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Settling down- with food

My 5 day trip to Singapore ended on Friday last week. Singapore is a place with a lot of immigrants- I am not sure who the natives are. But a large part of the population is English speaking Chinese- so the food essentially is Chinese.

While I was there, it was the last few days of the Chinese new year- this added more color to the streets and the faces around us. Red lanterns and red decorations marked the streets and you know , as my favorite color is red, I was totally enjoying it.

We are on a tight budget here as my husband is a student once more and will not be earning during his course. Essentially I am the only bread earner in the family for a time.

The first two days we and especially he suffered a lot for want of familiar food. We couldn’t find familiar food- and though I would try new food and was surviving on Chinese food like fried rice and orange chicken, my husband would try a spoonful and turn away. His breakfast was essentially eggs till we could find a bread stall and he indulged in cranberry buns. But we needed to find a solution to the food problem.

The rented condo provided us with a two burner induction cooker and a couple of pans and plates and spoons but that wasn’t enough for me, who has been cooking with a lot of pots and pans for about a quarter of a century now. To cook par boiled rice, we needed to use our pressure cooker as this rice only cooks in a cooker. But it looks like the induction cooker wouldn’t provide heat to the aluminum pressure cooker and so we had to abandon that effort. And without  our own brown hearty rice, we couldn’t survive. We decided to get us a n electric hot plate which is more of our age and not a modern device. So off to the shops we went with growling stomachs and a will to get our necessities come what may.

We travelled by the MRT ( public transport) and changing from red lines to purple lines to green lines, we reached the Dhobi Ghaut change station where we took another MRT to the Ferrer Road station which is the nearest to the Mustafa center, which we were informed was the place to go for everything a middle class family wanted in their lives.

It truly lived up to its reputation. We went on a shopping spree to tell the truth- a couple of pots and a few pans and some more cutlery, a ceramic knife( which is the new thing in knives, apparently), a rolling pin, some vegetables, some scrapped coconut, a blender, some containers ( to store our food in) and some prawns and fish ( for protein).

To carry all these things home, we hailed a cab. The front of the Mustafa center was cramped with cars and the road was narrow but we managed to push our things into the boot of the cab, with horns honking in our ears from a very irate cab driver, who had spotted an Arab gentleman and wanted his custom( we were in his way, he thought and he let us know this in no uncertain terms). We reached home and the friendly cab driver asked us where we wanted to go and we didn’t know where we lived. All we knew was that we stayed somewhere near the Clementi station and that it was about 6 bus stops away from the National University hospital. He asked us which Exit turned to our home and we didn’t know, so we called our house owner who talked to the cab driver. We got home safely and managed to get all our stuff into one elevator and pulled all things to our small home.

For the first time in days, our home felt like home again. Having familiar things, food and cooking our own food made us feel more at home than friendly faces and helping hands. Our house owner Joshua was kindness personified and he helped us see Singapore through the MRT and familiarized us with the various lines and buses.

But it takes food to make us feel that we can survive in an unknown city.

6 thoughts on “Settling down- with food

    1. Thanks and not just that- its amazing to be able to eat and smell foods we are familiar with- brings back a feeling of nostalgia.
      I never knew food could unify various change situations.
      Susie

      Like

  1. Wow that was quite the ordeal. Never even gave consideration to all that you would have to get accustomed to, like food. But that’s a huge one, so glad you were able to buy what you needed, got the food you liked and started to feel more like home. That will make all the difference! Hope Hubby is getting along ok without you and that he’s enjoying his classes, if they’ve started yet. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesterday was his first official day as a student and one of the first questions or comments he faced was what he had been dreading all along. ” Most of our students are in their 30s, we were surprised to get your application, which you sent when you were 52 and now you are 54- why did you want to study so late?” How could he explain to him that we had no money or resources to abandon work and get into full time student life before, though the dream was still there ? How could we tell him that there is no good time to learn- we just do it when we can. How could we tell him that now is the best time because both my children are finishing studies this year and hopefully they can do things more on their own now and we can be freer to pursue our own dreams ?
      But the supervising physician himself added, ” Then we decided to give you a chance, because we thought if you were so interested as to apply, we thought we should support you”.
      God works in wonderful and mysterious ways, Deb- I can’t begin to tell you of his abundant blessings on us.
      Thank you for reading through my post and commenting.
      I have never seen you but have not embarrassed to share a lot of details of my life with you, almost on a daily basis( thanks to your caring attitude and the love that you radiate through your daily grateful posts).
      Susie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Susie both you and he must feel so proud! Good for him for doing it and kudos to the supervising physician for answering his own question with such wonderful words!! It was my pleasure to read your post and I look forward to doing so more. I’ve been so tied up in my job I have a project needing completion for Feb. 22 so until then I’ve been working every day with little time to visit all my dear friends here.
        I love that you feel comfortable to share with me honestly and I hope that you always will feel that comfort as I am always here to listen and inspire whenever I can!
        God is wonderful in His blessings of abundance, I too am grateful to him.
        Deb
        xo

        Liked by 1 person

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