I saw her reading La Ama, a new published Bhutanese novel written by Chador Wangmo, while waiting for my arrival. I could see her hesitating and unsure if it was me as I entered the lobby. After I called her name, she then stood up and both of us smiled, greeted and hugged each other.
|Luzee, Lolo’s mother, or Luzee Lek Zeema :)|
Let me introduce her - A young and loving mother of ‘five children’ at home, love studying and blogging, very busy at work, Ms Lungten Zangmo – blogger of A NEW LEAF, or known more as Luzee, Lolo’s mother, and Luzee Lek Zeema (the top writer in nopkin.com – a place where Bhutanese shares their writings online). She came here for 4-day training, together with her fellow colleagues, and she added one extra day so that she could spend some time with me, here in Singapore.
She is very friendly and valuing friendship after her families. Lolo is her precious two-year old daughter who loves ‘Frozen’ just like Dechen (Kuenza’s daughter). Luzee kept mentioning Lolo in every conversation and I could see her missing Lolo very much each time we passed by cute babies around here.
|Ema - chili and Datsi - cheese all the way from Bhutan!!! ^^|
Months before her arrival she kept reminding me on what things that I would like to have from Bhutan through our Facebook messages. I told her that I would like her to come to my house to teach and show me how to cook the Bhutanese food. Hahaha… I was asking her if she could bring Ema (chili), Datsi (Bhutan cheese) with some dried pork meat from there as I loved the authentic taste of the Bhutanese food so much! I hoped it wasn’t too much for a request :D
|Precious pressure cooker gifted by Luzee :)|
And some time ago when I tried to cook the Bhutanese style pork curry myself with guidance from Uden when she was still holidaying in Bhutan, the taste was not bad but I just didn’t feel right when it wasn’t cooked with a proper pressure cooker – what Bhutanese usually used back at their homes. So I was asking Luzee if she could get one for me. She was taking my request seriously and bought it together with 3 packets of Ema and 1 packet of Datsi all the way from Bhutan!!! Yalama kheno!!! How lucky I was!!!
|Liquors and mini Ghos and Kira from Luzee ^^|
Not only that. She also brought few bottles of miniature Bhutan liquors (exactly the same set that she sent previously through Kuenza, but she had to leave it at Bangkok Airport as she didn’t keep it inside her luggage. Oops!!), as she knew that I loved collecting them plus a big bottle of Raven Vodka as per my request. She also threw in few mini Ghos and Kira to cover my wine bottles. For that, she had to ask her colleagues to help putting it all those into their luggage as there was limitation of bringing a max 1 bottle of liquor to Singapore. Thank you everyone for your kind help :)
|Kwan Im Temple - Bugis with Luzee and Sonam|
So, after meeting up and introducing me to her Boss a.k.a. friend, Sonam, three of us walked to Bugis. Their hotel was just within walking distance from there. First, I brought them to Kwan Im Temple to pray then we walked around Bugis – Bugis Street, Bugis Junction, Illuma, OG, and so on, doing what women love doing – shopping! After some time, we stopped at hawker center, had our tea and lunch break.
Sonam continued shopping while Luzee and I went back into hotel to drop the stuffs and picked up my chom, headed to my home. She was the first Bhutanese who ever came visiting my house. My house was located at the end of the north-east part of Singapore, which wasn’t really convenient for people to visit as it would take them some time to reach. But Luzee went there as she would like to help me learning how to cook Bhutanese food.
|Private cooking lesson by Chef Luzee from Bhutan ^^|
We cooked three dishes: pork curry, kewa datsi (potato with cheese), and egg curry. ‘Curry’ here wasn’t a kind of Indian curry cooked with coconut milk, but a word commonly used by Bhutanese as a ‘dish’. Luzee was vegetarian; however, she still taught me how to cook the pork curry, according to how her husband usually did at home.
We cooked the pork using the pressure cooker – finally, and cooked the rest of the dishes using the normal pot and pan. I will share how to cook it in another blog post so that others who are interested to learn are able to cook as well :)
It took us almost two hours to prepare our dishes and we were ready to go!!! We went for a picnic at the Marina Bay Sands Promenade, just the two of us :) We came at the right time. The sun was about going to set and the very little drizzling finally stopped, and we had our Bhutanese food dinner overlooking the beautiful Singapore city view with a quiet environment.
|Our wonderful picnic at MBS Promenade :)|
We ate our food and chitchatted about many things- specifically about her life in Bhutan. I was privileged to hear all that from her, also about lives of other Bhutanese that we both knew. I felt very close to Bhutan right there right now. It felt just like my long lost home. Even sometimes I wondered if I ever lived there in my previous life :)
After filling up our stomach, I asked her if she was willing to go for a walk (I was afraid that she was too tired going out with me almost a whole day). She accepted it happily so we headed to the Garden by the Bay, which was located just behind the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
|View of the Garden by the Bay, Singapore|
We had a long walk. Although tired, Luzee was happy to see trees and plants (and not high-rise buildings that made her feeling sick). It made her grateful with her life back in Bhutan where the country was rich and filled with mountains and natural resources - not man made ones.
|Supertree Grove light and music performance :)|
After taking the wrong way we finally reached the destination that I longed to bring her for – to watch the light and music performance on the Supertree Grove, at 7.45am, and we were just in time for that. We searched for empty spaces and laid our mats on it. Both of us lied down facing the sky just like the rest of the audience. Once it started, we both enjoyed the show to the fullest, had an amazingly relaxing night with a cool breeze around us!!!
|Me and Luzee - Tired but happy :)|
What a long day we both had! But it was wrapped up nicely and beautifully. I hoped she wasn’t too tired and had enough rest after reaching her hotel. I also hoped that she could keep these beautiful memories with her back to Bhutan.
|Beautiful gifts from Bhutan - Kadinche la! ^^|
Thank you once again for all the things she brought for me, plus other ‘chom’ given by Kuenza and Sonam Penjo. Thank you, thank you, and thank you everyone!!! Although I wasn’t physically in Bhutan, I could feel as if I was in Bhutan with your presence here. And Luzee, we shall see each other again for the next few days! And our story shall continue soon… :)