22.4.11

The Perfect Afternoon


There is always a lot going on at school and sometimes you can do lots of fun things but not have time to think about what you have done. In the INSEAD bubble, it is very easy to forget that you are in a foreign country and that there are some new things to explore in Singapore. So after a very late night and some demanding classes, I decided to put my headphones in and go for a long walk around the city. I felt a little hungry but did not want a big meal so decided to wander around a few hawker stalls and try different things.
My first stop was at a paratha stall. I had 2 fluffy paratha with dhal and a big glass of dinosaur milo. I talked to an old Malaysian man who was sat next to me about how Singapore had changed since the arrival of expats. He was a former teacher and I watched him inhale his food while he chainsmoked his way through a packet of menthol cigarettes.
I did not feel fully sated so went to another stall to try Chai Tow Kway. Often referred to as carrot cake, this dish is a local favourite. This time I was sat next to an old lady who looked at me in horror when I told her I am vegetarian. She spent close to 40 minutes trying to convince me to eat meat but eventually gave up when I told her I was a monk (N.B. I am not a monk). She let me try some of the durian she was eating - it tastes nice but the smell is pretty horrific.
I came back to school feeling refreshed and with a smile on my face. It was the perfect afternoon with 2 of my favourite pastimes - eating delicious food and talking to amusing and opinionated senior citizens.