Travel Thursdays: Dublin

B travels.

In Ireland do as the Irish do!  Wear a leprechaun hat, just because you want to.  Walk around in green the whole day because you want to celebrate St. Patricks Day but are just a few months late.  Just.. HAVE FUN!  That’s what we did!

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Just because I am a serious person who takes life far too seriously. 😉  HAHA! I actually try to adhere to the aphorism “Don’t take life too seriously, it’s not like we’re going to get out of it alive anyways.”  I’ve met some people who are far too gloomy and make the sunshine seem grey.  Really not my sort of thing! Try to put LIFE in LIFE and LIVE.  I did that in Dublin.  Walked around like a looney and had tons of fun! Ok, so many people assumed I was drunk. It happens when you try to be high on life.

Dublin is a bustling city with surrounding beautiful nature.  I was there on a family trip with cousins, aunts, and my husband.  It was a nice mix of company and ambience.

We stayed at Louis Fitzgerald Hotel (4 Star) and very reasonable priced from lastminute.com.  I would highly recommend it as the rooms very comfortable, there was free wifi and it was air-conditioned.  However, my cousins would disagree as they argued with the manager (long story).  So I won’t get into the technicalities of that as it had to do with noise control.  We were a tiny bit noisy. 😉

Places to see in Dublin:

  • Main city centre (very much like London actually)
  • Ha’penny Bridge over the Liffey River – beautiful for pictures.  There are many love padlocks here to symbolise undying love of a couple. You can put one too! Though I didn’t!
  • Trinity College – pretty college to stroll along.  It’s near the city centre so you can simply walk there.  We met a friend from that college to show us around.
  • Temple Bar- the bar that holds a Guinness World Record of 114 hours and 30 minutes of guitar playing.  You go DAVE!  Yes, so we went there to see this famous bar.  It was bustling.  I don’t drink but it was worth seeing the atmosphere.
  • Day tour from Dublin – I highly recommend to do one! You get to experience nature like never before.

We did the Connemara Day Tour.  We left the hotel really early as we had to be in the city centre at 6.30 am.  This is an early start, especially for someone like me.  I stress about waking up early.  All my university classes were always late as I simply could not do early mornings.  Therefore, if someone like me is highly recommending waking up early, it must be completely worth it.  The tour lasts 12 hours in which you pass through Galway to make your way to Connemara.  A boat tour is also included in the tour package of around 38 Euros per person.

This was the breath taking view of Connemara (the place where the romantic movie PS. I LOVE YOU was shot):

ImageIt resembled a beautiful postcard.  The photography-freak in me could not help but keep clicking pictures.  Some on our DSLR camera and some on my iPhone to whatsapp my family and friends who were missing out.  The view was really breath-taking.

We stopped in Galway and were free to roam around for an hour in the small town.  We grabbed something to eat and were back on the coach.

All in all, it was beautiful.  I even saw a beautiful sunset!  I love sunsets – there’s just something about the sun setting that gives me peace.  The beauty it exudes lights up the sky and then in a moment it’s dark.  Sunsets are mystical in my opinion.  There’s just something about them that I can’t describe as words do not seem to do justice to it.

ImageThis was taken on my iPhone and was edited with just one filter on Instagram.

Like any holiday, it becomes a memory that is etched in your heart.  The adventure that it entails is a story for one to always tell.

Dublin was a wonderful memory!

xx

B

Technology Tuesdays: The relativity of time in the age of technology

Everyone has exactly 24 hours in a day.  Some days feel longer, and some shorter.  I was recently involved in a discussion that made me tie in technology with the relativity of time.  The use of technology makes time go faster.  This statement was worrying and yet intriguing.  I find it worrying as it is provocative and it demands people to question why we want time to fly faster.  Don’t we want to live our life fully and enjoy our happy moments?  But what if happiness is having wifi or 3G and in holidays we want that.  We want to be connected all the time.  In addition, procrastination is happening all around us.  We delay tasks we have to do and don’t realise where our time has flown by.  In university I remember checking Friendster (the ghost of Facebook), replying emails when my lectures just felt so long.  Time passed by fast and the lecture seemed to end earlier than it would.

When I’m out and about, I notice people glued to their phones.  People are constantly on Facebook and Instagram.  There is this persistent need to be connected at all times.  Time flies.

On the contrary, when you’re on a holiday without 3G of wifi, the day seems longer.  I experienced this in Vienna.  My 3 days there without wifi seemed longer.  I felt we could cover more in a day.  We were more engaged in conversations and less caught up with the internet.  I realised how dependant we were to be entertained by our smart phones even in restaurants while waiting for our meal to come.  This thought made me almost feel sad for what the world has become.  I was observing on other tables how everyone checked their phones at least 3-5 times during a meal.  I honestly don’t think it could be of any importance, yet I usually do it too.  I check my whatsapp messages, Facebook comments, Instagram likes etc.

Do we still have time to smell the roses?  Do we still have time to appreciate the world?  Time seems to be passing us by and we all seem to be paralysed by the paradigm shift in technology.

Foodie Fridays: B’s Quorn Teriyaki Steak Sushi

I absolutely LOVE sushi.  I guess being brought up in Japan does have something to do with that.  Japanese food is definitely an acquired taste.  However, in recent years the growing exposure to different cuisines has played a huge role in people experimenting with different flavours.  Japanese food is now everywhere.  Being vegetarian, the variety of sushi is limited in restaurants. 😦  Anyways, when you have a creative mind and hands that are willing to get dirty (dirty with food is always ok, not with mud. There’s a difference! I’m not an outdoor-hiking-kind fyi) then there’s no limit!

Having a love for aesthetics, the food I eat has to look as good as it tastes.  The taste is always takes precedence though, I will never compromise on taste.  Saying that, I would compromise on it just if it is very unhealthy and I’ve just come back from cardio. The cliche aphorism works well for me – health is wealth.

Ok, so you got the point.  The fact that the sushi looks impeccable and it is healthy makes it a winner.  Here’s a picture of the sushi I made:

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Please stare at it in awe as I did.  My husband thought it was very professional!  And I got tons of likes on Facebook and Instagram which boosted my ego.  Small things make me happy.  Happiness then leads to big things 🙂  So try being happy with small things in life, don’t just wait for the big things as they might not come and you’ll end up being a grumpy-old lady by then! I’ve met many, and boy are they unpleasant.

Back to Sushi –  just went slightly off tangent there.

B’s Quorn Teriyaki Steak Sushi Recipe

Makes: 3 rolls of Sushi (about 24 sushis – depending on the size) 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Japanese Rice
  • 6 Tbsp Sushi Rice Seasoning
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 Cucumber, cut in strips
  • Quorn Steak Strips (half the packet)
  • 3 Nori Sheets

Method:

  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker.  Japanese rice takes less water than normal rice, so be sure to check the instructions. The ratio of the rice I use is 1 cup rice to 1 1/3 cup water. Let the rice cool down, don’t refrigerate it.
  2. In the meantime, pour a bit of teriyaki sauce in a pan and cook steak strips.  Add water as needed, but make sure the end result is sticky steak and not watery.
  3. Add seasoning to the rice.  If you like it more on the sour side, add more.
  4. Oil Sushezi a bit before putting the rice inside, and follow instructions.  See the video- that’s what I did as this was my first attempt!
  5. Put cucumber on one side of your rice mixture, and the Quorn Strips on the other.
  6. Place glossy side of Nori downwards, and you’re ready to roll.
  7. Use water as a glue for the end of the Nori.  Refrigerate the roll for a while, then cut the sushi.  And put the cut pieces back in the fridge.  Sushi is best served cold with Japanese ginger and Wasabi.

Note:  Hands might get sticky with rice.  Keep bowl of water nearby and dip your hands in often to remove stickiness.To remove stickiness of knife when cutting sushi,  I like dipping knife in water after each cut.  Keeps the sushi clean and pretty!

Enjoy! Itadakimasu (いただきます)!  Have I mentioned I speak/read/write Japanese?  Ok so I do.  Not as well as before though, as I don’t have much practice anymore!

The phrase above translates to Bon Appetite 🙂

Technology Tuesdays: Do Social Networking Apps cause Anti-social behaviour?

English: Data from April 2011 Editor Survey th...

English: Data from April 2011 Editor Survey that lists Social Media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This might seem like a puzzling concept at first glance, but I think anti-social behaviour is definitely at a rise since the APP Industry has kicked off.  For instance, apps such as Facebook and Instagram are both a platform for users to engage with one another.  However, by engaging with each other through cyber space the level of human social interaction is limited.

Whenever I go to parties nowadays, a large number of people are constantly on their mobile phones.  Well to be honest, so am I – it’s addictive.  People are checking-in on Facebook through location services or taking photos of food through Instagram. This limits their social interaction with each other.  It’s simply ironic – social media cause antisocialism!

I’ve always wondered if there’s a solution to this – or is this really the future?  If I want to talk to the person next to me, do I send an iMessage to send a virtual nudge?  Is this what the future truly holds? These questions are daunting and the implications are alarming.

The Ushuaia Beach Hotel (in Ibiza, Spain) combats this problem!  It promotes social interaction through social media.  Guests are given wristbands at the start of their stay.  These bands enable guest to activate their Facebook accounts at various Facebook stations that are scattered around the hotel.  Once the account is activated, checking in is simplified and users are able to share their holiday off-line with their online friends.  This hotel is officially on my bucket list!

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(Picture taken from cosmopolitan uk page)

I guess people have to consciously try to be sociable and engage in conversations without their phones constantly in their hands.   Alternatively move to Ibiza where they can have the best of both worlds!