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Sir Arthur Guinness

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What is the best way to drink Guinness Foreign Extra Stout – chilled, at room temperature or should I crack an egg into it like how old macho men do?

Ok here’s the back story. Someone gave me a can of Sir Arthur Guinness’ finest from St James’ Gate Dublin brewery yesterday and told me to drink it.

Well, I do like Guinness draft beer poured straight from the tap a lot. Chilled and served in a pint glass – it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures, especially when you’re in an authentic Irish bar. Now stout on the other hand… I’m not so sure how my palate is going to feel.

Yet I’m always one to try new things and to learn new experiences. I mean I will never say no to things I have yet tried before.

So here I am, going to try stout beer for the first time. HOW EXCITING! Bet you’re sitting right at the edge of your seat now, silently cheering me on in your head.

“TIIIIIAAAK!”

It was satisfying to hear the crisp sound of the can ring being pulled open. There was a faint sizzle of bubbles from the can. As I poured the dark frothy beer into the glass, a beige creamy head of froth began to fill the glass up.

The sight of the black liquid settling into the glass was bewitching. This should not taste any different from the draft beer. Ok, maybe it will be slightly more bitter. But really, it should just taste like cold unsweetened black coffee. Which is similar to how I take my coffee – unsweetened and with some milk.

So I took a long sip of the tall cool drink. And it hit me. The first splash of stout onto my tongue had a sharp bitter taste but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. The rest just flowed smoothly down my throat, leaving a slightly roasted taste lingering in my mouth. I felt like I was drinking the draft beer but with a sharper bite to it.

My verdict?

It was great! I can’t believe it was much better than I had expected. I thought I’d hate it. I was even bracing myself to finish drinking it by force. But you know what, I think Guinness Foreign Extra Stout can be my new poison of choice from now.

Only hitch I see so far is that it has 6.8% alcohol volume and I have only taken three mouthfuls from the glass and my face is now as red as a fresh yummy cooked lobster. ALL WITHIN 10 MINUTES OF DRINKING ALCOHOL.

You can probably understand why I hardly drink any sort of alcohol during lunch. My face would light up like your favourite red Christmas lighting. And it would be obvious to everyone that I was drinking on the job. And we wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to me now, would we?

Well, I feel extremely hot all over now, with heat rising out from every part of me. It is as though all my quota for blushing in a lifetime has been set to unlimited tonight.

If you could see me now, you’d be wondering why there is a blood red tomato typing on the phone.

And I have about three-quarters of stout left. I think I could be drunk in another 15 minutes’ time. Then I can float off to a woozy lightheaded giggly paradise. What can I say?

MY LIFE IS FREAKING AMAZING.

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Before I turn 30

(This was written on 11 August this year at around 12am or so and I finished it within 45 minutes because I was so enthusiastic about making a worthy list for myself.

That feeling of typing away non-stop and describing exactly what I felt inside into the written word gave me such a high that I can’t wait to experience it again. I daresay this is one of the best and most thrilling posts I have written in the past year.

The only reason why I didn’t publish it then was because I haven’t finished my list. It’s tough, you know, to figure your exact wants and needs. But I was very inspired tonight so here goes.)

So I’m turning 30 next year and I’m not freaking out or anything. Unlike some people/person I know who was so sensitive about it that they went into a silent strop. And decided that being emotional and ignoring me would make them feel better or stop their ageing clock or something. Go figure.

Anyway that happened about two years ago. And we are still friends so it’s all good. But it taught me a very important lesson. There’s no need to take out your unhappiness about growing old on anyone. It’d be far better and much more enjoyable to embrace what life has given you and smile. I find that it makes living more worthwhile and you get to create an annoyingly happy bubble around you that people can’t break.

So I thought about it and when I was 24, I created a “top 50 things to do before I die” list but unfortunately I forgot where I’ve placed that notebook otherwise I could see if I had managed to whittle any items off the list over the past few years. I know some things I wanted to do then involved travelling to some faraway places, owning a lychee farm in China, buying a house in Europe, becoming a gossip columnist. I know.

So since I can’t quite remember what else was on that list and I am not really in the mood to redo my top 50 list just yet, the next best thing would be writing a “top 10 things to do before I turn 30” list. Yes.

I’m like a cannonball rolling up the hill and storing up as much kinetic energy as possible before I reach the top so I can go full speed ahead for the journey downhill. See the clever thing I did there? And I do have to move a bit fast since I only have slightly more than a year to complete my list.

For those of you curious to why there are only 10 items, well, I want to have a balance between achievable goals and ambitious ideals. More importantly, if I have to spend money, then I want to spend it on experiences that I can relive over and over again in my memory.

Because according to research, splurging on material possessions such as an iPad, high-end branded leather wallet, a fancy new car or a studio apartment where you can finally decorate it however you like will only buy you happiness for a short time. Which is not a surprise really because gadgets and physical items get old and scratches and when something newer comes up, the pursuit continues. So you continue to work harder and longer hours, hoping to get a better-paying job to pay for all the stuff you think will make you happy. It never ends.

Then you become depressed, unsatisfied with life, envious of others who can afford the so-called finer things or become egoistic when you own more luxurious items than others. All which frankly make you a human being that no one wants to hang out with.

It’s far better to buy experiences such as a super yummy sumptuous dinner, a luxurious pampering holiday, a cruise, a three-hour soothing massage. Because if you had a great time doing all these things, the memory will always stay with you and over time, you will think of them as even more wonderful than they actually were.

Plus, I have a full-time permanent job so I have limited vacation time to fly around fulfilling my list. Anyway, there is always a list for when I turn 40. Shudders.

So here goes, Internet. The following items are chosen on these main criteria: satisfaction level from accomplishing it, depth of experience I will learn from it, novelty/excitement factor. Drumroll please. DRRRRRRUUUUHHHH…

Top 10 things to do before I turn 30:

1. Go skydiving
2. Go bungy jumping
3. Eat fugu sushi aka puffer fish and live to tell the tale
4. Gain five kilogrammes more and have a vertical line on my abs
5. Go to New York and spend at least two awesome weeks there
6. Take a holiday by myself (a luxurious, pampering stay in a penthouse suite would be fabulous.)
7. Flesh out the book idea that has been brewing in my head into a written draft.
8. Speak French fluently
9. Learn to fly a plane / surfboard (currently a toss-up between two because I can’t swim and I’m afraid of not feeling the ground under my feet.)
10. Save enough money to pay for the downpayment (and few months’ of instalments) of an apartment for myself

Once I have completed each item, I will come back here to review my experiences of each item in a new blog post with a link to this blog post as a virtual tick off the list.

I’m seriously so stoked that I can’t wait to get started on them. Because life is too short to sit around wishing you could have done this or that. Why not do something fun because when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Stay tuned.