[taps receiver, the fizzle and pop of static] Is this thing even on?
Oh–you startled me! And maybe it’s just as well that you’re here because this, my friend, is our beginning. Though I must come clean: this has been a bit of a wiggly beginning. I was all set to get everything shipshape, send this little hand wave out into the blogosphere (is that the right term? that is the right term, right?), and kick-off this new endeavor of mine as a “New Year’s Resolution”, but days turned into weeks and then January 24th rolled around and I was scrambling to get my luggage under 40 lbs for a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong with my mum, then onwards to three weeks in China, Hong Kong, and Japan. It didn’t make sense to make my introduction and then vamoose, so I decided to wait.
And here we finally are! I’m glad I waited because vacations wouldn’t be vacations if they didn’t give you a breather and put your head on straight again–I have an itch to write and to share that I haven’t felt in months. Granted, I miss Japan–the buoyancy of being offline and in a world bigger than my own, giant animatronic octopuses bellowing takoyaki jingles a la Handel’s Messiah, and heated toilet seats… which I promise I’ll get to soon.
I have no plans for this to strictly be a food blog or a travelogue… scratch that, I don’t really have plans–
–at all. Which may or may not be the pending subtitle to my memoir: Julia: She Had Plans but They Were Pretty Wiggly and Everything Worked Out Alright.
I mean to say that I very much have Big Plans: daily plans, life plans, “what am I eating for dinner?” plans, but in terms of whether I have a single endgame for this blog in mind? Take a number.
But in case you’re still scratching your head, let me just say that one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received was from a friend who introduced me to a mutual friend as ‘someone who loves bread more than [she does].’
85% of my travel albums are photos of the meals I ate–friends and family have lamented my lack of appearance in my own photos, but would you look at how beautiful that paella is!!
I wrote a poem about toast once. Literally, toast. Not some biting commentary on capitalism or human mortality–I rhymed “baguette” with “couchette“.
I don’t come from a cooking family. My parents have a fine repertoire of dishes up their sleeves and they can appreciate good food as well as the next person, but I wasn’t raised in the kitchen. Cooking was always more of a necessity–a chore–than something we spent our free time doing just for kicks. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment in my life where I went from throwing myself under the dining table and scampering away on all fours because I didn’t want to finish my string beans, to getting teary-eyed over homemade biscuits, but it happened.
“So, where do you see yourself in five years?” In my kitchen, my hair done up in an Artistically Messy Bun, making breakfast pastries and throwing dinner parties without breaking a sweat. Alternatively: overthrowing the status quo, rounding up all of Earth’s dogs and journeying to Earth II with my cosmic dog ark, but the capable home cook thing seems much more plausible. I can follow a recipe well enough and can comfortably replicate some of my parents’ staple dishes, but it’s all simple fare, and there’s an entire world of kitchen (mis)adventures waiting for me.
That said, at the end of the day, I want this to be a safe space–breathing room–for me amidst the otherwise frantic flurry of job searching that I’m currently nose-deep in. I want to write again, not for the scrutiny of my professors and peers, but freely for myself. I want to revel in every terrible pun and rambling anecdote. I want to put myself and my words out there, which is something I wouldn’t have done a year ago, so already we’re making progress.
Happy Friday! Happy Lunar New Year! Let’s get this show on the road!
P.S. If you’re reading this at/near the time of posting, please bear with me as I get my theme ironed out. It’ll need a few more posts published to look like anything more than white space.