After two and something years in Taipei we've decided to pack our bags again. I can't believe it has been already that long since we've first moved here. I can remember it well; we left the hot and dry desert of Kuwait after one year and felt really excited about being able to have cocktails and bacon again (…). We wen't clubbing for days, till the early morning hours, which is quite remarkable since i'm not really a clubby person. But it was great to go out and dance or have some drinks again. Don't get me wrong, our time in Kuwait was adventurous. I had never lived in a Arabic country before. It was interesting to see all the men, women and kids in the traditional hijab's, to hear the Islamic prayer calls every day, eating Arabic foods at the bazaars, to work with different people from different cultures all at once like Indian's, Filipinos, Lebanese and Egyptians, experiencing immense heats while exploring the desert and attending a Kuwaiti wedding are some of all the interesting adventures i've lived. But moving to Taiwan felt like a new and exciting adventure all over again.
We knew nothing about Taiwan before moving here. Which is kind of our thing: moving to a country we know little about. It's not like we do this on purpose, it's just that the opportunity rises and we then decide to take it. Taiwan turned out to be a great home and we felt very welcome these last couple of years. And now we are leaving again. By the beginning of November, we will be living in Hong Kong.
I'm excited to move to Hong Kong. I know it quite well. I've traveled there a number of times, by my own (it was my very first destination where I traveled to alone and also the first -and only- location where I missed a flight for the very first time. Ah memories…). Years later I went back to Hong Kong with friends. It's a city that feels familiar and almost like a warm bath. Maybe because so many people speak English and so many people are Westerners. It feels like less of a cultural "struggle" like Kuwait or Taiwan, more easy to adapt, less figuring out to do. Off course in reality we will face new, different kind of challenges, but that's all part of this whole traveling thing and why we love it so much.
So, moving to another country means a lot of packing, paperwork and rediscovering the amount of crap I own. In every corner lays a box half packed, clothes that are no longer needed, wrapping paper flying around and SO MANY ceramics that need careful packing. In short: my home is a mess. This results in me not having enough space, time or enough pans to cook to have a decent meal, which sucks. But then there is the grilled cheese sandwich recipe i'm recently in to. It's really oily but once you take a bite of that crispy, golden layer of bread and taste the stringy, creamy cheese: it doesn't matter that you still need to pack 30 more boxes or (horror!) need to dismantle the bed. Alone. A real easy, quick and satisfying lunch or main coarse with some soup when you don't have time, pans or space. Or heck, I would eat it even if I wasn't moving at all. It's that good. I added some Jalapeño peppers because I like my grilled cheese sandwiches a little spicy, I think you should too.
Grilled cheese sandwich with JALAPEÑO peppers
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, minus the peppers
makes one golden, crispy sandwich
Place bread on a cutting board and spread mayonnaise over top side of each; this is key to a golden, delectable crunch. Heat a small skillet (nonstick, ideally) over medium. Slide in half of butter. When it melts, place 1 slice of bread, mayonnaise side down, in skillet; top with cheese; season with or Jalapeño peppers. Top with second slice of bread, mayonnaise side up. When underside is golden brown, about 4 minutes, turn sandwich and add remaining butter to skillet. Press down on sandwich to encourage even browning and to help melt cheese—be gentle, don’t smash it. Cook until second side is golden brown and cheese is melted. Eat immediately, preferably with soup.
2 slices ½”-thick Pullman or other white bread
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 ounces thinly sliced American cheese or cheddar
(about 4 slices)
Freshly ground black pepper or Jalapeño peppers
Campbell’s Tomato Soup (for serving; optional)
Before we move to Hong Kong we will travel to some very fun destinations first. If you're interested you can come along with me on Instagram. We leave for a trip to the US on Friday (which means more packing while packing…). So excited x