This post was inspired by this post.
My office mug came from the diner near our hotel in LA, when we visited the lonely city some five years ago. At my workplace, the cleaning aunties know my mug well because "it is very heavy hor." Like Tim's, it is thick all round and doesn't hold a large volume of liquids. Unlike Tim, I did not have the foresight to buy four in case I break this one piece. Four, I must remember that for next time.
The shell of the mug is smoothly moulded and the handle is reassuringly stout to grip. It feels heavy and sturdy. The red font, with its dashes and flourishes, is highlighted beautifully against the pale cream background. It is a very reassuring and comforting mug, almost like my own security blanket against uncertain office conditions.
I use this mug for hot drinks, like the Milo in the picture. Milo is the default office beverage for me. There is only Lipton and an unidentifiable Chinese tea in the office pantry, both not serious consideration although in times of big stress I have resorted to making myself a cup of Lipton sweetened with at least 3 teaspoons of white sugar. Occasionally I put coffee in it; not always, as I don't know yet how to get nice coffee from the coffee maker.
umami: Eh dear, my new office hor, the pantry selection not bad. Got Milo, the original type, not the 3-in-1s.
husband: Not the 3-in-1s, wah, so they have to provide the milk and sugar lah?
umami: yar, so now I can make my own Milo. 4 heaped teaspoons Milo, 2 teaspoons sugar.
husband: (wincing) Nooo, that's way too much sugar. I make mine with 2 teaspoons Milo, 1 teaspoon instant coffee and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Try it, it is much nicer than yours.
Husband is wrong. My version is far superior. The only thing that will improve mine is to remove the water and sugar altogether. Milo granules are very tasty on their own, though just maybe my new colleagues would think me strange to see me crunching Milo.
Milo is a unique beverage in our part of the world. It is like hot chocolate but not terribly chocolatey, with a faint taste of malt and caramel. I don't think the Brits are into it, nor have I seen it in US supermarkets. Malaysian and Singaporeans get indoctrinated into the Milo habit from very young. To this day I still remember their jingle " Minum Milo anda jadi.. Sihat dan Kuat" (we're talking ancient history here) promising you that drinking the stuff will make you healthy and strong, you may even get to be a swimming champion. On sports days, the Milo van would come round and dispense tiny paper cups of Milo that none of our mums could duplicate... intensely sweet, chocolate-malty rich, and icy cold. Maybe they added Nestle condensed milk?
The other day a Filipino colleague brought these cookies to the office. It is like the butterfly pastry (or palmier, but I've always called it butterfly pastry in my head), but in a round shape. Very crispy, so crispy that when one bites into it the cookie disintegrates and sprinkle crumbs all over; It is impossible to eat in a dignified manner. Sweet but not too sweet as to need a coffee to accompany it. It is really from the Phillipines, do not be misled by the the Irish-sounding name and colour.