Over there, yes those ones

The white women taking a picture

Of the falls, merry and all

Yes, they made me come here

Dragged me, to be honest

I still don’t know how to feel

Embarrassed or indifferent

That I know less of my land

Than the foreigners, the visitors

That I don’t marvel in the beauty

God-given and a-plenty

That I take it for granted

My ignorance, my disregard

I still don’t know how to feel

But I’m here, glad I came

And maybe, maybe just one day

I’ll be the one showing our beauty

To other white ones, and their kin.

#nkima

I itch to weave lyric of my emotions

But I’m entangled in your canny trap

Interwoven with your body – in embrace

Tied up with the strings of your words

Pinned down – immotile by thine actions

And promises of sweet lusty love.

#nkima

A while ago (read April), I received an email from the lovely Karen of BonApp letting me know that I had won vouchers worth 200 RMB to eat at two fantastic restaurants I had never been to. I was ecstatic, and so quick to arrange the delivery of the vouchers. What I wasn’t so good at was convincing my friends to go with me to try out these places. My vouchers became a number on the list of places we could go to for the endless farewell dinners we were fixing in between studying for finals and packing for the summer. That is, until I forgot about them!

Fast-forward to my grumpiness on having missed out on the first Kampala Restaurant Week, and my having to pack a bag for a weekend trip to Guangzhou, and…lo and behold! There were my long-forgotten vouchers for meals at Singapore Kitchen and Pistolera expiring on 9th June!

I texted my good friend, who I’d been trying to make plans to catch a meal with amidst the crazy that is the first few weeks of internship, and we decided to hit both restaurants in one night.

First stop was Singapore Kitchen, which is actually at the Carrefour 大拇指 plaza area (surprise, surprise NYUSH students!). Being the #FailedFoodie that I am, of course I ordered a full Thai meal at a Singaporean restaurant. Hey, don’t judge!

Soup: Tom Yum Kung

Curry: Green Chicken Curry

Rice: 2 bowls of Jasmine Rice

Dessert: Mango Sticky Rice

Drink: House-brewed Tea, Coke

 

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It was such a wonderful idea that Alhan and I decided to share the meal, because guess what? We kinda couldn’t even finish what we ordered! The Tom Yum was such equal measures of spicy and heavenly, that the first taste was a shock to our taste buds. Living in Shanghai, where meals are almost never spicy enough…even at the Indian restaurants, unless you’ve specifically asked the kitchen to amp it up for you, it’s always a pleasurable shock to get “good-spicy”. The Tom Yum was so good; it reminded me of having a dish in the backstreets of Chatuchak in between bargain-hunting sprees. Yes, that delish! I’d say it was a tad oilier than usual, maybe from more chilli oil or a oil-base tom yum paste, but it was a lot better than what I’ve had in a while.

The green curry chicken was not a disappointment either. I could have had it spicier, but Alhan said it was perfectly fine…then again, he was still recovering from the Tom Yum hit. I was so busy stuffing myself with rice and curry that I almost forgot that I had my all-time favourite dessert waiting! The mango sticky rice with coconut was a pleasure to the tongue after the flavours of the soup and curry. Despite my longstanding discontent with the mangoes in China, Singapore Kitchen managed to source mangoes I had no qualms with, they were ripe enough and the dessert cold enough for the tasting. We both left too full, and with a promise to one day come back and maybe try actual authentic Singaporean cuisine as we’d planned!

Second stop was Pistorela, a Mexican cantina with such lovely ambience and lighting. We stopped by for drinks before we both called it a night, and because of the hour – 9pm on a Monday night, it was pretty much just us and a few patrons catching a late meal or winding down.

Hers: Pistorela Punch – Tequila 1800, orange, lime, granadine, 7up and aromatic bitters.

His: Pistorela Sangria with red apple, orange bits

 

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Alhan found his Sangria great with the flavour enhanced by the dark red wine the mixer preferred to use, I on the other hand found my cocktail too sweet. It was too much of a sugar rush that I only managed to take one to Alhan’s two Sangrias. We both however agreed on the fact that this branch of Pistorela warranted another visit, simply for the atmosphere of the place and it’s (kinda) convenient location in Xujiahui.

 

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Geylan Geylan Singapore Kitchen:

199 Fangdian Lu, Thumb Plaza, 1/F, Room 40, near Dingxiang Lu
芳甸路199弄大拇指广场1楼40号, 近丁香路

Open Daily: 11am – 10pm

021 5866 0399

Pistorela:

838-2 Hengshan Lu, near Tianping Lu
衡山路838-2号, 近天平路

Open Daily: 9am – 1am

021 5461 0619

http://www.pistolera.cn

With you

It’s a roller-coaster

And a smooth drive

Blended into one

A whirlwind of emotions

Yet there’s a calmness

Enshrouded within

I have nought to do

But embrace

The feels and the anticipation

Entertaining the devious thoughts

That only you engage me in

It’s a master class for mind-play

What you conduct

Maybe it’d be entertaining to watch

If I wasn’t clinging like ivy

To the lead role.

#nkima

Luck might be free baby,

Love isn’t.

Comes with its costs and pains honey

It’s like that proverbial moth

Always seeking the threshold of fiery dangers

There’s something to say about living on the edge,

The thrill of not knowing

What you’ll be experiencing the next minute.

Euphoria and Despair must be

Two sides of a god-forsaken sharp blade

Set sail with care lover mine,

Even I can’t promise a safe passing

Let alone landing, in this lagoon of emotion

It’s too shallow for one to throw anchor carelessly.

Love lasts but on a whim

Casually assured today to earnest skepticism the next.

#nkima

 

Sometimes I wake up to a cold heart

A lonely soul

As time flies

I listen to the sweet and serene cry of nature,

The songs of birds in love,

As I lay alone in my bed.

Memories of you flirt with my soul

Thinking of you crashes my mind

I am in the state of sweet surrender,

I am a prisoner held captive by your love,

Your smile, your laugh, your touch,

Please take me home.

Take me to where your heart finds rest,

Take me as I am, a drunkard of emotion and feelings.

Let me be that one,

The one who gets to greet you err morning

And kiss you err night,

The one you get to call lover-boy,

For I am crazy when I’m with you,

And I want to stay that way.

 

But boy will he, will he every passing day

Be the one to fill that role,

Be the one that wants me to call him these names

Will you give in to my attentions, teases and endearments

That days past I’ve been already calling you in my head

I want to wake up to your touch

Go through hours and nights knowing

Most of your smiles

Are mine and mine alone

Boy, do I wanna call you lover boy, baby, bae

All those cliché things we laughed at

During all those late-night conversations 

When we were nothing more than friends

Now that we’re trying to be something more 

Oh yes everyone finds our attempts and struggles cray

But you get it, you get me

Maybe because it’s a kind of “us” typa life now

I think of you when there’s something new to tell,

To laugh at, to get depressed over

I think of you when there’s nothing left to think

So maybe there’s nothing to question on this

Maybe there’s no what ifs and what nots on this page of our lives

Let’s just grab our scrolls, turn the leaf over and have you writing with me

 

Aww but the things you do unto me,

I can swear you render me speechless,

I have crafted words just for you,

Master of my art just to please you.

And since you feel the same way about me,

I will make no promises for they can be broken

I will make a vow,

Not even death will do us part.

But this, I want to do when on one knee,

Looking into those golden beautiful eyes,

I want to see your colour fade when I pop the ring,

I want to see the smile on your face form,

A developing blush and acceptable smirk.

As I give you the ring around which my heart is wound.

Then, I will take you places,

As you call me those cliché things we laughed about,

I will call you bae, angel, my cupcake.

Through hours, I intend to smile at all your smiles,

I look forward to sleepless nights and endless tales,

Crazy laughs and many memories,

And such will be us,

Crazy as we are, nothing can hold us now,

Only if you say the word.

 

And if by word you refer to the “yes”,

Then darling that I’ve already said

Countless, inconceivable times I have acquiesced

My body, my soul, my mind especially 

All are yours, for you to please 

To take to places imaginary and real

To swing through dances for us and for the world to see

A vow, we could write and recite

But our hearts, that’s where our promises are written

In ink indelible for us to read

On our fingertips and on our lips

Words tattooed for our eyes only

For such are phrases that only we crave

And for that, I’m ready 

Take upon it as you see fit

For memories are already in progress,

And words, well words outspoken are only for formality.

This lovely freestyle was written by #nkima and #shawn. Thank you Shawn for being inspiration!