Shop-stinance: Day 34

Day 34: Another sluggish morning, mostly in part from staying at work far too long last night. Rolled out of bed onto the floor in a makeshift yoga downward facing dog position, not that I’ve ever taken yoga but sometimes it’s fun to pretend.

Work goes by as it does on Tuesdays. Series of meetings, open items, tracking. This summer is going to be busy.

Around 5pm I start getting excited for group dinner, in honor of good friend and social media soul sister Linda, visiting from Singapore. Last year Linda was a gracious host while I was on vacation in her motherland. She also was a great tour guide, teaching me what to eat and where to go, while she vacationed with me for a week in Hong Kong.

The original plan was to meet at Off the Grid: Cupertino, but horrendous weeknight traffic and Laurie, Linda, & Linda’s new boyfriend traveling from both the East Bay and SF made it not a favorable dining location. One hour before dinner we swap the location to San Mateo, which would be a better midpoint for everyone.

We wanted to go to Sushi Sams, but they couldn’t guarantee a large group even if we waited an hour. In the end we decide on Little Sheep Hot Pot. I wasn’t super hungry as I had eaten leftovers late in the afternoon for lunch, so instead I ordered a fresh coconut juice served in the coconut and everything. This by far rocks any coconut you can get in a pint with a plastic screw top.

Then all through the night were fun and random chats about how Linda and her boyfriend met, social media breaks, Christina giving birth, roommate troubles, work, how to order meats vs vegetables at hot pot and how Hung couldn’t figure out how the pen worked to order our food.

Meanwhile Laurie and Martin play “hot pot chicken” while waiting for our food to come out.


hot pot chicken — putting your finger on the hot pot burner as it heats up and whoever takes their finger off the burner first loses.

Hot Pot Chicken in Action. Ouchy ouchy hot hot.(Luckily the burners are induction, so no people were harmed in the taking of this photo.)

Hot Pot Chicken in Action. Ouchy ouchy hot hot.(Luckily the burners are induction, so no people were harmed in the taking of this photo.)

Near the end of dinner Martin pulls out mango sticky rice! The running joke in our group is that Martin perpetually mentions how everything in life is easy and he can do anything and everything. The first year he met Linda at the Off the Grid food trucks in Palo Alto 2 years ago, he looked at a menu and claimed how easy mango sticky rice would be to make. I followed up by challenging him to make it. The next day, while I was sick, I get texted a photo of Martin, Linda, Christina and mango sticky rice, which Martin made from scratch and apparently is super easy to make.

We plate up his creation at the restaurant. Near the end of finishing up the sticky rice and complementing him on a job well done, Martin tells us the rice he used was the same rice that he used to make the sticky rice from two years ago.

Collectively our forks drop from our mouths and hit the plates. What? 2 years old rice? Dah, what else did he use that was 2 years old? I see the faces around the table and we are all imagining tomorrow doubled over with stomach aches. I had been eating it slowly so I stopped eating the rest, but most people had already finished. We all awkwardly laugh while shooting him daggers with our eyes. He spins some tale about how rice can last for years in the war while we still eye him dubiously. The tension is broken as we are getting kicked out of the restaurant since they are closing up.

I love how Linda is able to bring us together to catch up, even though normally we’re all around but never manage to meet up.

She also left me with this crazy parting gift that she got from Australia. Thanks Linda for being the catalyst of get togethers, laughs, fun and for me social media breaks.



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