Once again, happy new Chinese year, this time from Dublin - if you were wondering why were my posts and comments very scarce and slow, it was because I had a giant presentation of a group project for Danone on Wednesday and then on Thursday very very early morning, I was already flying with a couple of my FIPDes mates to Dublin. So it was a packing, apartment hunting, new courses starting craze. It's not really a lot better now, since we're still re-vamping our new apartment and getting used to the new city. So, sorry in advance!
Anyways, 2014 is a horse year, and even Garda (Irish police) knows it!
My new boyfriend to match 2014:
OK, so now I should start properly - Dublin does not have any Chinatown. Not even a Quartier Chinois. It kinda has two Asian streets. However, it does have very beautiful activities for the Chinese New Year - the main event was held yesterday (Sunday) in the Temple Bar area, with a rich and entertaining program.
A chef came from Chinatown in London to show some Chinese cooking - the hosts mainly concentrated on dumplings, because the half moon shape represents money and therefore is a very popular New Year dish.
Masks for the Lion dance
The lion dance
Dance from Sichuan (at least I think)
All horses had to go up on stage and introduce themselves (yep, I'm a horse) - the good part? I was not the only foreigner. The even better part? We all got really amazing gifts (sponsored by the Asia Market). Sorry that I look so awful, but I had no time to do my make-up and I felt so depressed about the way I looked anyway that I just gave up. Biking and wind did not help either. Anyways, upon receiving all the goodies I kinda forgot I was regretting not being born as a living Barbie doll and I was really really happy.
Dance from Mongolia - apparently, all the comely girls there get on their horses and then chase the most handsome men. And we think we're emancipated here. =D
About 3 hours into the program, we started freezing to the ground and decided to leave and find some warm place to renew our circulatory system. Inspired by one of the event sponsors, Asia market, we decided to go take a look at the store. And man, that was a bad idea because we just spent there one fourth of our monthly grocery budget.
It is amazing! It's nowhere near as big as the huge stores in Paris, but it has totally different selection - very little fresh fruit&veg or meat, but tons of snacks, drinks, seasonings, soups, noodles... The prices are also a bit higher than in Paris, but if you look out for promos (sometimes based on the product passing its best before date), you can find nice stuff. And they have a really big selection of Filipino, Japanese and Indian groceries. It took great effort to leave behind various Indian pickles (expensive at 3 E/small glass), a 1 kg pack of Arabian mango pickles (cheap at 3 E/kg, but caloric and bulky to transport), drinking chocolate, dry fruit (expensive as hell) and jelly (very caloric O___o).
Help for those who don¨t know what to do with all the green leafy things.
New Year lucky charms and pictures - we got one with Gerald too, but OMG, it was 3 E for a piece of lucky paper >.<
No, they're not 1 E each.
Fresh cookies (red bean and other fillings, some of the bigger ones are called wife cookies O_O)
And what we spent all of our money on:
Udon noodles, Korean (from China) buckwheat noodles, egg noodles
These are actually from EuroGiant (something like a 100 Yen store - everything there is dirt cheap, mainly for 1 - 2 E) - we got Hoisin sauce and 4 mixtures of Indian spices.
A value pack of Filipino soy sauce and vinegar, discounted sweet chili dipping sauce (0.60 E since its best before date has already passed, but hey, it's most likely going to be still fine), crushed chilli (took me forever to find a pack smaller than 1 kg) and chicken bouillon from Gerald's favorite company (he visited it when he was in China and has been looking for the bouillon ever since).
Coconut nut is a giant nut,
if you eat too much you'll be veeeeery fat!
And if you eat too much of these, you'll be even fatter. As you can see, allocating only 5 E/month to sweets hasn't really succeeded as a weight-loss strategy because we seem to happily forget we already spent it whenever we're in a grocery store. So, I got honey melon jelly pudding (that's actually a healthier alternative), Stik-O is something you should never ever buy, because it's seriously addicting, Boy Bawang is a popular crisp brand from the Philippines and the Coconut spread is my compensation for not buying Marshmallow spread before, and it is also from the Philippines.
High gluten (haha, who would buy this in gluten-free Europe, right?) flour for dumplings. Cary expensive for a kilo of flour if you ask me (over 2 E) and some Tamarind candy (Gerald's favorite, I'm not very big fan).
We made some money-dumplings, but the shapes look kinda like we tried to re-enact the period when people used stones to pay. Not very presentable, but tasty.
And my gifts:
Calendar and post-it papers:
Cap and T-shirt (promised to Gerald)
Lycamobile was another sponsor, so they gave these envelopes to everybody.
Each contained 3 Sim cards (so, now we have 8 sim cards altogether and only 2 phones), a life-long supply of ballpoint pens, one-
evening month supply of candies, post-its and a leash card holder.
No time to do make-up? No problem!
And little flags.
Happy Horse Year!