The weekend started on a rather vile note – dinner with colleagues in a Russian restaurant that confirmed my worst suspicions about both, that Russian food is not special at all and my colleagues are ridiculously large drinkers that are impossible to keep up with.
I can’t remember chunks of friday night; I do remember that I was not allowed to refuse any of the frequent and ample shots of neat Stolichnaya. I woke up on saturday morning, still dressed in the dress from last night with a hangover so vicious, it could knock a self-respecting rhino out of action. And so it came to pass that I spent most of saturday sleeping, semi-sleeping on the couch, eating comfort food like yogurt and rice and muesli toast with nutella. By sunset, I was looking and feeling refreshed. And I had to be, I was going to see a play with Mark. I’d landed tickets from a friend and had asked him. Thankfully he said yes.
I wore a silk twill sarong skirt by Ralph Lauren and I think I looked pretty nice…I walked to the bar where he was waiting for me to have a drink before heading to the play. When our eyes met, he made an ooh-face. I’d like to think that he found me beautiful. This is the point when I stuck my tongue out like a righteous idiot (because I had spent some time during the day complaining to him about how painful my hangover had been and I had bitched to him on the phone mere seconds ago about why he was making me walk). I don’t think I should do that anymore. Drinks were pleasant as always – so much laughing, joking and so many compliments about my intelligence, language skills, etc. He even noticed my handbag.
The play was wonderful and throughout, I felt he was even touchier-feelier than usual – at one point during the intermission he caressed the back of my arm. Yep, I am not making that up. Maybe this is how Italian men are but hey, he is not the first Italian guy I’ve hung out with so it’s pretty weird. I was hoping he’d catch a bite with me after the play but turns out he’d shared a pizza with one of his mates before meeting me for a drink. What a tool. He walked me back to the escalator and then proceeded to meet another of his mates, presumably to prowl for booty. Woe is me.
I elected to spend today, Sunday, by myself. I got out of a brunch plan (not nice, I know) and decided I’d cook for myself. You see I have been doing that a lot lately and it’s benefiting me in more ways than one. The Hong Kong lifestyle has sideswiped me with too much drinking, too much eating out having a less-than-desirable effect on my weight and the last 2 weeks of cutting back (yes, not including friday’s binge, which in my defence, I had no control over) have been helping me out. My weight is steadying, and even dropping a teensy weensy bit and my skin is glowing. In other news, I also have a new hair cut, shorter, curlier, a somewhat adult version of shirley temple’s curls. Not too shabby.
So where was I? Yes, I decided to stay in and cook. Of late, I have been experimenting quite a bit with recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty but today I was craving comfort, comfort in the form of staunchly Keralite food, food that whisks me away to childhood and sweet naiive happiness. Seasonal kidney mangoes in Wellcome with their red-orange hues and their honey-sweet smell had been tempting me to try them out. I settled on making a kerala delicacy – Maambazha Pulissery. This sweet variation of Moru kootan (one of the staple recipes in my kitty of South Indian curries) has always been one of my favourites and yet I’d never bothered to recreate it in my kitchen until today.
The mangoes were unequivocally delicious and I somehow managed to control lustful gluttony and not eat all of them over the kitchen sink. The Pulissery turned out beautifully, it was probably one of my best efforts at South Indian fare. I unabashedly lapped half of what I made and the rest will serve me well for dinner in a few minutes.
With soulful music playing in the ground, I have spent the greater part of today reading Book 2 of the 2011 CFA notes – a gripping and interesting read it is not. Dry, unwitty and dull. And Book 2 is supposedly the easiest of the lot. God help me, I am fucked. Still I am determined to wrap this book up before the weekend is over and also start afresh on my CV. That is a tall order, I know.
In totally unrelated news, I made a very-big-ticket-purchase this week. A handbag I have had my eyes on since it first came out, before it even became a style icon in its own right. The sumptuous, practical and extremely stylish Chloe Paraty in a beautiful peach-meets-coral (or as they like to call it, Light Clay) leather. No exotics for me, thank you very much, regular weather is just fine. The medium is perfect on my frame (large would overwhelm me).
I am not ashamed to admit that this bag makes me really really happy because quite frankly, I don’t have a whole lot going for me – I am underpaid relative to HK’s ridiculously generous banking market and underutilised (my work hours are too cushy), I have very little in savings (okay that’s my fault in part, but still people in my industry really don’t have to fucking try to save, it’s just part of the equation) and I like my own cooking so much that I am predisposed to being overweight (I would be considered cutely overweight in most parts of the world but in this part of the world, try “morbidly obese” on for size). Also, I still haven’t found anyone to travel with, I still haven’t started diving lessons. It’s May and I am still nowhere near completing any of my new year’s resolutions.
Okay, I am done whinging for now. Thank you for listening. Now if you’ll excuse me, I will spend the rest of my evening smelling my new leather bag, eating rice with maambazha pulissery and completing my study of the glorious Book 2. This is Jups, signing out.