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Sunday, February 04, 2007

5 Things About Me

I've been tagged! By Tigerfish at Teczcape to reveal "5 things about me."

Only 5? But no one online knows anything about me. And that's how I like it. ;) So I'll keep this confined to the themes of my blog -- eating, cooking, crafting, gardening, and a little bit of traveling.

1. I chose the name Wandering Chopsticks because I was thinking of something along the lines of traveling and eating.

Wandering Chopsticks is also a translation of the Japanese word mayoi-bashi, which is frowned upon by many Asians because it is considered rude to let your chopsticks hover over the dinner table while you decide what to eat. My momma taught me to eat what's in front of me, and to never appear to choose the best morsels for myself.

Wandering Chopsticks is also the title of an episode of a 1990s Japanese series called Baian the Assassin, Vol. 3: Wandering Chopsticks/Early Summer Rain.

The very hunky Ken Watanabe stars as Baian, popular acupuncturist by day, professional assassin of villains at night. Hehe, and no, I didn't know about the Watanabe connection until after I had already chosen my alter-ego.

2. So about the "wandering" part. How much traveling have I done? I've hit about 30 of the states. About two dozen countries (some were repeat visits), mainly all over Europe. And also three trips to Vietnam, Australia, and a weekend in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

This is a photo album cover my cousin made for me. It holds photos of crazy, drunken Ibiza foam parties and a completely unplanned last-minute boat trip to Barcelona. Spain is also where I developed my love for all things Scottish, but I'll save the story for another day. Don't I look so cute all ready to travel? OK, in real life I do have a round face, but I've never, ever had that hairstyle. :)3. Now about that "chopsticks" part. I am partial to family-style dining. If you really loved me, you'd order something that I'd want to eat too. :) I hate cheap tippers. I hate people who don't leave enough to cover their share, much less tax and tip. I hate people who never return the favor when you take care of the bill. So my good friendships are the ones that have survived the food test -- where we eat off each other's plates and take turns paying.

4. I crocheted beanie hats and scarves for a little orphan statue in Stockholm.
Stockholm, Sweden 22

This is the 5-inch tall "ironboy" statue in Stockholm. I named him OG, Oliver Gustav -- Oliver since he's supposed to represent all orphans, and Gustav because he resides in the courtyard of a Finnish church beside the king's palace, and many of the Swedish kings were named Gustav.

5. If you ever meet me in real life, I'll tell you the story of how I got to Sweden in the first place. The story involves a man I had only met twice, a fortune teller who said he was supposed to be my husband and correctly predicted his height and age, and a crazy connection to my hometown in Vietnam.

I fell in love, and hard ...

... for Stockholm.

I fell in love with Stockholm's 14 islands connected by more than 50 bridges, a Medieval city plan with cobblestoned streets, cloudberry and lingonberry ice cream on freshly made waffle cones, ancient runes built into houses, an H&M around every corner, and funny-shaped hot dogs.

This was my first glimpse of the city.
Stockholm, Sweden 2

On the left, Stadshuset (City Hall). The Nobel prizes for physics, chemistry, economy, physiology or medicine, and literature are awarded here each year on December 10th, Alfred Nobel's death date. The Nobel Peace Prize, however, is awarded in Oslo, Norway. The reason is because at the time Nobel wrote his will, both countries were united.
Stockholm, Sweden 3

September 7, 2008 Update: For a more thorough tour of Stockholm, and the rest of this story, read my "Meet-Cute Stockholm - Sweden" post.

So now that I've revealed five things about me, I'd like to tag some bloggers that I want to find out a little more about. So you're it!

1. Chubbypanda of The Epicurious Wanderer
2. Elmo of Monster Munching
3. Kirk of Mmm-yoso
4. Susan of Food Blogga
5. Christine from Christine|enitsirhC

OK guys, spill the dirt!


  1. That's so cute how you crocheted little beanies and scarves for that ironboy! He looks pretty warm. Did you have to keep making them because they would disappear?

    Thanks for the tag btw!b

  2. Hi Christine,
    Actually, the beanie stayed on the whole three weeks I was in Sweden. I had to make him a second scarf but that was it.

    People left candy and cookies for him, and once someone left a miniature pinwheel.

  3. Thx for passing it on :)
    "Wandering" to travel, how come I did not think of that? Took "Wandering Chopsticks" as mainly eating, eating while travelling, on the go :D
    Oh my, you do travel a lot!
    Sweden is one place I hope I can visit one day. In fact, I do like Europe. Buildings are old, but old with historic and architectural character.

  4. Oh my... I have no idea what to write about. Must think about this.

  5. Hi WC - This is a hard one.....I'll try to come up with something!

  6. Ah. I'm it! Since I don't have any pictures to go with a meme, (and I like to post with pics), I hope you don't mind if I list the 5 things on this comment.

    1. My nickname, "elmomonster", isn't because I am a Sesame Street fan. A while ago, I used it as a screen name for all the violent first person shooter games like Doom and Quake I used to play. I picked the name because I found the irony to be deliciously funny. Imagine, being gunned down by the cutest and most-childlike of all the muppets. Ever since then, it stuck.

    2. I first got into writing about food by posting reviews on the LA Times website, but after they stopped allowing non-subscribers from doing that, I migrated elsewhere, and eventually started my own blog.

    3. The photo on my profile is a Peruvian dish called "saltado" which I cooked myself!

    4. My first meal in the United States was McDonald's. It was fries and a regular burger. I ate it while watching my first American TV program, "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson".

    5. I was a closeted food blogger up until November of 2005, when a blog post of mine was chosen to be published in a local newspaper. By then, I had to come out to everyone I knew, telling them the real reason why I took pictures of every plate of food I ate. They said collectively, "Oh, that's why! We just thought you had a weird OCD thing going on."

  7. Hi Tigerfish,
    Your interpretation works too! :)

    CP and Kirk,
    I can't wait. :)

    I love it! All the great things I learned about you just because I asked. ;)

  8. wow that's cool. i haven't been out of country yet! not even to mexico. :D

  9. Budding Cook,
    I love traveling. But truthfully, I haven't gone anywhere in more than a year. :(

  10. #5 sounds like a great premise for a movie!
    And I just love the name Wandering Chopsticks! :)

  11. WC, good to know what's WC all about, thx for sharing, so in depth wow !! :)) I love the name Wandering Chopsticks, now I gotta know your real name, please please preety please ? *grins* I want to go EU now & oh..Ken W. is very macho looking haha :))

  12. Susan,
    Thanks. Now that I think about it, #5 sounds like the plot for a chick lit or chick flick huh?

    Melting Wok,
    Haha. What's your real name? ;)

    I like. Thanks for playing along.

  13. WC, that is some interesting info about you. Love the fact that you've traveled all over. J and I are trying to head out to Cambodia/Vietnam for x'mas. As for the lessons your mom has taught you about eating, I share the same. My mom tells me to always eats what's in front of me.. never picking the back/left/right side of a dish. It makes you look selfish when you grab the nicest morsel of food. So true! Thanks for sharing.

  14. EDNBM,
    I know J's been to VN before, but if you want some info on Cambodia, or specifically Angkor Wat area, I can help you out.

    What is it about moms and manners? And when you're Asian, it always involves food doesn't it? :P

  15. This is how I came to get my blog title too.. combining travel with food! I also have a round face! I haven't travelled nowhere near as much as you (((sigh))) - how wonderful! I've been overseas 3 times (I was also born o/s).. and have been to various parts of Australia, that's it. That big hotdog looks YUM..and I like the sound of mashed potato and tomato sauce (ketchup) on it! :-)

  16. Hi Maria,
    Travel and food are the two wonderful things, aren't they?

  17. I love your site with all your recipes and anecdotes. I live in Malaga as one of the few Vietnamese people living in this country much less in the South. Hope you come back to Spain someday so I can get to know you in person. If not, I go to LA 2 times a year as my parents live in... yep- near Valley Blvd, ha ha! Keep on blogging!

  18. Cocina Indochina,
    Thanks. I didn't even know there were any Vietnamese people in Spain. How cool!


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