Eat Your Carrots!

A very very belated blog, back when I was really trying to keep this baby going on a regular basis. Wishful thinking, as I went from slow motion preggers, to my new gig as Mama, to Mama helping her friends open up a restaurant to my next chameleon color: baker…raw pastry chef…whatever I’m doing has really drained my clever writing skills and every time I sit to blog, all I get to typing is….what is going on word for word. No funny left in me! I think all my funny cells are going into milk production. I hope the milk B is getting is full of Vitamin Funny. Every body loves the funny guy.

I digress.

Here is a blog I wrote almost four months ago, when the energy of finally opening The Blissful Carrot was just picking up. I benched the blog, because I thought it needed more something.

But in the spirit of ‘it is what it is’, here it is :)
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Good things are happening in Macau!

Good food is coming to our ‘hood.
Even better? It’s healthy food!
Even better? It’s in my favorite part of Macau, Old Taipa, just a few minutes walk from our place.
Even better? It is the blood, sweat, heart, and tears, of our dear friends, The Randle’s.
Even better? I am honored to help get this beauty up and running and help with the day to day healthy baking creations.
Even better?
Can it get better??
Beckett gets to come with me! Beckett + Baking = Bliss!
The BLISSful Carrot to be exact!

(https://www.facebook.com/blissfulcarrot)

Beckett is ready to roll to the Carrot

Beckett is ready to roll to the Carrot

And I am loving that my guy is utterly laid back about being shaken around in his carrier by my rolling, chopping, and mixing. We’ve been baking and dancing up a storm in The Blissful Carrots lofted kitchen. So special because as two people who love to cook and bake, Marisa and I haven’t had a real kitchen in years, so believe or not, by China standards, this is magic!

Rolling some healthy raw energy balls for The Blissful Carrots opening day.

Rolling some healthy raw energy balls for The Blissful Carrots opening day.

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There’s even room for a little shut eye.

Up in The Blissful Carrot's lofted kitchen.

Up in The Blissful Carrot’s lofted kitchen.

I am so greatful to be getting back to day to day busy-ness, and a boss who will also sit on the floor of The Carrot and breastfeed with me when nature calls (or cries):)

Marisa was my first friend when I got to Macau. Both of us, probably thinking we’d just be here for a bit, would take our dogs to the park together and dream up ideas about starting the first food truck in Macau. A good salad is an urban legend around here. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ve got an uphill battle in the restaurant scene. If you’re not a vegetarian, like myself, you were probably pretty turned off by sketchy, unethical meat options so you seek out the veggie fare anyway! Now here we are, two kids between us later, and the dream has gotten much bigger.

It makes me sentimental seeing our two boys together, getting to be Mamas together, and now getting to mess around all day in the kitchen together!

Here are both of our boys down below, napping amongst the fresh produce while we're up in the kitchen baking and juicing.

Here are both of our boys down below, napping amongst the fresh produce while we’re up in the kitchen baking and juicing.

If you think something can’t be done, just ask a Randles. They are like a super combination of can-do-it hippy’s fueled on coffee and vegetables.

Marisa and Aaron adding plants, signs, and paint to the outside of The Blissful Carrot.

Marisa and Aaron adding plants, signs, and paint to the outside of The Blissful Carrot.


After all their hardwork...including Marisa's hand painted floors!

After all their hardwork…including Marisa’s hand painted floors!


I am over the moon to be able to be helpful to some of the kindest people I know. Their energy and joy are contagious and and I can’t wait for it to light up Old Taipa!

I <3 VEGGIES

From Wok City With Love XOXO:

A little love about The Blissful Carrot from another Macau Blog :)

Originally posted on MACWOW:

Suspicion of vegetarians is a natural feeling most carnivorous and some omnivorous humans share. And although one can say “I couldn’t survive without meat”, we all know that that’s far from the truth, in fact, variety certainly is the spice of life and balance is key to some sort of spiritual mind and body clap-trap. Enter The Blissful Carrot.

Started by two expats, The Carrot as it’s affectionately called, is a vegetarian (not vegan, that would be weird), cafe/restaurant/take-away joint located in Old Taipa. Salads, all day brekky and a tonne of smoothies and craft beers is just the beginning. They offer juice cleanses and diet advise, have a community wall with info on a whole bunch of local arts and music news and can play host to dinner parties accommodating small to large groups. Not only that, but there’s a whole lot of specialty products that you can’t find…

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Only in (Kim) Chi-na

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They say you are what you eat. And in this case you’d be a fermented cabbage chicken.
These eggs are actually a Korean import, but nothing in our stores is actually from Macau, it’s all imported which makes for a nice mix.

I find myself some days saying “I can’t find anything to eat in this grocery store!”, when you can actually find many things. Some things you never even thought were edible. (What the heck is all that sh!t in the dried bulk food section? I say this with zero sarcasm and very honestly: how could anybody eat something with texture of shriveled dried road kill that’s been roasting in the sun and the smell of dried road kill that’s been left roasting in the sun and then been microwaved? How? Some of that stuff would be on game shows like Fear Factor in the States.)

This post is really for my gluten free somewhat dairy free sister-friend who comes to visit and immediately stakes out the Kim Chee selection.

A: Can you have noodles!
J:Not really.
A:I know a good local pastry place!
J:No, buddy.
A:Pork Chop Sandwich?
J:I can have the inside.
A: Kim Chi aisle?
J: Right.

Having lived in a China town area or a city in the States, I’m embarrassed to say after living here almost three years, she knows way more about Asian food than I do, and she would definitely trust a chicken who ate Kim Chi.

SnoopsList

At home, and in many parts of the world, it’s called Craigslist.
Need a babysitter? Craigslist! Need to rehome your dog? Craigslist :( Need to sell your 1980s Starwars figurine to pay the power bill? You know where to go.

In Macau we have Facebook groups.
( This is the part where I actually give some real information on Macau that might help someone new, before I get to the part that will not help you adjust to life in Macau what so ever. Or maybe it will.)

They are:

ByeByeZaia
(named after a Cirque show that got the quick boot, it was meant to help performers and technical staff unload things quick, not all of Macau uses it.)

MacauBuyandSell

Macau Swap and Trade

If you want to go old school:

The lesser utilized 12×12 cork board at Cuppa Coffee

The soon to be very useful Community Corner at The Blissful Carrot

And the for the “no time to dilly dally” option:

Hong Kong Expat

On HongKong Expat if you’re willing to travel over by ferry you might be able to grab some more elusive scores. Antique furniture, a fancy coffee maker, a hedgehog. Really, exotic animals are hot! Or like our ever hustling friends, The Randles do, take a dolly with you and grab a few industrial stoves, cases of wine, or another better dolly to put on the dolly to later carry back more and bigger things from our hipster sibling country to the north.

On these delightful pages you can find concert tickets, helpers, or a lovely Philippino lady selling Angry Birds cupcakes that might or might not look like Pinterest fails.

Although we are close to mainland, the mother of all factories, we are separate from them in every way. Appliances specifically can go for two times the price here than in the States. Things get cleared off the shelves quickly when they come in. When winter approaches there’s serious scrapping for oil heaters. Summer brings squabbles over fans and dehumidifiers. If you have kids then you definitely watch these sites for Western imported items: strollers, cribs, that ridiculous bouncing thing that your little person is only going to use for a month. Why? Because let’s just say some of the materials and safety standards here are…debatable. But then so is the term “used”. My favorite disagreements are about how something can be “85% new!” Somebody’s going for the hard sell on that shoe rack.

While not all the postings on sites like Craigslist are always vanilla, but when they are, let’s say, chocolate , there is usually creative word play involved. Puns. Code words. Certainly There cannot be that many girls named Mary Jane and Molly Cyrus all wanting to meet up tonight?

So when this popped up in the middle of my Facebook feed between funny animal videos and breast feeding articles (how does Facebook know??), I completely cracked up.

SnoopsList
Really MacauBuySellRent?
There are moderators on these pages that crack down on the most trivial things like Facebook hall monitors. May lightening strike you for bargaining in a foreign language. You can be kicked off the list if the picture of your ikea end table is one from the catalogue and not your actual table. And sayonara to the barterer who tries to haggle with a private message and somehow, Danny Rex slipped through the cracks?

While I admire Danny Rex’s entrepreneurial spirit, and while Macau is not really the most conservative country, currently rebranding itself as Asia’s Sin City, it certainly isn’t this progressive. They most certainly have very strict drug laws above almost any other offense. Not Singapore strict, but I most certainly would not want to spend the night next to old Broken Tooth Koi of the Triads out in Coloane. ( I might have just risked assassination by just dropping the name of the Scarface of the East.)

Wondering if there was a punch line, I read on, and also thought, where was Facebook in college? No walking around campus looking for “some guy named Dan with a beard”.

I also thought it was pretty funny considering that when a post comes up for something as trivial as a bread maker, there can be an all out bidding war with twenty comments and on this post it was crickets. I know. I checked back because I was dying for someone to take the bait. Did people smell a trap? Did no one want to sleep under Broken Tooth’s bunk? Did they already have “a guy named Dan with a beard”?

How to Make an Expat Condiment

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Step One: Partner takes job in foreign locale.
Step Two: Leave your career, friends, homeland.
Step Three: Get creative about rehoming yourself under new governments silly rules.
Step Four: Dig deep into all skills that might enable you to also live and work in said foreign land.
Step Five: Enjoy life in WokCity.

Like I mentioned before, I started writing nonsense on FromWokCity because I could find virtually no account of personal experience living here before our move.

Because moving here, you should know one thing: you will miss your personal space.

Ok, two things: stock up on slogan t-shirts.

I’m here to send a lifeline out to any other *Expat Condiment in search of solidarity.

Expat what?

*def. Expat Condiment
A person who moves abroad with another person who has received a job offer in a foreign land. Said job allows them to legally stay in the country making that person the ham of the ham sandwich (or tofu for my veggie friends), whereas partner is mayonnaise. Because I don’t know about you, but the ham/tofu sandwich is nothing without mayonnaise. You shouldn’t even bother ordering the sandwich if they’re out of mayo. But the government is only really concerned about the ham/tofu.

ex. My husband/wife holds the job that brought us to Macau and allows us to sign a lease for an apartment that costs Uganda’s GDP in rent every month, while I am the expat condiment that cannot “legally” hold a job here but always has cash on hand for fun times from creative employment oppurtunities.

For those of you expat other-halves who are shaking your head and proclaiming “I am no one’s condiment!” (Insert finger snaps and sassy hand move), I say to you. that I am not implying a less than status, but rather one of supreme importance. In a land of noodle joints where the tables are overflowing with oils and fish sauces, peppers and pastes, you are essential and even glorified as a condiment. Trust me, I recently did some warrior s@!t pushing a tiny human into the world, I know my self worth. I could eat wasabi by the spoonful. Condiments are neccessary.

So here I sit in the coffee shop down the street in an awkward hunched over position with a pacifier in my mouth (Well. Not in it. But dangling out of it.) I am finally ready to revive the blog. (Cheers! Roars of the crowd! Shouts of encouragement!)

I’m in this very unergonomic position, because I have this very precious sleeping 8 week old baby in a carrier on my chest while I’m trying to type. He’s kind of half flopped out like a drunk monkey whose had a late night on Khao San Road because he seemed most comfortable this way. I probably look like mom of the year over here. He can’t even defend himself from the croissant flakes falling on his head.

His new presence in our lives seemed to be as good of a reason as any to start cataloging our triumphs and failures as Expat Condiments. See how I did that. Now there are two of us. It used to be a one expat condiment household and now we are doubled. Here’s my sage advice about starting over in a foreign land with no friends: procreate your own best friend. Voila! Fellow expat condiment! For life. For ever. Problem solved.

I’m not exactly blazing a trail starting a family abroad, but everybody does it differently. One thing becoming a familiy will get you anywhere is new friends and new opinions. For some families, the clock starts to immediately tick after the baby arrives. I call it the Educational Clause. It seems to be universally polarizing. You are either sticking around to school age to see your child learn a new language, be exposed to even more mysterious cafeteria food than might be at home or splitting just prior and high tailing it home to the familiarity of a homeland education of familiar holidays and organized sports.

Maybe we’ll ask Beckett when it’s time. Maybe the States will seem like just as much an adventure to him then because he didn’t grow up there.

But secretly we’ll be hoping he’ll want to live in a tropical yurt treehouse with us somewhere. At least until he wants to go to college.

Tropical Treehouse Yurt..somewhere. :)

Tropical Treehouse Yurt..somewhere. :)