Sunday, December 25, 2011

MAY PAELLA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

Saute chopped onion and garlic in olive oil.

Stir in sliced pork tenderloin, chicken legs, and chorizos.

Add 3 cups of washed malagkit and stir until brown.

Pour in tomato puree, clam stock, and frozen peas.

Add prawns, quartered boiled crabs, and precooked clams.

Cook in medium fire and stir every 5 minutes until done.

Garnish with sliced boiled eggs.

Serve with chilled Metruz red wine.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

But since I forgot to take a photo of my paella, here's a bowl of Laksa noodles from Malaysia for your eyes.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

INDABA FINALE

Oh yeah, I did have a pansit moment in Durban but the Chinese noodles topped with beef in oyster sauce I found at the NGO exhibit center is too heavy and stale I decided to stick to exploring South African cuisine like mala magodu (lamb tripes) with pap (ground maize porridge) which is so very pinapaitan, siopao-like buns dipped in oily skop (strips and lumps of meat from boiled cow's head) which so adobo, oxtail stew which is like kare-kare minus the vegetables and thick sauce, a foot-long portion of barbecued boerewors (beef sausage), the famous bunny chow (curry-in-a-bread), tons of lamb and beef curry (I wonder why those taste much better in Durban than in Hyderabad), Neville's daily breakfast fare of purine-heavy butter sauteed mushrooms, delicately baked potatoes, what I thought were hybrid pork-and-beans (sweet but minus the pork), sausages of the dark-hard and light-soft varieties, fresh sliced strange fruits bathing in yogurt, eggs over easy it's almost raw (I always had two), toast smothered with a butter and marmalade spread, pulpy orange juice, grilled ripe tomato, and that wonderful freshly brewed coffee...


And I had my church too courtesy of a hastily arranged and almost-a-goner last-minute city tour which first presented me with a glimpse of the gold-domed Juma Masjid Mosque (built in 1904 and the largest in the southern hemisphere) as we slow drove through the Dr. Yusuf Dadoo Street after a 45-minute shopping spree at the Victoria Market on our way to the Emmanuel Cathedral (also built in 1904 and one of South Africa's national monuments) to fulfill Attorney Carol's wish to pray on that feast day of the Immaculate Conception...



But still, the outcome of the Durban Indaba in terms of realizing an international treaty on climate change mitigation and adaptation is a big hole of a disappointment...

PHOTOS: My Chinese noodles with beef in oyster sauce (top), the Juma Masjid Mosque (middle), and the Emmanuel Cathedral (bottom).    

Friday, December 09, 2011

OCCUPY DURBAN!

Protest had never been so close in the UNFCCC.

And I have been to 5 intersessionals and a Conference of Parties before Durban.

So the UN police was taken by surprise when mostly yellow badgers (i.e. NGO delegates) staged a walk out and blocked part of the Albert Luthuli International Convention Center to get their message across.

I did received an invitation to join from a 350.org coordinator which I have to politely decline because of the protocol that binds me as a pink badger (i.e. party delegate) of the Philippine delegation.

I told them I will support them in other ways.

They were able to hold for a couple of hours before voluntarily leaving the premises.

Except for 2 who have to be carried out by the UN police.

What happened next was probably the longest ever last day in the history of the UNFCCC COP that stretched into a marathon 48 hours of negotiation which resulted into a somewhat disappointing outcome...




Wednesday, December 07, 2011

DURBAN: THE LAST IMAGES








PHOTOS EXPLAINED, top to bottom: (1) Pages from the infamous pass book and images from Durban's harsh labor control system not to long ago are illustrated on the walls of the Kwa Muhle Museum; (2) spices for sale at the Victoria Street Market that was established in 1870; (3) the skyline of Durban's inner city and (4) makeshift shanties in a township in the suburbs offer contrasting images of South Africa; (5) the Durban Botanic Gardens that was established in 1849 and Africa's oldest; (6) the Moses Mabhida Stadium, and (7) the starting point of the the Golden Mile which refers to a popular beachfront stretch.

Monday, December 05, 2011

MOSES, ACCIDENTALY

Commissioner Yeb Sano was quite occupied.

I was in the Climate Vulnerable Forum in Bangladesh.

So off to the DARA side event for the Philippine delegation.

I went because it is out of the Albert Luthuli International Convention Center which is becoming to be uncomfortably familiar.

The transport marshal put me in the wrong bus but the driver was kind enough to bring me to the Moses Mabhida Stadium bus stop.

I have to walk alone across a park but it was broad daylight and a police patrol is nearby.

I got lost in the maze of doors and corridors but a kind staff helped me find my way.

The side event was a bore but lunch was good and the stadium an interesting photography subject.

Moses was a former leader of the South African Communist Party and the stadium was named in his honor.

It was a host stadium to a commercial (and therefore capitalistic) project  called the 2010 FIFA World Cup.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

FREEDOM

I have been scared before. And it's not a good feeling.

Fear paralyzes the mind as a dark forlorn dungeon would to a person. Fear makes one scared of doing things.

In Durban, I have reached that point where every person on the street or the taxi driver on the corner is a potential criminal. That is not good at all, and it is not fair.

I am on my second week in Durban. And I thought its time to regain my freedom from fear.

Suddenly, the world is a much easier place to live. And flowers bloomed from the withered vines.

My first Durban foray was at the Ushaka Marine World. I took precautions but allowed my feet to take me where it wanted to go.

To the beach and its 2-pieced denizens, to the village walk its quite expensive shops, and a late lunch of Bunny Chow and milk shake.

South Africa is a beautiful country, Durban is fun, and the people are just great.


PHOTO EXPLAINED: The Bunny Chow is a classic South African dish which originated from the Indian community of  Durban. It is half of a whole loaf of bread with the inside scooped out and filled with curry. Mine at the Ushaka Marine World was lamb curry with a glass of milk shake that helped temper the heat.  

Thursday, December 01, 2011

HACKED

South Africa's crime rate is the 5th highest in the world with 77 of every 1,000 of its citizens having been victimized by some sort of crime.

The security protocols reflect this situation with its advisories on not walking out alone, not taking a taxi from the street, not showing belongings, etcetera.

I was wary. Then scared. And finally frightened.

It got to me so much that I won't even smoke outside the grounds of our hotel and have to go home in the Oxfam bus at 8 pm every night. Those early morning walks and photography are definitely out. 

Then one day, all my contacts, folders and inbox vanished after sending an email to the UNFCCC secretariat .

And who is supposed to be me sent messages through my email account that I was in Madrid (which I wish I am), that I have been robbed (which I pray won't happen), and that I need money.

I was hacked, which may perhaps make me officially a number in the South Africa crime statistics.