Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Brand New Me

I don't know how I heard this song (, but it was enough to make me think about what I would have to face once I returned to Canada. I always struggle when I return home after being gone for an extended period of time. It's not negative, but just...Challenging. Life has been moving forward while you're away from home and you're not part of it. It's hard to re-insert yourself into the spot that you left and to re-enter relationships (familial, friendships and so on). As if that wasn't enough, you've changed as a person; your experiences and new friends have an impact on you and, inevitably, re-shape you. In my case, my surroundings had a positive impact on my life which made leaving horribly tough. However, they also helped me see some of the light at the end of the tunnel and knowing that they're still close (thank you, Whatsapp and fb!), has helped make the transition easier.

After remaining in my apartment for almost a full week, I decided to take my father out for dinner to celebrate his birthday which had passed the weekend I went to Dubai. We went to a place that Habibi introduced me to (honestly, that's how I was introduced to most of the great restaurants in my hometown), called Blackfriars. Blackfriars is a small, boutique restaurant that has a small, but flavourful menu! I love the cozy ambiance and consistently amazing food! A tad pricey, but well worth it once you taste the delicious food! The restaurant has been open for a loooong time, so it's crazy to think I've only known about this place for the last few years ( I love taking my dad out for nice dinners. We called this tradition father-daughter dates. However, when I do this (or my sister does this), my father takes it upon himself to enjoy being treated to dinner. There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with that except that he stuffs himself silly! The first time I could afford to treat him to dinner I took him to a great place called Garlics. Now, my father loves garlic, so it's no surprise that he ate a lot. When we were driving home, I stopped to quickly grab my mom some food. While I was going through the drive-through and placing my order, I choked on the most horrible smell. My poor father was lying down in the back of the car and...Well, I'm sure you can guess what the smell was. My sister finally figured out why my eyes were popping out of my head and we couldn't stop laughing and gagging! In the middle of winter in Southwestern Ontario, we had all the windows rolled down and SLOWLY drove up to the pick-up window. By this point my sister and I were laughing so hard that we were crying. As if being exposed to such a stench wasn't bad enough, later that evening I felt a shooting pain up my left arm, numbness and throbbing in my chest and shoulder. My mother, panicking, called an ambulance and off I went to the hospital. Countless tests and hours later, a very handsome doctor came in to check my vitals (I was so shy I couldn't look him the eye after that!). He told me that I had likely pulled a muscle, but, thank God, didn't experience a heart attack. All I could think was, "When would I have pulled a muscle???" I asked him if I could have pulled a muscle trying not to laugh or from laughing too hard and he said I could have. I couldn't bear telling him what had happened earlier in the evening, but it WAS a very, very long time before I took my father out for another father-daughter date!

 Drinks! Alcoholic ones!!! My father ordered red wine, my sister a long island iced tea and I ordered a mai tai...which that green drink is NOT (I don't know what happened there, lol!)
 Sorry for the mess! I forgot to take pictures until we'd already dug into our food :(  I ordered the 'Pine Nut & Almond Crusted Chicken Breast'. It was AMAZING and I'm not even a fan of chicken
 This was my sister's pork tenderloin. We're not a family that likes pork, but listen to the description on the menu: "Black and white sesame crusted with ginger sauce on an Asian inspired risotto with baby bok choy, shiitake and brown beech mushrooms, sake and sesame oil"
 As soon as I saw the menu, I knew my dad would choose the 'Trio of Seafood,' which consisted of lobster tail, jumbo shrimp (oxymoron!), and salmon-MMMMMM!!!!
 Dad's dessert: peach and berry cobbler.
 My sister got chocolate cake (not what I thought she'd choose)
My crème brûlée


  1. Real mai thais and pork.. sigh, you're in heaven!

    1. layla! you're awesome! i'm actually not a fan of pork (except for salami/pepperoni), and sadly, that was a poor excuse for a mai tai :( However, it was still a tasty drink! are you able to go on vacation somewhere where you can enjoy a drink...and pork?

    2. Hey! Yup, I'm awesome aren't I? lol How are you settling into life back in Canada?

      I'm hoping to travel to Goa (India) for a couple of days next month so hopefully will be able to enjoy a real mai thai (or pinnacolada - what is the difference btw).

      As for pork, I love it in Chinese food. There was this restaurant called Ruby's back in NZ (I grew up there) that made the best sweet n sour pork. Oh boy, at work and thinking about pork! :-)

    3. Hi layla!

      Settling back into Canada has been going alright. The weather is FINALLY going above 0 degrees (Celsius)!!! I hope you enjoy Goa! I've always wanted to travel to India!!! A Pina Colada is a creamy, blended mix with rum and tastes like a mix of pineapple and coconut. A Mai Tai is a mix of rum with pineapple and orange juice and sometimes grenadine-reminiscent of the mocktail called a Shirley Temple.

      I remember I went to a Chinese restaurant in my hometown in Canada with my friend and he wanted the sweet and sour chicken but I think he wanted to make sure it was the Americanized version, so he asked the waiter to describe the dish and the waiter looked at him (without a hint of irony and said), "Well, it's a little bit sweet and a little bit sour," and we couldn't stop laughing because we absolutely deserved that kind of answer! Like I said, I'm not a big pork eater, but salami and pepperoni are my weakness!!! Hope you're enjoying Kuwait! I've heard the weather there is the most beautiful at this time of year!!!