3 Things I Can’t Do

An Irish proverb goes: Three things cannot be taught: Generosity, poetry and a singing voice. I agree — starlets who’ve taken voice lessons for years demonstrate the truth in that last one everyday — but if I were asked about the things that it seems cannot be taught to me, these essential skills would top the list:

1.  Cook without a recipe

How I envy those who can cook from memory or by invention. Cooking does not come naturally to me. My interest in it started only four years ago and even now, I cook irregularly. So even with the simplest recipes, when I cook it’s always a major ‘production number’ that I need to prepare for.

When I want to try a recipe, I write it in shorthand with my own highly-detailed ‘Instructions to Self’.  I list everything I need: from special ingredients (written in red ink) to the most common utensils. These notes are as essential to my cooking as my knife — I can’t start unless they’re on the kitchen counter ready for me to refer to after each step. This is true even when I’ve prepared a dish several times.    

2.  Drive

The Mr. is tired of picking me up from work everyday so he keeps hounding me to learn how to drive. When we bought another car last Christmas, he said it was mainly for my use. I realized I had to get serious about driving lessons and vowed (half-heartedly) that by June, I’d be driving to the neighborhood bakery. Oh, the glamour!

It’s already August and I still don’t know where the clutch is. This means I’m already off my timetable: one year to get to the bank near the main road, 2 years to the supermarket at the end of that main road, and 5 years to EDSA.

So why can’t I learn? The mere thought of city driving paralyzes me. The streets of Metro Manila are filled with bumper cars masquerading as jeepneys & buses and avoiding road bullies is the only way to get to your destination in one piece. I can’t handle the truth stress!

I once tried driving my brother’s SUV in an otherwise empty backroad in our hometown.

In less than 10 minutes, I went beyond the speed limit, almost hit some chicken at the side of the road and executed a left turn that crushed underwheel some palay (unmilled rice) being dried out on a banig.

The look on the farmer’s face as I apologized made me swear off the steering wheel forever.

3. Use chopsticks

I can eat prawns neatly with a fork and spoon, munch on bird’s eye chili with just a hint of moisture in my eyes, and eat a whole balut without queasiness. But those slender pieces of wood always stop me in my tracks.

Dad tried to teach us how to wield chopsticks but all I ever got from those lessons is how to elegantly poke the marrow out of bones in pork nilaga and beef bulalo.

There’s a standing offer from the Mr., who can use chopsticks to eat fluffy rice (I am in awe) to teach me how to do the same. I should take him up on it, now that my hands are maybe only 10 years away from being arthritic and my inability has become a source of embarrassment when I am out with friends at a nice Asian restaurant.

I think I’ll start tomorrow. 😉

What’s on your need-to-learn list?


Update: Hi, everyone! Thank you so much for clicking on here and reading this post. EXTRA thanks to everyone who clicked Like, commented, subscribed, linked back and reblogged. I really appreciate your taking the time. I just wrote a post about the super-highs and the back-to-reality, haha, moments of being on Freshly Pressed. If you have time, it’s here. Thanks again!

302 thoughts on “3 Things I Can’t Do

  1. How odd. I prefer to scan a recipe and do it from memory and rarely follow measurements at all (and this is why I am a bad baker, I never follow to a T), been driving while still in high school, and decided to learn using chopsticks by practicing on peanuts 🙂 The stuff you don’t like, stuff I volunteered to learn. 🙂

    Hmmm. I don’t know what I should learn that I’ve put off. I just usually do it whenever I feel like it. Impulsiveness 🙂

  2. Funny post, (purely a compliment and not to mock your demise behind the wheel). If you don’t want to drive, then don’t. Tell your husband your doing humanity a favor. teehee.

    I can’t think of anything I CAN’T do but there are a lot of things I WON’T do. I refuse to make my own pasta, you know how some chefs do in the food network. I sincerely think they’re showing off. And so what, it’s highly impractical. Buying all the ingredients is more expensive than picking up a kilo pack of your favorite spaghetti from Shopwise.

    Anywho, What do these 3 things you CAN’T have against the million things you CAN? 😉

    • Thanks! So far I’m surviving without these skills, although the social life is a little hobbled with the inability to use chopsticks, haha.
      Make your own pasta? Yargs, not in my radar either, though I’m sure it’s as good as most who’ve tasted homemade pasta say it is.

    • I also tried to come up with three things I can’t do. I put my windows in my house, I make my own picture frames, I change the oil in my truck, I trained my horse – but I am not a fan of spiders, cleaning or jumping out of airplanes. Doesn’t mean I can’t do them, I prefer to avoid them for as long as I can get away with it. It’s a great topic!

    • I have to agree with Janis. I do my best to focus on what I can do rather than on things I cannot. I have come to see very often in life usually when people say I can’t they are in reality saying I won’t.

      • Good for you! But this is really just one blog post that focuses on my inabilities that I can laugh about. I hope you’ll see the humor in this eventually. 🙂

  3. GREAT POST! I can’t cook without a recipe either! Everything in the recipe I pull from the cupboards, so I won’t forgot an ingredient! 🙂 LOVE the Irish proverb.

    • Thanks! I guess like me, you also turn your kitchen into something that looks like a bomb shelter when you’re about to start cooking, haha. BTW, I saw that you are the proud owner of a store! Awesome. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

    • Knitting! That would be even more difficult than using chopsticks, ack. Thanks for visiting. I’ve been checking out your blog for sometime and I love it. 🙂

  4. Love the proverb and love this idea for a blog post! I almost never use a recipe but I worked in a bakery so I know how to follow one… I thought I would never drive but it became a necessity that I still dread at times and as for chopsticks, I probably am not using them correctly but I don’t go hungry so I call that success!

    As for things I can’t do, I can’t whistle… and this plagues me 😦

    Luckily, as the proverb goes I’m pretty generous, love to write poetry (not sure if it’s any good though!) and people don’t cover their ears when I sing so I feel pretty darn good 😀 What an uplifting post lol…

    • Oh god, you can bake bread. Count me jealous. That is one thing I wish I can do very well (I even ambitiously bought those *artisan* breadbaking books, which I only read for now).
      I can’t whistle either, but it’s OK because my dogs don’t answer to it, anyway. 🙂
      Thank you very much, your comments are making my day, too.

    • Haha, don’t we all wish we could be spoiled like that. 🙂 And with Maggie on a designer pillow on your lap, how luxurious would that feel?
      Thanks very much!

  5. Really enjoyed your post! I love to cook, have been driving since my Dad would let me behind a wheel and as for chop sticks, well, lets just say I am working on that one! LOL… I found your post via “freshly pressed” on wordpress and am so glad I did as I really enjoyed this post! When you have a minute or two head over to my blog and let me know what you think! Would love to have you check it out! http://www.pargasjunkyard.wordpress.com

    • Thank you so much, it was actually your comment that alerted me to this post being freshly pressed. (My first thought upon seeing the numbers was, did something go wrong at WordPress? Haha.)
      I checked your blog and there’s lots of interesting posts and budget-savers in there. I’ll be sending the link to my sister, too. 🙂

  6. I agree with you on # 1 i tried to cook without the recipe and just doesn’t work for me, and funny thing my dad is a cheff so I didn’t get that part from him lol

    • Your dad is a chef? Oh, the pressure, haha. I have a friend who can’t cook either. Her dad can cook meals for a crowd and her mother is a culinary arts teacher. She’s TIRED of convincing people that she’s not too lazy to cook, she really can’t cook. 🙂
      Thanks for dropping by and goodluck with college life.

  7. I need to learn how to build a fire in the wood stove. I should learn how to cook a bunch of things, but I never will (recipe or no, I just hate it). I need to learn how to argue with people instead of running away or shutting down at the thought of confrontation. I need to learn how to change a tire.

    • We had an outdoor kitchen when I was growing up so I learned early on how to build a fire in a woodstove. I wish I’d also learned what to do with the pot that sits on top of it, heh.
      Thanks for visiting. Love your blog, by the way. Bookmarked your Housewife Couture Don’ts post. So funny but spot-on. 🙂

  8. I can certainly understand driving. It’s stressful for even skilled drivers. Especially with the other idiots on the road. Chopsticks are difficult and it’s a thing a lot of people can’t do. So don’t feel bad about that. In terms of cooking, sounds like maybe you just complicate things. To practice up on this, I’d suggest trying to go to the grocery and buying four or five random ingredients. Go home and just experiment. Let it flow naturally, and see what develops. Recipes weren’t always recipes. Someone had to experiment before they got it right. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Good luck!

  9. If #3 was “ride a bike” I would have thought that I wrote this post (I can’t write as beautifully, though).
    I parked the car in a corn field.
    If you ever figure out how to stop being paralyzed by the thought about driving, please,let me know.

    • That’s what I tell the Mr. everytime I ask him how he cooked something and he rattles off ingredients without telling me how many tablespoons or cups or teaspoons I need of each. He just says ‘a little salt’, or ‘one egg’, or ‘some water’, aargh.
      Thanks for visiting. Your blog is pretty good! 🙂

  10. About not being able to drive I will tell you one thing which from the outside is obvious…you are afraid to learn and you are not willing to take the risk because you have not seen how liberating it is to be able to go to the grocery by yourself without someone driving you. I am talking from my own experience having learned just before I turned 35. Before that I thought I didn´t want to learn, that it was not importante for me (I wanted to think that) but I was scared to death to learn. Now that I did I can tell you it is no big deal! And fully worth it….. truly liberating!! and something you MUST learn how to do for your own good….your spiritual good.

  11. I can really identify with you on the driving anxiety. It took me a long while to learn to drive in moderate traffic and even longer to mangage highway driving and bad weather (which we get a lot of here in Northern IL). Even still, everytime my family ventures into the Chicago area I think “I could NEVER drive here!” You will probably get the hang of it after a while – take heart:)

    • Thanks for the encouragement, it seems driving did not really come as easy to other people as I thought. But like I said, I’ll start learning ‘tomorrow’. 😉

  12. I love what you said about not wanting to learn to drive – hoorah to that I say! I spent a whole load of money years ago trying to learn to drive, got so stressed out about it I was actually sick and so relieved when my father – the one who encouraged driving in the first place – told me that not everyone can drive. I just didn’t have it in me and luckily I prefer getting the bus because I can read and write poetry and all sorts. Also it’s cheaper.

    I’m not sure if there’s anything I particularly need to learn. If I really have to do something I will do it. Good luck with all you think you NEED to learn.

    • I’m with you on the advantages of being just a passenger. Audio books will never cut it for me. 🙂
      Thanks! (Oh, and thanks for subscribing, too. I appreciate it very much.)

  13. Hahaha!!! You almost hit a chicken in the car??!! So funny!!

    Very cute and honest post…I think we all need to admit that there are things that we just cannot do and make a list like you have…it would keep us all humble. 🙂

    Great post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Thanks! 🙂 At the time I was so tense that my hands left marks on the steering wheel, but I get a good laugh out of it now.
      Your blog made me wish we had something like it back when I was in college. So many good stuff over there.

      • Oh, that’s very kind of you…thank you so much!

        And sometimes, the most intense and scary moments of our lives turn out to be our best memories! …even if it’s almost hitting a chicken…. 😉

  14. Learning to be able to provide your own transportation is super important! Don’t give up just because you had a bad experience. Maybe you could learn to ride a bike instead, or take up vespa driving. It is really important to have some measure of independence in your transportation.

    And I’d say go for it and learn to drive a manual car! Once you’ve conquered that in traffic, you can drive with confidence anywhere!

    • That’s what my newly-minted driver friends tell me: learn to drive a manual car. Unfortunately, it intimidates me even more, haha.
      But a vespa would be cool, no?
      Thanks! 🙂

  15. i can’t cook without a recipe either. in fact, i can’t cook well even with a recipe. we all have strengths and weaknesses…luckily you don’t live in Asian, so the chopstick thing shouldn’t be a big deal. the driving…you might want to practice 🙂

    • Oh, but I do live in Asia although in the Philippines where I’m at, we grow up using forks and spoons as Westerners do. As we got to know our other Asian neighbors and their cuisines more, most Filipinos started using chopsticks too. I guess you can say I’m a little behind on things, haha.
      Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  16. Oh God, I’m the WORST at chopsticks. I’ve had people make fun of me about it. Now I don’t even try. I can’t drive yet, but hopefully I will once I can afford the lessons, and I’m pretty much the same way as you about cooking (well, I can do pasta, eggs and things from tins without a recipe… does that count?) So I feel your pain.

    • Yes, it counts as cooking for me, haha. As for our lack of chopsticks skills, I’d rather people make fun of me than that they not say anything at all, then exchange glances that say ‘how embarrassing’ — not that I’ve experienced that. 😉
      Thanks for taking the time!

  17. I have to cook it for the first two or three times from the recipe, but after i can do it from memory, granted i do easy things like fudge.

    • Oh! Come to think of it, there are a couple of dishes I can already throw together without a recipe but they’re both 2-3 ingredient no-brainers (pasta with ready-made sauce from a tin). I’m not so hopeless after all, haha.
      Thanks! 🙂

      • your welcome, any time ha ha ha . i find myself an expert at pasta and top ramen, but i am not sure if that is inability to cook or poor broke college kid syndrome

  18. Why are you trying to learn on a manual shift car (a clutch?). I can drive one and enjoy it, but I understand if you don’t. Learn on an automatic, they are so much easier to drive. And get an older car that already has some scratches on it. That will lessen the fear of that sort of thing.

    • I’m actually *trying* to learn on an automatic but our other car is a manual. The husband has been trying to teach me how to drive either car but believe me, nothing sticks. 🙂

  19. Man, I need to learn when to shut up. Do they have a skill-set class for that, cause I’m sure that could improve my life immediately.

  20. Great post! I find that I can drive (or so I think) but my husband is always white-knuckled when I am “in control” of the wheel. Oh well! More time to relax in the car if you give up the driving. As for cooking without a recipe…I would say what is the point?! That is what a recipe is for. Someone came before you and made all the mistakes so you can just follow the results and not do the same. Don’t fret. These all sound pretty minor and gave everyone a good laugh. So I guess you can add being funny to your list 😉

    • Thanks! And yes, it’s better being the passenger, isn’t it?
      As for cooking without a recipe, my nieces once requested that I make the (I’m about to shame myself even more with how easy this is) macaroni-&-cheese recipe that they love so much. I didn’t have my notes with me though and they were really disappointed. Now I never visit family without my notebook.
      BTW, I like your blog and your kids are just so cute. 🙂

  21. Haha! Great post — love the proverb, and I love your take on it.

    I’ll add a personal contribution: I cannot, for the life of me, understand how ANYONE can know how to play a harmonica. The concept completely escapes me!


  22. I can do one out of three of them, using chopsticks is just beyond me. I always would try to spear the food with the chopsticks and even tried to sharpen them for spearing purposes. And cooking is just not a strong suite, but I’m not too bad of a driver though!

  23. Neat post!! Like you if I do something special for my dinner, lunch, or whatever I won’t do it without a recipe. I’ve cooked specialty foods without a recipe and they always lacked the rich flavor. I love using chopsticks and driving but for me if I’m driving somewhere far I can’t do it without a printed out map. And I say a printed map because I refuse to use a GPS.

    • Wow, I checked your blog and you have some skills I know I’ll never have. One of my best friends is ‘craft-y’ too and I’m eternally jealous.
      Thanks for taking the time. 🙂

  24. I agree with Janis! We need less drivers on the road…..not because of skills, but for the earth’s sake. Also…you can always tie the chopsticks with a rubber band and a peice of napkin in between, that is how I taught my daughter! Good luck, practice makes perfect! 🙂

  25. LOL this is great! I wish i could keep up an interesting blog like this! I write poetry, but I dont have many poems up on my blog yet.. I just started

  26. This was great! Haha, and I give you the encouragement and praise for attempting (and possibly attempting again) the art of the chopsticks. I use chopsticks whenever I get Chinese take-out. I believe there’s a psychological tie to them in my head that makes the food taste better (:
    As a side note, I truly don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t/didn’t drive! I wouldn’t get anywhere! Props to you to finding your way without it. Of course, there are things that I can’t do. Like whistle, for instance! I love this quote: Whether you think you can or you think you can not, either way you are right. – Henry Ford (unsure of the verbatim quote, it’s different everywhere!) Good luck & may the force be with you! 😀


    • I remember someone telling me that Chinese food is not the same when eaten with a spoon. But since I find Chinese takeout to be a special kind of comfort food, I keep eating it with a spoon or fork because ‘d rather be able to eat some than none at all, hehe.
      I like that quote. Encouraging, in a way.
      Thanks for taking the time. 🙂

    • Hahaha, go for it!
      Your bucket list is very interesting. Recording a testimonial for an infomercial made me laugh. As for watching the World Cup live, THAT would be a dream come true for me, too.

  27. Nice! We don’t normally get freshly pressed.

    I don’t really know how to do the proper way of using chopsticks, but I manage to use it…er… most of the time.

      • Oh Thanks for reading it.

        I want to see a Freshly Pressed that features one of Philippines good travel spots.

        I can only cook when someone is teaching me as I attempt to do it. 😀

  28. Eye-opening list! I’m kind of the same as you in regards to cooking; I can’t make my own recipes – at least not yet! But it does take me quite a while to memorize a recipe, if ever. Practice makes perfect, I guess! I learned to drive on a standard, and let me tell you, you are missing out on some serious fun! I live on windy country roads, however, so I suppose it’s less irritating for me!

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed 🙂

    • Thanks!
      I guess if I live where you do, driving would be somehow enjoyable to me, but as it is… 😦
      I like your new blog and will read more of it later. And thanks for subscribing. 🙂

  29. I have major issues cooking without a recipe too, if I have one and it asks for certain amounts of ingredients that I don’t have I may adjust but most of the time if I’m cooking something I check the recipe 5-6 millions times during the preperation process haha.

  30. I am another one who cannot drive…..I did the driving lessons, did the test but after a couple failures decided that I have two legs and a heartbeat for something other that shaving and pumpig life into my body. Driving is not on my list of priorities. Chopsticks…I use the children’s kind, they do come in great colours! Will learn to drive when my kids are grown up, and need to learn patience and discipline. Great Post!

    • You made me smile, rumpydog. I should introduce you to Jigs who chases after cats. The two of you together would be the terror of the neighborhood. 🙂
      Thanks for dropping by. (It’s OK if you pee on the car tires.) Give my regards to DeDe.

  31. I’m with you on all three.
    1. My mother is a great cook, but my measuring instincts are terrible, and memory for recipes is just like yours, i have to have it all there to go step by step,
    2. i shouldn’t be driving as bad as i drive, i curve check all the time and all my friends tell me “anyone drunk can drive better than you”, they get car sick with me, so so sad lol.
    3. I can’t use chopsticks, just yesterday I had sushi with my fork, it’s terrible.

    • I really was going to answer this first because you gave me a good laugh with the sushi on fork thing, haha! I read it to the Mr. and he said ”that’s you!”.
      I eat tuna sashimi with a fork, too. How I wish I had someone like you around to go to Japanese restaurants with. 😉
      Thanks very much!

  32. 1.I can’t snap my fingers
    2.I can’t help stumbling
    3.I can’t sing,I actually have a terrible voice
    4.I can’t refuse,maybe my biggest fault.

  33. This is why husbands were invented — so we don’t have to learn to do everything. Without mine, I’d have to learn how to change the printer cartridges, fix the cable box and a dozen other small-but-crucial things in life.

    • Good point there. It has the potential to be used on the Mr. once in a while. 😉
      I checked your blog and felt a little inadequate, haha. You wrote a book. A book!
      Thank you for taking time to read my little blog.

  34. Hi, everyone! Thank you for dropping by and for leaving a note. So this 🙂 🙂 🙂 is what it’s like to be on Freshly Pressed. This is just wonderful. I’ll reply to all your comments as soon as I’ve had breakfast (it’s morning here) because one other thing I can’t do is to stop talking, or writing, well, talking really. 🙂 Thanks again!

    • It seems most Pinoys I know have learned to use chopsticks, which is why it’s on my list. Thanks for dropping by. I have to check out your blog later as there seems to be interesting reviews of places in Cebu in there. 🙂

      • i have no choice but to learn it because my favorite restaurant here in Cebu is Kublai Khan! bwahehe… and, especially when i was in singapore, restaurants there have chopsticks next to spoon&fork!! theyre leaving me with no choice at all!!! bwahihi… yip, i am more focused into travelling and food… ill be looking forward for your visit then. hehe… thank you! c”,)

  35. Another thing that I’ve always thought cannot be taught is the ability to draw. Realistically, that is.

    I can’t draw. I know people who can, and people who can’t. I’ve also known people who think they can draw but . . . well . . . no one has the heart to tell them. Sure, studying anatomy and putting in hours upon hours of practice can hone your drawing talent, but much of it is there naturally. The ability to see something in your mind the way it really looks and then transfer it perfectly to paper (or any other medium) is just something you either have or you don’t. My reasoning? I’ve seen and known people who, in their childhood, could draw better than people who have spent years in art schools.

    • Back in high school, we had a classmate who some people ‘bribed’ to draw their art projects because she was so good at it. I guess, there really is much to be said for certain people having an innate ‘eye’ and talent for it.
      Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  36. Definitely with you on two of the three, I know how to drive, unfortunately haha. Chopsticks will never be mastered. We’ve been ruined by knives and forks.

  37. Love the post, you’re such an entertaining writer! I can cook but I’m not good with chopsticks either, and even though at one point I knew how to drive decently enough, I hate it and have managed to avoid doing it for the last few years by living in New York City. As for my 3 things I can’t do:
    1. I can’t sing, even though I still sometimes try (much to my Mr.’s chagrin, who will be the first to tell me I’m terrible).
    2. I have never made a successful whistle in my life.
    3. I can’t walk very far in high heels (I’m one of those women who walks outside in sneakers or sandals and brings heels to wear indoors).

    • Thank you very much!
      As for your list, I think you’re the 5th person to mention whistling as a can’t-do. I can’t either. We have a club. 🙂
      I can sing somehow (but not ‘Somewhere’) and when it rains while the husband is trying to sing, I tell him he’s causing it, haha.

  38. Great post really enjoyed it.

    It makes me laugh, as a Westerner I always though the height of chopsticks skills was to eat rice with them. Sadly in Asia you quickly learn it’s not, the Chinese eat their rice with a spoon as often as not… but noodle soup with boney chicken (they don’t remove the bones from meat so it’s all a bit splintery) – is eaten with chopsticks. Or in my case it’s smeared all over my t-shirt as it falls from my chopsticks.

    I often wondered why my wife (who is Chinese) found it difficult to use a knife and fork, but now I understand just how different it is to eat with chopsticks here – I completely understand.

    • Thank you so much!
      Using chopsticks and using the spoon/knife & fork combo are so different, it takes some determination to learn one after growing up doing the other.
      You made me laugh with your chicken story. So have you learned how to take out chicken bone splinters using chopsticks? I imagine there’s no elegance involved, hehe.

  39. I can’t cook without a recipe either…hmm, actually I don’t know if I know how to cook! I can make a few things (like my personal favorites which are actual quite simple). I really should get out a cook book and try out my skills…or find out I have none. Haha.
    But driving is funn! One of my favorite things to do.
    As for chopsticks, I don’t even like Aisan/Chinese food. :p
    Enjoyed this post! 🙂

    • Oh, it kind of makes me sad you don’t like Asian cuisine. 😦

      But try cooking sometime (even if its with a recipe, the way I do). I started learning it and realized that cooking is indeed a form of instant gratification.

      Thanks very much for dropping by. 🙂

  40. Haha! I’m just learning how to cook, so I still use recipes (unless it’s something I’ve been making practically all my life…like pizza) I get so amazed by people who can just think up a recipe in their head, or just taste and know what’s missing. It’s so cool!

    For me it’s normal to not want to drive in the Philippines. 🙂 I wouldn’t drive there (I’m from Canada with Philippine origins), and I know lots of people there who don’t.

    • Danielle, may I just say first off that you have a lovely blog? Or would having a 40-something-year-old reader make it uncool? 😉
      I’m with you re: the people who can come up with a recipe just.like.THAT.
      And You do have an idea what the streets here are like — bedlam especially during rush hour.
      Thanks very much!

  41. There are way too many things I CAN’T do to list them here but this summer for the first time since we bought it 10 years ago, I drove myself and my daughter up to our little piece of heaven in the woods — 2hrs of mostly highway driving — so I can add that now to my CAN DO list. Driving….YOU CAN DO IT!

  42. Its very painful to cook like me! It’s exactly like photography. I try to hide the work that fails and only promote the best 🙂 Many times I’ve been stuck eating horrible tasting food. Eventually the disasters are fewer in occurrence. It helps being drunk when you screw up cause taste is less important 🙂

    • Hehe, so are the disasters really fewer or do you get drunk more often now? 😉
      I checked your Favorites page. I think you already did justice to your Nikon with that shot of the pier & the canoes.

  43. Pingback: 3 Things I Can't Do (via tita buds' blog) « caramelgoddiss

  44. To my chagrin, I have not yet mastered driving a manual transmission. Good luck to you! Tough about that cooking problem…When I cook I use the recipe once or twice and then go off into my own invention (mostly because one of the things I cannot do is eat approximately 30% of the foods that most everyone else can eat).

  45. Haha, add me as another one of those people that hates driving. Back when I did get my license (at age 19), I only did it because my *cough* second permit was about to expire. I take the bus, walk, or get rides. I’m not a fan of all the dumb drivers out there these days.
    As for recipes, I will improvise a bit and there are a couple of recipes that I know by heart. 😀 And I’m ok with chopsticks. Not great, not awful.
    One thing I have never done is put on my own makeup (or curled my hair with a curling iron, actually). I don’t own any makeup because I find it to be too much of a hassle. 🙂
    Good post!


    • Thanks!
      I’m hopeless with make-up on myself, too and would rather not have to deal with that on a daily basis. It’s a wonder to me how young girls nowadays already have the ability to also curl or iron their hair. They do it so well, too!

  46. The three things. I can cook without recepe,but I don’t know how to drive. I want to learn , however I haven’t car . I could use chopstick neatly. I used it everyday.

  47. Pingback: 4 Things I Can’t Do | 365 Dailies

  48. I suggest you experiment on ingredients also and make it your own recipe.:) In that way, I think you’ll never forget the ways on how to prepare it because it’s yours. You’ll never know instead you asking/searching for a copy of the recipes, it’s the other way around, others will ask you for the recipe that you experiment on. 🙂

  49. You should definitely learn how to use chopsticks. It’s not as difficult as it looks but it always looks impressive to people who can’t do it. Also, if you’re ever in Asia, it will definitely impress the locals.

  50. Pingback: My first driving experience « A Hmong Woman

  51. Completely agree with you about the cooking thing – I love to cook but have never been able to remember any recipe, likely couldn’t even to save my life! 😀


  52. Very nice post. Evertone has thier own +ves… Till recent past I never cooked but after my mom probing me so much I had to strat or atleast help her in cooking. Now I feel ‘m far better than what I was before. Yayyy 🙂

    Coming to car driving, I love imgagine myself sitting behind the wheels and taking my mom with me for a shopping. But ‘m jus scraed after my father’s accident but I wish the dream not to remain as same forever.

    I was in China for few months and everwhere I went to eat I had tough time to mange with chop sticks. I almosr felt like having with hands when attimes there are no spoons and forks in reach. People around were always helpful and gave me suggetsions but once ‘m back to India I just forgot about chop sticks though I use a grand set of them as decoratibe item at my home! 🙂

    It was nice going through your blog. Congratulationd for being freshly pressed! 🙂 Godo Luck!

    • Good for you that you learned to cook with the help of your Mom. As to chopsticks, if it serves you better as some sort of home decor, why not?
      Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂

  53. I can’t eat with chop sticks either. The fact I’m able to drive at all is because Australia has such a organised system of rules – I read rules. If it were those countries without driving rules, I imagine driving would be tough for me. I think singing is an innate talent – you are either born with it or not just the same as being able to draw. As for me, I can’t sew a button, open an alcohol lid – even a pop top – with bare hands or even calculate in my mind – I need a piece of paper!

    • It does take some courage to drive in the streets of Metro Manila. We do have traffic rules but too many drivers don’t follow them so it’s a type of defensive driving that one has to do everyday. How I wish we also had saner traffic situations here like you do.
      Thanks! 🙂

  54. Great post fellow pinoy! >:)
    Congratulations for being featured in the freshly pressed! Im an 18 old student from DLSU. I hope you can read my blog as well. Mabuhay po kayo!

  55. For men, it’s normal to cook with lot’s of kitchen recipe on the dining. But for a woman like you, I think we can consider you since I think you want the food to be perfect as those you can see on recipe pictures.

    with regard to Chopsticks, practice makes perfect. But if practice didn’t work, use it as BBQ stick. Hahaha! Good luck

    • I think BOTH men and women want the food they cook to taste good and look good. (If it looks horrible, who wants to taste it?) It does not have to look as good as in the cookbooks, though.

  56. I love cooking and can cook anything, I dont drive.. same reason just like you.. had an accident on my first day, about chopstick I prefer my hands 🙂
    I want to learn driving now because it is getting very hectic to travel by buses and metro.

  57. Great post!

    My three things that stump me every time are:

    * playing football – two left feet doesn’t even come near to explaining how rubbish I am at this game
    * proof reading – I get bored and my mind drifts into another world
    * Doing the fiddly bits when painting and decorating. Nope, it’s roller and a wide expanse of wall for me. Am not allowed near the edges.



  58. Whenever I cook, I just fling chocolate, cereal, golden syrup and all that together, cook it and shove it in my gob.

    I can’t:
    not stare at a computer screen for longer than 3 minutes
    sit still for more than 1 second
    not understand when I’ve had enough food!

    Thanks for sharing this, cheered me up cos its funny!
    check out bit.ly/naturecontrolh

    Nature Control

  59. Haha! Great post- I wouldn’t want to drive round Manila either (I am half filipino so am familiar with the bumper cars, although the bit about the chicken made me laugh!). I can’t use chopsticks, but here in England people take one look at me and assume that I ought to be able to!

  60. Congrats on being freshly pressed and a great post. A few months ago I did a post despairing about my inability to knit or crochet. Sadly, nothing has changed….
    I was late learning to drive too. I think half of the problem was the pressure I put on myself, not my lack of ability. I ended up getting lessons secretly with the instructor picking me up near work and the lesson ending up around the corner from home, just like I caught the bus. With no well-meaning friends or family asking how I was going and adding to the pressure, I had no problem getting my licence. All these years later I really love driving and don’t know what I would do without my car!

  61. I love this post and your graphic and am glad you were featured in FP so that I could find you. The juxtaposition of the proverb from Ireland and your own live in Manila is perfect and I love your descriptions of said things you can’t do. I can cook with out a recipe, drive (I drive over a hundred miles a day for my job so this is a good thing) and eat with chopsticks but, like you, I have things I cannot be taught. Thinking about expanding that into a response post but, off the top of my head:


    Thanks for the inspiration and keep writing!

    • Thank you so much! I’d like to read your take on this, too because I checked your blog and you write very well. And if you think you can’t draw, what hope do I have? 🙂

      • Oh, thank you for visiting and for the compliment. Looking back at my comment I noticed a few mistakes – love the irony! Maybe our hope lies in continuing to dream that we will some day be able to do these things we cannot be taught. And, just so it’s very clear: I did not draw the crayon kitchen sketch. I should draw and post one, though, so that you could see that I can’t draw (but maybe can write) and you can’t eat with chopsticks (but definitely can write) but we’re both having a blast anyway!

  62. The only thing I can cook from memory is my mother’s spaghetti bolognaise, and I can’t cook it unless there’s someone else in the room to help me!

  63. This is really lovely and humble! Congrats on being freshly pressed! I am lucky enough to be a natural in the kitchen when it comes to cooking or chopsticks I’m fine. But I also cannot drive for the life of me! I’ve been having hours and hours of lessons! I also seem to be incapaable of remembering things such as lyrics or who sung that song and what’s it called? I can recognise a song and know I like it but cannot tell you who sings it and certianly can’t sing along! I also cannot do things like video games, I’m terrible at them! So you’re not alone! hehe

  64. Funny post! Don’t worry, I can’t use chopsticks either. I always look like an idiot at an Asian restaurant. I start looking at how other people are holding their chopsticks and try to secretly imitate them. I think others catch on but nobody says anything.
    Cute dog and pretty flower at the top of your page. Great shots.

  65. Pingback: Stolen – 3 Things I Can’t Do | What Should I Call My Blog

  66. Hi

    Great post, I can empathise as I’m completely useless at everything! The only thing I can use chopsticks for is unblocking my sink (with the free ones from my local takeaway).

    Keep blogging, its a pleasure to read!

    • Haha, chopsticks are turning out to be really useful little ‘gadgets’. 🙂

      Thank you very much, I will. You do, too. Your blog is so cute. (Beyblades and Pokemons? Yes, I remember them.)

  67. Poking marrows out of the bone using a chopstick? GREAT IDEA!! I don’t even want to admit it, but out of stupidity, I always use the end of a spoon/fork to get them out. And in cases where the end of the spoon/fork is too wide to fit the bone, I do not reach for a chopstick, but will give another spoon/fork (with a narrower end) a try.

    My 3 things would be:
    1) Surfing. Even though I love the beach, I always stay on the shore and never ever go too far away because I always think that sharks are lurking somewhere and I don’t want to be too far from the shore that I wouldn’t be able to swim-walk whenever my imaginary shark attacks.
    2) DRAWING. I swear that abstract looked like something else in my head.
    3) Dancing. I dance like there’s no tomorrow. That’s how destructive my dancing is.

    And oh, I tried driving along EDSA and it almost made me cry. It’s crazy out there!

    • I’m glad I contributed a little something to the collective knowledge of humankind, hehe. Chopsticks & kilya. Kilya & chopsticks.
      Thank you for helping me justify my lack of interest in driving, esp. in EDSA.
      Another thing: dancing like there’s no tomorrow is the ONLY way to dance. 🙂

  68. Hi! I am based in the US, but I grew up in Manila. I have learned how to be a competent driver here, but in Manila I was useless. When I was learning to drive in the Philippines I got into 2 acciedents in less than a year so I decided to leave the driving to the experts.

    thanks for sharing!


  69. About driving – My friend has always been scared of cars, since we were kids. Today, her hubby also takes her wherever she needs to go, she never learned to drive. For some people this is a real issue. I enjoyed your post very much.

  70. I taught my daughter to use chopsticks at the age of two…..now she’s twenty-one and uses them as a hair decor……….

    great piece!

    spread the humor:charlywlaker.wordpress.com

  71. First, great post! I enjoyed reading it. It’s so funny. I know there are quite a few things that I can’t do but the first thing that popped into my mind is – I can’t play badminton. I’m swear I’m bad at it. I can play table tennis but not badminton. LOL.

    Second, Congrats on being on Freshly Pressed! I’m proud to have another Filipino blogger being featured on FP. 🙂 Great blog!

    • Thank you! I checked your blog and I’m happy to find a fellow PInay who is sure to understand how I can go ga-ga over someone named Casillas, hahaha.
      Will surely visit your blog later. 🙂

  72. The main thing I wish I could/would do is take photographs faithfully. I never seem to remember to bring my camera along (I don’t even know if I have a working camera anymore), and I know somewhere down the line I will be sad not to have an album of this time in my life.
    Great post, and thanks for reminding me to push myself!

    • I tried following a 1-photo-a-day program myself and fell by the wayside within two weeks. 🙂 It was really more as a way to practice. But if you’re hoping to record your daily life, I think it’ll be good to pick up that camera again.
      Thank you. 🙂

  73. Funny… I empathize with you. There are just certain things we cannot do and that’s that! I understand totally with the stick shift type car–the only place I could drive one of those is on a country road with no traffic. What I can’t do is math! I’m okay with add, subtract, multiply and divide, but forget percentages, square roots, and the rest of that foreign stuff! My brain literally goes blank! Well, there are more things than this that I can’t do, but we’ll stop here. Great post, congrats for being on Freshly Pressed!

    • It’s funny that only a few moments ago, I was giving that sweetie The Eye because he was scratching at the door again, ack! He wants to go out, as usual. 🙂

  74. I can’t cook without a recipe either. I’ve made a couple of dishes using great recipes and people think that means I can cook, but no, I can just read. I have to follow each and every step exactly. If I accidentally smudged the words, I’d be in biiig trouble. Last time I went to the grocery store with a list of ingredients, I had to google what parsley looked like. So embarrassing.

  75. Wow! Tita Buds! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! whew! Took me a while to get to the comment box sa dami ng comments. I am so proud of you! You’re famous! You now have a wider fan base. 🙂

  76. I can’t agree with you any more on the driving bit! I have been at it since 3 years and last month is when I have driven more than 2 kilometers.

  77. You crack me up! I know exactly how it is to drive here in the Philippines. Years ago I forced myself to take driving lessons and when the instructor brought me to the busiest streets in Cebu during peak hours with drivers honking and glaring at me, I just froze there and must’ve caused an obstruction for a good five minutes. I still tell myself though that driving instructor was no good at all. My husband’s been bugging me again about driving since my daughter has started preschool this year. For the life of me, I just can’t seem to bring myself to driving again. He tells me I’m in a state of ‘analysis paralysis’! Oh well!

    I have a love affair with food and so I am a self proclaimed food critic and can cook a dish or two.

    Congratulations on being freshly-pressed!

    • Thanks, M.!
      My sister had a similar experience while she was learning to drive on a manual transmission car. The vehicle stalled while she was driving up the Quiapo Bridge, which is in one of the busiest areas in the whole country!
      She drives faster than Fernando Alonso now, though. 🙂

  78. I cannot use chopsticks and I love chinese and japanese food. It’s horrible! I should get on that too. I can’t cook without a recipe either but the things that I do bake or cook come out awesome any way so I’m okay with that. Great post!

  79. Nice post. I can’t cook without a recipe either; well I can’t cook much either way 🙂 but I am trying; it’s on my bucket list to master a few dishes. Also on my bucket list is learning how to swim. It’s embarrasing to be from an island in the caribbean and not be able to swim!

  80. I enjoyed your writing. Yet, I have to disagree strongly with the Irish quote and I disagree with your own belief in your in your ability to cook and drive.

    Cooking: I rarely ever cook. Therefore I am poor at cooking. I do not state I cannot cook. You, on the other hand can cook. You may not be a world famous chef but you CAN. You already know how to get better at is also.

    Driving: driving with a vehicle that is stick shift certainly takes time to learn, with practice you will improve. If you choose not to learn. Have your dear husband buy a car with an automatic manual transmission. Here too, you CAN drive, just not at the proficiency that you desire.

    I glad you ended your post with the question, “What is on your need-to-learn list?” My list is long lol. I am working on improving my spelling. I have installed a program on my computer that checks my spelling as I type. It is a blessing. I sure need it. Yet, I will admit I am far more interested in getting my thoughts out than being concerned with my ability to be a great speller.

    I look forward to your next post.

    • The car I have (which my dear husband and I jointly bought) is an automatic so it’s supposed to be easier, but really, the driving conditions in Manila is quite scary to the usual commuter. I hope to get over that someday but it’s not at the top of my list yet. Learning to use chopsticks is, hehe.
      Thanks and goodluck with your new blog. 🙂

  81. Pingback: 3 Things I Can’t Do (via tita buds’ blog) « empiresmuslim

  82. Chopsticks are all nice and pointy. If you cannot use them together to pick up a piece of food, stabbing with the end is fair game.

    My “can’t do” is knitting, but I am learning! Stitched two rows today! And I figure if the knitting doesn’t work out, I can always use the needles again. As chopsticks.

    • Trying to look like you know what you’re doing while stabbing/spearing your food with chopsticks would take some finesse, hahaha.
      Goodluck with your knitting. 🙂

  83. Obviously I drive (lol), but I can’t swim well, don’t do well with heights, and am not fussed on big water. I don’t think there is much to be done about the last two:) Cute driving story though!

  84. This post is funny! I can totally relate to number three. I don’t know how to use chopsticks! I don’t even know much about eating in fine dining. Poor. Hahahahaha!

  85. I can’t make rice. Doesn’t matter, minute or not. I just can’t do it. So happy for those microwavable ones. So is my husband. Sometimes accepting limitations can make you happier, not in all things, but I don’t waste my time attempting to cook something, that I will never be able to do

    • Have you tried using a rice cooker? Miraculous kitchen equipment, really. If you have but still can’t cook rice properly (I’m Asian so cooking rice is de rigueur for me), well, there are far more important things you can do with your time. Like, uh, being a doctor.
      Thanks for the house call. 🙂

  86. I can cook without recipe book but sometimes I still have to check it but not necessarily to follow the whole thing. Driving is my biggest concern at the moment, that me and my husband are moving to England this end of the month and he said its a MUST for me to start driving. Its because I like red Mini Cooper, he is using it as a bribe:)
    Chopsticks, its a NO NO for me. Been in Singapore for 5 years and I don’t even know how to hold chopsticks correctly:( I even got as a gift from a friend but still No improvement. Anyway I’m happy with my knife and fork.
    Thanks and keep writing.

    • Thanks, Mia. It gives me hope that someone who has lived in Singapore (Singapore!) for half a decade manages to survive without knowing how to use those tricky things, haha.
      Have a good life in England. 🙂

  87. oh gosh, i can’t use chopsticks to save my life! i can, however, drive and cook by invention. it’s kind of my job! (cook something, then drive it to the customer) haha


    • Your job sounds fabulous and you have a very charming blog.
      Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get breakfast. That picture you have of the omelet, toast, coffee and your margarine container made me hungry! 🙂 🙂
      Thanks for visiting!

  88. Im a baker and not even I can remember the recipes.. I cant drive either.. think I would possibly hit someone
    if you ever need some recipes check out my blog 🙂

  89. Pingback: MBH – my brain hurts 017 « Mirror Universe

  90. Driving didn’t come naturally to me either. I think while I was learning it must have been truly terrifying for the people who taught me. Added to that was the apparent ease everyone else-even people who were at the same stage as me- seemed to have with the whole thing and I thought it was hopeless. But it gets easier.

    I learned to drive in a small town so when I moved to the city the thought of so much traffic and the crazy-goat-lanes-they-pretend-are-roads-here was enough to send me into cold sweats. But with time (And, lets face it, desperation because the grocery store and work etc are just too far away to walk and too inconvenient for public transport) it got easier to the point where the other day I was navigating my way through bumper to bumper traffic in the rain through roadworks with nothing but the customary irritated commuter scowl and a healthy dosage of swearing at people who took too long at the lights.

    So… what I guess I’m trying to say is that there is hope? It just takes a bit of practice and a lot of really dumb and sometimes really scary mistakes. But nothing’s impossible.

    • I wish I’d learned when I was still in the safer streets of my hometown. Well, I tried, but stopped because I didn’t want to cause too much havoc on flora and fauna, haha. I think for now, I’ll concentrate on the possibility that I might just learn how to use chopsticks. 🙂
      Thanks very much!

  91. Pingback: 15 Minutes | tita buds' blog

  92. Aww that was such a great read! I’m with you on number one, I can’t seem to cook without a recipe too! It’s like my security blanket in the kitchen lol.

  93. I appreciate this post. I’m on the brink of turning 40, and I have realized that there are many things I can’t do that I thought I would pick up by osmosis by this time in my life. I can’t (or haven’t tried to learn) to change a tire, sew on a button or bake anything from scratch.

  94. Nice post and it made me smile while reading it. About driving, have you tried driving an automatic? That would be easier to learn since you wouldn’t have to worry about the clutch.:) I can drive well in Manila but driving in the freeway gives me the jitters.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed…that should count for something and despite those 3 things you can’t do, landing a spot on freshly pressed makes up for it. 🙂 God bless.

    • Hi Sean, I tried to learn in an automatic. But we have another manual transmission car, the parts of which are even more of a puzzle for me. 🙂
      Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  95. I think cooking is being able to follow a recipe. How else do you learn? So yes I can. Driving no problem (defensively with an offensive twist). But only automatic, never learned stick. So is that a 50/50? Now chopsticks, I have been shown how to hold them properly but was not in a restaurant to test them out. So that is unconquered as yet.
    One I want to conquer is riding a motorcycle. I guess that’s my mid-life crisis!
    Congrats on being FP!

  96. love your first point as even me cannot cook without recipe , whenever i try it result in something else….
    sometime eatable sometime not

  97. I’m two for three. I LOVE driving, though I still don’t know how to drive stick. And I do pride myself on being a good driver. However, I can’t eat with chopsticks to save my life (I’m always the typical American who asks for a fork when everyone else is munching away deftly with chopsticks). And nope, can’t cook without a recipe. I am not an intuitive cook/baker. Which is fine by me! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • That’s the term I was looking for — ‘intuitive cook/baker’ — which describes what I’m not.
      But someday we might just become Awesome Chopstick Wielders. 🙂

  98. Pingback: 3 things I cant do | Learning to be a mommy

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  100. nice post, made me think about the 3 things i can’t do.. but i guess i could relate to #3. I’m so slow using chopsticks, i eat first using fork til i’m full then use a chopstick to practice after, haha!

  101. I can sort of do all three, but not totally well. i can’t cook without a recipe, but can improvise if need be. unless it’s something i’ve cooked a million times, then i don’t need a recipe. i can drive, but don’t like driving in the city. i like driving on highways, where most of the time i only have to go straight. and if i didn’t have to use chopsticks, i’d prefer not to.

    • I’m with you on that last part, but increasingly it seems I have to because I’m running out of excuses why I shouldn’t even try to learn. 🙂
      Thanks for the visit! 🙂

  102. Driving…I was almost under an impression that I can never drive. I started even believing that perhaps my mind is not tuned to do things like driving and what not…So the second point of this post attracts me the most. But the only thought that ‘all the people drive then why can’t I’ propelled me to try the same, try hard at developing my control over the vehicle… and finally, today I can drive, at least-although not perfectly, but still drive a great deal. I have even written a post telling its story…Visit http://wp.me/p12jjo-bF if you like to read on…

  103. Pingback: Blog Comments « Chit-Chat!!

  104. My father and fiance have been hounding me for the last 3 years to learn how to drive, and i still can’t cos it TERRIFIES me. Loved your post 🙂

  105. Nice! Maybe you should take up bike riding. For me it’s, roller skating. I’m awful and never even bother trying. It’s so strange, you’d think it’d come easy even though I’m fairly athletic.

  106. Hi! I am half filipino and I totally relate to this post! My dad is white and he used to be the only one in our family who knew how to use chopsticks. As my mom said, We’re filipino. We don’t use chopsticks. Anyway, I too finally learned. It’ just got to be too awkward when white people knew how to do it and I didn’t.

    I love that you live in the Philippines! Totally subscribing.

    • Ha, your mom’s right. 🙂 And I’m sure she told you we’re not fork & knife people either (more like fork & spoon).

      Thanks for subscribing. You & your friend have a great blog going. Keep it up! 🙂

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  109. relate much tita buds!!! exactly the three things i can’t do.. so happy! welcome me to the club =)))

  110. Pingback: Christmas, I’m Running Late | tita buds' blog

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