Just a few days prior to landing in southern Italy, I walked out of a little gelateria, Gelato Da Luca, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Newly located in the heart of Gothenburg’s older marketing district where cobbled streets were set out in grid format, I had in hand from this gelateria, a paper cup of two generous scoops of Italian made ice-cream. Caffè and cioccolato fondente (extra dark chocolate).
I could always do gelato, the sequence being caffè and cioccolato fondente, then cioccolato fondente and pistacchio. If there was no caffè or pistacchio, then it will be nocciola. I was only too happy to know that the owner, who had come to Sweden from Rome, had decided to open a second outlet in Gothenburg, both outlets being equidistant to the Business School at the University of Gothenburg.
Already then, I had decided that when in southern Italy, or Italy at all, I would gelato.
For as long as I can remember, my mother crocheted. Well, yes. She had made her own wedding dress a whole two years before I was born. Thing is, having handcrafted frills of dresses since baby in arm, I never really thought about the rarity of the skill of the producer or rarity of product/s as such. That I had access to these time-consuming handcrafted clothing made by my working mother from the time of my Christening till when I graduated with a doctoral degree was something I had quite taken for granted.
I read in Richard Feynman’s 1985 self-biography  that whilst at MIT, he had to take mandatory humanities courses, of which one of them was philosophy. He got deathly bored during philosophy classes that having happened to be in possession of a small drill, about one-sixteenth-inch, he made holes in the soles of his shoes by twisting this tool into the sole of his shoes, week after week.
Styrsö Sandvik was one of the best sandy beaches that the old summer resort Styrsö ever had in the 19th century. But landscapes evolve and eventually, modern times caught up with even this small part of the world when the local fishing fleet decided they needed a current and better protected harbour. So it was that the long sandy beach so much appreciated by the locals as well as the city slanker* (as they were called at the time by the locals in local dialect), were no more.
Now in the current millennium the tide is turning again and the tourist, service and “experience” industry is reclaiming territory. The novelty and charm of harbours such as this for visitors for the moment is to get to experience first hand, island life and island living. Docked in this harbour are larger fishing boats, and in neat piles by dockside are lobster and crab nets for when it is season.
The fish harbour shares its space as guest harbour for pleasure yachts complete with harbour café, neat bathing facilities, a children’s playground and a barbecue pit for the occasional older children who might want spare ribs and a beer.
Flying into Sweden on an aerial view before landing, I continue to marvel at how green the country is. More green than I have ever seen before even if I was born in equatorial tropical rainforest region, this Scandinavian landscape far north of the globe has its green interspersed with water fills of varying dimensions. The first few years of my being here which is now more than a decade ago, I thought nothing much of it. There was nothing to see, just green. Today, the sight of the Nordic tree tops interspersed with water, as far as the eye takes you, is a treasured moment of aerial encounter. And contrary to my initial impression, there is a lot to see.
Most of Sweden is very scenic. The panoramic terrains from Skåne in the South of Sweden to Lappland, way north of the arctic circle, is distinct and different.
The west coast of Sweden is the country’s own riviera. Besides facing the North Sea and the Atlantic, it is kept warmer than the rest of Sweden by the Gulf Stream that passes just outside its coast. The west coast goes from long sandy beaches in the South until you hit the old Viking territories, around Gothenburg. From there and up north, the terrain becomes rocky and the coast is cut into hundreds of large and small islands, separated by steep cliffs and deep fjords.
Foods are seasonal. There was a time when growing up in Singapore, I would have prawn noodle soup everyday after school hours at the hawker centre at the bus terminal. The bus terminal was the interval stop between the Convent where I went to school (located in walking proximity to the Singapore’s east coast beach), and the government built housing apartment farther inland north-east, that was home. Prior to hopping on to a loop feeder bus service, I would drop my school bag and files on a stool at a table at the hawker centre and go order lunch. There were at least five different variations of this dish you could order. After a year or so, the owners of the stall knew me by name and knew my order. I only had to wave and smile in their direction and they would come with a bowl of prawn noodles with the type of noodles I preferred. The prawn noodle soup season lasted three years, after which it never seemed to ever come back in season for me. Last I had a bowl of prawn noodle soup that was in season in the manner I preferred was more than twenty eight years ago.
Chocolate however, seems to be in season all year round, and has been so for more than thirty five years. I remember a photograph of me from when I was age seven or eight living in the east of Singapore. I had a broad grin with a mouthful of melted chocolate. It must’ve been chocolate cake I was eating at someone’s birthday, because that was the only time we had such decadent cakes filled with buttercream between and over layers of sponge cakes.
One of the fun things to discover in Sweden is that small cucumbers, originally an Asian fruit, are easy to grow here once you have some land available in a warm corner of the garden. They do like warm weather and are actually very picky with that. Below 15 degrees centigrade in the soil and you can as well save yourself the trouble of even planting them.
Swedish summers are not always tropical warm. You can likewise experience 10 degrees centigrade at Midsummer’s as on New Year’s Eve. So usually, it is from middle (to late) in the summer season here that the gherkins suddenly decide life is worth living after all and start growing leaves. They stretch upwards and throw out small lassos to use for climbing. You know that they’re doing fine when small star-shaped flowers that are a vibrant yellow begin to light up the spaces among all the large green leaves.
Looking at the tiny tendrils, you’ll also know when it is time to give them a little direction in life – upwards – or they will end up in a big entangled mass. We have noticed that they have no qualms using each other for climb support, so given enough space they might probably be fine growing directly on the ground. But we prefer that each has its own climb support and giving them a string each skywards enables you to see them in their full sunny disposition once they start bearing fruit.
As a child I would go to my father’s mother’s place after school or on weekends with my parents. I still remember how my grandmother used to stir a generous dollop of butter into a small bowl of hot steaming rice. It was a luxury that she liked to treat her grandchildren with when we were around.
Old fashioned food is really interesting but today often associated with cooking on no budget.
I’ve read articles and watched videos on what others would describe as cooking on a dime during the years of the Great Depression, and the years of the two World Wars. Many times, I find myself going over the shared recipes only to discover that I’ve been cooking that very same thing whilst growing up. On some days after coming home from school, I’d want something quick for lunch. So I’ll have one onion, one potato and one egg in a pan, add salt, and there I’ll have a meal in less than ten minutes.
Home cooked with fresh produce. Since when was that bad?
But old fashioned cooking, the kind that my grandmother would do in the 1940s and had presented to us in the 1980s, is of a different sort of awakening of the senses. What is deemed as farmer foods and rustic recipes would be everyday taking care of what was available at hand such as fresh cream, milled flours, eggs from the chickens… the practical making-do of what you have, where enough is all that you need.
When traveling from South of France into Northern Italy it is impossible to not be taken in by the intense flavours of the local herbs and vegetables. It is an overwhelming experience that makes you instantly fall in love with the food.
The nature, the high skies, the imposing Alps just beyond the horizon and the steep cliffs dropping straight into the azure waves of the Northern Mediterranean Sea, all are there to sweep you off your feet and make you never forget what was set in front of you on the tables of the numerous local restaurants you can’t all but resist.
In south of France a nice olive paste and in Italy a similar paste but based on basil were unforgettable additions to any pasta dish or fresh baked breads we had. Often combined with some splendid olive oil, which quality always make the difference between just oil and heaven.
Food tourism, as in bringing your memories back home and integrate your new ideas and inspirations into your daily life is to me a nice way of extending your holidays, ideally all the way until the next.
During a few summer months in Scandinavia the climate shows itself from its very best side, one that might trick anyone from a warmer climate into feeling at home and foolishly start growing things that the winter soon promptly will put a stop to.
One of the most torturous things you can do to an academic mind with an eager disposition is suggest threads of thought tangent to the current context of dialogue. This however, is what one experiences when reading Martin Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology . As commentary on Heidegger’s essay on Heidegger’s claim that the essence of technology is itself nothing technical, Mahon O’Brien wrote in footnote in a 2004 conference paper,
“One should be warned however, that Heidegger will not simply introduce his problematic and then present the solution, one has to follow the path which he weaves on the way toward coming to grips with the problem. Following this path is a rather arduous task and involves a significant level of patience and commitment from the reader. A number of thinkers have resisted what they see as this recurring ‘errant’ method in Heidegger’s philosophy, not least, Ernst Tugendhat who dismisses Heidegger’s technique as merely “evocative” and thereby groundless. This is a serious charge but one which Heidegger himself was not unaware of.” [2:1]
For Heidegger, technology is not merely means, but it is a way of revealing, an unfolding from the essence of technology. In quotation below, are some paragraphs from Heidegger’s essay that perhaps caused Tugendhat and others of like mind to label Heidgger’s writings as evocative:
Noting St. Peter’s Church located at the Marienplatz in Munich as a point of interest to visit, where it is the district’s oldest church, it was not long before I found myself headed towards the medieval city center of Munich.
Alighting from the U-Bahn at Marienplatz and coming out into the large, spacious city square, I was immediately greeted by the towering Gothic architecture of the Neues Rathaus. Despite summer visits and the ongoing UEFA Euro 2016, I noted with appreciation that the city remained relatively uncluttered of people.
After rounding off from St. Peter’s Church, the girls, Gene, Alicia and Patrice, who were on an all-girl European tour for the summer season found the perfect chocolate hot spot to cool down, out from under the München sun.
After placing their orders, the girls settled neatly in the outdoor area overlooking the market square, watching a little bit of marketing life go by. This particular chocolaterie was renowned for its vast hot chocolate choices. Being one who doesn’t quite like sweets per se, Gene was particularly happy she could find a more than 70% cacao content for her hot chocolate. Patrice settled for a chocolate-hazelnut conconction and Alicia who ordered a modest cup of two scoops of ice-cream had already in hand part of her order.
The girls by most Southeast-Asian socio-economic standards could be deemed highly successful in their own right. Each had worked in the top Forbes listed global multinationals in the finance industry for at least two decades. To their academic accolades, they each had their condominium, their convertible in their favourite colour, time enough to spend together on this trip and most important, cash in hand. It was also comfortable that having grown up together in the same convent since they were six years old, the girls knew each other well enough to carry on conversations between themselves smoothly.
Gene surveyed the market scene in front of her, “I love this place! Don’t you think it’s so rustic? Europe is so rustic!”
If you are looking for the very centre of Munich and where to start your explorations of this interesting city that have its roots at least back into the Roman Empire some two thousand years ago, Marienplatz with the Rathaus-Glockenspiel would certainly be one of the options.
From there, it is just a few steps over well worn cobbled stones to the largest open air wet market, the Viktualienmarkt. Numerous small food stores specializing in their own brands of meat sausages, cheese, pickled olives and wine surround the market square. Here is where where you can have succulent pieces of roast pork and cracklings between generous slices of bread buns, all in the proximity of the Biergarten (the Beer Garden) for which Munich is famed.
His eyes followed my form from one room to the next, one exhibit to the next. He watched me grab the by-laying catalogue from the clean white benches that invite visitors to sit and contemplate the displays. He watched me, with catalogue in hand, stride back to the painting of a framed white paint splatter. In that moment, he strode across the room covering the distance in but a few long strides between us to stand by a Rochelle Feinstein work that I was contemplating with my back to wall. He pointed to the caption on the wall regarding the framed paint. I read the caption. He smiled. I smiled right back. The photograph shown above was taken right after that encounter with him.
– You know there’s nothing much in Munich if you’re not into beer guzzling or wurst eating.
– I could do pork knuckles.
– Schweinshaxe. No, you don’t.
– No, you’re right, I don’t. And stop swearing at me.
I thought Munich one of the prettiest most liveable cities I’ve thus far visited. From the chimes of the clock tower in the city centre that advise the time of day and task to accomplish before sundown to the historic cathedrals built around the old market square, Munich is anything but nothing much.
I didn’t need to look for it. I knew I would come across it just like so, an old friend along the street. And I did. The Louis Vuitton boutique located along Residenzstraße.
We thought a wonderful way to use the strawberry harvest is to have it on the family’s absolute Swedish summer cake. This verily all-occasion cake is made of three layers of sponge cakes with a filling of fresh fruits and strawberry jam.
This cake is sheer joy. So much so that it tends to wash away any misgiving in conversation that might arise in these sittings of cake eating, such as when addressing the heavier life philosophical questions of – if you needed to choose, would you rather have room temperature beer, or room temperature beer with ice?
The answer to that took quite a bit of cake eating to solve.
This first pickings of strawberries from the garden much reminded me of chapter one of the book by A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) in its first volume of stories when we are introduced to both Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh:
“Good morning, Christopher Robin,” he said.
“Good morning, Winnie-ther-Pooh,” said you.
“I wonder if you’ve got such a thing as a balloon about you?”
“Yes, I just said to myself coming along: ‘I wonder if Christopher Robin has such a thing as a balloon about him?’ I just said it to myself, thinking of balloons, and wondering.”
“What do you want a balloon for?” you said.
Winnie-the-Pooh looked round to see that nobody was listening, put his paw to his mouth, and said in a deep whisper: “Honey!”
“But you don’t get honey with balloons!”
“I do,” said Pooh.
Strong winds, half grey skies that threaten a tropical thunderstorm at any minute, and a comfy 10degC outdoors. The Swedish west coast summer is coming along just fine.
Sitting cozy and happy in the corner of the garden are the rhubarb plants now ready for their first picking. These gorgeous leaved, crimson stalked perennials were widely used in China for their medicinal purposes long before finding their way to the middle-east and farther west in the medieval times.
I contemplated between using the first pickings towards pie filling, but then felt very much for stewed rhubarb instead. For a portion of that, what’s needed is about 200g of rhubarb with about 1 dl of white sugar, 2 dl of water and 2 heaped tsp of potato flour to thicken the stew. In Sweden, rhubarb stew or rabarberkräm is topped with either milk or if preferred, heavy cream.
Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928), developed a theory called Tektology as “the science of structures” as a forerunner to systems theory . His main goal was to clarify in generalisable form the principles of the organization of all living and non-living structures:
“Tektology must clarify the modes of organization that are perceived to exist in nature and human activity; then it must generalise and systematise these modes; further it must explain them, that is, propose abstract schemes of their tendencies and laws… Tektology deals with organisational experiences not of this or that specialised field, but of all these fields together. In other words, tektology embraces the subject matter of all the other sciences.” 
I am probably a late developer. I spent an evening watching a 2013 produced movie, Frequencies, also known as OXV: The Manual.
“Apologize to the turbot ’cause it died in vain. I said apologize! … Not to me, to the fish!” – Adam Jones to Helene in the movie Burnt (2015).
It is difficult to tell from where inspiration arises. It can be from a recent dinner, something a friend said in a recent conversation or you just bumping into a great bargain of some nice produce you have not had in a long time. Today, it was a little bit of all.
I guess it takes a special kind of personality to go directly from a great gourmet movie to your own home kitchen to whip out pots and pans and do something yourself. But a lot of eating is done with your eyes and if it looks good, maybe you can do something similar yourself?
This evening’s culinary adventure was pleasantly relaxed and an understated celebration of the coming of summer. A simple fare, mostly cooked just under boiling temperatures.
“The first aspect of systems thinking concerns the relationship between the part and the whole. In the mechanistic, classical scientific paradigm it was believed that in any complex system the dynamics of the whole could be understood from the properties of the parts. Once you knew the parts, ie their fundamental properties and the mechanisms through which they interacted, you could derive, at least in principle, the dynamics of the whole. Therefore, the rule was: in order to understand any complex system, you break it up into its pieces. The pieces cannot be explained any further, except by splitting them into smaller pieces, but as far as you want to go in this procedure, you will at some stage end up with fundamental building blocks- elements, substances, particles, etc- with properties that you can no longer explain. From these fundamental building blocks with their fundamental laws of interaction you would then build up the larger whole and try to explain its dynamics in terms of the properties of its parts. This started with Democritus in ancient Greece and was the procedure formalized by Descartes
It is generally thought that Gothic architecture was born when Abbot Suger (c.1081–1151) of the French Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis just north of Paris, undertook the renovation of the then Romanesque style structure of the Saint-Denis, the most sacred shrine in France. The work began in 1140 with the erection of a new western facade, and continued with a new choir at the eastern end, covering as he put it, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end of the basilica. Time did not let him see the new nave erected as he planned it but the foundation was laid. As the Saint-Denis Basilica Chatedral stands today what remains of Sugers work is the general appearance of the western fascade minus the northern tower, and the very important new choir at the eastern end. The nave is as he envisioned it but was built after his time. Most of the important glass windows was lost over the years or destroyed at the time of the French revolution at the end of the 18th century.
How it is necessary to be united with and render praise to Him Who is the cause of all and above all. Unto this Darkness which is beyond Light we pray that we may come, and may attain unto vision through the loss of sight and knowledge, and that in ceasing thus to see or to know we may learn to know that which is beyond all perception and understanding (for this emptying of our faculties is true sight and knowledge), and that we may offer Him that transcends all things the praises of a transcendent hymnody, which we shall do by denying or removing all things that are like as men who, carving a statue out of marble, remove all the impediments that hinder the clear perceptive of the latent image and by this mere removal display the hidden statue itself in its hidden beauty.
It is not possible to go to Paris and not step into the myriad small specialist culinary boutiques that cater to almost every whim or fancy. From cheese and wine to artisan chocolates, these boutiques are scattered over the city, making it possible to find your favourite merchant in almost every quarter of the cityscape.
Unawares of this scatterings of artisan boutiques, I had in fact, written down a few addresses of cheese boutiques that I wanted to visit in Paris. The other unawares of mine was that some of these small specialist shops in Paris tended to shut down for a mid-day break. The boutiques close at around Swedish lunch time and re-open at about Swedish after lunch fika time.
For a cheese enthusiast, this midi repos was nothing of a deterrent. I simply found a nearby café around the corner and indulged in my other enthusiast culinary staple – a local hot chocolat viennois.
There is something about old train stations that takes me to another place, another time. Stepping into the Musée d’Orsay is like stepping into a circle of old friends, in continuance of a conversation of a different time period – which, reminds me of some lines from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris – from 2011:
“Inez: You’re in love with a fantasy.
Gil: I’m in love with you.”
“Man Ray: A man in love with a woman from a different era. I see a photograph!
Luis Buñuel: I see a film!
Gil: I see insurmountable problem!
Salvador Dalí: I see rhinoceros!”
I had a list of maybe forty-two different restaurants and cafés that I wanted to visit when in Paris. But sometimes the idea of what you’d like to do when visiting a different city stifles the doing in itself. So the eatery list was placed aside and what was left were the serendipitous finds of round the corner cafés and restaurants, closest in proximity usually, to our other list – places of interest.
Paris has a rich café culture to offer, a total joy and treasure of the city.
In a recent study, it was found that the essence or aroma of vanilla made people happy [1,2]. Still, I wonder if it was the serendipity of the find or if vanilla, being one of the most widely used essences in baking, would activate certain Madeleine moments for many. Through some mouthfuls of apple strudel filled with rum soaked raisins, butter toasted bread crumbs wrapped in layers of phyllo pastry topped with – vanilla custard – the research of Cristina Alberini and Joseph E. LeDoux comes to mind on memory reconsolidating:
“The traditional view of memory storage assumes that each time we remember some past experience, the original memory trace is retrieved. This view has been challenged by data showing that when memories are retrieved they are susceptible to change, such that future retrievals call upon the changed information. This is called reconsolidating.” [3:746]
Alberini and LeDoux go on to explain that there are two views of how memory works. The conventional view is that memories are stored once and each time the memory is activated, a trace of the original experience is retrieved. According to the reconsolidation view, memories are susceptible to change each time they are retrieved.
My hobbies are pretty mundane – reading, cooking and dancing. It happens sometimes though that these hobbies get entangled. Like this day when browsing the internet for recipes to the next cooking project, I end up reading large sections of books available partially or wholly online.
My recipe browse for pizza rustica diverted into contemplations on Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities (2013) a book by Dean Radin. I have not a clue how I ended up in the realm of studies between materialism, idealism and consciousness when browsing for how to make Easter pies. Still, it was exactly the promise implied in the title of the book – to give evidence for extraordinary psychic abilities – that got me reading some pages of it online. The explicit promise of the title coupled with what I had read then led to me link click through the web for more information since I felt it to be a promise undelivered statistically. I soon landed on a page to a Supernormal book review by Dale DeBakcsy :
“Most people coming to this book are looking for the evidence promised in the title. Unfortunately, they’re going to have to wait,…”
Just about a decade ago, the idea of using locally produced raw ingredients saw its effects of the pulling together of marketing efforts of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food and beverage industry. One such marketplace that facilitated the actualisation of the ideology of ‘locally produced’ that in turn helped Sweden rediscover their own culinary heritage that might have even breathed life to the current Nordic cuisine scene is the food trade fair, Passion för Mat that began in 2008 at Eriksbergshallen in Gothenburg.
This year’s theme for the food fair is “Food with Identity”. First that came to my mind on the theme were the lengthy, interesting and sometimes heated Swedish midsummer night debates with friends of the Western Swedish Academy of Gastronomy on the heritage and origins of certain wines and cheeses, particularly from France and Italy.
The plan for the group of girls who after the 1990 release of the movie Pretty Woman, became devoted fans of Richard Gere, was to meet at the café on the second floor of Cathay Cineleisure Orchard to watch the year’s release of Runaway Bride. It had been about a decade since they had left their pony-tailed, coconut husk fringed convent school life, but had through the years made it a point to meet with each other. Now and again, whenever their life goals schedule of career, family and time-to-self (not necessarily in that order) allowed, they would gather at Carnegies or Bar None, else at the poolside of one of their own (read also: parents’) condos for a barbecue and cocktail session. Each girl, now in their mid-twenties, had their own priorities in life. And while it seemed it was increasingly difficult to find time to meet with each other, the girls nonetheless did put in effort to stay in touch, especially when Richard Gere was involved. Besides, it was a notable change in level of comfort for when they met for milo at the convent’s nearest neighbourhood kopitiam in their school uniforms till now,
“The international labor movement is not against globalisation; indeed we would agree that globalisation can be a big part of the answer to the problems of the world’s poor. But it is also a big part of the problem. In other words, globalisation is neither entirely beneficial nor entirely harmful. It is not an unstoppable force of nature, but is shaped by those who set the rules. And while it has the potential to help life more than 2 billion people out of poverty, it is not doing so now.” 
 Ericson, Y. W. Interview with Yngve Werner Ericson, GALLERIROND våren 2006 Zenit, kulturtidningen i väst. Internet resource at http://www.zenitkultur.com/artist.php?id=396. Retrieved 30 Jan. 2016.
 Jordan, B. (2000). Yes to globalization, but protect the poor. New York Times. Internet resource at http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/21/opinion/21iht-edjordan.t.html. Retrieved 30 Jan. 2016. Cited in Peter Van Den Bossche, 2008,The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization. Text, Cases and Materials. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, p 11.
After planning for weeks to explore the festive winter markets whether in Gothenburg or Västerås, I went right ahead and missed every single one of them, in both cities.
This series of miss-events reminded me of what was told of me years ago, “For you, my dear, planning doesn’t work. You might as well give up on planning things altogether.” Perplexed at the woman’s absolute tone of voice, I had asked the woman who seemed so convinced of my stars, “What do you mean ‘planning doesn’t work’? I plan all the time!”, “Exactly what I said” she promptly replied, “And it doesn’t work for you.” I shot her a look of one raised eyebrow, expecting an elaboration on her part. But I received no further elaboration. I watched as she continued to peer with furrowed brows, into the astrological charts she had unfolded on the table in front of her.
I had just voiced the observation that Swedish Christmas table sittings were so much more homogeneous than Singapore Christmas table sittings when I stepped through the heavy carved wooden doors of Tjolöholm Castle and found on the dessert table – Crannachan – a traditional Scottish Christmas dessert made with raspberries, whiskey, cream and oats.
The Crannachan sat right next to the very English Christmas pudding, a close cousin of the dark Christmas fruitcake drenched in rum that the Cordeiros are so fond of during jultide, weddings, baptism, and most any other family designated festive day through the year.
It was not too long ago that I sat in a group that discussed preferences as to whether or not to research a city / country before visiting. At that time, I had just begun learning about cross-cultural communication, embarking on several university courses on culture studies. I was thus adamant that it was better to read as much as you could about a country of visit prior to landing, else face a myriad of cultural filters and challenges when there. Some in the group were adamant in the opposite camp, believing that part of travelling was indeed to get ‘lost in translation’, the very definition of a travel adventure itself. From that roundtable discussion till today, my preference could be said to have shifted some from all things orchestrated and planned, my favourite saying to the utter frustration of some co-travellers when not having found my way around
$G: We have a very interesting story about the Sensoji Temple, origin of Sensoji Temple. One day, two grown-ups picked up a statue of Buddha from nearby Sumida River when they are fishing. And at that time they didn’t know what is that. Because the Buddhism was imported to Japan during the sixth century, so at that time, they were commoners so they didn’t know what is that. And they tried to put it back many times. But the statue always found a way to come back to them. So finally the two fisherman together with chief of village, the three people built a place to worship the statue of Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva is a kind of Buddha. And Bodhisattva is known as God of Mercy. And Bodhisattva can save all people from suffering. And the creating of the Bodhisattva became very popular, and a lot of people began to came to the temple to make a prayer. That is the history of Sensoji Temple.
So in the main hall of Sensoji Temple, they worship the statue of Buddha. But today, we cannot see that. Because always we cannot see that. Because the statue is in the box. Stored in the box. And the box is not opened by persons for one hundred fifty years.
Faced with a declining birthrate and an ageing society, Japan’s Revitalization Strategy was revised in 2014 to include a section on “robot revolution”. It focused on the potential of the use of robots for the solving its social challenges and labour shortages. These ideas ran as core theme to this year’s International Robot Exhibition (iREX 2015, 2-5 Dec.) held at the Tokyo Big Sight, in Tokyo, Japan.
It was in such a forward looking context of robotisation that I decided to head towards one of the world’s largest fish markets right in the centre of the city, the Tsukiji Market, if only to feel the heartbeat and observe the pulse of an ancient trade in this metropolis.
I love when Christmas comes a little early. In this case, I thought to settle and bake a batch of saffron infused buns called Lussekatt that in the tradition of Sweden, are baked in celebration of St. Lucia’s day that falls on 13 December. This, and a cup of glogg sounds pretty much a good start to the jultide season.
It was soon that Alice found herself in front of the Caterpillar again. Instead of waiting patiently first for him to speak, she ventured a step forward to the mushroom where he usually sat, in a swirling cloud of smoke.
“Caterpillar, I think I can answer your question now on who are you?”
“I know who I am, there is no need for you to tell me.” The Caterpillar replied indignantly, even if with patience.
“I meant your question, to me from fore – who are you?” Alice tried again. The Caterpillar remained silent, and at this point Alice didn’t quite know if it was because he was inhaling on his hookah that he didn’t respond of if he had lost sight of her that he was not responding. “It is not the question of who are you, but what are you actua –”
The phenomenon of no-knead bread began to grow in popularity in the mid-2000s in address to the lack of time people had to spend in home kitchens. Today there are about 1.6M hits on google for no-knead bread recipes, including one of my favourites by Mark Bittman simply entitled No Knead Bread from 2006  when he worked with The New York Times (NYT) writing on food. That NYT video upload featuring Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan showed how breads could easily be baked without too much work, plopped into a cast iron pot, which I did for mine right here.
I had likewise as Jim Lahey from the 2006 video, used a three-ingredient bread recipe of yeast, flour and water. The difference however is that I liked kneading the dough, bringing out its gluten in the protein strands. That and, I had also used three different types of flours for this bread in a pot.
Pick up any flour package from the Swedish grocery stores and you’ll find on the side of that package, a recipe and instructions to baking a couple of loaves of bread using that flour. The recommended kneading time
Whilst the field of transdisciplinary research contemplates the effectiveness of the use of metaphors as a means to transcend boundaries between different fields of academic research, walk the streets of Västerås on a sightsee tour and you’ll find anything but the use of metaphors in street names or buildings, the sign designating the name of the road being metaphor enough. There is one skyscraper in the entire city, and that is aptly called, ‘The Skyscraper’. This weekend, I had the opportunity to go a little farther out of the city centre to the former abattoir, to a farmer’s market called ‘The Market Slaughterhouse’. You’ll find this market right next to the city’s landmark energy plant in the midst of a romantic industrial setting. Most street and building names are so straightly connected to the city’s power and energy industrial roots that one might come to think that the effort of keeping things in two dimensional vectors was considered effort enough in deployment of metaphor in itself.
Having observed two vector namings in three dimensional space, entering Saluhallen Slakteriet came as a surprise visual
The oldest parts of the city of Zürich is just a couple of minutes walk from the central station. With just about a few hours to spend in Zürich, I think my favourite thing to do would be to plan some points of interest to visit and then make time for some coffee, sitting in a café by the river Limmat. On a brilliant day, the crowds gather to sit outdoors for late breakfast all through high tea. There is no lacking of culinary genius from Swiss bakeries and cafés, that makes for interesting points of conversation in terms of the influence of foods and peoples in the city’s long history.
A familiar view on most city rivers, ferries on rivers.
It was about a decade ago that I sat in the Singapore regional headquarters office of a Swedish owned multinational enterprise, speaking with its Managing Director. The topic was about the general managing of conflicts within the organisation, when we touched upon the concept of Time, and whether that was viewed in linearity:
$1: what happens if you disagree
$2: well you tell / you tell and eventually you do agree / because all disagreements end with an agreement if you’re lucky / or you become / enemies /
$1: do swedes generally see time as a straight line
$2: well no / i would see it as a circle / my time is a circle / i have no idea what others do / and strangely enough that the year and the day / goes in different directions /
$1: is that [understanding of time] a result of [an understanding of a certain philosophy] or
$2: i have no idea / if christmas is six oclock then april is three oclock / and summer is noon / october is nine oclock / but if you’re asking if we are on time or not / yes we are
Baden is a town with a long history. A history that you are made aware of as you walk its small, winding cobbled streets from the banks of the the river Limmat