Both Dearie and I are constantly learning new things from each other. During the 2nd day of the Cameron Highlands retreat, Jasmine wanted to order a Masala thosai after a Maggi goreng and plain thosai failed to fill us. I came back and told her that there was no Masala thosai, but I had ordered an egg thosai instead. Her response was, “Wow. I didn’t know there was egg thosai. I learn new things everyday!” Her cell members were very amused. Cindy then told Eleta that she should learn to speak to her boyfriend with that same tone of ‘admiration’.
(Andrew: I’m sure that my dearie has learnt more from me than just the existence of different varieties of thosai.)
( Jasmine: Don’t get your hopes up, dearie.)
Because of how different we are, in terms of interests and talents, we are both constantly learning new things from each other. Just within one date, I learnt 5 new things from my Dearie:
1. Perfume spraying
Upon reaching her place, she asked me if I could smell the perfume she had sprayed on. I couldn’t smell a thing, although I probably guessed that she sprayed on Daisy (yes, the only scent I can recognise). She then told me that that’s because she sprayed it around her waist area, so that the smell will gradually ‘waft’ up – and indeed, the scent was very evident much later! This is definitely new information for someone who sprays cologne directly on the chest area of his shirt. Heh. (Yes I know you are shocked)
(Jasmine says: So that explains the strange musky smell that assails attacks my nostrils whenever I lie on his shoulder…
Traditionally, perfume should be sprayed on one’s pulse points, such as the wrists, the neck, behind the ears and at the back of one’s knees. (At the back of one’s knees?! Seriously, the only people capable of that are Romanian gymnasts.)
Truth be told though, such technicalities were the last thing on my mind yesterday: I only sprayed Daisy at waist-level because I was afraid the perfume might stain my new blouse!)
2. Floral arrangement
The bouquet we selected from Cold Storage. Note the great colour contrast! 🙂
It was my sister’s baptism service held at home yesterday, so we decided to get her a bouquet. What I normally do is simply go to a florist, pick a reasonably priced one with a relatively cheerful ‘feel’ to it and buy it. What Jasmine did, however, went beyond my very rudimentary selection process. She chose the bouquet, and then went on to ask the salesgirl to show her all the different shades of pink/purple wrapper that she had. The salesgirl was then specifically instructed to place the wrapping paper next to each other first, to check for appropriate colour contrast and effect, before securing it on the bouquet. A few shades were rejected because they were either too light or didn’t bring out the flowers enough. Later on, she continued to educate me regarding the finer points of floral arrangement – i.e. the ‘type’ vs. the ‘purpose’ of flowers (some flowers are the ‘main’ ones, others are just ‘fillers’), the colour contrasts (i.e. purple and yellow are ‘opposite colours’, whereas white and green can be used for a classic look). Looks like I might (emphasis mine) try putting together my own bouquet in the future!
(Jasmine says: Florists don’t really take to me well. The bouquet had already been wrapped and finished, but I asked the poor florist to help me unwrap two layers of mismatched rice paper, and then spent another ten minutes comparing various shades and tonalities of her wrapper selection, before settling on dusky pink for the innermost layer, a deeper rose pink for the middle layer (to complement the lighter pink) and a vibrant purple for the outermost layer (to complement the pinks and offset the yellow of the sunflower).
Colour wheel: the purple wrapper works well with the yellow sunflower because they lie on opposite ends of the colour spectrum, and are therefore complementary.
We got our sunflower bouquet from Cold Storage. Tip for guys: the bouquets there are about 20% – 30% cheaper than at regular florists, and if you’d rather get individual stalks instead of pre-wrapped bouquets, those go for about $3 to $5 depending on the type and rarity of flower)
To be fair, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen my Dearie in action cutting cakes, so you can count this as a lesson for reinforcement.
Confectionery boot camp
Jasmine slices cakes very cleanly, such that you don’t get the usual accumulation of ‘cream’ and cake remnants as you continue to cut more slices. It is, I believe, a skill inherited from her mum. It’s a combination of good knife technique and also, with the use of a piece of tissue/napkin to clean the knife everytime after you make a cut. This skill is more valuable when it comes to cutting cheesecakes – a lesson which I learnt the hard way a few weeks ago. Yesterday’s chocolate cake was easier to slice neatly, but my Dearie cut it in such a way that there was a variety of slice sizes to cater to different people’s appetite for sweet stuff. I don’t know if that was intentional, but it was definitely thoughtful on her part.
(Jasmine says: Actually the differing sizes of the cake slices wasn’t so much intentional as it was a result of poor spatial approximation on my part, but I’m so glad my dear thinks so positively about me :P)
4. Men’s fashion
The only way I distinguish shoes is by their colour and their material, with the exception of maybe recognizing the difference between boots and regular shoes (yes, Army taught me that). Dearie, however, has enhanced my shoe vocabulary – I now know two new kinds of shoe-types – boaters and loafers. (I think those above are boaters?)
(Jasmine says: Well done dear, they are indeed boaters!)
We went shopping in Bugis Village yesterday for berms and I’ve learnt that it’s important to find colours that you can match with much of your wardrobe (e.g. ash-grey, white with subtle stripes – but not RI shorts white) and that subtle checks are often a nice design to look for. This is what I bought eventually:
She also introduced me to this fashion blog by men for men, which looks potentially interesting. I shall look at this more when I have the time.
Finally got a new pair of berms, now to get some T-shirts, and a vest, and learn how to fold pocket squares. (No, I am not being converted into a shopaholic!)
(Jasmine says: Le sigh… a man after my own heart! You had me at “fold pocket squares”…
Seriously though, I have to give Andrew props for so gamely trying on pair after pair yesterday. Bugis being Bugis, it was stuffy and the fitting rooms were little more than faded tarpaulins held up by hooks or clipped together with a hanger. Many times I feared that Andrew would outrage his own modesty when I saw his jeans or worse still, legs, peeking out from behind the curtain!)
We were near Iluma, so we decided to take a jaunt in. I was rather fascinated by the architecture and design of the place, though we both agreed that it was more appealing on the exterior than the interior. I felt that the high ceilings gave the whole place a very spacious and ‘dynamic’ feel.
Jasmine, however, was able to make very astute, and I might add, rather intuitive comments about its design. She commented about how there was special attention paid to the design of the tiling on the ground floor and how the floors were not symmetrically (regularly) shaped, hence it seemed as if the place was designed with topography in mind. She mentioned too that the greater amount of ceiling space allowed for the ‘re-creation’ of the space in front of restaurants to resemble spaces native to the cuisine’s origin.
Topography in a typical map:
Notice how the lines of Iluma’s ceilings resemble topography in a map:
And how this topographic motif is likewise echoed by the linoleum flooring:
She then went on to tell me about how she’s going to introduce me to the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (who designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York, simple introductory video available here), not to be confused with Frank Gehry (who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao).
(And yes, hold back your disgust at the geeky conversations we have. If you think the architecture discussion above was bad, we once had a discussion at the Singapore Museum at how we would restructure the Images of our Landscape exhibit so that it would tell a more lucid story, even considering various student profiles. Heh.)
The Guggenheim, New York:
How Jasmine first heard of the Guggenheim, New York: through this Frank Lloyd Wright Lego set