Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Local Bread Confection of Kuala Lumpur

After our tour of Kuala Lumpur's Little India, and back at the elegant market, we had ten minutes to get to our bus coach.

Moiya and Wyona had ringgit that was unspent.

Both of them know how to move the last few dollars out of their purses and pockets and into the local economy.

The women pool their money to see how much must be spent.
They buy carbonated beverages to take onto the boat, a soft ice-cream cone for all and with the money left Wyona and Moiya begin to pick pastries out of glass display cabinets, asking the clerk to wrap them separately so they don’t get squished.

Afterall, when we were dropped off we were told to go have lunch, but food was not anywhere on our agenda.

Now there would be a 1 and ½ hour ride back to the boat and time to eat. 
I am hungry and snap pictures of food I wish I could eat.
I don't buy. 
If I take the time to figure out the conversion on the ringgit,
I won't have time to take pictures.

 Two women picking out food is enough.

I idly take my camera and try to catch the look of the small bakery.

Fast lunch ... or would that be fast dessert
Once onboard, Wyona distributes the food among us.

I am a few isles away.

The nicest looking pastry of all is handed to me – one with a popsicle stick in it.

 I am sitting by the boat photographer, since I am always alone on the buses and when the seat is taken, it is often by some of the people who work on the boat and who are allowed to accompany the excursion.

I turn to her and say, please have some.

Which would you like?  One lightly dusted with icing sugar
  Or the chocolate icing with candy sprinkles
"Oh no," she counters.

She is sitting there soaking wet, having been caught in the 4 pm Malaysian downpour.  I brought my umbrella for the occasion, but left it in the bus, so I didn't have to carry it all day. Because I am "old" the bus driver lends me an umbrella so I won't get wet.

"Well, I can hardly eat it all.  Just take a bit.  I haven't touched it and you will get to see what the local pastries taste like."

She takes a piece and we take our first bite together but do not chew.

She turns wide-eyed to look at me and says nothing.

I spotted that fancy stick in the pastry and 
wondered if Wyona and Moiya would buy it.
Note the attractive covering on the bun, upper right corner.
I am horrified and burst out laughing, saying, “I think that this feathery lacy toasted coating is dried translucent fish and not cocoanut. Be my guest and take it back out of your mouth.”

Then I turn to the tour guide who is now handing out key chains of the Petronus Towers to everyone. She has come to give us ours.

“Could you tell me the name of this pastry.”

She gives me the name of the pastry, tells me it is a local trademark of Kuala Lumpur, confirms that the coating is dried fish and continues down the isle.

“Congratulations,” says the young ship photographer to me. “You got me to do something my mother couldn’t get me to do growing up in England. Eat fish.”

She puts her piece in our garbage bag.

 I continue to eat mine.

“Don’t do it. Don’t do it," she says.

I am compelled to. At each bite I am trying to figure out what it is that people like about these 3 flat rings with a stick through them, and finished off with dried fish. The sweetness of the bun reminds me of pork buns in China town. I taste the brown sticky topping that holds the fish flakes to the pastry: soy sauce.

Later that evening I go up to the Photography Studio to pick up some pictures from a prize I won on the boat. She is there arranging the shots: 8 1/2 by 12's  --  one from each of the 3 formal dining nights, taken from the gang plank as people go ashore, from informal sittings – all posted in the open for people to see.

I know she is working.  I go up to her and say quietly behind her back, “Fish breath.”

She turns to me and says in an equally quiet voice, "I told all of my friends about you at dinner and that you continued to eat the bun, even after knowing what it was. They know who you are.”

She is right.  They do know who I am.  That is for another story.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Life in Vaikom

We had two tours in India. The first one was sponsored by the ship for Captain’s Club Members and those travelling with them. That is how Moiya, Dave and I spent our first day in Cochin. The evening ended with a show at a hotel. The sun was setting over the sea, chairs were set up on the hotel lawn, and before the show, proper, there was a demonstration about how emotion is interpreted through dance. When Moiya and I try to go back to that first day in India, we keep listing how much happened in that day. How could we have seen the Chinese fishing nets, the murals that capture the myths of the Indian gods, shopped on Jew Street, and kept our noses on the coach window as we saw India pass by us, block after block.

The next day we were signed up to see rural India. The catalogue description of the trip was short. “Located in the district of Kottayam, Vaikom is one of the oldest villages in Kerala and is a fine representation of rural life in Kerala. During your visit you will be able to walk through and see what life is like here on a typical day.” We had no idea that the following would happen. We were loaded into tuk-tuks that took us down the narrow roads and into the village. Ropes of flowers were hung around our necks, the smell of which I didn’t really process until I arrived back in the ship and was going up the elevator. “Oh, I had no idea of the smell of these flowers, until I got into this elevator,” I apologized to the other occupants who were riding up the shaft with me. “Don’t worry – it is fantastic – like gardenias,” they said. By that time the red mark that had been put on my forehead was smudged and I was looking for some quiet time to process an amazing day. I don’t know how to describe the feeling of returning back to the ship. Much of the time in the village I had been on the cusp of a good cry, but not the one that comes from sorrow. This emotion was wrapped up in the wonder of the village. I watched women weaving mats from reeds, their hands working deftly and their toes anchoring their work to the ground while they thatched the material that slipped up and down through their fingers. An old woman was weaving baskets. We watched, left to go see something else and I said to Wyona, I want to buy one of those baskets. Wyona slipped into her merchant mode, grabbed me, and then one of the tour guides who was standing idly by the side of the stream and asked him to find out how much for a basket. There was some price negotiations, and the purchase was finalized. Wyona wore the baskets on her head for a while. They will be my most treasured souvenir. Across a creek, a woman stood on some stairs by a canal, cutting her vegetables for dinner. Another woman, seeing my interest, paused to take the large pot off of her head and show me the fish she had caught, small ones – maybe 50 or so of them. I watched Wyona and Moiya play with the children who walked alongside the group – the boys wanting to know people’s names and where they were from. While other tourists were snapping pictures of houses, or of a woman making medicinal powder from bettle nuts, Wyona was snapping pictures little boys’s faces, and asking them where the little girls were. Did the village only have boys, she asked? I loved seeing the laundry on the lines, ducking under ropes or slipping around a tree to see the cocoanut husks shredded by a woman making rope. Clay pots were being thrown. The wheel was manually operated by another woman who sat cross legged on the ground, making sure it kept moving by rotating it with her hands. Three days and the pot would be dry. No need for a kiln. The weather was perfect. I could hear the birds in the trees. The jungle smells were delicious, new to me – perhaps the reason I missed the fragrance of the flowers I was wearing until I got back home. I have some lovely pictures, which I will post when I get more internet time. The boat is perfect in all ways, except concerning the speed with which I can send pictures up to a blog. Arta

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Moiya Doesn’t Want to Leave Home

Today at lunch Greg said he can’t believe that this ship is going down to Australia, then up through Hawaii and on to Seattle so that it can do the Alaska cruise. Next year. “What ship are we on?” said Moiya. 

“The Solstice,” said Greg. 

“Oh.  I have been on it so long, I think of it as home,” said Moiya.  “And I can tell you, I don’t want to leave home.”

“Write a note to your kids and tell them that – just go on from Singapore to Australia, and on and on, and when you finally die, the ship can just drop your ashes in the sea.”

There is a little bit of that feeling in all of us.

On other matters, I have been going to the dining room every morning to check the lunch time menu.  It is posted on the “My Time Dining” side of the ship.  I have been waiting for a repeat of the Balinese Style Chicken and Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce.  Today I found it on the menu, along with  Papaya with a Hint of Lime cold soup.  “I am doing the cooking and inviting everyone for lunch at the dining room,” I told Greg and Dave at the in-depth 11:00 am lecture on Malaysia. 

Ordering was hard, for we just wanted Marius to bring us sticks of vegetable, beef and chicken sticks of satay, like the ones they serve on the streets of Malaysia. “Just put them in the middle of the table,” said Wyona.  “This is an all-you-can-eat-buffet, isn’t it,” said Wyona.  To make it easy for the cooks in the kitchen the server wanted to know how many times to order these three dishes to change them from an appetizer size to a main course. 

Another server came by and laughed when he saw us. “We have been eating this in the crew section of the ship for the last three days,” he said.  “You should have been eating down there with us.  I ate 11 sticks last night,” he said.

“We have been trying to get down to that dining room,  to where you eat, but they keep a line between us.  We have always suspected you are getting better food down there.”

I have a half an hour before I go to Art 101 this afternoon.  The class is causing Moiya a lot of stress – she doesn’t like the mess, or maybe I should call it the freedom that comes with watercolour.

 “I want a face on this body.  Here, just put a dob of red here, and there the face is,” said the teacher.  That just doesn’t work for Moiya or me.  This morning we had another water colour class, and David just brought back a lovely print, a gift from an art lecture he attended. 

“I have never seen water colour classes given on a boat,” said Wyona.

 “We are so many days at sea,” said Greg.  “We are going right around the world on a boat and they have to figure out things for people to do who don’t want to go for $200 massages, or work out on the treadmill all day.  What is popular are the classes they run in the internet lounge.  So many classes there and people are standing shoulder to shoulder to listen in.”

On the point of classes, lectures and shows on the boat, we keep going to the Love and Marriage Game Show which is hard to run on this boat, given the demographics of the people who are sailing.  It is the first time this boat has gone through the Suez and around India and the trip has attracted seasoned cruisers.  This morning at 10 am in the elevator, I caught the scent of the specialty coffees offered to these cruises from 8 am to 10 am.  Their speciality lounge was closed down and they were on their way back to their rooms, carrying their coffees.  These are not the kind of people who join up for the Love and Marriage Game.  One couple said they had been on the game, many years ago, and then the husband piped up, “And since that day, I have been sworn to silence.  I don’t talk at all.”  Either the couples are too smart to go on the show, or they have rehearsed and refined the answers to the questions that could be problematic to their marital happiness once the show is over. And those are the questions that make the rest of us laugh.

We have heard a new question.  What is it that your wife likes to do out of the house?  Between the five of us, we have been making guesses about how others in our group would answer that question.  Dave says he like to fix things.  Greg says he likes to go to lectures. The answer given by most men about their wives is ... my wife likes to shop. 

This is not true in our cases.  “I don’t like to shop,” said Wyona.  “I shop because we have to have groceries, because someone else needs new clothes, because an appliance needs to be replaced.”  Here is my answer as to what I like to do out of the home she continued.  “I like to cruise.  And Greg, what do you mean by saying you like to go to lectures.  Where do you go to them all?  On cruises!  So give it up and just say it.  You like to cruise as well.

Well, way to open up my eyes, though I say to everyone, there is something about saying that phrase that makes me uncomfortable .  Wyona points out that years ago cruising was absolutely out of sight as something a person might do.  But now many people cruise.  “Not my friends,” I countered.  But that really isn’t true.  Still ... the word cruise can be softened by saying I like to travel, a phrase that means the same thing.

David says he likes to fix things.  He hasn’t been doing much of that on the boat.  He wakes early – and nothing really begins before 10 am, except breakfast. He does go to everything – participates in the ship OlympiX; today he went to a lecture on how the engine room runs, as well as the destination lecture on Port Klang.  As well he goes to the 9 am Bible Study Group – now a person really has to have read every possible thing to do in every hour of the day, to have found that group. 

Yup.  A good question for all of us to answer.  What is it we like to do outside of the home?  Not much question about what we like to do.


Monday, 19 November 2012

The Gold Souk

Wyona and I wanted to go to the gold souk.  At least I did.  I have been looking forward to seeing this market since I heard about it at a destinations lecture. Moiya declared that she was not in the market for gold, but she wanted to look in the shops if we were going to explore them.  David is less anxious  if he goes somewhere else.  He continues his site seeing. Hanging out in shops, shifting his weight from one leg to another while Moiya is looking at merchandise, is his idea of hell on earth.  He is happy to have her buy; he just wants to be looking at the bigger picture of the community while she shops. “

Wyona asked Greg to come along with us – this was one of the times when she needed the safety of his presence.  A man whispered something to Greg as we walked along.  I wanted to know what the conversation was about.  “Oh, he was just inviting me to come along to a back street for some Gucci watches,” Greg laughed.  The women darted in and out of shops.  Greg bought pop to keep Wyona hydrated. “No really cold,” he said.  “It looks cold because of the beads of water on the outside, but it is not cold.”  I wore out faster than Moiya and Wyona and I would go sit beside Greg who would put himself on one of the benches that lined the middle of the mall, and watch us.  “Watches?  Scarves? Bags?”, men would walk by and say to Greg.

“How many times does this happen,” I asked him.

“About once every 15 minutes,” Greg replied.  “So many times that the tourist standing kitty-corner over there has been watching and has begun to laugh each time I am approached again,” he continued.

 After a slight rest, I would continue to pop into the shops with Moiya and Wyona.  I am not used to the tinsel gleam on the 18 and 24 karat gold merchandise in spot after spot – both outside of the souk and then inside along its covered walkway. I liked to study the walls above the tops of the shops.  I could see laundry hanging above one, but back in the recesses of the ceiling where no one would ever see it.

 “What are you looking to purchase?”, the merchants will ask me.  I haven’t even thought about the categories long enough to have selected a general theme to jewellery buying.  I am overwhelmed with plastic bags of gold under counters brought out if the merchants think  I can’t find anything on the shelves or in the glass cases that I like.  The truth is, I like it all. 

And the idea of  buying gold by picking out a piece of jewellery and then having someone put it on the scale? That is anathema to me.  Wyona has told me many times that is how it was done.  Still, the surprise of that act was there for me.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Captain’s Club Exclusive Event

When I asked Wyona to have lunch at noon sharp, Greg phoned back to remind me that the Captain’s Club Exclusive Gourmet Event was at 1:30 pm.  A person can only eat so much food, and the truth is, I haven’t eaten since yesterday, and could probably go a few more days without food and not notice it.  For some, the event holds interest for the drinks – but not for us.  The live band from the ship played, and then the band backed up a quartet and duet that sang, songs from the musicals, or old tunes that this crowd would love.  The food stations are more interesting than Red Sangragria, Santa Helena Chardonnay, Anakena Cabernet Sauvignon, Cosmopolitan, Cuba Libre, Heineken, Bud Light and O’Doul’s.  No to the alcohol.  Yes to the Sushi Station, the Crepe Station, the Skewered Fruit and Belgian Chocolate Station, and the Beef Tenderloin Station.

Wyona plated up a hot slice of marbled beef for Greg, and then he and Dave headed off to a lecture about the Holy Land.  Moiya joined them.  Wyona stayed to eat.  By that time the food was closing down and although a waiter said he would bring a crepe with an orange sauce and loaded on top with strawberries, blueberries and pistachio nuts, she didn’t really believe him.  The food station was gone by then; he went down ten levels to have one specially made, delivering it to her in a few minutes.  She was busy writing down his name – on the last day when the customer survey is done, his name and his good deed will be written somewhere.

She knows how important it was, for on another cruise she commented on the service of one of the waiters at lunch.  She met him 6 months later on another cruise and he told her that her notes about him had been passed on to him and were the first time he has ever been complimented during the lunch hour service, for that is impersonal and no one gets credit up there for their service – no tips and no one knows your name.

Wyona was making me laugh, for she likes to drink out of a nice glass in her room.  But the man who cleans her state room is so tidy, that every time she frees a stemmed glass from the dining room, he finds it and takes it out of her stateroom, no matter where she hides it – behind books, under her pillow, behind the TV.  His job is to remove unwanted items and he does it because he needs that gratuity she is going to pay.   She can’t outsmart him on that, even if she does want a stemmed glass to drink her water out of every morning.  I told her yes, I was mad when the service person took away the champagne bucket from our room.  Moiya had a bottle of wine delivered as a gift and Moiya had to offload the alcohol on to Margaret.  A sad day, when I am more interested in the ice container, than in the specialty drinks. 

A waste, really, to send non-drinkers on a cruise.  There are free drinks before dinner every night.  The five of us don’t think it is worth it to go up 6 floors for a Coke or Sprite.  You know the saying, youth is wasted on the young?  In our case the promise of free alcohol is wasted on cruise-ship Mormons.


The Suez Canal

There is a difference of opinion between the travel guide on the bus and the one on the boat.  The Egyptian on the bus said that his company is the one with whom Celebrity deals when booking the passage through the Suez and that today’s package for the ship to move through the canal is one million dollars.  I believe him. 

The cruise travel director says that the cost of today’s trip is $300,000.  I believe him, too.  Travelling for so long, I have learned to believe everyone.  Either way, for who knows where the truth lays, Greg, Dave and I were not going to miss the Suez Canal journey of 100 kilometers yesterday.  When the convoy of our ship and 17 other ships following it began to move through the canal, we went to the fourteenth floor of the ship, forward and looked out. 

The night was warm and dark.  The moon was high.  I could make out Orion in the sky.  The air was humid.  The whirring sounds of the birds flying beside us was forefront.  Two spot light were pointed forward, one west at about 1 o’clock and one pointing east at about 11 o’clock.  Those two lights were at the front of the shi, by the obelisk on the helicopter pad.  The birds that had been flying alongside the boat (the ones that Wyona had been trying to feed) now came forward and were trapped in the cones of light.

Greg, David and I went to the top of the ship a little after midnight and stood there quietly, watching the ship move by the buoys that had red lights shining from them.  I don’t know exactly what I expected, but it was more than the narrow channel of water through which we were moving – so narrow that two boats can’t pass by each other, so half way through the trip, we stopped in Bitter Lake, to let the ships that are coming from the south to the north, through the canal, and let them pass us, before we travel along the route they have just come from.  I stood there for three hours in the dark night, trying to let my senses have their fill:  the warmth, the humidity, the sounds, the smells, the sight of the water, light and dark, cool and hot.  At 3 a.m. I told Dave and Greg I had to get at least a few hours sleep before watching more of the journey.  Together we walked back to an elevator.  Along the way a man who had just got up to jog on deck said good morning. 

Four hours is enough sleep for me. I was on Moiya and David’s balcony at 7 am.  I hang over the railing of course.  I am not going to miss one moment of this journey.  We are watching the Asia side of the canal.  My binoculars are trained on the military who are in small houses – not big enough to lay down in, and the windows are open.  The truth is, there are no windows.  There is also the space where a door could be, but isn’t.  Sometimes the military wave their rifles at us in a big hello.  Others have their binoculars trained on us as we have ours trained on them, and they give a wave when they know we can see them.  There are many shrill whistles sounded.  Finally I figure out that this is the way people in the desert talk to each other.

Wyona and I study the sand dunes in between watching the men on guard duty by the canal.  At one place there are two buildings, a mosque and a truck.   The men have their washing hanging out behind the military vehicle.  We notice that they deposit their garbage in a gully a small ways away from the two houses, the windows of which are shuttered and closed.  No one else is around on the banks.  “A waste of a perfectly good beach,” I say to Wyona.  It is hot.  All we have ever imagined from movies about the desert is in front of us.   I think about Laurence of Arabia and Nasser (1956), both of which I have seen again, recently. We try to get our perspective right for we are at least eight floors up.  At first it looks like there are a few feet of pebbles that separate the canal water from the desert.  By the time we have studied the small size of some of the guards, we have figured out those are big boulders lining the side of the canal.  Wyona is better at figuring out how the miracle of this trip could have happened to us, for she is the one who did the planning to make it occur.  I just sit and watch, amazed.  The boat is going 10 knots per hour through the canal.  The temperature is about 85 farenheight. Wyona keeps telling me to get into a pair of shorts.  I stay in the shade.  Moiya is in the sun, small beads of perspiration running down her temples. 

By this time we are on Wyona’s said of the ship. When we run over to Dave and Moiya’s side of the ship a few hours later we see gardens, palm trees, roads, houses, a bustling city.  Still just sand dunes and military installations on our side.  “That is because this side of the canal is irrigated by the water from the Nile,” is what Moiya says, for she has been up on the top of the ship, listening to the ship’s travel lecturer.  She wishes that his lecture had been piped into all of the guests’ room, via the T.V.   I wish that as well.  But Wyona and I choose a road less travelled – the one of watching the desert. I did learn how to watch in detail for the more we sat there, talking to each other about what we were seeing, the more we saw.

The adage that I read down at the cruise services desk is “It is not what you see, but how you see it.”  That adage came to mind today.


Food à la Celebrity Cruise Ship

Do not read if you are hungry.

I listened to our collective conversation at dinner last night.  We talk to each other about what we have ordered that night.  Does my maple braised salmon taste better or worse than Moiya’s chicken kiev or Dave’s pepper steak.  Wyona and Greg were sharing a Slow Cooked Braised Beef Lasagne and a taste of that went around the table to all.  Then we begin about how tonight’s meal compares to what we had the night before.  We can remember what everyone was eating 3 days ago, and how that compares to today. 

Since we had eaten lunch together as well, we talked about the relative merits of the noontime cherry cloufoise as opposed to the dessert in the evening called ‘Paris Meets New York’.  I wish I could say that is all, but our comparisons have to go through all four courses – the appetizers, the soups and salads, the entrees and then the desserts.

Wyona studied the menu, then ordered her meal one day, only to find she had been handed the menu from another day.  Only a few days later another of our party got the wrong menu, so it was slipped to Wyona so that she could repeat the experience.  “I don’t know how that keeps happening,” said the young Phillipiino waiter, grabbing it from her and rushing to correct his mistake.

Last night none of us knew about one  menu item.   Wyona turned to our waiter.  “Baby Mizuna.  That is my choice.  What is it?”, Wyona asked, after he had carefully described everything else on the menu.

“I am sorry to have to tell you we have had to remove it from the menu.  Mizuna is Japanese spinach, and we have to replace it with regular spinach.” 

“Oh no, I would never have a Baby Mizuna salad replaced with regular spinach, I will have to choose something else,” she said to him.  She is so crazy.

After every meal, he asks how the service was.  All of us say perfect.  Wyona always says bad to him.  This is what perfect looks like:  9 utensils to start every meal – 3 at each side of the plate and 3 above.  More utensils are then brought, depending on what one’s order is.  On this point, Wyona came back to me after trying to book a tour on another cruise ship, which the cruise agent on the boat told her, is a cut above this boat, and that she will never be happy travelling any other way again if she travels this other line.  One crew member to every two guests.  I told Wyona that the shock of that would be too great.  Going from being the life-time crew member who serves 8 others, to the other end of the spectrum where someone serves you and your husband?  That shock would give a person a heart attack.  Better to cruise on the cheaper lines and find eternal happiness on the ocean.

A few days previously we had lunch with an Australian couple who had visited fellow cruisers in Portland  -- their first time to America.  Among their top five events there was a trip to Costco. 

“Yes, you can buy a hot dog and unlimited pop”, for $1.50.  And did they have poutine there?” Wyona asked, continuing, “Why did I ask?  They probably only have poutine at Costco in Canada.  Do try that when you come to visit us, but don’t be disappointed in the size of our sundaes compared to theirs and then with her hands they demonstrated the magnificent height of that American delight.” 

Yes, food – elegant on the Celebrity Soltice, memorable at Costco.

As Moiya, Wyona and I were looking at a Special Jewellery Event -- beads and a charm bracelet.  We continued our chat about Costco, about how when one of us goes there, we can be sure the two others have been there the day before and bought exactly the same item.  At the same time Wyona and I were ragging on Moiya.  Margaret is the one who pointed out first that we do this to each other, often.  Margaret thought it was a little mean.  The 3 of us collectively thought about why it is seen by the 3 of us as an act of love about which we take no umbrance and which the one being poked at takes the defense of being aloof to what the other two are saying.  Unless of course we burst out laughing.  Wyona and I didn’t even know we were poking at Moiya, but since we were alone in the shop with only the clerk we mocked for a long time and chattered until the clerk finally said to Moiya, “You are taking the brunt of the conversation today.”

Wyona turned to the clerk.  “Where are you from?”

 “Canada,” she said.  “I know you are from Canada too, for I heard the three of you talk about Costco.  It was making me lonely for one of their large muffins.” 

Hard to believe that someone on a cruise ship with food always within an arms reach, could be lonely for a Costco Muffin.

It is morning now. “Going around the corner of Yeman at 21 knots per hour”, says David, as he is waiting for Moiya to go to breakfast with him and watching channel 5 that shows the front of the ship and then a map of where we are.

“Go to the Sky View Lounge and check out the Captain’s Club Lounge,” I said to her. “We have been on the ship for so many days.  There is an exclusive breakfast event there every morning and I can’t work going there into my busy schedule.  You are on your way there.  Check it out and tell me later what you think.”

“You can’t trick me,” said Moiya. “ That is so far out of my way. Two floors up and then I have to walk across the whole ship since we are in the back and that venue is in the front?  And then I could never report back to you the lounge as you would have seen. Nope. You check it out yourself.”

Guess I might miss ever seeing the Exclusive Breakfast. I wish I could care about it, but I can’t.  I would rather blog.