Growing up

I’ve started dreaming about singaporean food again. Today’s craving was for the carrot cake at Yishun St 81 that my dad brought back once for lunch (only for himself, the piggy) and my mum and I both attacked like savages. It was really excellent carrot cake where the cake itself was made with chilli in it, and even after adding the salted radish to the cake while frying, they scoop a generous helping on top of the finished carrot cake. Just before I left my dad drove me there to take away three boxes for the family and we got the last three around 1.20pm. That’s when they knock off, cause they’ve sold enough to turn a profit. A female customer who came after me was told there was none left and she said “just fry the eggs for me” so you can understand what power these cravings have over people.

I’ve also been craving all the food served at wedding dinners. Gone are the days when I can eat there for free with my parents “paying” for me, now if I’m invited i’d probably have to pay for myself. Please don’t invite me to your wedding dinners! i’ll buy my own chinese food at peach garden.

Was dreaming about it ever since xingyan was a “sister” for someone who recently got married. can’t imagine anybody being a “sister” right now, much less getting married. I don’t think i’d want to have the whole sisters and brothers thing – only creates the opportunity for people to feel slighted, all my sisters would be prettier than me :/ and i think the ritual rather pointless.

For those not in the know, on the morning of a girl’s marriage (in singapore and china), she and a bunch of “sisters” hang out in her house, doing their make-up and scheming on how to embarrass the groom and his friends who show up trying to get into the house to see the bride. When the groom arrives, he and his “brothers” are supposed to shell out lots of ang paos to all the sisters and jump through all kinds of hoops, embarrassing themselves to show the extent they’d go to to prove the groom’s love to the bride. I can only construe that the entire ritual was implemented for the bride to appear “hard to get”, which seems rather contradictory considering she has already agreed to marry the poor guy.

i started asking her about ang paos and how much one is supposed to give if one receives an invitation for a wedding dinner. michelle says apparently you’re supposed to find out how much the dinner costs per head (call the hotel up and ask for a quote for a wedding banquet) and give 80 – 100% of that amount. If you’re not working, maybe 50% will do. xingyan says you’re supposed to give >100% of that amount, 100% to pay for your dinner, and the rest as a blessing. liangze’s dad once told him people almost always make a loss at wedding dinners. I’m not really looking forward to having my relatives come and drink me out of house and home. some of my uncles can really drink, even though they can’t hold their alcohol and will start flirting indiscriminately with the restaurant’s waitresses after about three glasses of stout. :/

but oh i really miss shark’s fin soup, and lobster salads, and roasted chicken with five spice salt, and yam paste with gingko nuts and pumpkin, and steamed soon hock! gah. we had a huge feast the past few days since michelle came to visit me in budapest and she is one of my few friends who doesn’t mind splurging on food and is actually interested enough in food to shell out. we ate at nobu and belga sorozo and momotaro and okay italia. the pictures are up here. time for two weeks of famine until we head to bologna.

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