mardi, février 13, 2007

So What's Up?

Last Friday, Hubby came back from his business trip to Penang with a few goodies (e.g. Kueh Lapis and Pineapple Tarts from the Bengawan Solo and Curry Puffs from the Polar Café at Singapore's Changi Airport where he transited, Prima Taste Mee Rebus from my good friend PL and Shark's fin from my mom - though he kept grumbling about sharks getting extinct because of our soup frenzy etc). I ate up 3 curry puffs in more or less 3 large bites and half the Kueh Lapis and then we went out to look at cars.

I mentioned a few posts ago that Hubby could not decide between the AR (Alfa Romeo) Brera and AR Spider, and that he was thinking of getting me the AR 159 Sportwagon. Well, we arrived at the car dealer's and started helping ourselves to the cars on display. I looked at the Brera and then called the salesman over. "Are those seats behind really for sitting on?" As I had suspected, he shook his head and said no.

To sit on those passenger seats in the AR Brera, you'll need to either not have legs or have really short ones. There is no leg room. Full stop.

I turned to Hubby with a sigh and told him that since this was the case, he might as well make himself happy and get that AR Spider two-seater convertible, the kind of car for selfish people who would not be able to help bring the kids to school or fetch them back. Though I also added that he had better not forget himself too much in that car and come back with speeding fines, in which case the next year (we get to change our cars every year) he'll have to content himself with a FIAT Punto. Let all my readers be witnesses to this pact.

Speaking of speeding fines, I had yet to pay off the last one and he got himself flashed at in the tunnel between the car dealer's showroom and Stuttgart City Centre on our way back! That's another pair of Hugo Boss pumps, damn it.

Then we opened the door to the AR 159 SW and I entered the car. How in the world could people get all excited about cars that make you drive almost lying down? I felt closed in. Kind of like I risk having the head knock on the car ceiling each time I fidget in the seat. And there is leg room behind, but not too much. You can imagine the kids sitting behind and complaining about it after 30 minutes. If it takes us 6 hours to drive to the Alps, that would be 5h 30 mins too long.

So we must look for another alternative. Less sexy, but surely more practical. Besides, if we have family over, we could avoid driving 2 cars each time we go out, him so cool in his convertible (cannot take passengers, cannot take luggage), while I have to lug around everybody plus the luggage. No way, man. Plus think of the extra petrol and the environmental pollution.

We will probably get the LANCIA Phedra ( It is like the RENAULT Espace that we are currently driving, only less powerful but more chic. 7-seater, enough leg room etc. Difficult to park, but if you give me automatic gears, GPS and rear parking radars, I'll survive. I hope.

Then we spent the weekend looking at Baby Girl's head, she has crusts on it. It's weird. And we also debated long and hard about whether to write a letter to Eldest Boy's teacher and school Principal - and try to meet and get them to change the lousy grades and nasty remarks on his report card. The boy has a concentration problem and daydreams on his feet, but he doesn't deserve to have the teacher write it down so nastily the way she did. Also, he has been bringing back excellent grades (interspersed with mediocre ones) in the past 2 months, but none of that was reflected in the report card. Just bad grades. Something's not right there. I am the last person to challenge a teacher's judgement, but honestly this time around I can't sit around and let it pass. It would be unfair to the boy. Most kids are already mean to him because he is so out-of-this-world, he shouldn't have to harvest mean remarks and lousy grades just because the teacher too has a bone against him. Assez!

Otherwise I am pretty happy today. I cooked my Mee Rebus and ate it all up myself. Such satisfaction. The children get to eat the usual Papa-is-away stuff like Minced Pork and Shrimp Congee, Fried Wantons and yesterday I had to cook Salmon in 2 different ways i.e. just pan-grilled with olive oil and lemon juice and served with grilled zucchini and potatoes, and also cooked in a curry and served with rice - because Eldest Son likes it done European style and the other 2 prefer it the Asian way.

On Saturday Hubby made us a lovely dessert - Banane Flambée au Rhum served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream that we ate in front of the TV (the Samsung DVD player is kaput, by the way, it's relatively new so it's a pain).

Last week, I had a craving for sardines. But it has since been satisfied and I won't go near any for quite a while. If you had to remove scales and innards from a dozen fishy sardines with your fingers, you'll understand why. The whole kitchen stank for 2 days at least. But they were good, lightly coated with ground turmeric, corn flour and salt and fried. Served with fries and a squeeze of lemon.

To celebrate Hubby's promotion we had dinner 2 Fridays ago at this nice restaurant Landgasthaus zur Linde recommended by the Gault et Millau Guide. The wines were good and the food too and the bill came up to a reasonable 170 Euros for 2. We both had the Octopus Salad to start with, followed by a Herb Soup with Scampi and then Beef Rolls in Balsamic Sauce (the potato purée was too salty though). And we shared a chocolate dessert that was nicely done. More importantly, it was nice having some couple time together and be able to carry out a discussion without a few kids screaming around us.

And last Friday evening, we left the kids at home with a babysitter and turned up at Eldest Son's school for circus night. Every Friday afternoon, the boy learns circus tricks from this private circus school (Circus Circuli) in his own school. And to make us feel better about the huge amount we have paid for our kids' classes, I suspect that they had come up with an evening of letting the parents try their hands on the same tricks. We brought the finger food and they were supposed to provide the drinks, and when we were there, they said that we could contribute towards the drinks as we wished. Hmm...

Anyway, M and her hubby were there too so we were happy to be there. I arrived with my sport shoes, but didn't try anything once I was there (no wait, I touched the fire on the torch). Just didn't feel like breaking a bone. Besides, it's difficult jumping etc with my glasses on and I can't see a thing without them. Hubby tried the trampoline, the wheel and a few other things, he's a better sport, of course. M and her Hubby tried everything and they were quite good at them, I must say. We didn't stay too long as Hubby was tired after a whole night spent on the plane and I was a little worried about the babies who were a little off-colour. Also, I've eaten almost everything there was to eat and couldn't think of anything else to do.

PS : Most of the photos turned out blur, the camera must have been badly adjusted and nobody knows how to make it work normally again...

5 commentaires:

Priscilla Tews a dit…

Hey Serene

Interesting post! =) Wow, yr son enjoys circus stuff! Interesting! I tried my hands at some simple tricks when I was in bible school last year, this pastor taught us some tricks. Anyways, how´s baby girl now? Getting better? Yah, would love to meet up with u whenever u r free! My class at berlitz ends on 28th feb and I might have one month break before starting next level at another school. Drop me a buzz or smth ok? =) Pris

last frontier a dit…

you're getting more and more sofisticated and exclusive... a new top car every year for you and your hubby, eating at the finest restaurants (170€ for 2 is reasonable ? For me reasonable is maximum 50€ for 2...), etc, etc.
Please call me as soon as you get your first yatcht and just pass by the portuguese coast ok ?

Beau Lotus a dit…

Hi Pris,

I was thinking of one Wed like maybe at 13h30, we could eat Chinese, Indian or Vietnamese. I only have my youngest on Wed, the other 2 kids stay in school till half past 3.

Next week I have no class since it's the school hols and we're going to Oberjoch to ski (if there's snow). I'll contact you in early March.

Last Frontier, the cost of living in Paris, Stuttgart etc is much higher than in Portugal in general, so we are used to paying more. Bologna apparently is one of the most expensive cities in Italy, so things won't get cheaper for us.

As for us having new cars every year soon, this is his new company's policy in Italy. It is cheaper this way as they sell the cars better after just one year. It comes with the position and if you see the long hours, travelling etc that hubby does, it is just a simple perk. We'll be paying for our own petrol (unlike in Germany) and more importantly, lots of taxes on them. If you think of how important taxes are to every country, we are certainly more than contributing to the economy.

I get sea sick very easily, having a yacht doesn't seem as such a likely possibility :-).

Priscilla Tews a dit…

Hey serene, sure contact me then! =) My sch at berlitz ends 28 feb (last day), will have maybe 2 weeks or 4 weeks break, before starting deutsch in another school again. Would be great to meet up! We can go for indian, cos hubby hates indian, so wld b great to have someone to go with. =)

Anonyme a dit…

Hello and glad to find your blog. Here’s a relevant article related Alfa Romeos that I wrote a while ago – I thought it might be a good read on your blog as well:

Alfa Romeo Tuning – The Ultimate Options and Results

Alfa Romeo is, most definitely a brand that represents a wide range of different car models with the same stylish personality and a great deal of potential. We might say about these cars that they are pretty close to perfection and, in some cases, the tuning and optimizing procedures can help them actually become the perfect, dream cars.

How to Improve an Alfa Romeo Car

Besides the great selection of companies that are specialized in tuning procedures in general that would be delighted to transform a capable, powerful Alfa Romeo car into an even more powerful one, there are numerous companies that are strictly specialized in Alfa Romeo tuning and the results can be quite surprising. But tuning does not need to be so spectacular and expensive. Alfa Romeo parts and accessories can be found, transformed and changed quite easily. Most car owners that are in search of new ways of improving their car are mainly focused on getting extra power. What can be done in the case of Alfa Romeo? For instance, the first step when wanting to boost the power is to add to the Alfa Romeo car an air filter and a sports exhaust, together with a fuel pressure boost valve – and these solutions are quite affordable, too.

Optimized Examples of Alfa Romeo Tuning

One of the best and most impressive Alfa Romeo tuning examples is represented by the optimized version of the elegant Alfa Romeo Brera, a car named Autodelta Brera J5 3,2 C - the name Autodelta stands for the British tuning company that managed to do such a great job and, furthermore, the “J” letter symbolizes its exclusive feature and hand-made, customized features. But don’t think that this was an easy job – after all, transforming the classier standard Alfa Romeo Brera into this dream car for speed lovers took more than one year. But what is so spectacular about this car? First of all, the engine is brand new and it is at high standards: Arese V6, which has a power of 400 CP, with JTS technology. Moreover, this optimized car can achieve the 100km/hour target in 5,3 seconds and can go up to 270 km/hour. As for the tires, these are Dunlop SP Sport Maxx, with 19 inch rims.

Alfa Romeo brand made quite a spectacular comeback since 2001, when the Alfa Romeo 147 was released on the market. Specialists claimed that this particular car has a strong personality, a very aesthetic body and a silent, yet powerful engine. Since then, more and more customers and car lovers admire the elegance, but also the force and power of these cars. And now, with the wide range of Alfa Romeo tuning possibilities, these cars can be optimized and personalized as the owner desires. Further resources on the following Alfa models are also available: Alfa Romeo GTV, Alfa Romeo 155 parts, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Alfa Romeo 146 spare parts and Alfa Romeo 8C .


Michael S.