Saturday, February 24, 2007

Filipino cuisine

I was invited to dinner at the dorm where a Filipino brother from my congregation lives. Most of the Filipinos and other foreign workers live in "dorms"- this one had a big kitchen and he cooked this feast- pretty impressive! There were about 15 people there- a couple other Americans, a few Chinese people who don't speak any English, and the rest were Filipinos. So quite a mix of languages and accents.

My forebearance with food keeps being challenged- one of the dishes was goat. I always eat a little bit of everything to be polite, but a little bit is never enough for Asian people, whether they're Filipino or Chinese. I think maybe I should just avoid dishes that gross me out altogether, since I'll wind up being impolite either way. To be fair, the goat actually tasted quite good- it was cooked in coconut milk- but, you know, it's goat. The rest of the dishes were easy to eat though.

Next to the kitchen there was a KTV room- while we ate, this one man sat on the couch and just sang and sang. And somewhat badly. After we ate everyone went to the KTV room- it's an interesting experience, rather unlike karaoke in the US. Everyone just sat on couches and sang and passed the microphone around. Pretty much all the songs you could sing were cheesey 80s love songs which everyone seemed very happy with. The one sister was like "Whenever you have problems in your life, you just come to the KTV room and sing and you can forget all about them." There doesn't seem to be much concern with singing well or even singing songs you particularly like- just singing in general.

Another thing that seems weird is that all the songs have these random videos that play kind of behind the words. Many of them focused on a not-terribly-attractive woman walking slowly and looking moody. One of them showed a really goofy-looking middle-aged man playing an upright piano in the middle of a field, interspersed with shots of roses. A few showed a travelogue of New Zealand- interesting, but not terribly appropriate for "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

After that I rode the bus to where my bike was and proceeded to get absurdly lost- I guess I made one wrong turn, and then kept thinking I'd come out somewhere that I recognized and then I'd think I recognized a street name and go further in the wrong direction... I wound up riding my bike for 2 hours! But it wasn't so bad- the weather was nice and I didn't have to be home for anything so no harm done.

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