Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review - Pink Giraffe

I have just had a glass of Innocent orange juice. Why would I buy such expensive orange juice? Why would I buy any juice at all? (Juice is one of those things that I really like but resent having to pay so much for. It's a luxury item best saved for home time.) Partly because it was on offer and partly because it's full of vitamin C. While I am usually not one to believe that Berocca or multivitamins will speed up the fighting of a virus, it's two days before my first exam and I am willing to try anything. This has been an absolute nightmare of an exam season. I've had to make four different revision timetables from falling so far behind on the previous one. Not once have I managed to do everything I planned in a day. In case you're tempted to feel sorry for me (you're not) and assume I set myself too much; I didn't. My expectations of myself and my day were very reasonable. The schedule allowed for breaks and fun an adequate sleep yet still I couldn't be a grown up about it. And now I'm ill and I've run out of time and I'm resorting to vitamin C and prayer when I don't really believe the provenance (am I using that in the right context?) of either. I have no work ethic and it is only sheer luck (or God) that has given me the grace of almost making it to twenty one without having realised this before. I've tasted the bitter pill of rejection (lol) a few times over the past year so I knew things were getting harder but even then, I've still been very lucky. NOT ANYMORE. Exams were the one thing that I could count on doing well in but I always suspected that they wouldn't remain lazy and easy. But I never expected this. This is insane. I don't need to be tested this rigorously to do what will in all likelihood be glorified admin for ten years followed by some light creativity and management. Or even to achieve world peace! (I'm going to become fluent in French and join the UN peace corps.) I might have done more work than I've ever done for anything ever but it's still nowhere near enough. I know everyone needs to learn that everything isn't easy at some point but this is a very cruel way to teach someone; dangling the threat of a life where no one will give you a chance because it says 'ii' instead of 'i'. They were going to go terribly anyway, you didn't need to make me ill as well.

My illness meant that yesterday, I woke up very late, spent the majority of the afternoon trying to work but felt too heady and sick and ultimately relinquished to nap. Then I spoke to my parents who told me (kindly) to suck it up and maybe go for a walk to separate 'ill day' from 'two days before exam'. So I did. Then I bumped into this guy. Which would have been horrif in my ill, stressed state except as it turns out, I felt nothin' special except awkwardness. Well done me. Six months to get over four years isn't so bad. And then I did some work and felt very good and pleased but then I went to dinner and felt very inside my own head and thought 'oh hey this wouldn't have happened before' but that's just me and really just a corollary of not being a teenager who doesn't hate people. Plus, to reiterate, sharing food with a non-vegetarian is infinitely more fun. What did we share? Sweet and sour chicken, 'Pink Giraffe' mixed noodles, 'Pink Giraffe' sizzling beef and egg fried rice (with peas and carrots) at the Pink Giraffe.
I was really, really pleasantly surprised. I was expecting it to be awful because it looks like one of those tacky 'catering to Western palettes' Chinese places where all you can taste is MSG and need to drink lots of water to make up for it. This stuff did cater to the Western palette but that's not bad in itself. If the food is good, the food is good. And here, the food was excellent. The noodles were fresh and just coated with soy sauce and filled with lovely crisp vegetables to counter the fatty duck. The chicken and prawns were slightly sweet and just cooked. 'Gourmet'. The beef was similarly tender and surrounded by zingy fresh chillies and green peper and green beans. The sauce had (amongst other things) thai basil running through it and was sweet but not too sweet and savoury and delicious. The sweet and sour chicken was coated with a lovely glaze and looked really, really appetising which is surprising for sweet and sour chicken. But as it turns out, I just don't really like sweet and sour chicken. I could tell that this was well done but it was still much too sweet. I bet at the beginning of this post you never thought I'd be able to connect this with food.

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