bunnyfish adventures

did you think I was dead?
November 1, 2009, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Dutch culture, school | Tags: , ,

Things are moving quite quickly these days, but I thought to share my instantaneous amusement.  As there are coincidental meetings and relationships between people, sometimes seemingly meaningless things in your life become prevalent by meeting each other.

Background #1: Last week, in order to make my trial cup of decaffeinated coffee more drinkable, I added some cocoa powder.  I bought it last year based off of the box art, because I couldn’t read anything in the grocery store anyway.

Background #2: My major project for the semester (IDP) involves re-designing the registration process so that it is smoother and the involved tools can be arranged to accommodate specific purposes.  Registration in the most general sense is the introduction or the prelude to something greater: an event, a membership, a service or experience.  Sometimes in registering you will have to register for other things, and you must wait for those to go through before moving on.


The Point: Mulling over this reminded me of recursive functions, when in the definition of such a function it calls on itself, and then it must wait until at some point, things are known and we can finish off the to-do list and move on.  Since it’s been some years since 6.001, I thought I would look up “iteration” and “recursion” before using these terms in our report.  The first thing I see under recursion is my cocoa powder.  It also ends up to be the name: the Droste effect.

So it ends up that my box of cocoa is kind of famous, and somewhat related to IDP.  Cool.


Xin nian kuai le!
January 27, 2009, 12:48 am
Filed under: Delft | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Happy Chinese New Year!

On Saturday I went to a celebration held by a bunch of Taiwanese students.  There was a lot of food!  I made and brought scallion pancakes.

We also had to bring a small gift to play a twisted gift exchange game where everyone (40 people) stands in a circle, and there’s a giant die that is rolled to determine if gifts are shifted clockwise or counter-clockwise, or if you get “punished.”  There was a bag of tiles that then said how many people also get punished with you.  The hosts seemed really keen on punishing, since by the end I think 4 out of the 6 sides were devoted to punishment.

But what was punishment, really?  One was that you and the people next to you get drawn on your faces with ink.  Another that was kind of scandalous was that you and one other have to strap on cookware (one being a metal ladle, the other a pot) and one has to hit the other three times by swinging the ladle with your body.  Of course this is the one I end up with, and of course I get stuck with the provocative ladle.  Thankfully as a girl, one can get by with making the motions less suggestive.

And of course the night winded down after the game to karaoke and mahjong.  Wow.  It was probably the most Asian event I’ve ever attended anywhere.  (But it was fun!)

Pictures here are from Nadia, a Greek Erasmus exchange student notorious for always having her camera.  Thanks, Nadia!

unproductive productivity
November 24, 2008, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Delft, design, mini-adventures, school | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I came home last night after watching Cloverfield and went on a cleaning/organizing spree that started with the dishes, then proceeded to the kitchen, and ended with my staying up all night going through all my finances since I got here.  The picture below is just a few receipts from my frequent grocery runs to C1000, one of the three supermarkets in my area.


I also realized that I could also keep track of the cashiers’ names and started a tally of who has served me the most.  (Hallo Seborah.)  Cindy and Jeanne are tied for second.  I started trying to diversify my cashier when I was going there more than three times a week.

And now I can also start keeping rough track of how much I’m spending on what.  Unfortunately I am missing some relevant information, so to reconcile my cash expenses I have a slush expense called “boozin’,” because in the absolute worst case scenario I would have spent all the rest on going out.  (Slightly unrealistic, but seeing it in my statement will be a nice reminder.)

norman 2008.11.20 - 12

DA dinner 2008.11.19 - 08

I also caved and paid for a flickr account so I can show more pictures in a pretty fashion that isn’t facebook-dependent.  Like watching a baby learn to walk, maybe you’ll see some more sophisticated photo management out of me in the future.

I uploaded other photos from the Donald Norman excursion (it was held in the Design Huis of Eindhoven, so there were some exhibits to see), and I also put up pictures from my Domestic Appliances inspirational dinner last Wednesday after a product imaging workshop with Philips.

At this phase of the class, we are developing individual concepts based on the research we did as a group in the first quarter.  To test out and learn more about some of our concepts, my group held a long-due inspirational dinner.  Ivo (glasses) is making a tofu squeezer and marinater, Elliot (plaid shirt) is interested in making steaming more accessible, and Suyanto (last guy) is interested in increasing nutritional knowledge and balanced eating.  We kind of failed to steam anything, but we did make tofu, sushi, noodles, green beans, and ice cream with fruit chunks and pineapple glaze.

4-picture sunday
October 19, 2008, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Delft | Tags: , ,

I have real rice!
September 23, 2008, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Delft | Tags: , ,

Today I finally got to the asian supermarket and carried back several kg of rice and a couple liters of soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil.  What Tsigereda said about missing food is pretty true -my mouth was watering even though the market wasn’t really much bigger than a baby Super 88 in Boston.  I made sushi rice, chicken katsu, and spinach with mushrooms for dinner.  And I had some green tea afterwards with a stroopkoekje (like the stroopwafel, except the syrup is sandwiched with cookies).  Yum.

The day was more typically Delft-gray with the random shower.  I took a few pictures of the road by the highway, a canal that had a lock (though perhaps there isn’t enough reference in the frame), and this strange mural that appeared on the side of my flat building’s garage.

Where I live… but how do I eat?
September 14, 2008, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Delft | Tags: , , ,

I had some adjustments to make with some aspects of the flat, but my main concern now is how to get by with just a fridge and a gas stove top.  (I actually discovered that there was no freezer after I had bought some frozen vegetables from the supermarket my first night.  I was also lucky to have a box of matches on me, since the stove top doesn’t have ignition.)

I first panicked at the lack of a microwave, since Andy and I had gotten by without an oven during IAP, but I had no clue how to reheat food without one.  In fact, I had to look up references like this, which I looked up only today and have yet to apply this recent knowledge.

So far I’ve been eating everything or dining on cold leftovers, so warm food has become this strange commodity (though the Dutch typically eat cold lunches).  I am thinking of getting a toaster oven and an icebox, since living without a microwave might make me eat healthier, but any tips on surviving would be great.  (Or the benefits of toaster oven v. normal oven.)

I do have to note that our flat does smell nice, since half of Tsigereda’s luggage was food and spices.

Zaterdag @ Brabantse Turfmarkt
September 14, 2008, 7:13 pm
Filed under: city, Delft | Tags: , ,

Yesterday I went to the market to get some produce, and I was actually impressed with how elaborate some of the stands were.  I got some chicken breasts, tomatoes, bananas, strawberries, and cheese, and had to restrain myself from buying more bread.

Random food notes:
They seem to not use preservatives, since bread molds pretty quickly.  Then again, it is a Dutch stereotype that they eat a lot of bread and cheese (“brood” and “kaas”).

So far the chicken I’ve made here has been juicier than back in Cambridge.  *shrug*

The yogurt is really liquidy here, and there’s also milk with fruit in them.

Dutch coffee is somewhat similar to American coffee in its preparation.  It is, however, stronger than American coffee, which is how I think it should be done.  I was talking with Paul, another Delft-to-MIT exchange student in the Spring, and he said one of the things he really misses is Starbucks, since he always got the venti size.