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Little Indulgences
By: yucui baby chin

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Sunday, 21-Dec-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
From margaritas to teochew muay

Immaculate couple, these 2
Paradise of Teochew muay dishes
the unfamiliar
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Moving onto poseur Balaclava for quiet drinks with a bunch of accountant and auditor acquaintances. It was a change from the laidback pool-table karaoke joint. The Margaritas were decent enough, but they couldn't beat scarfing down good ol teochew muay- porridge- in the rain at 3am in the morning in a roadside coffeeshop run by a chirpy flirty grandma who gamely posed for the pictures.

The rest of the day? I plead amnesia.

Saturday, 20-Dec-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Yet another midnight sojourn, and another, and....

general frenetic atmostphere of wine bar
cigarette reprieve
and whisky sour
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Wee hours of Saturday -Casual drinks over loud pseudo chill-out music where we screamed ourselves hoarse in the effort to be heard. What is the point you sometimes wonder. Till you bump into unexpected friends and gain interesting insights admist the spilt wine, broken glasses and crushed cigarette butts.

Closing time, home to rest the day away before the night summoned up another bout of drinks to chase the tedium away. This time at a pub not quite my usual scene- pool table and karaoke singing abound. Friend is a karaoke fiend with a better than decent voice. I was merely the observer before heading to the next spot for more drinks- cf next day

Wednesday, 17-Dec-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Just another day

Nyala- what sharp teeth
Trigger of the golden eyes
Nyala becoming a lady
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Blue day of drizzle. Stayed home, had conversations with the cats and observed them living in harmony. Note how the little one is growing by the day.

Craving human contact, went to the grease-soaked hawker centre at the market to grab dinner.

Tuesday, 16-Dec-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Plane spotting, beach boys, wedding couples and storms

I had to fix my bicycle
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Planes, a cute little boy and couples in wedding gowns and suits trudging along in the scorching heat- all 3 disparate elements gathered at East Coast Park beach as we went on a 3 hour beach bumming cycling journey on a cloudy day.

Then we braved the rain and sniffed our way into Parkway Parade for some suburban trekking...and food.

Monday, 15-Dec-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cotton candy, carnival and Pasar Malam at Choa Chu Kang

Old lady perusing the waste bin
Man contemplating on the train
in the dark tunnel
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[color=violet]Made my leisurely way to the other end of the island in the late afternoon for a home-cooked meal of gastronomic delights- gorged myself on 2 servings of Penang Laksa lovingly cooked by friend's parents. And yummy fleshy durians which are fast becoming a staple end to every meal I partake of there. Made friends with the new family fish, one of which was feeling a little listless till a change of the water sorted him out. The 2 fish turned out to be quite natural photographic models.

This was topped off by a perfect end to the idyllic day- there's nothing that quite makes my day as hitting upon a Pasar Malam and carnival by chance on a lazy evening. A carnival in a residential town far from the cosmopolitan bustle of the city. Spread out in huge tents, there are Ramlee burgers (which I drooled over but didn't have any room or change for), Otak, Malay delicacies, Taiwanese sausages and local treats, everyday ubiquitous items on bargain and exotic knickknacks, all manned by friendly chatty stallholders who didn't mind me poking around. At the carnival side, there are roller coaster rides and gravity-defying torture machines for those seeking an adrenalin rush, and my favourite- the cotton candy that brings back the nostalgia of being a kid with sticky fingers standing on tip-toe in patent shoes trying to look through tall trunks of adults at the goodies on the carnival stands.

Carnivals and pasar malams are now a business product based on a formula of garish commerce inbued with the contrived conviviality of the old world kampong stalls. Mass-produced Hello Kittys wearing the latest fashion run amok amidst imitation branded surfwear and hip hop streetwear targeting the pool and biker crowd. Temporary tattoo stalls jostle with pseudo-New Age henna art stations, the cotton candy is now prepacked in plastic, and Uncle Ringo booth is run by a no-nonsense administrator lady. This is hardly the Gay World/ Wonderland grandeur of yesteryear. Nostalgia is all the more painful because it is something lost which can never be regained.

Yet for just a few moments, I found myself in another world long gone, where I was up on my daddy or brother's shoulders looking over the world at the bright lights decorating the merry-go-rounds picking the horse that would take me away from this prosaic world, and envying the fireworks in the night sky, wishing I could go out like a blast like them and lit up the world with my brilliance. Dreams of childhood lost in the years of growing up to be just another boring adult, another cog in the machine. But for a few moments, I could almost feel my childhood wrapping itself around me, if only I didn't feel quite so alone as the sole observer on the outside. If only there was someone offering to win me a teddy bear no matter now many tries it took at the gamestall.

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