Walking with elephants

img_5446Memory come through in short snippets in my brain. Flashes of memory. Good ones. Maybe the brain battles with all the fog between my years. Sometimes it feels like walking through deep water. What actually comes through crystal and clear is the memory of walking with elephants on my birthday. So very, very special and an instant feeling of pure love for those amazing big animals. It is something I will never forget as long as I breathe.img_2020

The allow you to be near them (like some humans), and then they don’t (like some humans…) but they are quite playful and inquisitive. Those skins are soft, very surprisingly,  not at all how I imagined it. img_5447img_5395

The way they stand has meaning, which I never knew. This pose means they are content, hind legs crossed. img_5411

Absolutely amazing giant.

They are loved and so well taken care of at the Knysna Elephant Park .

Random photo’s:

Chinese New Year Singaporeimg_6278

RIP Gerrie

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Korean Street Food

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Incheon: Seoul

I visit South Korea always in winter, never in the hellish summer heat and humidity, which I avoid at all cost. This year I went in March (late winter) instead of January (deep winter) and I could deal with that type of cold much better. Our South African winter this year is colder than normal, or so it feels to me at least and today I miss the Korean street food which is fascinating and delicious. My favourite place in Ulsan is stricly speaking not on the street but rather a “hole in the wall”‘type of place with limited seating, so eating standing around huddled together in the cold is just the thing! The tempura fried vegetables are served with a rice vinegar dipping sauce.

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Vegetable tempura and glass noodle roll.

Tempura Vegetables

Tempura Vegetables

In Seoul the street vendors are lined up one after the other and walking around, tasting and eating from one vendor to the next with a spot of shopping inbetween is a nightly pass time, which I embraced whole heartedly if my bank balance was anything to go by…

Vibrant candy floss!

Vibrant candy floss!

Strawberries dipped in chocolate

Strawberries dipped in chocolate

Street food Seoul

Street food Seoul

I absolutely LOVE the traditional Bibimbab which is not street food but my favourite sit-down Korean meal. There are always a million and ten side dishes of all sorts of soups, pickles and kimchi of course. The main dish is served in a piping hot bowl and consists mainly of rice, root like “things” and vegetables, meat is optional. The raw egg comes on top and you then fry your own dish in the piping hot bowl with a mild chilly sauce. Oh the joy!

Vegetarian Bibimbab

Vegetarian Bibimbab

Pickles&Kimchi

Pickles&Kimchi

Street Scenes and goodbyes:

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Seoul at night: photo Tara

Why do I always have to leave her behind…..

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My Tara walking away

Random Photo:

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Oops! Handbag shopping in Seoul. Just could not resist

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Street Art Down Town Ulsan

 

Santorini, so ridiculously beautiful

White, blue and nature all around,  heart stoppingly beautiful, another window to the soul.


 Asian brides arriving with their wedding dresses on holiday to take wedding photo’s, even though the wedding did not take place there.

 In full dress regalia running in their flip flops/All Stars, wedding dress lifted to the knees over the cobble stones to the next perfect picture.


Then agian, almost impossible to take a bad photo any place in Santorini.

 

Random Photo:

Or not so random, when in Greece and all that…

Baklava of course!

Shapes

My mind is always occupied with colour, shapes and lately buildings and roof shapes everywhere and at unexpected places even in shops ( of all places). Maybe time to tackle a painting again to satisfy the obsession.

These absolutely gorgeous row-houses were displayed above the door on the outside of the entrance to a shop in Knysna, Western Cape. Very clever.

image imageThis shop window in Seoul, Korea caught my eye and imagination.

Seoul, window dressing.

Seoul, window dressing.

These beautiful wooden houses I bought in Ulsan, Korea. I have no idea what the idea/use was behind them but they were there and had to come home with me as well.

Indiidual wooden blocks.

Indiidual wooden blocks.

The blue and white canvas roofs were lined up on the beach in Busan-I think as part of the Ice Bear Swim ( or something to that effect) event in the dead of their winter.

Busan beach

Busan beach

Yes, for sure a continuous theme going round in my head.

Random Photo:

Window to my soul.

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Late afternoon at a time of year that it was not ” supposed to” rain in Cape Town.

Cape Town

Cape Town

“Shab-Shab” Japanese dish the Korean way

Donglim Knot Workshop Seoul

Donglim Knot Workshop Seoul

I had to laugh.Twice. I told my daughter that the Shabu dish we were having in Korea is truly a Korean dish which I would love to have again and she said: “Yes, only it is not Korean but Japanese”. Then Fae posted the Shabu-Shabu with Spicy Soy Milk Broth out of the blue and she had to help me decide whether the dish I had was the traditional version or not because due to language problems I transferred and plonked the cooked part of it into the “sauce bowl” on the table only to realise that as Fae explained, the sauce was meant to be a “dipping” sauce. What the hell, I was was having a ball with this experience, dipping or not!

Condiments with Shabu-Shabu dish

Sides with Shabu-Shabu dish

The experience is what counts and the Shabu Salad Bar was a family type of buffet establishment in Ulsan City where you paid a price per head for the full spread and the only choice you had to make on ordering was the type of beef you wanted, the rest was on display to eat as much as you like, including all sorts of random sides and condiments.

Australian beef

Australian beef

We chose Australian beef and the sides of battered sweet potatoes and root type vegetables with salads from the buffet were great.IMG_7098 The pot of stock is brought to the table, cooking away on an induction plate on the table and you go choose fresh ingredients to make your own broth.The beef is extremely thinly sliced and immediately cooks when it hits the boiling stock and from there on you eat it by dipping it into sauces on the table.IMG_7100 That is where I went wrong-the dipping part for me was transferring whole portions into the dipping bowl and and eating it from there-delicious anyway.Language problems, what can I say!Traditional Japanese Shabu Fae has a comprehensive explanation of the dish and ways to prepare it at home. Other thing I just loved over there were pickled peanuts-soft and sweet with a honey like consistency and pickled cucumber, will I have to read up about more as I never had that before.

Sweet Pickeled Peanuts

Sweet Pickeled Peanuts

Since I came back from cold Korea, a short weekend trip away and a week’s business trip thereafter brought me right into February and I still need to remove the last remnants of Christmas from my home while I have a summer feeling of note!

Die Hoekie Paternoster

Die Hoekie Paternoster

Anything nautical is catching my drift at the moment. The weekend trip was to Paternoster in the Western Cape and the laid back town where “dressing up” means putting on shoes, is what I craved Polianthus-you are so right again. Eating fish and seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that’s how we rolled!

Clever art

Clever art: Die Hoekie Paternoster

Random Photo:

My motto for 2015:

Courtesy The Noisy Oyster Paternoster

Courtesy The Noisy Oyster Paternoster-my new motto for 2015

Hello and Goodbye South Korea

Beach huts Busan

Beach huts Busan

So I am here again and it is one continuous hello and goodbye.

Busan

Busan

Hello food experiences, sights and sounds. Also experiencing temperatures between  -3 and – 15C, much colder than last time, especially after 30 degrees C in Cape Town when I left.

Seoul minus 8 C.....

Seoul minus 8 C…..

Well at least the under and outer layers and piles of clothes helped, even if it was just to make me look like I am in a moon suit.

Traditions

Traditions

Funny shop in Seoul. Pick a box for a set price and be surprised at what is inside. A bit like Korea, always a surprise after the next layer.

Pick a box

Pick a box

Goodbye to my daughter that stays behind for another long year. I am not getting better at this, in fact I really just suck at this.

Ulsan Station: Tara

Ulsan Station: Tara

Happy 2015 where ever you are and decide to go and let us make it a good one.

Random Photo:

Save the Rhino! Photo by Tara in Korea

Save the Rhino! Photo by Tara in Korea

Tray Baked Chicken in Turkish Colors

Streets of Istanbul

Streets of Istanbul

I will always think in color, so imagine what a trip to Turkey does to me. It is just everywhere and all around, in the carpets, the jewellery and the food, which by the way taste like no other in the world as there is something in the earth there that just makes a tomato taste like a tomato and a brinjal taste like heaven.

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is an onslaught to the senses and makes you feel giddy with excitement just to be there and experience it.

Jewels

Jewels

Spice Market

Spice Market

I fell in love with their Biber spices. It is peppers, chile pepper, sweet peppers, hot peppers etc. and  made up a good part of the weight I carried back in those suitcases. Can never go without it, ever again. 

My jewels

My jewels

Nowathome blogged the Jamie Oliver Tray Baked Chicken and I recreated the jewel-like colors of Turkey in the dish and added my Biber of course. I used the recipe with different colors peppers and added the Biber to the smoked paprika. Visit her post for exact measurements as my sister at Nowathome is better with that, I just shoot from the hip with cooking.  The basics are that you combine chicken pieces, tomatoes, onion( I used red) garlic and peppers in a baking tray. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil? Bake at 180 Degrees Celsius until you are happy thar the chicken is cooked. Fantastic flavour and smell. 

Smoked Paprika Tray Baked Chicken

Smoked Paprika Tray Baked Chicken

The Turkish Delight, also out of the suitcase was the desert after the meal. How I did not have to pay overweight on the suitcases at the airport I honestly still do no know? The 1,5 kg of Turkish Delight was brought all the way back home intending to be gifts, well it never got that far sorry……..image

Like a kid in a sweet shop

Like a kid in a sweet shop

Random Photo:

Cheers Istanbul

Is the girl in the background really there or see through?

Apple Tea

Apple Tea

 

 

Ahoy! Sailing in Fethiye, Turkey

Beneteau Oceanis, 40ft

Beneteau Oceanis, 40ft

And there I was flying from Istanbul to Dalaman and driving onwards to Fethiye. To the blue yonder. Where I wanted to be, far away on the water. image

We did not have much wind but enough to sail leisurely. So different from blasting through and over the ocean which I also love. On anchor and lazing, swimming in the ocean and eating the freshest of cold watermelon. That is life. image

Back in Fethiye town, at the local fish market with a court yard and various restaurants surrounding the raw fish buffet is where I tasted the best calamari ever.

Best calamari ever

Best calamari ever

You basically choose and buy fresh from the mongers what you would like to eat and then you walk around and choose a restaurant to prepare the seafood you bought and order the sides and drinks from them. Brilliant concept, wake up to the idea Cape Town….image

I could eat the stuff until I fell over but that did not happen, it nearly happened because of the Turkish puff- breads. If I did not walk all day, every day from morning to evening( or rest….) or swim or sail, I would have puffed up exactly like those breads. image

And we shall not talk about the baklava and ice cream all around…….it follows you everywhere, I swear…

Oh yes, the baklava

Oh yes, the baklava

 It is just the kind of place where you do not dare think that you may not ever see again.

Fethiye Marina

Fethiye Marina

Random Photo:

(or not so random on this holiday, come to think of it.)image

Running away to Turkey

Creating shade, street in Fethiye

Creating shade, street in Fethiye

This time I ran away to Turkey. The only way to get out of my office is to make a getaway a-la Bonnie&Clyde style. A true and proper, running down the stairs, jumping into a getaway car with tyres screaming around the nearest corner style, before they catch me….

What I needed was this:

Good advice from a friend

Good advice from a friend

And I got it. In Fethiye Turkey. 

Yay sailing!

Yay sailing!

Living almost on the tip of the southern part of the African continent means loooong flights and that took me right out of a cold and wet winter to high summer and all that goes with it in Turkey. My last holiday when I “ran away” was right out of summer into serious winter. Can I just not make up my flippen mind in which season I am or want to be or what? Clothes in and out of storage all the time to get the right season into the suitcase, but I am not complaining noooooo, huh-uh.Too nice to see bits of the world and to eat my way around it.

Market day in Fethiye is hectic, sights sounds and smells and half naked tourists bartering for everything in sight. I got a lot of: “Where are you from.Dutch?” No, I am too short to be Dutch even though the Afrikaans accent is similar to the Dutch and Flemish. “South Africa?? Noooo,  you are too white……”.  Really?! Perceptions people, perceptions…

Market Fethiye

Market Fethiye

People watching at its best with heat into the 40’s (yes Celsius!) and these women cook without breaking a sweat. How?????image

See Polianthus, I did not disappear on you permanently! Still working out devious get-away plans, alive, breathing and still eating as always!

Turkish pancakes with spinach and cheese

Turkish pancakes with spinach and cheese

I could not post anything while in Turkey what with the slow inter-webs but now that my soul is back in my body and my mind rested, I shall break the blogging hiatus and it seems my food slump is over! How can it not be with all I had and seen(eaten) in Turkey..

Random photo:

One has to rest in the shade after watching those women cook in the heat.image