Sunday, 30 January 2011

Politics - no apathy

It's important to be interested, not apathetic. Because interest allows me to bring God's reign more effectively. To be interested is not the same as to subscribe.

Manchester in photos: Student and union protests against spending cuts

I walked past the early conception of a joint student and workers' union protest along Oxford Road on a crisp cold Saturday morning, 29 January 2011. The police were out in anticipation of up to 15,000 protesters, although the final reported numbers came to less than that.

I wasn't sure whether to bleep out the sign as I don't want expletives on my blog. However, blogging from my phone has it's drawbacks - no Photoshop!

Police officers can has better camera than you, oh owner of phone camera.

All waiting to march.

These men turned round so I can get a proper shot of their Socialist Worker newspaper.

Frontline of a peaceful protest.

Doing their jobs

These horses attracted quite a lot of attention from passers-by not involved in the protests. The starting point of the march was in front of the Manchester museum in the university do lots of families with children were very excited about seeing police horses up close.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Mandarin or apple?

Just a quick one of two drinks that I've never come across before. I think they are central American (correct me if I'm wrong). What does jarritos mean? In any event these were Mega-Sweet and made me even more thirsty!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Salvadorean breakfast

Two pupusas filled with beans, pork and cheese. Scrambled eggs with rice and beans on the side. D took me to a local pupuseria where his mum used to work. All this for US$ 7. You can't argue with that. It kept me full until dinner time. D's mum is a legendary Salvadorean chef! Her pupusas are so good that customers used to ask for her so they could thank and tip her personally.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

San Pedro Fish Market

We took a drive to San Pedro so I could have some steamed crab. I got this half-tan from sitting at an angle to the sun for an hour while we had some of the most delicious seafood I've had in awhile.

This is D's order. He's big on flavours and ordered a pound of shrimp (prawns) from the Market which they then cooked on the grill with spices, butter, vegetables and potato. The result was sublime. The prawns were extremely fresh and albeit very messy to eat. You can order a whole mixture if different types if seafood. Just pick the type of seafood you want from the Market, then tell them how you'd like it cooked (with potatoes? Vegetables? Plain?). You then pay and get your bag of fresh seafood and receipt an you bring both to the ladies in the open kitchen who will cook it (the seafood, not the receipt) for you.

I had two huge fresh crab for US$10. Wow this was well worth it. I had to grab the live crab with tongs an shove them into a bag. This is then handed to the vendor who will weigh the crab and tell you the price. After paying, you get a buzzer which will page you when the crab is ready. I love steamed crab. Fresh crab is amazing on its own, no spices or condiments required.

I love this photo because it shows the perfect partner to seafood on a sunny day - cold beer! I wouldn't have minded a cold juice or soda either, as long as it's cold. It also shows the cute little mallet I had to pay a dollar for. Of course! How else would I have been able to eat my crustacean lunch?

Just to give you an idea of how much they were charging for prawns / shrimp. Shocking!!! My crab was sooooo much cheaper.

Grill em up! The aroma emanating from this cooking spot was wonderful. I was hopping on one foot and then the other eagerly waiting for D's to be ready. Like my Ma use to say of me: ni den dao jing chang le! Literally meaning 'you're waiting till your neck grows long!'

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Vintage McDonalds

We were driving in a thunderstorm and D pointed out this old McDonalds. Apparently it's one of the first McD's in California. I took the opportunity at the red lights to capture a shot of history.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Sushiboy at LAX and another farewell

This was a quick last meal in Los Angeles. My flight back to London was delayed by more than two hours and was given a voucher for a meal. Having had an overdose of calorie-laden meals for the past two weeks, I opted for an udon combo from Sushiboy. It was nothing to write home about. The broth, inari, seaweed and fake crabsticks were very ordinary. It came with a side of California roll. I'm not a fussy eater but I didn't finish this. It may have been the sub-par meal, but more likely me being very sad from having to say goodbye to D. I was too heartbroken to eat and was feeling slightly sick in the stomach.

Space part 2

One of the things I love about California (besides the fact I'm not freezing my bottom off) is space. There is so much of it! I love being in or near a big city and yet able to see wide open horizons. I took a few shots of our journey to go sleighing in fluffy mountaintop snow. I'll need to ask D how we got there as I have a bad sense of direction and need to pay careful attention to be able to tell. I know we were on the freeway for about an hour in total. I remember a 10 and a 15 and some strange rock formations (see above) but that's about it.

Can you see the snow cap in the distance?

We went in a convoy of two cars. D scoffed at me for using the word "convoy". He used to lead convoys in the army and insisted this was not a convoy. I explained that two vehicles and above make a convoy. We are still in a disagreement on this point!

D's car has a sunroof. It was tinted and so everything looks grey. Cirrus clouds! Wahoo! Remember that from school?

Oh boy will I miss the wide open roads and blue skies.

The Pike, Long Beach

We went to the Yardhouse for a leisurely beer and snack by the waters. To D's delight, we discovered the beer tasters which was perfect for us to have a little try of everything.

The tasters came in two fixed sets, the white beers and the darker beers. Being a fan of Blue Moon and Hoegaaden (sp? I'm blogging from my phone) we chose the white. They came in six little helpings which look like they're about a third of a pint each. Perfect for two people. It became apparent that every white beer except one had a fruit as one of their ingredients. My favorite was the classic whitbeer without the hints if fruit. It's a shame that D threw away the list of beer names. I can only remember the beers by their fruit - apricot, tangerine, cherry, strawberry and blueberry. The flavored were subtle and the beers were definitely not sweet like the famous fruli ales. That worked well for me as I don't like sweet drinks (I dislike dessert wines or liquors like kahlua or midori.

I ordered a plate of yardhouse's sliders. This came with a side of very thin sliced fries and a pickle. They were sooo good washed down with cold beer!