Since it is impossible to write about everything that has happened in Europe, Imm and I have decided to cross-link each other's blog. Even though we've gone on the trip together and share many similar interests, our style of writing is different. So far she's been more factual, whereas I've shared more of my personal reflections especially with regards to our hosts.
For some of the earlier stories through Imm's eyes :
Europe 2009 : Day 00
Europe 2009 : Day 01
Europe 2009 : Day 02
Europe 2009 : Day 03
To continue on our hosts, since backpacking and couchsurfing are together once-in-a-lifetime experiences (especially for us from the Asian background), I must say again that each of our hosts are distinctively different not just in terms of personality, but also their residences and how they open their homes and treat their guests.
We had already planned to cook for our hosts in return for their hospitality and as part of the cultural exchange. So we brought along some Malaysian ready-made spices and sauces, with some dishes in mind where the ingredients could be easily found. Just a few days before our trip, I went to shop for our hosts Japanese souvenirs in addition to some Malaysian ones which I already had. With all these packed, I was getting excited for our trip.
Ingredients needed for the meal.
Francesco purposely took out his beloved David apron just for the occasion.
They didn't have to, but Fra & Massi helped with preparing the ingredients.
We had a very fun time exchanging stories about each other's culture while eating Malaysian food in Rome! They even practiced for their little "Japanese" sketch in the kitchen after that.
We cooked curry chicken (lite/oil-less) without rice. Took out the oil because we feared they might not be able to take the spiciness, no rice because they did not sell rice in the groceries.
Our host cooked for us fusilli with capsicum, tomato and onion the first evening we arrived.
Our 2nd Francesco was generous enough to let us wander into his kitchen to use whatever ingredients was available.
Imagine, me cooking REAL Italian pasta with REAL (well maybe doesn't matter) spices in a REAL Italian home in Italy itself!
Imm supplemented with her egg fried with onions and Japanese curry dish to complete our meal for the 2nd evening.
Too bad our host just remembered he had a concert to attend so he could not join us for the meal. So we left some for him as supper.
Our most generous host paid for the ingredients we bought at the local supermarket. We even found some instant microwaveable basmati rice to eat with the curry.
Stir-fried long beans with baby carrots. I think I overdosed on the chicken stock, it was too salty!
Imm cooked the curry kurma with potatoes.
We had a nicely laid table with the best dessert wine (from Sicily) ever tasted! Wonder if they sell it here...
The next evening, Fabio cooked for us spaghetti with tomato and basil complemented with red wine. For dessert we had lemon ice-cream on a liquorice stick.
This was all our host had in his larder (I'm actually using this word now that I know how it looks like!) because it was already late and the shops were closed.
But we managed to find some edible (by edible I mean those which have not expired :p) food and some eggs in the fridge.
So while I entertained Sandy (more like listening to him regale his stories of Asia), Imm managed to whip up a grand meal of fried rice with egg and tuna, red beans as side dishes. We even found packets of instant soup, 3 different types though.
After having an excellent walk through Nice on the 2nd evening, we were delighted to come back to some home-cooked meal. Pasta with cream cheese and bacon, hong kong spring rolls with sweet and sour sauce plus some red wine to top them off.