VB Star of the Week: Yingchen! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-19-2014, 11:49 PM
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As promised, the Celebrity interviews are back! So lets meet and greet Yingchen, VB member extraordinaire! Yingchen joined VB in April of last year. He is a contributing member of our Content Team, and has posted prolifically on the boards, even while serving with the Singapore Armed Forces, a duty he recently completed.

 

 

Here's how the Interviews work:

 

-Please ask only a few questions at a time, so everyone has a chance to participate. (You can come back often to ask more questions!)

 

-Anyone (and everyone) can be a VB Star. If you would like to be a VB Star, just send me or any of the moderators a PM, and we'll arrange to get you into the hot-seat! In the event no one comes forward, it will be up to our current Star to choose next week's victim, er, interviewee. If you're asked to be a Celebrity, but don't want to be one, you may take a pass; likewise, the current Star is free to pass on any questions they are not comfortable with answering.

 

-Please keep our posting rules in mind, and let's keep this PG-13 or better. And remember, if our current famous person expresses an opinion with which you disagree, please do not give an argument in return. This is an interview, not a debate!

 

NOTE- If you'd like to read about our previous Stars (they go back several years,) all of the interviews are archived in the Meet Outstanding Users forum, for your reading pleasure!

 

  A few things you may want to know about our Star, before we start:

 

Quote:
38x38px-ZC-0925f574_VBthumbnail.png
 

-Real first name?

Yingchen


-Age?
21


-Sex/Gender Identity?
Male


-Relationship status?
Single


-Location (as specific as you are comfortable being)?
Singapore


-Religious beliefs (or lack thereof)?
Agnostic


-Political leanings?
I'm generally on the left, but I pick ideas across the entire spectrum. I believe that MNCs should be subjected to strict regulations about their ethical practices, but otherwise I'm pro-globalisation. I support generous welfare schemes for the poor, but I believe that they should be tied to reemployment programs and vocational skills training, and not just given out freely as cash. I think that everyone is entitled to healthcare, even if they can't afford it, but that the state has a right to restrict consumption of cigarettes, junk food and alcohol to keep costs low if people aren't making responsible decisions about their health.

 

-Are you a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist (or something else)?
Vegan


-Have you ever met anyone famous?
Hmm... Michael Cunningham, I guess, whose hand I shook at the Singapore Writers Festival in 2011. Other than that, not really. I'm not old or extraordinary enough to have met very many famous people.


-Do you live with any companion animals?
Nope


-Do you live with any companion humans?
My dad, my mom and one brother.


-Where is your favorite place that you have visited?
New York. I went there with my brother in 2010, and we spent every single day walking halfway across Manhattan and queueing for discount Broadway tickets. That was an amazing experience.


-What do you enjoy most about being veg*n?
The feeling that I've done something concrete to take a stand against oppression, and that I'm not just all talk and no action.


-With whom would you most love to have dinner?
Iauren Ornelas. Much love for her Food Empowerment Project!


-Do you have any secret talents?
Over the span of a couple of months in 2010, I taught myself how to do the Melbourne Shuffle off videos on YouTube. THAT was random. Well, people used to clap when I did it, so I can't have been that bad.


-What dish/recipe can you make that knocks people's socks off?
My beetroot patties have gotten a few compliments, which is great since I've only been cooking for about half a year.


-What's your favorite restaurant?
Real Food. (Actually it's 222 Veggie Vegan, but I can't say that or it would make me incredibly sad that this place is 8 time zones away from where I live.)


-What do you do to cheer yourself up when you're feeling blue?

Do an anime marathon.


-What's your biggest cooking/baking disaster?
The first time I made yeast pancakes, I used nutritional yeast and not active dry yeast because I didn't know the difference. I also used waaay too much nutmeg. Oh boy, love how that turned out. The pancakes were super dense and mushy, and I had to burn them before they were solid enough to be flipped, yet when I ate them the insides were still uncooked. I'm amazed that I managed to force myself to eat half the batter before deciding to throw the rest away.


-What's the one food/product, that you'd love to "veg*nize"? 

Dao Xian Mian (aka knife-shaved noodles), which can't be very hard to do. I plan to try it some time in the future.

 

Let the Interview begin!

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#2 Old 01-20-2014, 03:31 AM
 
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Dao Xian Mian?

你会说中文吗?
(Can you speak Chinese?)

 

 

EDIT:  Wait, isn't the pinyin for 削  Xiao?

 

I thought those were vegan and it just depended on the sauce?

 

http://shop.waiyeehong.com/food-ingredients/noodles/eggwheat-noodles/sliced-noodles-ready-cooked

 

http://shop.waiyeehong.com/food-ingredients/noodles/eggwheat-noodles/dushao-flat-noodles

 

http://shop.waiyeehong.com/food-ingredients/noodles/eggwheat-noodles/guan-miao-sliced-noodles

 

 

I can't seem to find any that aren't vegan.

 

 

Sorry/OT  Please proceed.  :)

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#3 Old 01-20-2014, 03:37 AM
 
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Dao Xian Mian?

你会说中文吗?
(Can you speak Chinese?)

 

I AM Chinese. But I don't have Chinese on my keyboard right now...

 

EDIT: 我好久沒写中文了...现在沒那么顺 :(


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#4 Old 01-20-2014, 03:51 AM
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What is your favourite kind of music?

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#5 Old 01-20-2014, 04:20 AM
 
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What is your favourite kind of music?

 

Right now I only have Japanese songs in my phone, mostly openings and endings of animes I've watched *sheepish*. Japanese is not a genre though, so I'd say rock, since I tend to like English rock songs better, and I also tend to like J-Rock. I love rock songs because the vocals are always just so powerful and packed with raw emotion, with lots of vibrato at all the right moments. I'm the kind of person who completely shuts out the world and loses myself when I listen to music, and how much I like a song depends on how many times it sends a chill down my spine and the quality of that chill :)

 

My favourite song, at the moment, is not a rock song though. Here's the TV-cut for it:

 

 

EDIT: Also, I should add that it is compulsory to listen to music with a good pair of headphones/earphones unless it's a live performance. Songs are not meant to be blasted >:(

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#6 Old 01-20-2014, 04:33 AM
 
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Ah, Cowboy Bebop.  Definitely one of the best.

 

So I'll ask:  What are your all time favorite animes?

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#7 Old 01-20-2014, 05:24 AM
 
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Ah, Cowboy Bebop.  Definitely one of the best.

 

So I'll ask:  What are your all time favorite animes?

 

Cool. Do you watch anime too?

 

For that I'll have to refer you to my blog: http://veganime.wordpress.com/top-anime-list/


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#8 Old 01-20-2014, 01:17 PM
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Hi Yingchen

 

  • The VB mods have just given you $10m. What will you do with it?

 

  • Have you ever sung in public for the entertainment of others?

 

  • Which person do you most admire, living or deceased?

 

 

Good wishes

 

Lv

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#9 Old 01-20-2014, 01:58 PM
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你好

(Did I get that right?)

 

When you were in the military, were you ever promoted in rank?

 

Does Singapore face any danger from earthquakes or tsunamis?

 

Where is the one place you have not visited you would most like to see?

 

If asked to work on board the International Space Station, would you go?


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#10 Old 01-20-2014, 02:40 PM
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1. What are some things that you've learned recently that you think will stay with you for the rest of your life (or until you've redefined your thinking)?

 

2. Dao Xian Mian is awesome. I used to watch a noodle chef make them in Chicago's Chinatown all of the time. What are your favorite ethnic Chinese cuisines/dishes? (I love Sichuan cuisine.) What are your favorite cuisines/foods from other cultures? 

 

3. What do you think are some changes that are needed regarding how plant-based eating is promoted? 

 

Aristede:book:


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#11 Old 01-20-2014, 02:59 PM
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Over the span of a couple of months in 2010, I taught myself how to do the Melbourne Shuffle off videos on YouTube. THAT was random. Well, people used to clap when I did it, so I can't have been that bad.

That's super cool. I've learned to moonwalk, airwalk, and do part of the wobble through youtube haha. Any other dances you plan to learn? I don't find you as a caramell dansen type person but I could be wrong =P

 

Quote:
 The first time I made yeast pancakes,

That reminds me of the time I tried to make vegan pancakes. Was using oil to keep them from sticking...turned out to be too oily.....and gross. I still managed to eat some of it...but had to toss...bleh.

 

What do you do when you are out of your house? For fun or anything?

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#12 Old 01-20-2014, 05:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by leedsveg View Post
 

Hi Yingchen

 

  • The VB mods have just given you $10m. What will you do with it?

 

  • Have you ever sung in public for the entertainment of others?

 

  • Which person do you most admire, living or deceased?

 

 

Good wishes

 

Lv

 

- I'll definitely set aside some for my college education (because I'm extremely conscious of how expensive it is right now), and some to pay for the college education of my futureI' kids. Otherwise, I'd like to use the remaining money to fund research on large scale organic veganic farming or on cellulosic biofuel (which uses the inedible parts of corn to create green biofuel, and would also increase the opportunity cost of growing corn for silage, thereby driving up prices of beef and milk and reducing demand).

 

- Nope. I don't have that much confidence in my singing =/ Lemme do more karaokes first.

 

- I'd still go with Iauren Ornelas, simply because she's one of the only few fighting to pull veganism in the direction that I think it should head towards as a movement, but that's also because I don't have huge amounts of interest in historical figures. Given how long human history has spanned compared to my own life so far, the chances are overwhelmingly that I'd find someone I admire more in history, but if there is that someone then I don't know who that is.


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#13 Old 01-20-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Capstan View Post
 

你好

(Did I get that right?)

 

When you were in the military, were you ever promoted in rank?

 

Does Singapore face any danger from earthquakes or tsunamis?

 

Where is the one place you have not visited you would most like to see?

 

If asked to work on board the International Space Station, would you go?

 

你好! (Okay, I just copy-pasted your words back because I still don't have the Chinese language pack for my computer, which is beginning to sound culturally irresponsible =/ )

 

Yup. I started out as a recruit, then got promoted to private, lance corporal, then corporal. That was my rank when I left the army. In Singapore you get promoted super fast though, simply because people only hang around for 2 years of national service and the SAF wants to encourage them to push themselves in that period of time. In the two years you can go as high as full lieutenant.

 

Nada. Not a single earthquake or tsunami in our history. Only slight tremors from earthquakes in neighbouring countries. That IS one of the benefits of living in Singapore, I'll give you that. Then again, a single natural disaster would wreck our country in its entirety.

 

There isn't a single place, to be honest. I'm not a huge fan of travelling. I might do more research if I got into hiking or mountain biking, because those seem fun. Otherwise, with regards to traveling, there is only one thing I'd like to do some time in my life and I'd be happy, and that is to properly learn Japanese and go back to Tokyo (which I've already been to 3 or 4 times, but I've never been proficient enough to experience the culture as I'd like to be able to).

 

Nope, definitely not. It would probably take at least a good 10 years of my life, and while the idea of going to space is interesting, I can't imagine doing and seeing the same damn things for 10 whole years every single day. 2 years is boring enough for me, thank you very much! Plus, being in space seems... lonely.


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#14 Old 01-20-2014, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Aristede View Post
 

1. What are some things that you've learned recently that you think will stay with you for the rest of your life (or until you've redefined your thinking)?

 

2. Dao Xian Mian is awesome. I used to watch a noodle chef make them in Chicago's Chinatown all of the time. What are your favorite ethnic Chinese cuisines/dishes? (I love Sichuan cuisine.) What are your favorite cuisines/foods from other cultures? 

 

3. What do you think are some changes that are needed regarding how plant-based eating is promoted? 

 

Aristede:book:

 

1. Dammit, is this another one of my college interviews? xD Well, I think (I hope) I'll be vegan for the rest of my life. But over the past 5 years or so, I've also realised that my views about everything change A LOT. If it comes to a skill like cooking, which I've only really started working on in the past few months, then yes I think I'll stay with me for the rest of my life. If it comes to a belief, I really can't say.

 

2. OMG. THAT TYPO. I DIDN'T REALISE THAT I'D TYPED DAO XIAN MIAN. No it's not dao xian mian, it's dao xiao mian. Oh crap I'm such a terrible representation of a Chinese person right now, I really want to go and hide in a hole.

 

Dao xiao mian is definitely my favourite dish, but since I went vegetarian I've also had to take many of my favourite meats off the list (and I won't discuss them here). If you go to a GOOD Chinese vegetarian restaurant though, try the mock curry fish. It's super unhealthy, but it's my guilty pleasure food. Mock curry fish is AMAZING.

 

Otherwise, I also like Japanese soba and ramen, all easily veganised, and I've had some fantastic mock unagi in Singapore. I like Mexican food (I haven't had any vegan dishes I've really liked, although I'm sure it can be done), I like Ethiopian food (mainly the lentil and spinach gravies), and I like healthy Western 'meats' like quinoa loaf and black bean patties.

 

3. I think that veg philosophy needs to allow itself to be fluid, like feminism. Different cultures need to be able to interpret and integrate its ideals in their own unique ways, according to what works for them. We kind of have that, since plant-based philosophies are central to many religions in Asia, but there's very little communication between these philosophies and the kind of philosophies that are promoted by the West and other Westernised countries. Not all of these plant-based philosophies are going to be vegan by our traditional definition, that's for sure, but I think that the consciousness is more important than meeting the definition. After all, veganism is just an arbitrary point along the spectrum of harm avoidance if you really try to define it in moral terms, in my opinion.

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#15 Old 01-20-2014, 05:50 PM
 
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That's super cool. I've learned to moonwalk, airwalk, and do part of the wobble through youtube haha. Any other dances you plan to learn? I don't find you as a caramell dansen type person but I could be wrong =P

 

That reminds me of the time I tried to make vegan pancakes. Was using oil to keep them from sticking...turned out to be too oily.....and gross. I still managed to eat some of it...but had to toss...bleh.

 

What do you do when you are out of your house? For fun or anything?

 

That's awesome! I don't have any plans to learn any new dances or dance very much at the moment haha. I'd like to learn modern dance maybe, eventually, but that will have to be proper classes and not youtube videos. I like moving to rhythms, and I'm constantly tapping my feet and doing weird arm gestures when I get engrossed in music, so I definitely want to get into dance to relieve my urges =O

 

For me, I forced myself to eat the pancakes for the nutrition. I was like, 'I used wholemeal flour and blueberries and this and that... IT'S GOOD FOR ME EVEN IF IT'S AWFUL. IT'S LIKE MEDICINE. But oh god, that was likely the most disgusting meal of my life. I'd never have eaten it if I didn't cook it myself. I never want to eat that again.

 

I like karaoke (especially if they have one of the 10 or so Jap songs I know how to sing) and bowling, though I'm not that great at either. I used to be crazy about street football (that's soccer for you guys), but I haven't played it in 2 years now...

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#16 Old 01-20-2014, 06:24 PM
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Have you been to a Loving Hut? If so, may you offer a critique of the food? I like the Pad Thai personally.
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#17 Old 01-20-2014, 06:35 PM
 
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Have you been to a Loving Hut? If so, may you offer a critique of the food? I like the Pad Thai personally.

 

I don't know how well the Loving Huts in Singapore represent Loving Hut globally, but I imagine not very well since we have a lot of local dishes here. I like that Loving Hut uses brown rice, but all the sauces are little bit on the salty side for me. A lot of mock meats too. I'll eat there if I happen to be in the area, but I definitely wouldn't eat there on any sort of regular basis. I did bring a couple of omni friends there once though, and they did like the food.

 

And then there's of course the tv screen, which I try not to look at, but I end up looking at it anyway because there's nothing better to look at.


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#18 Old 01-20-2014, 08:23 PM
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I don't know how well the Loving Huts in Singapore represent Loving Hut globally, but I imagine not very well since we have a lot of local dishes here. I like that Loving Hut uses brown rice, but all the sauces are little bit on the salty side for me. A lot of mock meats too. I'll eat there if I happen to be in the area, but I definitely wouldn't eat there on any sort of regular basis. I did bring a couple of omni friends there once though, and they did like the food.

And then there's of course the tv screen, which I try not to look at, but I end up looking at it anyway because there's nothing better to look at.
Haha, yes the TV screen just draws you in. Kind of creepy in a way.
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#19 Old 01-20-2014, 08:51 PM
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For me, I forced myself to eat the pancakes for the nutrition. I was like, 'I used wholemeal flour and blueberries and this and that... IT'S GOOD FOR ME EVEN IF IT'S AWFUL. IT'S LIKE MEDICINE. But oh god, that was likely the most disgusting meal of my life. I'd never have eaten it if I didn't cook it myself. I never want to eat that again..
Funny, one of my favorite breakfast items is wholewheat/oat/wheat germ pancakes with maple syrup. I've always been a bit perplexed by Asian breakfasts, what do you usually eat for breakfast? What are common breakfast foods in Singapore?
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#20 Old 01-20-2014, 09:07 PM
 
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Funny, one of my favorite breakfast items is wholewheat/oat/wheat germ pancakes with maple syrup. I've always been a bit perplexed by Asian breakfasts, what do you usually eat for breakfast? What are common breakfast foods in Singapore?

 

You know that I was referring to the pancakes I bungled by using nutritional yeast instead of active dry yeast right? Ordinarily, I love pancakes, and I'm so happy that vegan pancakes taste just like normal pancakes do.

 

Anyway, Singaporean breakfasts are quite uniquely Singaporean. We like to eat things such as roti prata, mee pok, mee rebus, laksa, char kuay teow, chai tao kway and nasi lemak. Which are all very cheap but also kinda unhealthy, and the vegan versions aren't much better because they tend to rely on processed mock meats. There aren't very many healthy Singaporean breakfasts...

 

The Buddhists and Chinese vegetarians also like to eat kuay teow or yellow noodles with vegetables, tofu, mock char siew and fried beancurd skin, and this is a staple for many of them. Not very healthy either... so I tend to avoid that.

 

Nowadays I just eat cereal with non-dairy milk.


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#21 Old 01-21-2014, 07:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Yingchen View Post

 

2. OMG. THAT TYPO. I DIDN'T REALISE THAT I'D TYPED DAO XIAN MIAN. No it's not dao xian mian, it's dao xiao mian. Oh crap I'm such a terrible representation of a Chinese person right now, I really want to go and hide in a hole.

 

 

I guess you missed the edit I made on my post ^_^

 

Why is 刀削麵 not vegan in Singapore?

 

Also, don't worry about it.  I don't know many Chinese people who don't make serious mistakes in their pinyin without the predictive software guessing what they actually mean based on context.  Local dialect and pronunciation makes it almost impossible- it's almost as bad as trying to write English without spell check- Two out of three isn't too bad. :)

 

 

I don't watch a while lot, every now and then.  I liked Cowboy bebop though.  And some anime movies (Princess Mononoke?)

 

Were you born in Singapore?

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#22 Old 01-21-2014, 07:39 AM
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What are your three most favorite movies of all time? 

 

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#23 Old 01-21-2014, 11:17 AM
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This isn't really a question so much as I found two articles on Princess Mononoke that I think you'd like and I wanted to give you the links. If I was to put it as a question it'd be: how about these?:

 

https://www.academia.edu/3856096/Being_Out_of_Time_Animal_Gods_in_Contemporary_Extinction_Fictions

https://www.academia.edu/1980217/The_Animatic_Bakemono_-_Using_the_Demonic_to_Explore_the_Animal-Human-Nature_Divide


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#24 Old 01-21-2014, 02:38 PM
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How many languages do you know? (Knowing English and Chinese is very impressive! Chinese fascinates me but I haven't studied it yet). Do you find languages interesting?


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#25 Old 01-21-2014, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pandiculationco View Post
 

 

I guess you missed the edit I made on my post ^_^

 

Why is 刀削麵 not vegan in Singapore?

 

Also, don't worry about it.  I don't know many Chinese people who don't make serious mistakes in their pinyin without the predictive software guessing what they actually mean based on context.  Local dialect and pronunciation makes it almost impossible- it's almost as bad as trying to write English without spell check- Two out of three isn't too bad. :)

 

 

I don't watch a while lot, every now and then.  I liked Cowboy bebop though.  And some anime movies (Princess Mononoke?)

 

Were you born in Singapore?

 

Oops, sorry!

 

The noodles are vegan, yes, but the broth typically isn't. It's the same with ramen. If you go to a famous ramen or dao xiao mian restaurant and ask for it to be done vegetarian/vegan they will never entertain you, because their are proud of their broths and it takes hours to make. Also, I'm sure it's possible to make a decent broth using only mushrooms and vegetables, but I'm not sure if it'll ever be as good as the non-vegetarian ones. Now that I think about it, Taiwan is a very vegan-friendly place, and dao xiao mian should be quite popular there, so I think you can easily get a vegan version there. Anyhow, if I go to Japan or Taiwan, which have quite a lot of vegan restaurants, I definitely wanna go around trying their broths to see how they do it.

 

Haha, I didn't even realise that you were trying to correct me at first. I guess n and o look kinda similar. It was only when Aristede quoted me that I realised my spelling was wrong :(

 

Ah, I know I really liked Princess Mononoke when I watched it. Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away are the 3 Miyazaki movies that I remember the most fondly. You certainly don't need any prior anime exposure to enjoy those.

 

Yes, I was born in Singapore. 


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#26 Old 01-21-2014, 05:26 PM
 
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What are your three most favorite movies of all time? 

 

If you could go on an all-paid vacation ANYWHERE in the world for one month, where would you go?

 

Ooh... that's hard. I'm gonna exclude anime movies because I tend to judge them against other anime, not against other movies, and I've been talking too much about anime anyway. I used to maintain a list on Criticker quite assiduously, but it's been 3 years since I last updated it, and looking over my entries, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't rank the movies the same now as I have on this list. But anyway, 3 of the most memorable movies I remember watching are The Dark Knight, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Brazil.

 

That's hard, because I really am not too much a fan of travelling. But if it were all-paid, I guess I would want to do something I normally consider out of my budget range, like skiing. So maybe Switzerland?

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#27 Old 01-21-2014, 05:37 PM
 
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This isn't really a question so much as I found two articles on Princess Mononoke that I think you'd like and I wanted to give you the links. If I was to put it as a question it'd be: how about these?:

 

https://www.academia.edu/3856096/Being_Out_of_Time_Animal_Gods_in_Contemporary_Extinction_Fictions

https://www.academia.edu/1980217/The_Animatic_Bakemono_-_Using_the_Demonic_to_Explore_the_Animal-Human-Nature_Divide

 

Oh wow, thank you! I've been meaning to rewatch Princess Mononoke (I think I last watched it at least 4 years ago) because I'm sure it's a movie I can write about, but I haven't had the motivation. The second link looks especially promising. Unfortunately I just woke up, and it's too much for me to read right now, but if I do get around to rewatching the movie and reading the articles and writing about it, I'll let you know ^^

 

On that note, I should mention that the reason why I don't have any Miyazaki films on my top anime list is not because I think them unworthy, but it's because it's far been too long since I last watched them, and my hazy impressions won't be good enough to base a rating on. I'm generally more interested in watching new stuff than rewatching old stuff at the moment, but I'm sure I will eventually get around to it.

 

Also, right now I'm working on a 3-part series about Evangelion, titled Evangelion and Altruism in Belief, Evangelion and Altruism in Self-Interest, and Evangelion and Altruism in an Indecent World. I've been rewatching parts of the original series and the End of Evangelion, and I think it warrants a closer study than what I've granted it so far. Evangelion is, in my opinion, one of the most important works in the history of anime (far more important than Cowboy Bebop at least), even if not necessary the most masterful.


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#28 Old 01-21-2014, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tom View Post
 

How many languages do you know? (Knowing English and Chinese is very impressive! Chinese fascinates me but I haven't studied it yet). Do you find languages interesting?

 

I only know English and Chinese at the moment haha, at least as far as languages that I can converse in go. Yes, I do find languages interesting, especially the idea of meaning being lost in translation. I don't watch a lot of Chinese shows, unfortunately, so I rarely have the chance to compare English translations of Chinese, and I can't really tell you what are the limitations there, but for Japanese I know that they have many many different versions of the same pronouns like I, you, he, she etc., all with different degrees of honorifics attached, and all of these are completely lost in English translations.


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#29 Old 01-22-2014, 05:17 PM
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#30 Old 01-22-2014, 07:30 PM
 
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What is the most embarrassing thing you have done that you are willing to share on VBtongue3.gif
 

Oh man, I don't know. I tend to block embarrassing moments in my life out of my mind, and I only recall them night when I can't get to sleep :(

 

I would say that my first few posts on this site were especially obnoxious and embarrassing (I broke the rules too, now that I think about it). Oh, how I wish I could delete them.

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