han Ying Zi as He Jin Wen

Ma He as Lei Yuan Yuan

Zhu Xiao Peng as He Hua Hao

It started rather dramatically.  Our heroine, Han Zing Xi was being chased by a man in suit.  While she was running she got hit by a car and later woke up with psychogenic amnesia.  Apparently this is a way for the brain to cope with unbearable traumatic memory.

The synopsis of the story is about a girl who is an actress with extra-ordinary talent who meets an heir to a large fortune but running away from responsibility and a very strict parents.

Good Morning Call Season 2 Review

Good Morning Call Season 2 Review

Yes, finally Good Morning Call Season 2 (Our Campus Days),  is being shown by Netflix.

It has 10 episodes altogether with some new characters.  This series two continues on from their middle school days to university life; campus days.

The new series is apparently a Netflix original and they only started showing it yesterday.  So whilst agogly waiting for this Japanese drama’s second series, I rewatched the original one and enjoyed it once again.  Lots of giggles!

I was rather unwell yesterday so what better than curl up in front of the telly and binge out on a cute little drama with a big box of chocolate.

And I binge-watch all 10 episodes.

Series two is still as kawaii but more mature.  I had a few tears a few times.  Poor Nao!

 

New Cast:

    • Shiraishi Shunya as Uehara Hisashi.
    • Fukuhara Haruka as Yoshikawa Nao.
    • Sakurada Dori as Shinozaki Daichi.
    • Sugino Yosuke as Natsume Shu.
    • Sagara Itsuki as Nanase Rin.
    • Takahashi Maryjun as Kumanomido Saeko.
    • Arai Moe as Konno Marina
    • Nagashima Shugo – Micchan
    • Nagasawa Koya – Abe Jun

Good Morning call, Our Campus Days follows on from when Uehara and Nao were forced to share an apartment and lived together. They were a a victim of a scammer who rented the same apartment to each of them. For months they lived together secretly. It was a school taboo for two kids to live together by themselves even it was platonic.

Uehara was a popular boy with his stunning good looks, intelligence of 200 IQ and being athletic to boot. He is one of the top three most gorgeous (popular) boys in their school. Girls were swooning everytime he walks by. But he is beyond cool. He was cold. He does not like all the fuss.   This made him even more desirable.

Nao on the otherhand is ordinary and rather clumsy but has got a pure heart and perseverance.  Her innocence made her a boy magnet.  Gorgeous guy were falling for her in a big way.  Daichi (one of the three popular boys) loved and pined for her for 8 long years.

Before long Uehara and Nao developed feelings for each other but the school found out about their housing situation. In the last episode of the first series, Uehara and Nao promised to be still together but they had to live separately. On moving day, they found that their estate agent/landlord put them into two flats, which were next to each other.

Series two continues on from this.

It now the big school, university.

Uehara met Natsume, who he really gets on with. Natsume is very gregarious and very popular with everyone, especially with the girls.

Uehara admired Natsume’s openness and helpfulness.  He perceived Natsume as a male Nao.  Natsume, like Nao, Uehara thinks, would go a long mile to help others, even if it means inconveniencing himself.  He was rather envious of Natsume’s friendliness, so much so that he developed a bit of inferiority complex when comparing himself to Natsume.

Natsume is flirty and in touch with his feminine side. He loves handicrafts and embroidery. No Uehara and Natsume do not have a gay thing. LOL 🙂

In fact Natsume kissed Nao, which Uehara witnessed. Nao was so distressed that she was spinning like a top, but Uehara forgave Natsume almost in a heartbeat. What kind of a boyfriend is he?

In the end Natsume truly fell for Nao.

Nao and Uehara’s relationship was undergoing a very uncertain phase.  To comfort the aggrieved Nao, Natusume kissed her which Uehara found out. Uehara was waiting for Nao to confess about the kiss but Nao was too embarrass to say anything at first until the moment for confession has passed.

But before judging Nao, Uehara was not a hard done by boyfriend.  He went on a date with his boss, called Saeko, who is aptly named as she was slightly psychotic.  LOL.  Uehara and Saeko even shared a kiss which Nao witnessed.

There are plenty of things that are going wrong as well as misunderstanding between Nao and Uehara so their relationship became rather awkward that Uehara said that he wanted space and asked Nao not to go into his flat or contact him for now. Nao understood and did what Uehara wanted. She is not confident about the relationship anyway. She was thinking that her relationship with Uehara was purely accidental, that if they were not ‘forced’ to live together Uehara would not have given her even a second look. Thinking this she finally accepted that they are not really right together and told Uehara that they should break up.

Though they had broken up, Nao said that she would only ever love Uehara and she put Natsume properly in his place that she cannot have a deeper relationship with him.  She was very upset too because Natsume had been a crutch to her in facing all her troubles.

You might get the impression that this drama series is full of angsts and heartbreaks but actually there are plenty of cute and heart warming moments that you can’t help but fall in love with Nao and Uehara all over again.  You would also like Natsume for being a good friend and a ready shoulder to cry on for Nao.

Spoiler Do not Read

Uehara was also missing Nao but he kept thinking that Natsume is better suited to be with Nao.

Natsume is a good guy and really cares for Nao and her happiness. So he told Uehara where Nao would be at.

Ahhh they confessed their feelings to each other.

The end was that they are finally together with a more mature relationship as they spend nights together in each other’s flat. Ahhhh Uehara has turned lovely dovey 🙂 🙂 🙂  Welll lovey dovey the Uehara way.

Deep-Fried Spare Ribs Recipe

Deep-Fried Spare Ribs Recipe

This is truly delicious, a real treat to those who like a bit of meat, just like me.  The ribs are crunchy and spicy, perfect as a buffet dish for a party this Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 700 g pork spare ribs
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp rice wine or substituted with the same amount of dry sherry
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

Method of Preparation:

  • Chop each spare rib into  3-4 small pieces
  • Using a large bowl mix together the curry powder, rice wine, salt and black and pepper.
  • Mix in all the spare rib and thoroughly cover all the pieces.
  • In a separate bowl, make a batter by mixing in the beaten eggs with the flour.
  • Heat a wok or a large frying.
  • Add the oil.
  • Take a  few ribs and coat with the egg batter and then carefully drop into the hot oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden all over.
  • Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain over kitchen paper towels.
  • Repeat with the rest of the spare ribs.
  • Serve immediately with some salad.

A Love So Beautiful (Chinese Drama Review)

Jiang Chen (Hu Ti Yian) & Chen Xiao Xi (Shen Yue)

A Love So Beautiful (Chinese Drama Review)

This is such a cute drama.  I have seen all the episodes literally hundreds of times both in the raw and subtitled forms.  Despite the language barrier (can’t understand Chinese), I still found the drama quite engaging.  Probably because of the script is well developed plus the fact that the cast is beautiful and handsome.  Most of them are newbies, new to the business, which is amazing in itself as they do deliver fine acting.  When you have a good line-up of actors, it is usually hard to go wrong.

 

Actually this drama should come with a warning!  HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. 

Cast:

  • Hu Yi Tian as Jiang Chen
  • Chen Yue as Chen Xiao Xi
  • Wang Zi Wei as Lin Jing Xiao
  • Gao Zhi Ting as Wu Bai Song
  • Zhang He Hao Zhen as Li Shu
  • Sun Ning as Lu Yang
  • Lv Yan as Li Wei

I love the main girl, Chen Xiao Xi.  She’s so lovely, full of vim.  She knows what she wants and goes for it.  At the age of 16 she wanted Jiang Chen, the genius & proud boy of her class.

This drama spans 19 years of their sweetly innocent romantic life.  Based from the trailers of forthcoming episodes, it will not be all roses all the way through; there are a lot of angst and drama.  But having said that,it is predominantly cute scenes that will leave you gooeyly mesmerised!

This drama has been liken to the Japanese Itazura Na Kiss, which is I supposed has the same formula where arrogant genius boy meets scatty girl.  The difference I think, which I prefer is that in A Love So Beautiful, the viewers are given a chance to know that the genius boy has really fallen for the girl almost from the beginning.  We see him becoming jealous and doing thousands of different ways to show the viewers how much he cares for the girl.  The subtle smile, the widening and furrowing of his eyes, glowering, grimacing, secretly grinning, his facial expressions are so sweet.

There are apparently 23 episodes and a bonus extra episode at the end.

By the way, it can be hard to wait for Chinese dramas to be subbed in English, which is rather frustrating sometimes especially when the drama is deemed to be good. I would like, therefore, to thank some hard-working youtube subbers (most of them hold full time jobs and being students), who do subtitling in their spare time with no monetary rewards whatsoever. If I had been the Queen of England, I would have given them MBEs for services rendered to society.  LOL  Since I am not the queen, I would like to thank them with all my heart for subbing this excellent drama.  I would also like to encourage you to subscribe to their channels to show appreciation.

Cheers!

 

Episode 1 Dear Jiang Chen

Chen Xiao Xi was shown reminiscing,  She said that the most important thing in her life is drawing… and drawing, this was at present time 2017.  But back then (2005),it was a boy called Jiang Chen.

It all started in 2005 when she was16 and enrolled in Chen Xi Middle School.

Chen Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen grew up together in the same neighbourhood, in fact the same apartment complex.

They went to the same kindergarten, primary school, junior school, high school and university.

Chen Xiao Xi was without any qualms in pursuing Jiang Chen.  She told him she liked him in which he replied “I don’t like you.”  This hardly made Chen Xiao Xi stopped on her track.  In fact she persevered and researched the internet how to make someone like you back.  So funny.  love it.

Back then, sending love letters was still the norm.  🙂  Xiao Xi sent a love letter to Jiang Chen, ergo the the title of this episode.

I love the characters.  Chen Xiao Xi is a least a foot shorter than Jiang Chen but somehow they looks so cute together.  Even from the beginning, their chemistry was apparent.

Episode 2 Can You Find Me

This episode also strengthen the growing bond between Xiao Xi, Jiang Chen, Bo Song, Lu Yang & Lin Jing Xiao.

(I don’t know but I thought there was no real chemistry between Lu Yang and Jing Xiao, but there is this sexual tension between Bo Song and Jing Xiao.  I felt it and saw it.  LOL)

This is story about children and parents.  Being filial.  Appreciate your parents while you still can.  This episode also gives a bit of a background why Jiang Chen is a bit of a loner or having a rather cold demeanour.  He was very young when he lost his father.

And one of his memories regarding his father was when he was 7 years old.  He accidentally made his little brother fall down and get hurt and cry.  He was so upset that he run away.  It took ages for his father to come along and find him, he felt they did not value him until his father took him in a noodle restaurant for a father-son bonding.

Episode 3

This episode is about Chen Xiao Xi wanting to be the class monitor.  She would have been the clear winner if Jiang Chen had voted for her instead of Li Wei.  He was convinced that she lacks the attitude and character to be an able class monitor.  She was so annoyed she kicked Jiang Chen in the shin.  Ouch!

She tied with Li Wei and temporary they were the two class monitors.

In the end Jiang Chen told her that she made a good class monitor despite misplacing the for the class fee monies.

The 5 main characters were such a hoot in this episode.  Bo Song is delightfully helpful but clueless.  He’s adorable.

Episode 4 Run With The Wind, Towards Freedom

It was going to be Jiang Chen’s birthday and Xiao Xi wanted to give him a present but she lacks funds.  Previously she does not want to participate in their sports day but because the prize would be a watch, she steeled herself to do the hurdle.  It was rather hilarious given that she has short legs.  LOL.  Bo Song once again was there to help her.  Running along with her in the track in a mascot costume.

Stand-out scene was in the bookshop where Xiao Xi was reading a comic mag giggling to herself which captivated Jiang Chen.  So cute

Episode 5

This episode is about a drama competition.  It was hilarious.  Shen Yue is such a good actress for a newbie.  She made Xiao Xi so adorable, so human and so funny.

Jiang Chen is beginning to show serious jealousy between the comfortable friendship of Xiao Xi and Bo Song.

Highlight: Xiao Xi trying to reach a book on the top shelf.  Then came Jiang Chen, who was seemingly prepared to help but put the book even more out of reach. Awww moment 🙂

Episode 6

Xiao Xi is doing badly at school, so her parents mooted the idea of transferring her to a stricter school.  But of course Jiang Chen was there to tell her not to transfer.  She then promised her parents that she will be in the top 15.  Everyone thought that was impossible.  But then again Jiang Chen was her personal tutor.  She got to top 13.  Awww.

Episode 7 2 Days and 1 Night

This is a rather hectic episode.  Xiao Xi thinking that Jiang Chen would like her better if she appears to be more vulnerable just like Li Wei, over-dramatised her parents domestic spat.  She was told of by Jiang Cheng for making things up.

But it seems there might be cause for concern as Xiao Xi saw her father on a ‘date’ with another woman.  She went home crying for real much to the surprise of Jiang Chen, who became so concerned.

Standout scene:  Xiao Xi crying using the sleeve of Jiang Chen tracksuit.  Btw, it was all a misunderstanding.  Xiao Xi’s dad is a devoted husband and father.

Also in this episode,  Lu Yang won a scammish contest in which the prize was a 2 days-1 night get away in the suburb.

During the away night, they played pen deity, much iike the ouija board.  Jiang Chen was rather curious what Xiao Xi asked the pen deity.  Xiao Xi said she was too embarrass to ask whether Jiang Chen would ever like her.  She doesn’t want to know that Jiang Chen wouldn’t as her love will be a useless miserable one and therefore she has to stop liking him.  Jiang Chen was rather touched.

The drama ended with Bo Song winning during the swimming competition.  When asked during the interview by the journalists what was his motivation for winning the gold, Bo Song gently pulled Xiao Xi towards him and said “Because of her” much to Jiang Chen’s shock and jealousy 🙂

Episode 8

While in the bookstore some girls were saying loudly that Xiao Xi was Wo Bo Song’s girlfriend but she  is not good enough.  Xiao Xi can’t take this without saying anything so she said she was good enough which was heard by Jiang Chen, who was on a jealous mode.

It’s Xiao Xi’s birthday.  Everyone knew that she wanted to see Manchester United play (in China) but she can’t afford the tickets also it was hard to get them.  Bo Song put a feeler amongst his sporty friends about how to get tickets.  On her birthday, she got the tickets for the game from her father.

Unfortunately the tickets were fake but all the same she enjoyed being with Jiang Chen.  It was so sad to see Bo Song throwing away the tickets as he watched Jiang Chen and Xiao Xi having a giggly time.

Standout scene:  Xiao Xi doing her blackboard drawings when she saw Jiang Chen standing rather like a stalker in a horror film, which frighten her so much that she stumbled straight into Bo Song’s arms.  Jiang Chen was really upset.  When Xiao Xi tried to give her prized Manchester United t-shirt, allegedly signed by Wayne Rooney, Jiang Chen would not accept it without paying her for it.  She was enraged, she threw back the money at him.

Episode 9

This episode is cuteness overload.  Jiang Chen and Xiao Xi riding the same bike together is just the cutest!  It is a bit sad though for the second male lead.  He is rather adorable in his own way, he was really overtly devoted to Xiao Xi.  He was always on her side.

The main topic of this episode is joining the class debating team.

Episode 10

This one is about Avian flu.  Of course Xiao Xi would be at least of those suspected of contracting bird flu.

Episode 11

This is rather sweet.  Finally Jiang Chen is showing a romantic interest in Xiao Xi.

It was nearing Christmas and about gift giving.  The girls were frantically knitting scarves, hats and gloves for their crushes.  Of course Xiao Xi can’t knit.  Instead Jiang Chen gave her his scarf when it was snowing.  So sweet.

Episode 12,

Their class was going on a field trip.  During the trip Xiao Xi and her friends prepared for her confession again to Jiang Chen.  They brought fireworks with them which they would lit up as she was confessing.  Unfortunately, it did not go the way it was planned.  Another girl was confessing to Jiang Chen when the fireworks burst into a myriad of colours. Xiao Xi witnessed Jiang Chen hugging the girl. Thank goodness Wo Bu Song(second male lead) was there to take the crying Xiao Xi away from the scene.

I have to say that Jiang Chen is rather frustratingly annoying sometimes.  He knew how much Xiao Xi is aching to be his girlfriend and chase him every at available moment  and yet Jiang Chen is toying with her by not discouraging the other girl, Li Wei, to run after him as well.

Episode 13

This episode is the aftermath of the aborted confession by Xiao Xi to Jiang Chen.  It was lovely that her friends were there to support her.  Wo Bu Song was there all the way through her heartache giving her a shoulder to cry on, which only made Jiang Chen lonelier because he actually misses the bubbly Xiao Xi who was always on his face and then suddenly avoiding him like the plague. To be fair to him, he did do everything to make amends.  And at the end of the episode, he explain to Xiao Xi that what happened with Li Wei was not what it seemed.  This episode also showed that Li Wei was caught cheating in their English exam, which meant an expulsion from the school.

Episode 14

This is the episode where there was that cute hair tucking behind Xiao Xi’s ear using a pen by Jiang Chen.  Xiao Xi said that she will not ask ever again what was going on with Li Wei but she ask Jiang Chen not to hang out with Li Wei.

Jiang Chen can’t respond to such request.  So their estrangement continues on.

But Li Wei was caught cheating at the exam. She became depressed that she even thought of jumping from the rooftop of their school building.

She was so upset and depressed that she even taken the Diazepam drug from the school clinic without prescription or permission.  Unfortunately for the handsome doctor, the object of Ling Jing Xiao’s crush, became the scapegoat and got fired.  Before he left he saved the life of Li Shu, who got very very upset after finding out that Ling Jing Xiao is crazy about the doctor.  Li Shu ended up in the hospital due to his congenital heart problem.

By the end of this episode, Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen are back at their most flirtatious. 🙂

Episode 15

Bo Song’s dad asked Xiao Xi to cheer up Bo Song, who has a more complicated injury to his shoulder, thus will not be able to join the national team.

Xiao Xi being a good friend became very attentive to Bo Song much to the chagrin of Jiang Chen.  Jealousy doesn’t recognise double standard.  He did not repel Li Wei advances immediately previously and made Xiao Xi upset and jealous and yet expected Xiao Xi to be not too friendly Bo Song.

Again there are so many cute scenes here, showing the jealous Jiang Chen, including going out to get water only to come back with an empty one.  Precious!  There was also that pool game between Bo Song and Jiang Chen.

In order to pacify Jiang Chen who lost the game, Xiao Xi said that he played a very good game and would have won against normal player.  And rubbing salt to injury, she tactlessly said that Bo Song is just above him because he is amazing.  Jiang Chen can’t take it anymore so he had to cover her mouth with his hand.  Kawaii!!!

 

Episode 16 

This is a bittersweet episode.  Wo Bu Song finally confessed to Xiao Xi but at the same time accepting defeat.  He finally gave up the hope of being with Xiao Xi, because he knew she only sees Jiang Chen.

As much as Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen are so cute together, there are times that I wish Xiao Xi to just give up and just be with Wo Bu Song, and his gorgeous abs, who was really devoted to her.

There was a cute tiny bromance between Bo Song and Jiang Chen.  Bo Song said he will Xiao Xi under the care of Jiang Chen as he was going to pursue his swimming dream in Beijing, to which Jiang Chen said “She was never yours to leave”

Bo Song said you are annoying sometimes and Jiang Chen, “it’s mutual”

Episode 17

Xiao Xi  did not get into any university but went to an art college and revising to retake exam upon advise by Jiang Chen, who said that he will help her get to the university he was going to.  She did get into Zheijiang university and officially dating Jiang Chen.  This episode is so cute.  It seems Jiang Chen is missing Xiao Xi more than she misses him. Their telephone conversation was so excruciatingly cute. They also shared their first kiss.  However Xiao Xi was drunk at the time.  Jiang Chen said that if she remember the night, she has to contact him.  Sweet.

Episode 18

A specially sweet episode.  Jiang Chen is the perfect caring boyfriend, masterful and yet gentle at the same time.  Their hug when she was wearing a pink dinosaur outfit was so romantic.  Love it.

Episode 19

It is graduation from university and they had to move on from their dormitory.

Xiao Xi needed to find somewhere to stay and rather upset that Jiang Chen was forever busy with his hospital life.  She was envious of her friends who were all moving in with their respective boyfriends.  When she went to view an apartment by herself, Xiao Xi was almost assaulted by the realtor.

She went crying all the way to the hospital where Jiang Chen was.  But she found out that he was going to Beijing without consulting her.  She felt belittled and immaterial in Jiang Chen’s life scheme that she said she doesn’t want to like him anymore.  What she doesn’t know was that Jiang Chen had always planned to marry her and if he was going to Beijing then he was taking her with him.  But Jiang Chen is rather poor in communicating his feelings so Xiao Xi is left feeling just like a surplus and her old insecurities surfaced, thinking that it was always a one sided life that Jiang Chen never really liked her anyway even from the first.

Jiang Chen was rather distraught after having a patient dying (first death he has witnessed) on the operating table under his team.

He went to Xiao Xi for comfort but she was really upset with Jiang Chen that she turned her back on him.  For the first time, when he called her name, she did not listen and just left him.  Thinking that Xiao Xi doesn’t care anymore, he accepted a post of further study to Beijing.

As the last minute at the airport, Jiang Chen called Xiao Xi, begging her to go find him to which Xiao Xi replied, you bastard, I am not going to find you.

But of course, Xiao Xi did go look for him but she missed him. Xiao Xi was left crying only to be faced by the smilingly gorgeous Bo Song. 🙂

Episode 20

Jiang Chen is back after three years in the best hospital in Beijing. He saw Xiao Xi on his peripheral vision in the hospital on his way to his interview to becoming a director in cardio-thoracic ward.  He was excited to see he that he just walk away from his interview to double check  that the person he saw was Xiao Xi.

Awww, the longing in his eyes would melt you into a gooey syrup on the floor.  He missed her so much which was actually mirrored in Xiao Xi eyes when she finally realised that she was seeing Jiang Chen in the flesh (not naked, just an idiom) 🙂

Jiang Chen did everything to be close to Xiao Xi again including using jealousy tactic by bringing a fake girlfriend into Lu Yang’s ‘farewell to Singleton’ party.

Our good girl, Xiao Xi, is playing hard to get.  🙂 until the gorgeous more mature Jiang Chen came sauntering towards her lit by his car headlights. Wow

Xiao Xi was left mindless, even apologising for something she did really know about.   But it was ok, she was rewarded with a romantic kiss.  Awwww 🙂

Standout scene: the gorgeous but tired Jiang Chen asleep on Xiao Xi’s sofa.  🙂

Episode 21

Xiao Xi continues to visit the hospital where her father is confined for a fairly minor surgery. Again she meets up with Jiang Chen.  They had a heart to heart talk but was interrupted by an emergency.  Xiao Xi was told y Jiang Chen to stay and wait for him.  Left to her own devices, Xiao Xi spin round and round on the swivel chair in Jiang Chen office but only to fall and bump her head causing concussion. (I would have not minded if they added another 30 episodes with Xiao Xi getting amnesia as most dramas would do. 🙂 LOL).

Jiang Chen treated her  concussion and gave her a kiss as an extra service 🙂 LOL

This episode is also Lu Yang and Jing Xiao’s wedding.  It was a very moving ceremony.

Most of their high school classmates attended including Li Wei, who was looking lovely.  She told Xiao xi that she also confessed to Jiang Chen (episode 12) but was told that Jiang Chen liked Xiao Xi.

Xiao Xi caught the wedding bouquet, she was caught by both Jiang Chen and Bo Song before she fell backwards.

Standout scene: Xiao Xi, let’s get back together.

Xiao Xi, we will be back together!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Episode 22

Jiang Chen really working towards getting back with Xiao Xi.  He even sold his car to fund a vanity  publication for Xiao Xi manhwa book.  Awww

If you are pro-Bo Song, then this episode is a sad one because despite proposing to Xiao Xi with a really huge diamond ring he got turned down.  He did instinctively know that Xiao Xi will say no.

He went out drinking with Lu Yang.  Lu Yang invited Jiang Chen to come help with the drunk Bo Song, who begged Jiang Chen to return Xiao Xi back to him.

JIang Chen would not obliged as Xiao Xi is always been his.  He then went on a monologue about how misunderstood he was that he was actually more in love with Xiao Xi than Xiao Xi to him.  He said that he thinks he can’t live without her.

Lots of standout scenes:  A photo sessions of all the friends as a reference to Xiao Xi’s new book.  Woah Bo Song and his abs is absolute dream.  Lu Yang is so cute. Jiang Chen was adorable.

After begging Xiao Xi to forgive him, Xiao Xi said to give her time to think it through.  I thought it would be at least a month later but her mulling it through only took a couple of hours as Jiang Chen found her asleep in his hospital cot.

Jiang Chen was in ecstacy.   A love so beautiful, indeed!

Episode 23

Treacle! So sweet!  Sugar!

This episode is a compendium of sweetness and romance.  So cute.

The standout is a hard choice but the scene did pinch at my heart.  It was when Jiang Chen was inebriated after a drinking bout with future father in law.

Xiao Xi: What’s up with you again?

Jiang Chen: I want to look for Xiao Xi.

Xiao Xi:  I am Xiao Xi.

Jiang Chen: (confused) You are a little familiar.

Xiao Xi:  Ok let’s sleep.

Jiang Chen: Are you really Xiao Xi?

Xiao Xi: I really am Xiao Xi.

Jiang Chen: (hugs her tenderly) Xiao Xi

Xiao Xi: Hmm?

Jiang Chen: I miss you so much.

Xiao Xi finally realised how much she means to Jiang Chen.  🙂

 

Melt your heart. The sweetest ever!
I have followed it religiously for more than a week now.  I have hardly watch any other dramas at all because I have been watching episode after episodes over and over.

This drama is truly addictive.  The script writer got it so right but most of all the young actor, Hu Yi Tian was brilliant in his role.  every facial expression is spot on.  He might be perceived as rather cold but he does wear his heart on his sleeves.  We can see what goes on in his mind and heart in every twists of his nose, curl and pout of his lips and the way he stares at Xiao Xi is just adorable.  He was also very tactile.  He holds her, hugs her unashamedly.  Yue Shen as Xiao Xi is also a good actress considering that this is her first role ever.  She is lovely and fun. I love her, love her character and so looking forward to her next drama serial in Meteor Garden next year.  But one thing do, she has to practise her crying.  It is not believable to the point of rather annoying.  But other than that, I hope she makes another drama with Hu Yi Tian in the near future.

I can’t wait for the rest of the episodes but at the same time dreading that it will be ending this Thursday, 07 December 2017.

nbsp;

MERRY CHRISTMAS! HOPE TO SEE MORE OF HU YI TIAN AND SHEN YUE IN 2018

Crispy Seaweed Recipe

 

Crispy Seaweed

Peter and I love crispy seaweeds.  We always order it as one of our starters when we dine out in Chinese restaurants.

There is something about its crispy texture that is rather pleasing to the tastebuds.

Of course we are well aware that this seaweed is not really seaweed as we know it.  It did not come from the sea. 🙂  In fact it is made from finely shredded spring green cabbage.

Peter asked me why is it then called a seaweed?!!! To hazard guest, I think because it does look like a seaweed when it is being prepared and cooked. Its corrugated crispy texture is like seaweed.

Anyway, as I have said, it is quite delicious and here a recipe for it.

Crispy Seaweed Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 250 g Spring green cabbage (Kale is a good substitute)
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp shrimp powder (optional)
  • Oil for deep frying

Method of Preparation:

  • Prepare the spring green by washing it completely and ridding it of grits and little insects, you never know!  🙂 .  Trim off the tough stalks that run through each leaf.  Drain the leaves thoroughly with kitchen paper towels.
  • Using a good chopping board and an equally good and sharp knife, sliced the leaves into thin ribbons.
  • Spread them in a flat surface for 10-15 minutes to allow them to completely dry.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or a deep-fat fryer.
  • To cook the finely shredded cabbage evenly, they must be done in batches.  Carefully lower a bit of the spring green shreds into the hot oil.  When they have been cook they would crinkle and float.  Remove them with a slotted ladle and put them over kitchen paper towels to soak up excess oil.  Do the same thing with the rest of the batch.
  • For the topping, mix the the sugar and salt with the shrimp powder and sprinkle over the cabbage.
  • Serve immediately as a starter.

Sungka – Filipino Mancala Game

Sungka Board, photo by JMorton

Sungka – Filipino Mancala Game

I used to be obsessed with this board game when I was a little girl.

For whatever reason my mother used to discourage us playing sungka.  She was really adamant that we should not play it.  I think I heard her say that it was a game of the dead or something.  She made it sound like there was something sinister about it.

But I’ve  always  had a mind of my own, and the more I was told ‘NO’ the more I had to do it; it was like a red rag to a bull to me, a fascination of the forbidden. 🙂  I was a tad naughty!  LOL

Probably that was the reason I loved playing sungka.   I used to ask a neighbour, Lagring, who was a year or two younger than me to play sungka.   We did not bother with the wooden board; at my instigation we would just dig little holes similar to those in the wooden board on the ground under our mango tree.  We would then gather little stones and away we play for what seems like hours.  🙂

My mother always knew what I was up to as I would come home with dirty hands and even dirtier finger nails.  And of course those little holes which suddenly appeared all over our backyard!  🙂

In the end, knowing that I would not really listen, she just gave up on her embargo against sungka.  Funnily enough as soon as the ban was lifted I moved on to another obsession, Jack’s Stone!  🙂

By the way the photo above was taken at late president Ferdinand Marcos childhood residence in Batac, Ilocos Norte.  It seemed President Marcos used to play sungka as well.  🙂

Click here to see a quick tutorial.

I actually want one for Christmas, thank goodness they are easily available here.

%d bloggers like this: