Initially, whenever I am invited for a blogger or media event, I was on Cloud 9. Call it over-excitement if you like, naturally, for the time and effort put into blogging, one must feel proud and honoured as if we have achieved the moon and sky. Blogging many claim is a hobby, but we all know that the underpinning truth is otherwise. Somehow or rather, any blogger for the matter will and should jump to the sky if their blog gains popularity and is recognised by sponsors as well. I beg to differ if you won't admit, for me, it was akin walking into new doors of opportunity.
So, I was out there literally for every other event. Never mind to the distance, never mind to paying for petrol and parking and never mind to the hours in the traffic jam. Then slowly and surely the reality bullet started biting in really hard. Looking back now, I wonder how I survived being among the mostly unpolished sweet young things, as young as seventeen. Sadly the majority even the older ones don’t smile, don’t say hi and they don’t care too hooks about anyone else except themselves. All dolled up in cocktail dresses, mini-skirts, cleavage plunging tops with hardly nothing to show and designer shoes/handbags. Obviously, as soon as the cameraman is in action, they won't hesitate to immediately grin or strike a post not realising they are not even the target (more at Le Pont Boulangerie). Of course the sponsors do usher you. Other than that, you are just a number.
I know I shouldn’t feel intimidated, but seriously, a shocking discovery. Not that I dress shabbily neither I didn’t try hard to break the ice. Anyway, to cut the story short, I did pick up some so called blogger friends. At once, what matters most is flashing their name cards. Also, be prepared for your ears to fall apart because you have to listen to how many followers they have, how many likes they garner and how many events they are invited to. Subsequently, you will realise that these famed bloggers are scrunching for more opportunities by being nice to you. Bottom line, trying to ride on you for popularity. If you think your colleagues are bad, wait until you meet the bloggers. Alarming, really alarming!
Well and good if you can fit in, for me, after a good number of events, I started questioning myself. What I am doing? Am I so desperate for publicity I have to be thick skin and mingle among such people? Do I really need this? As it is, even before millions of bloggers stormed out, I have been to numerous events where I have met numerous socialites. You name it, I’ve done it, I have seen it and I know what it is like. Honestly, I don’t want to return there again. Not my cup of tea or coffee anymore. In my fifties, I prefer a simple, humble and narrowed life. My small world consists of my imperfect other half, his and my family, a job not a career and I won’t compromise on saving to travel (travelling solo when you are married). Nevertheless, it has been "expect the unexpected" eye opener to the hypocritical blogging world I don't regret knowing about. Glad that I actually experienced, but does not mean I will stop blogging. Blogging is an avenue to improve my writing skills and a personal achievement. Still, I won't discount the one to one basis invitations by professional sponsors.
In the next post, I have lined up some juicy stories on sponsors, right now, it is time for what I do almost daily. Yes,cooking with love for the love of my life. In my house, any egg dish is always welcomed with open arms (egg green chilli curry, egg vindaloo, egg foo yung, egg cheesy bun, rosemary potato & egg salad, mushroom eggs, cincalok omelette & egg banjo) whereas sambal is the other favourite. Presumably also for every other typical Malaysian (eggs and anchovies sambal, sambal tempeh ikan bilis, sambal serai ikan bilis, belimbing ikan bilis sambal & cencaru sumbat), this dried shrimp egg sambal is spectacular when eaten with rice drenched with rasam, sambar or sodhi. Believe me you!
For the sambal/chilli gravy
4 fresh red chillies
2 birds eye chillies (optional - for the extra kick of spiciness)
1 medium size red onion
1/2 inch roasted belacan/shrimp paste
1 inch fresh turmeric (or replace with 1 tsp turmeric powder)
**blend these ingredients with some water for a nice thick chilli paste
1/2 cup soaked and rinsed dried shrimps or prawns - roughly pound/blend
4 hard boiled eggs
1 small piece palm sugar/or 1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tbsp lime juice (or as per taste)
A handful of Thai basil leaves (or any other suitable herb)
1/4 cup oil
Salt as needed (taste sambal before adding)
Add in dried shrimps.
Stir and cook till lightly crunchy.
Now add the sambal paste.
Stir and cook over low heat to release the aroma and oil splits.
Pour some water if you prefer more gravy.
Season with lime juice, palm sugar and salt.
Taste to balance the flavours.
Then gently drop in the eggs.
Stir a couple of times and off the heat.
Combine in the basil leaves.