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Sunday, June 21, 2020

The New Normal

Finally, after being holed up in my own house for 90 days, I stepped outside and into our car for the first time!

At last, we were able to make that long awaited road trip back to my hometown to visit my parents whom I hadn't seen since lockdown.

Thankfully, my parents are fine. Angels had been looking out for them during the curfew. Strangers left food and essentials on their doorstep. A neighbour who fell out with them years ago even sent food over!

I guess you can say it took a pandemic to mend their feud of more than 10 years and over some silly tree if my memory serves me correctly!

The pandemic is not only healing the earth but it is also patching up broken relationships.

It has brought out the worst and best in people.

Navigating this new normal was initially awkward but I am adapting.

Masking in public is the law.

A masked society is somewhat freaky.

It's like living in a world without smiles.

Dining out and shopping are no longer what they used to be. At the entrance of every business premise, temperatures are taken and customers are required to leave their names, contact numbers and temperature readings either by scanning the QR code on their phones or by filling up a log book. Those who don't abide by the rules are denied entry.

I accept that these procedures are necessary for contact tracing but I am not at ease with the privacy trade-off.  I dread the thought of a security breach.

Dining out and indulging in the foods we had been craving since lockdown
Hubby's favourite meal of Ayam Goreng Berempah

Sambal Stuffed Fish

Hakka Noodles

Celebrating Father's Day in our favourite restaurant that has just reopened for dine-ins
X marks the spot where you can't sit

Yes, it was a bit strange walking into my favourite noodle shop  half of the tables in the shop had disappeared!

And it felt odd and absurd sitting with my family with empty chairs between us at a table marked with red Xs. When a fellow diner glanced in our direction, I flashed a smile at her. It was kinda sad that she couldn't read my facial expressions behind the mask 'cos a smile always makes two. And I'm accustomed to smiling at folks most of the time.


  1. Thanks for your sharing 😊 I wish a health...

  2. Life Is Better Walking On Two Legs - Dig Those Foodie Photos - Stay Strong


  3. That stuffed fish looked interesting! Masks just got mandated here in Phoenix. I too miss smiling at people. They haven't done temp checks and filling out info here except for some work places and at doctors and dentists. Our numbers keep going up. That is why masks are now required.

    I bet it felt good to get out!! So good how your parents were taken care of during this time.


  4. Isn't it hard to be out again?? It's just so...weird. You can't communicate like we'd like to. My throat hurts from talking through the mask...and I hate that I can't smile at anyone.

    I am so glad that you got to see your parents though. I'm sure you were so happy to be with them! And I'm glad that they had good help through it all...even with the neighbors! Hooray!

    Now we are battling just nastiness besides the covid here. It is an angry country..with angry people...and everyone is so mean to each other. I am very discouraged and disgusted. I stay to myself and off social media and watching anything that used to resemble "news." It's madness here.

  5. We are masked here as well.. though no temp checks and personal info to be left. Don't think people here would ever agree to that.
    Happy to hear you and your parents are doing well..

  6. I thought I’d miss eating out (at restaurants) more than I do. We’ve done take out a few times lately, but mostly cooking. Have no desire to go to restaurants (tho our restrictions aren’t nearly as severe as yours. .... and perhaps because of that our numbers are going up). But I would share your privacy concerns. It’s a real dilemma.

  7. Oh so interesting darling
    Here is the same all masked
    Thanks for share with us

  8. We are masked but we are almost living normally!
    Your dishes look appetizing!
    Take care of yourself and stay safe!

  9. It's a strange sort of world the politicians and experts have imposed upon us. It's good that you got to see your mum after all this time Veronica. I'll bet she was over the 🌒.

  10. That's exatly how I look when I have been popping out to the shop quick once a week lol

    All that lovely food I sincerely hope you saved me some heheh!

    Have a safetastic week 😷😷😷

  11. Along with 99.999% of the world, I miss the old normal.

    Hoping you're staying safe and well. Thanks for joining us this week at

  12. I just hope all this works and people stop getting sick! What a strange time we live in!

  13. It is definitely a different world when we step back into it. I wear my mask when I'm out, but I'm not used to it yet. Unfortunately many, many people around us are refusing to wear a mask, putting everyone at risk. :( Such a blessing that your parents and their friend were able to bury the hatchet after 10 years! It's good to see that some good things are coming out of this.

  14. Thanks for sharing! Take care!

  15. All people on Earth are living this drama. The brutal rupture of interpersonal relationships is essential. Will they be restored as they were? ...

    Have a great day, Veronica!

  16. I'm really glad you blogged about your first trek outside. Here in New Zealand, we are pretty much back to where we were before so it's interesting to me that you are under such strict controls. There's such a fine balance between keeping economies going and defeating the virus.

    As for 'normal',I like to think that this is just a temporary normal until we all can truly get back to the way we used to be.

    I'm glad you are a part of 'My Corner of the World' this week! Thanks for linking up.

  17. Really unusual times - but the food looks yummy!
    Stay healthy!

  18. ...normal will never be normal again!!!

  19. Lovely food photography, now I´m hungry. Keep Safe! 😷

  20. The food looks delicious! Yes, the new normal can be scary till one gets used to it.

  21. The rules are definitely more lax in the US which is probably why our numbers are not going down. We haven't been out to eat but continue to do things outdoors mostly by ourselves or with family. Meeting some friends though in teh next couple of weeks.

  22. We enjoyed going to one of our favorite restaurants this past weekend. It was such a treat. I'll be glad when things are a bit more normal though. It's been a tough three months.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday. ♥

  23. These words: "new normal" there are very strange and I do not trust that are good for us. And I do not understand what is behind them... :(
    Interesting food there. But I like also the plates! :)
    All the best and be well!
    Happy WW!

  24. Abnormal for sure. Glad your lockdown is over. We aren't required to wear masks, but I do. As my daughter is a nurse, I realize the dangers are there of this virus. The food looks amazing. Funny what we do miss in all this. :) Enjoyed seeing your visit to my blog. Have a great week.

  25. The restaurants will be reopening here the beginning of next month with restrictions. I think it will feel very strange when I venture out again. I am glad you were able to visit your parents.

  26. A good method so that the glasses do not steam .. I see that you are prepared with very appetizing menus, which means that you are far from a possible apocalypse .. :) Happy Day !!!

  27. Oh dear! Veronica! First of all I have to say you look fab on your quaratine look with the classy sunglasses on! Then there's the food, oh my! I loooove Sambal! I really hope I can buy some here in the Philippines, sure there's some online, have to check. I love Sambal in everything! I once had dinner in Marybrown in Kuala Lumpur, their Fried Chicken had Sambal! Since then, fell in love with the sauce! I then had Mi goreng and I asked for extra Sambal for it haha. And that Pizza oh yumm!

    have a great weekend coming Veronica! Thank you for visiting my blog, always a pleasure to see you there!

  28. How happy I am for you Veronica:) The masked society is strange - no expressions. The only things you know how a person feels is their voice. Am glad things between you and your parents are better now. Forgot where you live, but from my Indonesian background I know what ayam goreng is.Yes, sambal is in my fridge, it's the straight sambal oelek, but I prefer sambal badjak. If you know ow to make it, please let me know (at your convenience!) Well I'm off the packing boxes again, have a great weekend!

  29. Glad to hear that neighbours were taking care of your parents, also that relationships were mended too. That is wonderful!! I am sure people do see the smile in your eyes and that does make them happy.


  30. Ooh...that pizza looks delicious. How wonderful that your parents and their neighbors were able to mend their fences.

  31. Dear Veronica,

    You captured it all so well.

    Yes the smiles one can't see anymore. Now the eyes need to do the speaking even more.

    Ohh I miss my Sambal fish. Been eons. I need to get back to KL and SG for those lip-smacking dishes. And I miss my authentic Laksa too.

    Btw I did write about our masked and unmasked existences too. You could read it here:

    Such a heart-felt post for #WW. Thank you my friend. <3

    Stay safe, stay beautiful.

  32. /thank you so much for your recipe of sambal. You know they say "smells" have the longest memory? That's why I remember trassie, lol. Many thanks the recioe sounds easy enough:) Wow, Volendam, don't tell anyone, but I've never made it there:) (crooked smile).

  33. o dear, being locked indoors for 90 days. That would probably have kileld me. In Sweden we have not been locked in. But we are not allowed to be many people close. I have been able to walk in the forest as much as I please, but have to be careful in shops an the like. And the rule, 2 m distance :)
    I am glad you made it and your parents are safe. :)
    You still need to take care.

  34. Glad you could and did move out. Recently I did too for a quick grocery shopping, I need to break the habit of staying at home (since March end).

    It was quite challenging with mask, gloves and taking precautions as necessary. I feel suffocated in a mask but what to do ...... change is unnerving in the beginning and with time we take it in our stride.

    You are so right about how some people are surprising us ...... true colors come out during testing times. We must try and focus only on the positives. It is so heartening to know how help reached your parents from various quarters. Angels indeed.

    Everyone seems to have chosen their favorite food and all look so appetizing!

  35. Wow! It was such a wonderful surprise to hear from you. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much I needed to hear from a friend even if it was only to say hello. You are a good friend! HUGS... So Let me see what's new with you first... but I wanted to say that. Sooooooo lOVE the story about your parents & people helping them & being nice & even making up after a long feud. Now that's really fantastic, but it's a shame it took a pandemic to cure the ill feelings, but I'm happy they are back to being friends. Also, your meals that you took pics of I could probably handle every one (especially the pizza hehehe), but NOT the stuffed fish. YUK! I could not even handle that on my plate. Don't get me wrong I like fish, but not when its looking back at me! YUK! hehehehe~ So thank you for sharing your venture out into the world once again! Sending HUGE HUGS TO YOU my friend & prayers to your family & you! Hang in there my friend! You & your family is always in my prayers!~

  36. Can you send that mask law over to the US? My goodness some people think it's a joke. COVID numbers keep growing, and we're opening things up. *Insert me shaking my head.

  37. It's great that you could go and meet your parents. Also that fences now mended between them and neighbours.
    The new normal is cumbersome indeed and even I've been concerned about privacy issues. Hope things get better soon.
    Take care. Have a lovely weekend Veronica :)

  38. we are wearing masks most of the time as well, Ibu. And look at all those food! I'm drooling. Restaurants start to open agan this week

  39. It has brought out the best and worst in people, what is in them has come out during the Stress of Pandemic I suppose. It's great that your Parent's Community reached out to ensure they were Okay. Our new Neighbors did that too with bringing over of Foods, since we had just bought our New Home and Moved in just as Pandemic hit and are a high risk Family due to age and health. I think Countries are handling Pandemic much better than ours so it has been very anxious because not everyone is behaving and taking it seriously, including our present Government Leadership.