Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Norway - Oslo


我原先是想在今年的生日去最快樂的國家~丹麥,後來又想多走瑞典和挪威,又後來因為 Steve 只有两星期假,所以我着重在看北極光,就只在挪威。
Norwegian Airline is a low cost airline, go to their website search the price once a week, and you might find a great price. No free meal or checked baggage. We regretted we didn't bring our earphones since the plane has individual screens with movie entertainment, we watched silent movies. (They sell earphones $3, and the movies do not have subtitles.)
The window glass on the 787 can be tuned from bright to dark electronically, instead of pull-down shades.  It's cool.


There is an information counter in Oslo airport, grab a city guide and a map.
We booked a hotel in center of Oslo (Oslo S).  Just take a NSB train (NOK90) from airport, it is cheaper than take Flytoget express train (NOK170 if you buy from a machine, the counter service charge is an additional NOK30). Both trains are fast, just about 2 mins different. It's 23 mins to reach Oslo S by NSB train.


It is recommend to buy a daily Ruter# pass (NOK90) for public transportation (bus, tram and metro) of 4 zones in Oslo, it can be bought in the Ruter# office or any similar like Narvesen (a 7/11-like store.) There is also an Oslo Pass available (NOK290), which we didn't learn about until too late, that includes public transportation and free or discounted admission to attractions.
So, by riding their good transport systems, we could go far to those attractions.


Like Vigelandsparken (Vigeland park) - "This unique sculpture park represents the life work of sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and forged iron."


Like Oslo Museum - Bymuseet.


Like Holmenkollen - a large ski jump built for the Winter Olympics in Oslo.  When there is no snow, they run a zip line from the top to bottom of the jump.


Like Ekebergparken - "The park contains numerous sculptures by classical masters and contemporary artists."


Like Vikingskipshuset (NOK60) - "The Viking Ship Museum houses the Gokstad Ship, the Oseberg Ship and the Tune Ship. The ships were discovered in three burial mounds along the Oslo fjord. The ships were buried more than 1,100 year ago to serve as vessels for their royal owners' final journey to the realm of the dead."


Like Frongnerseteren if you have time, there are hiking trails.


Like Nasjonalbiblioteket, the national library if you have time.


Some places we could walk around, like Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art.


Like Besokssenteret Akershus Fortress visitor center.


Like Forsvarsmuseet, Armed Forces Museum.


Like Akershus Castle.


Like City Hall.


Like The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, with its unique roof.


Like Oslo Domkirke - "Oslo Cathedral was sanctified in 1697. Cruciform design - the pulpit, altar and organ with its acanthus carvings are all original."


 Like Filmens Hus, Film museum.


 Like National Theater.


Like Stortinget, the Parliament Building.


汗是脂肪在流淚
Who would like to make FAT crying?

In hotel's gym room.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

What is real?


小花以為風在不滿喊叫,其實風在愉悦歡呼。
大地以為雨在傷心流淚,其實雨在運動流汗。
Flower thought that Wind is complaining and screaming.
In fact, Wind is happy and cheering.
Ground thought that Rain is sad and crying.
In fact, Rain is exercising and sweating.

人們以為我在自由旅行,其實我在無知夢遊。
People thought that Me is freedom and traveling.
In fact, Me is ignorant and sleepwalking.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race

 
We went to the Balloon Race at Forest Park yesterday. This is one of 250 giant cakes around town, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the city of St. Louis.


The first balloon (sponsored by FOX2, a local TV station) to take off is the "hare 兔子".  The other balloons in the race, the "hounds 獵狗", chase the hare.


After the balloon is unpacked, it is first partially inflated with cool air using large fans.


After the balloon is partially filled with cool air, they fire the propane burners to heat the air in the balloon to make it rise.


Up...


up...


...and away!  


(An obscure reference to the 1967 song "Up, up, and away (in my beautiful balloon)", sung by The 5th Dimension)


The hounds start chasing the hare!



The race got started late this year, so some balloons inflated to show their sponsor's advertising, but did not take off.


 Usually, the Energizer Bunny balloon played the part of the hare in the race.  This year, it stayed on the ground and watched.


It's a funnel cake, topped with powdered sugar, sprinkled with bacon bits, then doused in maple syrup, more powdered sugar, and finally more maple syrup!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

工作要求


自從搬來美國後,就如退休了。這是我的願望成真之一。
前個月與朋友們吃飯,有一位談起她的工作處須要part time的人。我想反正閑着,就去做也好。
工作簡單,重包裝,但只給我做了两天。過後,她說工作量不多,沒缺人。
拿了两天的酬劳,請Steve吃了一餐,又感受到有錢的喜悦,萌起要找工作的念頭,但又怕失去自由自在的生活。

上個月,去應徵了一個台灣老板的進口公司,工作性質如我曾有的經驗,早九晚六。我先說我的要求可能會至少每年两、三次都要請假去旅遊,長假可能會三星期,並且已定了X月X日至X月X日去挪威。應徵完後,主管說會跟老板談及給我email關於薪金多少。
两天後,收到電邮,我還是有两難,要不要重回上班族(厭倦)早出晚歸的生活?
我的回郵是,我覺得工作時間太長,路途遠又會塞車,要求每星期只做四天,停星期三,因為我有活動。並且願意減(1/5)薪金。
主管回覆,會討論再決定。

至此還沒再有email。
我想我是不是要求過分?誰要請我?



Friday, September 19, 2014

食物常識


來,再上一下常識課。

我的家人從媽媽煮飯菜的傳承,都是早上煮一次供午餐及晚餐。家人吃了午餐飯菜一半的份量,剩下在桌上的菜就被一個防蒼蠅大蓋罩着。到了晚餐時就有些菜熱一熱,有些可能不加熱,最容易的是按熱飯鍋熱一熱飯。要方便又要偷懶。
我也是被傳承這樣的做法。一開始時,Steve 要我把食物都放進冰箱,我不理會,我的家人都是放在桌上的啊,反正等下還要再吃的。
他講两、三次後,他也懶得理了。

他們是從小就被教育食物的安全,尤其蛋、海鮮、肉類的,不可放在温室超過两小時,因為食物很快會滋生細菌,會有食物中毒的危害。他的雞肉食物是一餐一包,每包封袋放在冰涷處,要解涷就放在下層,早上去上班出門前,才從冰箱拿出那包食物,及冰袋放進可保冷的午餐袋。然後午餐時,在公司的微波爐加熱他的食物。他的水也是要放進冰箱的。

至到最近,我在網上看到“吃隔夜菜。。”,為了要找真實性,查查一下,還沒查到有醫學的証明。不過却看到証實Steve被傳承的做法。

這是美國教導的防範食物中毒:

  • 做食物前及後,手要除皂沖洗温水。
  • 所買的生魚蝦貝或肉類,儲放時或準備做食物時,須與其他食物分開,避免交互感染。
  • 魚蝦貝或肉類要煮熟,至少165F(74C)熱度。
  • 所買易腐的食物在两小時内,或在一小時内如温室是90F(32.2C)以上,就須放進冰箱(40F/4.4C以下)。
  • 不可在温室解涷食物,最安全的是在冰箱内解涷,然後即刻煮。
  • 食物處理不好,儲存不當,或在温室太久,可能已有毒,是無法用煮來消除的,而且食物壞了,是嗅或嚐不出的,不要吃,最好丢棄。
  • 有煮了剩余的食物,須在两小時内,用淺的盒裝放進冰箱。可放3或4天如儲存妥當。食用剩余食物前,確定再加熱165F度。


那天做的 curry puffs,即放進冰涷處。我的麵包也是。
Steve教我,冰涷才會減低失食物的原味。


Thursday, September 18, 2014

The end of conversation


我們做瑜伽後回來,電話有個留言。Steve按播留言機,是華語。他說可肯定是給我的。他又說他發現到大多的華語留言都以:“Ok,bye-bye。” 做結束。
We had a phone message when we got back home from Yoga. Steve pressed Play on the answering machine.  It was in Chinese. He said that's surely for me. And he said he noticed that most of the messages in Chinese end with: "Ok, bye-bye."

我大笑。是噢!這是我們亞洲人的結語方式。
I was laughing. Oh yeah, this is our (Asian) style to end conversations.

他們的方式:“待會談/待會見。”
Their style would be: I'll talk to you later/See you later.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

南瓜餐


除了蒜頭是買的,南瓜、九層塔、蔥和辣椒是朋友家種植的分享。
我何其幸運,常享受到她們的成果,有時是長豆,苦瓜,茄子,黄瓜,番茄,冬瓜。。


我做過芋頭糕和蘿蔔糕,不如來試試做南瓜糕。


洗、切、炒、蒸,用了两個小時。


終於得品嚐,味道很好。


我自己種的南瓜,只收成一小粒,因有動物來咬斷莖,我的種植都沒有很好的成果。
那天這小瓜,被我用來一起煮高梁米粥。


南瓜在這美國人受歡迎的,我想可能是pumkin pie。很甜的,我不喜歡。
我超喜歡我的南瓜餐。


Friday, September 12, 2014

蘋果蠟的作用


以前,吃蘋果都是削皮,因為要吃得衛生,怕外層有農藥,又有染蠟。
後來,聽說蘋果皮含有豐富的營養,買回來的蘋果,即使是有機的,就用刀刮除蘋果皮的蠟,連皮吃。
我一直以為果皮上的蠟是人工染的,至到朋友給我她家種的蘋果,我刮一刮皮,怎麼也是有蠟?才開始疑惑,上網查查,才知道果子在成長過程會生這種保護層,防止微生物等。
而市場上賣的果子,有再加人工蠟,主要用來保鮮,可以儲存長時間,據報告那些蠟的物質對身體無害。

不僅動物天生有保護自己的功能,連植物果子都有其自我保護的本能,真是太棒了!
我是不是很笨?這樣的常識也不知道。



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Flowers in our yard

Daffodil 水仙花

Hyacinth  風信子

Grape Hyacinth  葡萄風信子

Iris 鳶尾花

 Daisy 雛菊

 Penstemon

 Lily 百合

Rose 玫瑰

Coral bells - the leaves look like corals and the flowers look like little bells.

 Cosmos 波斯菊

Gladiolus or 'Sword lily' 劍蘭. The leaves are shaped like swords.

Yarrow 西洋蓍草

Hosta, Chinese name is 玉簪, my direct translation is Jade hair clip. 

Naked lady/surprise lily/spider lily/magic lily/resurrection lily/hurricane lily/pink flamingo 夏水仙

Coneflower 錐菊

Sunflower 向日葵

 Cleome are also known as spider flowers. Chinese name is 醉蝶花, my direct translation is Drunk butterfly. The petals look like butterflies, and they have pink and purple flowers. 

Hylotelephium spectabile 'Stardust'

Garlic chives or Chinese chives flower 韭菜花. This type of chives and the stem with bud (before it blooms) are a popular vegetable dish for Chinese. 

Trumpetflower 木曼陀




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