Beauty in Captivity

Yesterday was my first time going to the zoo. I honestly was a bit apprehensive of zoos ever since I watched Blackfish and the atrocities of captivity on sea creatures in Seaworld, and I felt like that documentary extends to animals in zoos. I still wanted to experience seeing exotic animals because how long will it be until I go to other countries to see these animals? Several years from now or maybe never. I understand that there are positive attributes of zoos such as maintaining endangered species, rehabilitating animals, and informing the public. However, the latter seems more and more unnecessary as the Internet is becoming more and more prevalent, and there are ongoing debate of the first two attributes.

Anyway, some animals my friends and I saw like the giraffe, meerkat, red panda, and penguin are super adorable. Other animals like the polar bear, rhino, and kangaroo are so depressing to look at. Hopefully they were either sunbathing or in a food coma, otherwise they looked absolutely miserable in their cages. In my opinion, the living quarters looked quite measly. I feel torn because I was so excited to see an animal pop its head out of its den or nest, but I was so disgusted with us finding enjoyment in watching some of these animals out of their natural habitat (e.g. the polar bear). There was one polar bear with its head inside a cardboard box; it looked so sad!

Since I have never been to any other zoo before, I can’t say San Francisco Zoo is the best or worst, but I feel like the admission cost was a bit of a rip-off considering we weren’t able to see any lions or snow leopards. Heck, it has one sea lion in captivity. Why?! Simply go Fisherman’s Wharf to see a pack of sea lions barking their heads off; it’s annoying and smelly but it is not depressing as that one in the zoo. We finished walking around the park within 3 hours. I wished the zoo offered student admission, but it does give discounts to residents, which I guess seems nice for families.

What are your opinions of zoos? Have you been to one? Leave your opinions in the comment section as I would like to read what you think.

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Siam Fine Thai Cuisine

My mom and I wanted to try something new, so we settled on Siam Fine Thai Cuisine, located across Valley Fair and a block away from Santana Row. The restaurant is super small but service was quick. I’m really grateful that we went on a day and hour when it wasn’t too busy.

We ordered Panang Curry and Pad See Ewe, both with chicken.

The curry isn’t anything to rave about, but I do like how it’s creamy. Unfortunately, if you want a bowl of rice with your curry, it costs $2.00. Maybe it’s a $1 and the waitress gave us two bowls worth of rice in one large bowl, but I think it would be better next time to order curry to-go as we have rice at home.

The Pad See Ewe is super delicious and a large portion. I really like how the flat rice noodles are flavored in some sort of sweet soy sauce; I’m not sure exactly what the flavoring is but it makes the dish very tasty.

panang curry
panang curry
pad see ewe
pad see ewe

I do want to go back again because I want to try the yellow curry as it has potatoes!! You can never refuse curry that has potatoes. Oh, the carbs…

New video

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Hey y’all!

As I mentioned before, I started a youtube channel with my friend called pmteatime. Well we definitely failed at trying to upload weekly, but I finally got around to editing the videos I shot when I went to Hog Island Oyster Co.—which you can read here—and finally uploaded it! I don’t want to delve how long I spent editing because I am a tad embarrassed that it took longer than it should have haha. I’m still learning.

You can check it out simply by clicking on the image or clicking here.

WARNING: May cause motion sickness… hopefully not. I tried really hard to stabilize the video.

Code Geass

Per a friend’s recommendation, I watched Code Geass, directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, this past week. My friend actually recommended the anime a while ago, and I tried watching an episode; however, the character design, which is done by Clamp, bothered me quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I really admire Clamp but long limbs/disproportionate characters irk me. Nevertheless, the battle scenes are amazingly animated and the outfit/costume design is very lavish and detailed. When I solely focused on the storyline I could not stop watching, and I finished both seasons within a couple of days.

Code Geass
Code Geass artwork © 2006 Clamp

Forgive me, I am a bit lazy to write a spoiler-free synopsis. According to wikipedia: “the series focuses on how the former prince Lelouch vi Britannia obtains a power known as Geass and decides to use it to obliterate the Holy Britannian Empire, an imperial monarchy and a superpower that has been conquering various countries.”

I think most of the characters are well-rounded and complex, making the anime very enticing. They are neither good nor bad, just grey, so I was constantly second-guessing the motives behind Lelouch and other primary characters. I like how Code Geass brings a bit of everything: action, sci-fi (hello, mecha!), fantasy, romance, tragedy, etc. Also, the Japanese voice acting is superb. For example, Jun Fukuyama, who voices Lelouch, is a chameleon because he is able to create so many personas for the character simply by changing his speech.

I think if you like shows like Game of Thrones or Death Note, then I definitely recommend watching Code Geass.

Lisa’s Tea Treasures

I guess it’s becoming a tradition for to go somewhere we’ve never been before my brother has to go back to Los Angeles. My mom wanted something light and a place where we could chat, so my brother decided to take us to Lisa’s Tea Treasures, which is located in Campbell.

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We ordered Lady’s Respite with Earl Grey Floral, English Breakfast, and Blackberry Jasmine. You know you drink loads of tea when you are able to finish three pots of brewed tea. I think I may not sleep tonight. The finger food are very simple but it balances out the sweetness of the free biscuits/cookies provided. I think my favorite is the scone they offer, followed by the quiche.

Blackberry Jasmine tea
Blackberry Jasmine tea
Lady's Respite
Lady’s Respite
tea biscuits with lemon curd
tea biscuits with lemon curd

Blackberry Jasmine is quite tasty with or without milk. Earl Grey Floral has a strong lavender or some type of floral taste to it, which didn’t appeal to my palate. You can never go wrong with traditional black tea like English Breakfast.

Dessert we picked Raspberry Tart and Mango Panna Cotta. Both are incredibly delicious and not too sweet, so I think it’ll satisfy anyone’s tastebuds.

Raspberry Tart
Raspberry Tart
Mango Panna Cotta
Mango Panna Cotta

The ambiance is very over-the-top with its porcelain bells to call for the waitress (what), victorian chairs, floral wallpapers, and miscellaneous trinkets displayed on the side of the room.

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I definitely recommend going for the experience. Otherwise, I suggest you have afternoon tea in your backyard—like children who play tea parties with their (imaginary) tea set—because most of the finger food offered seemed like something a novice such as myself could make, and did not seem worth its ~$25 value.

Hog Island Oyster Co.

Off to the north of San Francisco, past the forest of sequoias, and up a winding path by Tomales Bay, we—my brother, his friends, and I—arrived at a charming place called Hog Island Oyster Co. Given that it was July 4th weekend and a Sunday, there were a lot of people already there relaxing, eating BBQ, and shucking oysters. I am allergic to seafood but even I was tempted to slurp one. Chatting with old friends and eating delicious BBQ food whilst enjoying the lovely view makes one such as myself realize and appreciate the little things in life.

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shucking oysters is srs business
shucking oysters is srs business

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in good company
in good company

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Time seemed to have eluded us because around 4:30 or something, the workers yelled out it was closing time. It was a pity because we had just finished barbecuing beef and were only halfway through barbecuing giant New York oysters. We packed up our things and drove home on Highway 1. Frightening yet stunning because we were literally on the edge of the coast. My photos do no justice.

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Monterey Park Adventure

Before leaving for NorCal, my friends and I made a pit stop at Monterey Park for boba at Macchiato and Half n’ Half.

I saw my friend post on Instagram Macchiato’s potted milk tea a while back, and was quite curious of the taste. The presentation is absolutely beautiful, even when I ordered it to-go. The staff is lovely and the ambiance of the shop is cute and somewhat cozy. Despite all this, I had mixed feelings about the potted milk tea. The crushed oreo gives an interesting texture to the milk tea, but I felt the milk tea itself was lackluster. Probably because I am fond of my milk teas to be more on the tea side than sweet/milky side. Honestly, the drink tasted like the creamy center of an oreo, which if that floats your boat, then I definitely recommend buying the drink. Otherwise, I would not recommend buying it unless you are craving something sweet.

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As mentioned in my TRAVEL LOG: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, I was somewhat disappointed with the tea I ordered at Half n’ Half. This time I ordered their renowned milk with honey boba and egg pudding. Two words: TOO SWEET. I asked for less sugar too because I had a hunch the honey in the boba would make the drink really sweet, but it was still too much for my palate. However, the boba is quite delicious and chewy, and the egg pudding is HUUUGE. I love egg pudding, so it was a treat eating that much of it. I definitely would go back to Half n’ Half for the toppings. The wait this time was quite long, but their service is really quick. We waited in line for maybe five minutes, and then maybe three minutes for our drinks; the wait is definitely better than T-pumps.

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