Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

To start the day, I got three pieces of Oiliebollen which I thought could only be purchased on Sylvester but everything seems to be available from strawberries to baby corns. No stress, we promised ourselves so we spent the early part of the day reading and eating in between these oily but delicious Oiliebollen.

What to eat on the holiest night of the year? Got excited looking at the huge crabs
at the weekend market and got this piece looking so unfriendly. I thought  I would make this recipe of
crabs with black beans, crabs cooked in coconut milk or just steamed. Rushed again to the village supermarket to get last minute ready to grill stuffs for a Plan B Noche Buena. 
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

I am a Migrant Woman: December 18, International Migrants Day

Wishes of Migrant Women (Photo: Pinay von Alemanya)
I am a migrant woman. I am a culture bringer and mediator. I bring the best of myself to this land of my destination and take back the virtues of my host country to the land of my birth. I have the privilege to work for the causes of other migrants who might not have the same privileges and rights I am now enjoying. I believe I live in the best of both worlds I have now and for this I am very grateful and appreciative. It's International Migrants Day. Let's celebrate!

Monday, 17 December 2012

RH (Reproductive Health) Bill now a law

Photo Source:

right to life

a woman is not a pear tree
thrusting her fruit into mindless fecundity
into the world. Even pear trees bear
heavily one year and rest and grow the next.
An orchard gone wild drops few warm rotting
fruit in the grass but the trees stretch
high and wiry gifting the birds forty
feet up among inch long thorns.
Broken atavistically from the smooth wood.
A woman is not a basket you place
your buns in to keep them warm. Not a brood
hen you can slip duck eggs under.
Not the purse holding the coins of
your descendants till you spend them in wars.
Not a bank where your genes collect interest
and interesting mutations in the tainted
rain, anymore than you are.
You plant your corn and harvest
it to eat or sell. You put the lamb
in the pasture to fatten and haul it in
to butcher for chops. You slice
the mountain in two for a road and gouge
the high plains for coal and the waters
run muddy for miles and years.
Fish die but you do not call them yours
unless you wished to eat them.
Now you legislate mineral rights in a woman.
You lay claim to her pastures for grazing,
fields for growing babies likes iceburg
lettuce. You value children so dearly
that none ever go hungry, none weep
with no one to tend them when mothers
work, none lack fresh fruit,
none chew lead or cought to death and your
orphanages are empty. Every noon the best
restaurants serve poor children steaks.
At this moment at nine o'clock a partera
is performing a table top abortion on an
unwed mother in texas who can't get medicaid
any longer. In five days she will die
of tetanus and her little daughter will cry
and be taken away. Next door a husband
and wife are sticking pins in the son
they did not want. They will explain
for hours how wicked he is,
how he wants disipline.
We are all born of woman, in the rose
of the womb we suckled our mother's blood
and every baby born has a right to love
like a seedling to the sun. Every baby born
unloved, unwanted, is a bill that will come
due in twenty years with interest, an anger
that must find a target, a pain that will
beget pain. A decade downstream a child
screams, a woman falls, a synagogue is torched,
a firing squad summoned, a button
is pushed and the world burns.
I will choose what enters me, what becomes,
flesh of my flesh. Without choice, no politics,
no ethics lives. I am not your cornfield,
not your uranium mine, not your calf
for fattening, not your cow for milking.
You may not use me as your factory.
Priests and legislators do not hold
shares in my womb or my mind.
This is my body. If I give it to you
i want it back. My life
is a non-negotiable demand.

-marge piercy 

 (Source: Facebook cross-postings)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Yesterday is gone and its tale told.
Today new seeds are growing.
(Source: Facebook: Rumi Quotes)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Persimmons, a poem about memory

Persimmons * (1986)
Li-Young Lee
(b. 1957)

     In sixth grade Mrs. Walker
     slapped the back of my head
     and made me stand in the corner
     for not knowing the difference
     between persimmon and precision.
     How to choose

     persimmons. This is precision.
     Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.
     Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
     will be fragrant. How to eat:
     put the knife away, lay down newspaper.
     Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.
     Chew the skin, suck it,
     and swallow. Now, eat
     the meat of the fruit,
     so sweet,
     all of it, to the heart.

     Donna undresses, her stomach is white.
     In the yard, dewy and shivering
     with crickets, we lie naked,
     face-up, face-down.
     I teach her Chinese.
     Crickets: chiu chiu. Dew: I've forgotten.
     Naked: I've forgotten.
     Ni, wo: you and me.
     I part her legs,
     remember to tell her
     she is beautiful as the moon.

     Other words
     that got me into trouble were
     fight and fright, wren and yarn.
     Fight was what I did when I was frightened,
     fright was what I felt when I was fighting.

     Wrens are small, plain birds,
     yarn is what one knits with.
     Wrens are soft as yarn.
     My mother made birds out of yarn.
     I loved to watch her tie the stuff;
     a bird, a rabbit, a wee man.

    Mrs. Walker brought a persimmon to class
     and cut it up
     so everyone could taste
     a Chinese apple. Knowing
     it wasn't ripe or sweet, I didn't eat
     but watched the other faces.

     My mother said every persimmon has a sun
     inside, something golden, glowing,
     warm as my face.

     Once, in the cellar, I found two wrapped in newspaper,
     forgotten and not yet ripe.
     I took them and set both on my bedroom windowsill,
     where each morning a cardinal
     sang, The sun, the sun.

     Finally understanding
     he was going blind,
     my father sat up all one night
     waiting for a song, a ghost.
     I gave him the persimmons,
     swelled, heavy as sadness,
     and sweet as love.

     This year, in the muddy lighting
     of my parents' cellar, I rummage, looking
     for something I lost.
     My father sits on the tired, wooden stairs,
     black cane between his knees,
     hand over hand, gripping the handle.
     He's so happy that I've come home.
     I ask how his eyes are, a stupid question.
     All gone, he answers.

     Under some blankets, I find a box.
     Inside the box I find three scrolls.
     I sit beside him and untie
     three paintings by my father:
     Hibiscus leaf and a white flower.
     Two cats preening.
     Two persimmons, so full they want to drop from the cloth.

     He raises both hands to touch the cloth,
     asks, Which is this?

     This is persimmons, Father.

     Oh, the feel of the wolftail on the silk,
     the strength, the tense
     precision in the wrist.
     I painted them hundreds of times
     eyes closed. These I painted blind.
Some things never leave a person:
     scent of the hair of one you love,
     the texture of persimmons,
     in your palm, the ripe weight.

Monday, 3 September 2012

A Triathlon and More Weekend (Bulgogi, Haberdashery and Social Engagement)

Bulgogi - marinaded or fiery beef
It was the weekend of the so-called Köln (Cologne) Triathlon. Wiki gives us the meaning of the word Triathlon, which comes from Greek trei (three) and athlos (contest); a multiple-stage competition involving the completion of three continuos and sequential endurance events. So while the city was feverish with its known sports festival, I was having my own Triathlon and more weekend. It started with feasting with our group we named OTAP (Organization of Truly Attractive Pinays, hehehe!) in a Bulgogi Korean Restaurant where we enjoyed servings of Ssamgyup-sal (pork), Bulgogi (marinaded beef), slices of squids and shrimp pieces to grill. There is a non-stop, all you can eat bar for the side-dishes from Kimchi (spicy pickled white Chinese cabbage), Chap-Chae (stir-fried mixture), Kimba (sushi roles) and other fiery mixture of green and yellow vegetables. For this dinner, one has to pay 18.90 each excluding drinks.
Fried Korean Mandoo - Dumplings as Starters
Side-dishes of fried noodles, sprouts and other veggies
A Day for Haberdasheries- Did you Know That?
 Next day, Sunday, I saw an ad in the local newspaper about a German-Dutch Textile Market going on in the city. This is a rotating market of textiles, leather stuffs, buttons, self-made ornaments and other articles for sewing and home decorations. I befriended a stand-owner from Morrocco selling shawls, leather bags and clothes from India. I heard him saying no discount to other buyers but to me he gladly gave 3 to 4 Euro discount for the stuffs I bought. He gave me his card and I promised him to look after him in FB. Maybe I would even visit him in my next trip to Holland and see more of his colourful collection of Indian skirts and shawls. One sees and gets more of these exotic pieces in the neighboring Dutch cities. Watch out for the next rotating market in your cities. Check expo-concept dot de if you're interested in sewing. I am really thinking of getting myself a sewing machine and relearn how to sew and stitch.
Good for sewing your coats and not only for sofa

Sorry, they are not selling this dress.
The stand of exotic shawls and Indian dresses owned by Mohammed from NL

Beads, stones, plastic and real

A duster

Next stop is Heumarkt for Köln (Cologne) Engagement - Volunteering Spirit in Cologna
I received a call from a friend informing me that our dear friend, Honardo, is performing in Heumarkt. I rushed from the Haberdashery Market to Heumarkt to see him perform but I missed his performance by some minutes but luckily I found out that it was the Sunday of honouring the many organizations and individuals doing volunteering work for the city. Engagement without any remuneration. A city so rich in caring citizens. CCC - Cologne's Caring Citizens

Cultural Program for Social Engagement

Amnesty International

In formal German it means, do you like to work as a volunteer?

Volunteers by the Red Cross

He is showing what this trained dog could do for you for some sweets, of course.

Cologne Against Hunger

Residence for Inter-Generation

Volunteering to cultivate interest of children for arts

Future Avant-garde -  starting them young