In this day and age, a family unit isn’t necessarily made up of the people you were born to live with. Families are, after all, the people who supports and encourages you, pushes your buttons, kick your lazy fat ass, beat you down and pick you back right up; be your pillar of strength, a shoulder to cry on; they are there to protect you, feed you, nurture you, educate you *gasp for air* sing and dance with you, laugh with, cry with, bitch about other family members with; shelter you, accept you and most of all, love you. That’s quite a tall order and not all traditional family are able to fulfill such roles. Hence, as we grow older and more into our own person, we tend to build our own support system. In some societies, these support groups are known as friends. But, I like to simply call them my family.
My new family is as big, loud, and crazy as they come. And the funny conversations and silliness between us could rival those of TV’s Modern Family any day. They come in all sorts of names, titles, colours, shape and characters; like The Hater, Ah Pa, The Queen-cum-BFF, Sister Banana, The Goddess, Fairy God Mother, and that long illustrious list is still growing by the day. Case in point, when J&K (whom shall be henceforth known as the Nannies due to their recent outstanding contributions as my babysitters) recently got invited to an event organised by their neighbour upstairs, they asked me along… as their Mother, no less. It’s a lil’ confusing, I know.
What they didn’t tell me that it was an official event hosted by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Malaysia. So, there I was seated down in the posh settings of Samplings on the Fourteen listening to their neighbour, who spoke in a Sofia Vergara lilt – caressing every word before releasing it, as she regaled us about the day she got to know the Nannies.
The story goes that late one night she and her husband were hosting a salsa party in their apartment, and they received a rude call from the security office asking them to tone the party down as some neighbours were complaining. Of course they neglected the warning and continued to dance away. It wouldn’t be called a salsa party if everyone just sat quietly right? Half and hour later, they found the said displeased neighbour knocking at the door.
“Hi, we live downstairs and we would really appreciate it if you can play quietly. It’s past 1am and we’re trying to get some sleep.”
“Oh, so you were the neighbour who was complaining. Tell you what, let us make it up to you. You can start with this glass of margarita!”
J&K stayed on, one drink after another and danced until the sun rises in the morning. They say the rest is history. And I’m definitely self-inviting myself to the next party! *sniggers*
The dinner event was nothing short of a fiesta either. Bright colours and live music were bursting everywhere lending a local Venezuelan feel to the atmosphere. It was held in conjunction with the Gastronomic Festival launch, a part of the 6th Annual Venezuelan Week 2011, jointly organised with the Embassy’s co-partner, the Berjaya Group. KL-lites can now until 8th May, enjoy authentic Venezuelan cuisine specially prepared by Chef Carmen Rawstron, who recently launched her cookbook entitled ‘My Venezuelan Cuisine’ at the Samplings Restaurant.
Our menu that evening was filled with the chef’s creations of :
Entrees – Sopa de planto verde adornada con almendras tostadas / Cream of Plantains with Almond Crisp, which somehow reminded us of a mild curry even though we’ve been told by the chef that they only spice used was pepper;
Mains – Pastel de chucho con salsita de coco con ensalada de pina y lechugas troceada de vinagreta blanca / Spotted Stingray & Plantain Pie with Coconut Sauce and Mixed Salad and Pineapple, a typical coastal dish originally made with shark’s meat, this tropical flavoured fish dish was a clear favourite with everyone that evening;
Desserts – Torta de guanabana / Soursop Cake, a sweet and light dessert cake.
My new Latin American friend, who I am still in awe of her beautiful accent, also informed us that a special Venezuelan Mother’s Day Luncheon will be held at the restaurant on the 8th of May to commemorate that special day.
When I was young, I’ve always dreamed of having a big, nice and awesome family. But now, I’m stuck here with this ridiculous bunch, pretending to be my Nannies‘ Mother. It still sounds strange saying it. Well, we may be from different worlds, but somehow we fit together. Love is what binds us, through fair and stormy weather. And for that I’m grateful and blessed to have my “family” by my side. I love them.
Thanks to everyone at the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and especially the neighbour upstairs for being such fun and wonderful host for the evening.
For more information on the 6th Annual Venezuelan Week 2011 and Gastronomic Festival, please contact The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at 03-21633444/21633445 or visit the official blog HERE.