Reflecting on One’s Roots and Looking Ahead

I’ve been in Malaysia for the last couple of days now, and have been stuffing my face with all the local delicacies I could get my hands on. It truly is incredible how good something can taste when people spend their whole lives perfecting a handful of dishes. For example, there is a fried carrot (or turnip) cake vendor who operates in the morning market in my neighborhood. It’s may not have the fancy plating techniques of high-end cuisine, but the depth of flavors found in the dish is incredible – it’s somehow savory, rich, chewy, fluffy, crunchy, spicy, and sweet all at the same time.

 

Other dishes, like the curry noodles, prawn noodles, wantan noodles, and claypot chicken rice featured below, contain remarkable flavors, and are packed full of history, such as the influence of the spice trade on Malaysian cuisine, and the amalgamation of different cultures in order to create such remarkable dishes.

I am also very thankful that I am able to usher in 2019 with my family, with good food, good wine, and lots of laughter. 2018 has been quite a turbulent and exciting year. I was personally touched by several events, which include the results of both the Malaysian general election (showing that democracy is still very much alive, and that patronage politics can be overcome) and the U.S. midterms (showing that the U.S. still celebrates diversity of all kinds), the drawbacks of the information age (and how valuable privacy is), and the #metoo movement, which highlights a large problem that still persists in our society. I also made the decision to strive for better work life balance, better appreciate my friends and family, and focus on finding a purpose I find meaningful that I can work towards. I have accomplished some goals, achieved some successes, and experienced some failures. Nonetheless, I am content with what I have achieved in 2018 (which include, among other things, starting this blog to better reflect on what matters most to me and to write about food!)

Goodbye 2018 – and welcome 2019! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for me.

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