Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tofu Festival

This is my first time to attend the Tofu Festival, and I heard that this is the last Tofu Festival. I never imagined a festival featuring just one food - especially that food was tofu. Tofu is not listed in the 'royal' dishes in the Vietnamese cuisine culture, partly because it is simple and cheap - in finding the ingredients, in its production technique, and in the way to process it to become a food. Thus, I was amazed to see innovative uses of tofu in the foods sold at the festival. Contrary to my food knowledge, tofu can go with so many condiments: noodles, salad, kim chi (pickles), burger, banana, coconut, taco, and many others to become and drink. mapou tofu boba drink, pad sei eu noodle with tofu, BBQ tofu. Curious with an all-day long line in front of the Otafuku Foods Inc.'s booth, I joined the queue hoping to taste the tofu okonomiyaki or tofu pancake. But I was not lucky. After 20 minutes waiting under the hot sun, I had to leave with about 15 other disappointed-looking people as it was sold out. Anyway, I was happy with the green curry tofu with Thai eggplant at the Thai Tofu Nirvana's booth, sun du bu at the BCD Tofu House, and pad thai tofu at Chang’s Thai Bistro.

But Tofu Festival is more than a food festival. It is a social and cultural event where people come to taste different dishes at one location, to socialize with their friends and colleagues, to experience one of the most notable LA events, to be updated with current trends and tastes, or just to have festival feeling.

Monday, August 13, 2007

technology and everyday life

I often thought I did not belong to the digital generation and it was definitely unnecessary for me to do so. I used basic computer skills at work. Most of the time I dealt with papers. And I always got outstanding rate for my performance. I prefer real voice and facial contacts than the emotion icons on facebook. And I had no problems with keeping in touch with my friends and my families thus far. I enjoy traveling and experiencing place and people than watching TV. I love to receive one hand-written card than ten e-cards. I do not like the idea when I want to 'have' time of my own, my cell phone rings. In short, I have hundreds of good reasons for not being a technology maniac. But the encounter with Ms. Kayo challenged my thinking. She took computer courses at the DISKovery center in Little Tokyo. She designed name labels for herself and her friends. She had mobility problem but kept connected with her daughter every day by email. She skillfully moved the cursor from one function to another, which took me a while to follow, while she searched for information on the internet. I had a sense of being behind. I had a sense of being marginalized as I did not get access to the wealth of resources on the internet.