Tag: friends

Celebrating Eid in Kuching

Celebrating Eid in Kuching

Last week, it was Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan, the fasting month many Muslims observe. Syuke, a friend of ours, invited us to celebrate the holiday with him in his hometown Kuching. We’d been talking about going to Kuching for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity to visit.

Dressing in style

Syuke explained to us that typically you buy something new to wear for the first day of Eid. He mostly wears the traditional clothes during festivities like Eid and weddings. His family chose to wear green for the first day. During our visit, we saw that many families were wearing matching colors.

He lent some clothes to Thorben to wear as well, see the efforts it took to properly put them on below and the final result 🙂 I didn’t have any special outfit, I just tried to dress modestly and cover up to be respectful.

Open Houses

Over the course of 2 1/2 days, Syuke took us to 7 open houses hosted by various family members and friends. At each open house, people come together to enjoy lots of good food and cakes. Our first open house was right after getting off the plane. Everyone was super friendly and welcoming, it was really a pleasure to meet so many nice people and enjoy this special holiday with them.

One of Syuke’s friends is a baker and has been baking non-stop for the past 2 months to make all the beautiful cakes for Eid. They looked too pretty to eat but she insisted, so what could we do? 🙂 Understandably, all cakes were completely sold out, so I couldn’t bring any back.

Here is a little selection of pictures from 6 of the open houses and all the amazing Malay food and cakes.

Our first Eid was so much fun and it was so interesting to try all the food and talk to so many of Syuke’s relatives and friends. We’re very lucky to have such a diverse group of friends and be able to make these experiences with them!

In case anyone was wondering, I have not stepped on the scale since coming back – but whatever it says, it was worth it 😉

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

One of the endless entertainment possibilities in Shanghai is Disneyland! The newest Disney park is located an hour away from us and we finally went at the end of May.

Disney castle

I never wanted to go on a weekend because I heard the queues are horrible (2+ hours everywhere) but who says no to a free ticket? Our company had their family day here so we each got 2 tickets – which meant a Family Disney Day with our “kids” Marlyn and Freddy 😉

With the help of our Disney-expert Boramy, the Disney app and some German planning, we managed to go on 6 rides:

  • Tron: Fun roller coaster where you sit on a motorcycle! Thorben and I got lucky and sat in the first row which was really cool.
  • Peter Pan: Super well made but we were a bit cranky from the 90 min wait when the app said 45. At least it was the only time we waited over 1 hour.
  • Woody’s round up: We went 2 x because the queue was only 5 min and it’s super fun. Who doesn’t like cowboy music and getting thrown around in a carriage?
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: I think this was everyone’s favorite, the visual effects are so cool! The wait was only 20-30 min so we went twice.
  • Snow White and the 7 dwarfs: The wait was really long but we used a fastpass for it and it was a cute ride combined with a slower rollercoaster.
  • Buzz Lightyear: Lots of shooting at target with a laser gun. I got the least points. Oh well.

We also saw the parade pass by and went to the Tarzan show and of course, there was also time to take silly queue selfies and some with the Disney castle … and all of that before 4 🙂

Next to Disneyland, in Disney Town, there is a Cheesecake Factory, where we went for a very late lunch/early dinner. The food was just like I remember it from the US and the cake was so good! After dinner, the plan was to go to Pirates again, ride Tron again at night and then stroll over to the castle gardens and see the light show and fireworks.

Even the best plan can fail … we got stuck on the Tron motorcycles because the ride broke down just as we were supposed to get accelerated. After 20 minutes on the motorcycles we got rescued and got a fastpass of our choice as compensation. So in the end, getting stuck was pretty cool because we managed to run over to Soaring Over the Horizon and go without waiting 2-3 hours 🙂 We were cutting it a bit close for the fireworks but still managed to see 90% of it from the side of the castle. We really got the maximum out if our Disney day.

It was a lot of fun, so I’m glad we finally went! Now I’ve been to 3 different ones, Yay for Disney!

Last night, we made dumplings

Last night, we made dumplings

We don’t only go to restaurants or order takeout … sometimes we also work hard for our food. Yesterday, we went to a friend’s house to make dumplings. April had already gotten the dough from the fresh market and prepared the filling before we arrived. I think the filling was made out of chicken, cabbage, spring onions, ginger and some spices.

So to be exact, we didn’t really make dumplings, just stuffed the filling into the wrappers 🙂

My technique still needs some work, but we had fun and they tasted really good – both boiled and pan fried. Great Chinese-Malay-Luxembourgish-Canadian-German cooperation for sure!

Long Weekend Birthday fun

Long Weekend Birthday fun

Last Friday, it was Qingming Festival, which meant a 3 day weekend for us! This was the first time we stayed in Shanghai for a holiday, but we had just as much, or even more, fun. Sunday was Thorben’s birthday (32 – getting old 😉 ) and we pretty much celebrated all weekend.

The weekend was off to a good start with “Social Retox after Dark” on Thursday night at the W. It’s a monthly night brunch they’re doing with free flow drinks. The food was delicious and it was a fun night.

Friday, we tried out a new spot for lunch and had yummy southeast Asian food and then checked out the largest Starbucks in the world, which opened in Shanghai a while ago. It’s huge and filled with tourists/people but it was still pretty cool to go see it once 🙂

For the exercise part of the weekend, we helped 2 of our friends move that day and then had a poker night at our place. Saturday night, we went to “The Big Fat Sober Party” – a cool event with food, mocktails and stand up comedy.

For Thorben’s actual birthday on Sunday, we had a big brunch with almost 30 people and then enjoyed the great weather at a park – it was sunny and 28 degrees 🙂

Overall, a fantastic, sunny, friend, food, and fun filled weekend!

Good bye Germany – Hello again Shanghai!

Good bye Germany – Hello again Shanghai!

After 5 weeks in Germany, I got back to Shanghai on Saturday. It was a crazy mix of work, vacation, friends & family visits and more work.

Let’s start at the beginning: The day I landed, I hosted a mini bachelorette party for my sister, we attended her wedding the next day and then 5 days later Thorben’s sister got married. We visited 2 new babies, had the first snow of the season, went to the office for a week, had 2 birthdays in our families, met friends for dinner, at the Christmas Market or for brunch, got out of an Escape room (my team was a minute faster then Thorben’s … just saying), had awesome breakfasts and meals with our families, celebrated Christmas, went to see Bohemian Rhapsody and a musical … and that was only during the 2 weeks in December.

In January, Thorben drove up to the North Sea to visit family for a few days, while I went to the office and hung out more with friends and family in the evenings. After catching up with some work at the office, I started an 8 day training course. We escaped from a Harry Potter themed escape room, just in time for Thorben to catch his flight to Shanghai the next day. Actually, we escaped after only 37 minutes, like the amazing wizards and witches we are 😉 LUMOS!

In the evenings, I took it a little easier in my final 2 weeks: My sister and I had a spa day and went to an ice hockey game (Mannheim won!), I met a few friends and former colleagues and finally had a good bye dinner with my family followed with a good bye Brezel breakfast with my mom.

And this is the trip in pictures. As always, I didn’t take enough because I was too busy having fun … and eating … and somehow acquiring so much stuff I needed 3 suitcases to fit everything. Oops.

See you soon, Germany!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last year, we spent Thanksgiving in Cambodia and Singapore, but this year was not too bad either. I even got to celebrate and EAT twice. Last Thursday, on the actual day, I had a great dinner with a friend at a restaurant. They served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner plate with turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and green bean casserole. Yum!

The festivities continued in our kitchen on Saturday morning. Thorben gave making stuffing a try and I tried out my host mom’s pumpkin pie recipe. Based on the feedback, and my personal, totally unbiased opinion, both turned out great. We took the goodies to our friends Friendsgiving party where we had enough food to feed at least 26 people, not only the 16 of us 🙂 Besides the food, other highlights included a mulled wine competition and testing (the UK beat China!), playing “Disturbed Friends”, a screensaver of Nick Offerman drinking Whiskey for 10 hours, and wearing Disney ears … Just because they’re festive!