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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Do You Keep Dripping? / War Is Hell

The vaudeville funny-man would have riposte to any positive answer to that question...

"Well, you better see a doctor then!" Boom boom! Ha ha!

The assumption is that he'd asked that question of a butcher, see... Groan

Dripping = lard. Because a butcher would keep, as in have on store, a supply of cooled, strained fat - the 'dripppings' of a roast, say.

But it might also mean, like, dribbles coming out of your urethra once the sensation of urination had passed, indicating for a man, a prostate problem.

I'm off the Cymbalta and so No, I don't keep dripping. Not anymore. However I am majorly grumpy I've noticed...

And No too would be the answer of all the butchers and culinary stores I've questioned this week in Singapore in my search for lard for the crispiest roast potatoes in the red dot.

I'd been to Cold Storage in Novena, Marketplace in Tanglin Mall, Jason's in Orchard Towers, Giant in Vivocity Harbourfront (all of which actually ARE Cold Storage), Jones The Grocer and Culina in Dempsey Hill.

According to the wisdom of crowds, viz-a-vix the ExaptSingapore Cooking/Food forum, the butcher at Holland Village keeps some aside. Well, expert expat, my weary feet went over that place twice, and there IS no dedicated butcher at Holland Village. There is a wet-market beast disectionist and a meat section in the Cold Storage, but neither of knew what the hell lard or duck fat was.

Anyway, I found some - some graisse de canard at the Swiss Butcherie in Greenmount. $16 for the last jar. Duck fat. I'd rather much cheaper and better beef fat... Supafry, which is all I wanted, just some boring old dripping like mum used to keep in that yellow porcelain jug in the fridge, you can buy anywhere in the suburban corner shops of Australia, where health messages have yet to penetrate, it's just a coupla bucks...

Sigh. These potatoes better be good tomorrow... Report to come.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In other news - Israeli deaths due to friendly fire (6) currently exceeds the number of Israelis killed by Hamas rockets (4) in the past two weeks. There is a lesson in there, somewhere. And it's more than 4 and 6 just doesn't add it up as a UN school is blasted, killing forty or fifty people who were seeking refuge there...

Somebody famous said: Those who don't study history are condemned to repeat it. E@L says: Those who DO study history know that it's mainly the bad parts that are repeated.

E@L

31 comments:

expat@large said...

Notice that my trust in my readers has degenerated to the point to that I am explaining my jokes.

Maybe I'll get a wider audience that way. Limiting my musings upon my humble self to members of Mensa has not been helping my plans of taking over the internet...

Indiana said...

My dear friend, there is a butcher in Holland Village, it's the famous "Aussie Butcher", so the expat experts are right.

To explain: cross the road at the lights outside Cold Storage and continue down the side street, turn left onto Jln Mera Saga (sp?), or rather turn right at the second st at the cooking shop, stop in there for a look for all the hard to get utensils and cooking paraphernalia, then continue up the road, past a plethora of great restaurants and then the "Aussie Butcher" is on the left past Michelangelo's and Sistina :-)

expat@large said...

If it isn't in view as I sit for a Hoegaarden in Wala Wala it cannot be IN Holland Village.

It can be NEAR Holland Village, which is how I would describe Michelangelos to people. I don't know that street well at all, as you know I tend to avoid the typical Aussies expats areas (except for Wala Wala, Clarke Quay Boat Quay, Tanglin Mall) and the lifestyles of the displaced dinkum diaspora (except when I am looking for lard).

And I don't go there; it is a scene of much angstifying history. The only blog post I have ever pulled had its origins in that place.

I vaguely figured that was where it must be, but my feet were about to explode, so I hopped a cab to Greenmount, to the Swiss place, to fulfill my Europhile longings.

expat@large said...

p.s. the secret is out - I am not an "expert expat"! But I can tell you where the best hawker centre is! (Old Airport Rd.)

savannah said...

perhaps, indy could take you there...

expat@large said...

Sav: Just as I took him to Old Airport Rd Hawker Centre?

I could have called him of course as he used to live near there, but an E@L on the non-veg fat prowl never admits defeat! He lives or dies by his vow of grumpy independence...

I even went to notorious Orchard Towers (to the supermarket in the basement) looking for lard... (don't tell anyone!)

Mark said...

On Israel (Nah, I've not much interest in beef dripping!)

If you ever wondered the rights and wrongs there, just look at these two maps (West Bank), and ponder on what are the Israelis really trying to do.

see for example this map of the barrier ...

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/israel-palestine/maps/barrierjuly08.pdf

and this of administration of the West Bank:

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/israel-palestine/land/2001/large.htm

The second map, especially, really shocked me, and I have never seen it published in any mainstream media.

marke

expat@large said...

Mark: commenting any similarities between the ghettoization of Poland in the 30's by the Nazis and the Israeli's treatment of the Palestinians would be considered too controversial, so I won't even mention that my Jewish ex-flatmate told me that as the true Messiah has not come yet, the Jews should not be in Israel at all...

The Zionist controversy rages even in far-away places like Australia.

Bombing the shite out of civilians, creating Human Smoke, is the 20th century's most dubious contribution to war theory and practice.

Mark said...

commenting any similarities between the ghettoization of Poland in the 30's by the Nazis and the Israeli's treatment of the Palestinians would be considered too controversial...

a fact is a fact, expat. And since when did you worry about controversy?

Mark said...

It is strange that there is controversy or questions about this Israeli/Palestinian issue, when it should be so clear to any independent thinker.

But still we shake our heads and say "Oh, it is so complicated". This is a tribute to how easy it is to program us with spin and propaganda, and how easy it is to harness “us and them” thinking by activating the tribal/gang tendency of the human psyche.

I’ll read 'Human Smoke,' by Nicholson Baker for sure! Thanks for bringing it to my attention (perhaps there is a similar theme to the above paragraph in there somewhere).

…. And a quote from The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict. Published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/origin.html
(purportedly a Jewish site)
“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French...What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct...If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb … (he decries violent solutions) …. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.” Mahatma Gandhi, quoted in “A Land of Two Peoples” ed. Mendes-Flohr.

Mark said...

... that last quote was from Mahatma Gandhi, in 1938.

expat@large said...

A fact is a fact, and the truth is the truth. And never the twain... Read Plato, Berkeley, Kant and Schopenhauer on where perception and reality coincide 100% - 100% nowhere!

Parts of that Gandhi quote are also in Human Smoke pp 105-106.

Mark said...

Well, a fine cop-out that is! Gandhi seemed a little more certain than does expat.


...here's another who is fairly certain:

"For me, this business called the state of Israel is finished ... I can't bear to see it anymore, the injustice that is done to the Arabs ... All kinds of scum coming from America and as soon as they get off the plane taking over lands in the territories and claiming it for their own ... I can't do anything to change it. I can only go away and let the whole lot go to hell without me."

[Rivka Michaeli - Israeli actress - Aug, 1998]

....

HairyDonut said...

them spuds were GUD

dh said...

It's OK E@L. I grew up in post-war Britain. I used to love dripping on toast.

expat@large said...

There are several excellent Japanese websites devoted to the topic of "dripping" on toast and other foodstuffs. As I am sure you are aware. Cross-membership includes "SpankMe-IAmBritish.com" ...

Seriously, No 1 son it was I think, maybe someone else, who commented favorably to me on a recent treat of dripping on toast - loved it he (for I am sure it was a he to whom I spoke) said.

Butter, margarine, olive oil (the recent "Italian way" to eat bread so favored in restaurants and in SIA Business Class), lard, goose gizzard drippings, whatever... It's all just fat on bread.

Lard has the advantage/disadvantage of retaining some of the
Maillard (not mallard) reaction chemicals which give cooked meat it's wonderful taste and/or aroma. That makes it delicious, despite it's queasy dull grey appearance, but also limits it applicabilty as a spread. It is too strong in a specific flavor direction. You couldn't put lard on bread then top it with jam, marmalade or vegemite/marmite, could you?

Or could you? Maybe a molecule thin touch of vegemite in the night? Vegemite - the secret ingredient to a good gravy for some lambs fry.

OK stop me talking food, somebody please....

HairyDonut said...

Can I please have your spuds recipe?

Mark said...

OK stop me talking food, somebody please....

but it was too late...!

His victim had managed to break eye contact by feigning a coughing fit and rushing for the toilet, and Mark finally raised his gaze, halted his monologue and took a breath. As he stood up and wandered around the room, he noticed everyone at the party seemed to be in deep conversation in small tight groups, and he could not catch anyone’s eye. Bravely gripping his beer he sidled up to the host’s small clique near the door, but they huddled down and commented enthusiastically on the great food and the merits of lard, “How about them damn spuds, eh?”

He wondered if he should shout a goodbye, but then decided it was easier to quietly drift out of the door, leaving his half full, slightly warm beer (he’d been talking a lot, and drinking little) on the side table near the entrance. He imagined he heard a rush of escaping breath within the room as the door closed, but, then again, it was probably just the sound of the door.

Outside, in the warm Singapore night, as he waited for his taxi, a trickle of sweat tickled his ribs, and he wondered if he still had enough time and money to strike up a deep friendship with one of the Indonesian girls in town. Surely they would listen to his views on Israel and Palestine? And if not, there’d perhaps be other interests they’d find they could share.

marke

expat@large said...

As the taxi-driver pushed over his phone and started scrolling through a series of imgaes and videos of Laos and Indonesian ladies in varied stages of undress and delictable flagrantness, E@L could sense the engines of his vascular system turning the vast bulk of blood around, like the cruise ships outside his office window spinning under the insistent prompting of tugboats in to dock. Membranes shuttered down steering away flow from his frontal cortex and with the supply to reason gone, food conversations gone, the spillways to his limbic system surging, boldly flushing his groinal appartus and imbuing his limited consciousness with a an unfathomable thrill of desperation and a powerful hunger that could easily be appeased here in Singapore with the help of this taxi-driver, if only for tonight, he was forced to say, "OK the little one, the Laotian lady with the genuine tits please... So long as she speaks some English."

Mark said...

As he sat on the bed beside his newly acquired friend, eagerly expounding his viewpoint upon someone he thought just might care, it suddenly became apparent that although her English had seemed perfectly adequate whilst negotiating the terms of the friendship, it did not really seem to extend to political/religious discussions. She listened and gazed at him blankly for a moment, then, with a sudden beautiful smile, lay back on the bed, kicked off her shoes and with that half graceful, half clumsy, ever delightful bottom lifting arch, she slid jeans and panties off together.

Smooth brown skin against white sheets proved a compelling way of changing the subject, and later, as he was lying back, gazing at the ceiling of the cheap room, the world seemed a little more peaceful and a little more distant. She lay still atop him for just long enough, and was soon a bundle of energy, dashing in and out of the bathroom, quickly patting and powdering herself back into street presentable shape, and remarkably, her grasp of the English language had fully returned.

The terms of the negotiated friendship had been that she stayed until morning, but as usual, when she asked the question, he had agreed, and so she dashed enthusiastically into the night, belying the fact that her departure excuse had been weariness and a need to get home and sleep.

He felt hungry now, and wished he had tried some of those delicious smelling roast potatoes before he’d left the party.


marke

Mark said...

.... and just to prove that while you can get a good man down, you can't keep him down...

from an article in today's "The Age";

We often hear politicians and commentators proclaim the complexity of this conflict and ask why Palestinians and Israelis can't just get along. The problems of an illegal occupation, the Palestinian refugees and the ever-shrinking territory on which Palestinians are expected to build their state are swept under the carpet. Illegal settlements continue to be built and the ubiquitous "security barrier" snakes its way through the towns and villages of the occupied West Bank, making a contiguous Palestinian state impossible....

...Before the rockets were launched into Israel, there was an illegal and brutal occupation. Before Hamas existed, that occupation existed. ....

Which Israel is Hamas supposed to recognise? The state has no declared borders and its settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem continues unabated. Do we really expect an indigenous population to simply accept dispossession and exile?.....
...In Australia, the major political parties seem content to mouth formulas about the right of Israel to self-defence. No one asks who will defend the stateless Palestinians.


My thoughts exactly!

expat@large said...

Mark: are you channelling my parties and my sex life? Am I so transparently cliched? Or are you?

Or are we in fact the same person living in different bodies at the same time?

It's because I snore, actually. They all want leave because I snore. My father died when I was a baby because I snored. I am shit, my life is worthless. My feet hurt because I snore. My penis has a mind of its own. I have no wife. I have no girlfriend. I have no belief in the afterlife or in a higher power because I snore. I'm never going to finish my book. I'm never even going to start it, I'm too busy snoring. I have three days of training to give next week and I haven't prepared squat.

I'm going to apply for a job in Gaza, doing fireworks displays for Hamas... That, or be a clown at kiddies parties there, dressed as a Hasidic jew doing Woody Allen jokes.

Frack it, I'm going to bed, to snore.

savannah said...

you snore?

Mark said...

The elephant shuffled his feet and cleared his throat nervously, and after a long pause, he too quietly left the room. Someone in the background said cheerfully, "Where in the world was Palestine, anyway?"

Meanwhile, on the other side of town in the bathroom of a cheap hotel, Mark gazed long and hard at himself in the mirror. "Jesus effing Christ" he exclaimed, without any religious feeling at all.

It was true! He had become e@l. For a moment, thoughts of suicide drifted through his mind, but he couldn't be bothered, so he just went back to bed.

expat@large said...

Sav: up to a point. (The point of housing structural collapse.)

Mark: sure you didn't see that elephant in the mirror? Or was it the lion in the wardrobe - a hint of the redemption to come? Hang on, was that the battle-horns of the Four Horsemen? Is this The Rapture? I can't go to heaven now, I think I left the iron on...

Mark said...

elephant? battle-horns? Yeah. I see. Yeah, yeah - ok ..hmmm...rewrite time...

Meanwhile, on the other side of town in the bathroom of a cheap hotel, Mark gazed long and hard at himself in the mirror. "Jesus effing Christ!" he exclaimed, without any religious feeling at all.

It was true! He had become E@L. For a moment, thoughts of suicide drifted through his mind, but as he reached down to scratch his still slightly greasy crotch, a look of wonder and delight crossed his face. He whipped back the towel and stared downwards into the mirror, and the word "elephantine" sprang to immediately to mind. (partly because the huge appendage he beheld was a bit grey around the edges, and strange bristles sprang from odd parts of it)

But he was delighted, and leapt eagerly from the bathroom, eager to take on the world. (The leaping made his feet hurt, but nothing mattered now!) And finally he understood that oft repeated reply he'd had from the girls when he'd quizzed them on their knowledge of the famous E@L, "Expat? Yeah, I know him. A complete prick if you ask me".

….. and so the writer paused and swayed in his seat, he’d become hugely weary. Suddenly he understood the sacrifices creativity demanded. How much time and effort Tolkien had put into the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, and that JK Rowling hadn’t just punched out “Harry Potter" books in an evening, and while Michelangelo spent a lot of time lying down on the job, that ceiling was no cake walk, … and that E@L was sacrificing huge quantities of his valuable work time to tend his blog.

As the writer’s forehead planted itself on firmly on the keyboard, the word “xcckkkkllllrrppppprrrr” appeared on the screen, pretty adequately describing the snoring sound issuing from him.

He was done.

expat@large said...

sssssxxxnnnrrrkkkKKK - - - - - Harrrumphh! Ggrggle...

And E@L chokes awake in office chair to the BING of an email notification. He lowers his feet from their special oedma draining elevation (vidilecit, his desk)....

He blinks at the sun sparkling and admires the wind whipped patterns as small flurries of wavelets play upon the surface of the toilet-cleanser-green, scrotum-slackening warm waters of Keppell Harbour. A few ferries slice effervescent foam trails in their wakes. The Mt Faber cable-car seems to have someone actually in one of its pods. The H-F terminal is free of those taxi-devouring tourist traps, cruise ships...

Email...

Oh no, his blog has been hijacked again! Not since the dark days of TrouserSnake's ascendance has E@L been so plagued and parodied, so attacked and astounded, so hacked and hackle-raised, so buggered and bereft of alliterations starting with B! (Hang on, what about 'bereft'? Mm, not bad!)

He scratches at his groin, expecting the elephantine tumescence to still be there... but no. It was a dream; he has no large grey, hornily bristled penis. He had detached his penis as ususal that morning and left it in the jar by his bedside, as per his wife's orders.

The image was merely a trunk call from his imagination.

So where do dreams and reality coincide? In the cloud-space of the brain of course, and only a small trigger in his brainstem tells one that THIS is real, whereas THAT, not. A neuronal switch keeps his body inert as his brain runs riot. Is he a brain in a jar? Couldn't they at least have got a jar that fitted? Does a body hitting the concrete make any sound if the person who captured it on their mobile-phone's video didn't have the microphone turned on?

Where are the Palestineans when you need them? he wondered, sratched his Ken-doll-mound groin and allowed himself to drift back, to float up to the dream cloud...

Were once again, he was a great man: attractive to women, slim, creative, funny, successful (obviously not a banker), witty, and by ginger, could he fry up some crisp chips!

expat@large said...

Marke: this should be a running story on a separate blogpost somehow... I'll set up one up. Three hundred words max, cause by then we run out of creative juice... LOL!

Mark said...

"He was done"

geez ...

I was trying to stop myself...

expat@large said...

OK, stop then see what I care...

Are you around socialising this weekend somewhere? I realize of course that you move in differnet circles to my mere vortex...

Mark said...

He lay still in his fetid pond, eyes barely clear of the soupy green water, his gaze baleful and toadlike. He kept his nostrils below the surface as much as possible to minimize the stench, and except for his slight movements, and slight flatulence, no ripples disturbed the calm. His belly rested on the slimy rocks below, and he knew if he stretched out his legs and arms, they’d have easily touched the banks.

“A swirling social vortex?” he thought with contempt. Surely Expat knew that the secret to keeping a social pond suitably small and stagnant was to discuss the Palestinian situation at every social event to which one was invited? He raised himself slightly and peered far into the distance, where a great swirling, foaming fountain indicated the position of Expat’s pond, and wondered what it was like to live in such a social maelstrom. He thought he caught some glimpses of nubile girls (one looked Laotian, and seemed to have natural breasts).

Mate, am out of town now, but come through Harbourfront frequently ... (heard some distant snoring on the way through last Tuesday) not sure when the next trip is (in a week or so). If you like, text me a contact on +65 97570209 and I'd be happy to buy you a beer in Harry's Bar (or anywhere else convenient for that matter). Mark

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