Islam was introduced to China by Arab traders during the Tang Dynasty: which is considered by many to be a golden age in China’s history. The Muslims who settled in China married the local Han Chinese in the area. The Great Mosque was built to honour the founding fathers of Islam in China.
I’ve always believed that British summer is a myth concocted by the Roman gods, but the summer of 2018 proved me wrong, wrong, wrong. It is ridiculously hot, hot, hot. And I didn’t bring the right clothes. I prepared for 20 degree weather; but it’s 30 degrees each day and I really wish I had packed my pretty summer floral dresses.
The tourists are everywhere. They seem to exist in a separate space to the locals. Paris is somewhat reminiscent of Tokyo: with the too many travellers who have no idea what they’re doing or where they’re going. Like the Japanese, the Parisians are also not fond of speaking English. In Tokyo, it’s relatively easy to differentiate a local from a foreigner. In Paris, not so much. I’ve already lost track of the number of people who’ve tried to strike up a conversation with me only to receive a raised eyebrow and an awkward smile.
I was expecting Paris to have a celebratory feel after the country’s victory – but the whole city is hungover. The guy who greeted me at immigration looked like he was having the worst day of his life and couldn’t wait to get home. He stamped my passport and sent me on my way – no questions asked. I guess the World Cup victory really took the Monday Blues to a whole new level.
You take the mini spatula and slowly slide a little bit over the hot plate till it’s brown and slightly crunchy. You have to do it a little at a time and very very slowly if you want to get the desired results – slightly burnt and crunchy baby food. The whole experience is pretty damn mendoksai troublesome. When I take my first bite, I like it. The flavours are fairly mild so we douse it with chilli flakes, seaweed and fish flakes. It takes us close to an hour to get through the first one.
No one does chicken rice like Boon Tong Kee. Like all famous Singaporean things, it has a couple of branches. I’ve been going to the one on River Valley Road for close to 16 years. I order the exact same dishes whenever I’m home. I don’t even need to look at the menu. Half a chicken – steamed, not roasted. Mui chai slow-cooked pork. Poached spinach with three kinds of eggs.
I’m a huge huge fan of Uzbek food. Actually, I’m a huge fan of all food that has a lot of lamb. I’m a big lamb lover. Unfortunately, the Japanese don’t share my fondness for the meat that is often described as ‘gamey’. BTW – it’s only gamey if you don’t know how to prepare it. Cooking lamb well is an art form. And the Uzbeks are brilliant at it.