I have two questions:
First question: How often do you have the following in Singapore?
Hawker food, e.g. char kway teow, chicken rice
Seafood, e.g. chilli crab, cereal prawns
Snacks, e.g. Hello Panda, Yan Yan, Porky, bak kwa
Drinks, e.g. teh tarik, barley
Second question: How often do you (want to) have those when you’re away from home?
My theory is that when we’re away from home, we tend to (want to) have more of familiar food that we don’t usually take a lot of when we are in Singapore where we have easy access.
I mean, Sito and I usually had $3 mixed rice during weekdays in Singapore. Sometimes, usually weekends, we would go to Crystal Jade or somewhere for Chinese food or zi char. Or we would cook something different at home – once he made nice steak for us. Char kway teow, hokkien mee, chicken rice etc were not common for us. Or we tried not to indulge too often! Last CNY, we bought a pack of bak kwa to peck at at night.
Now, I would make char siew for our bento at least once a week. We started having our weekly bak kwa since we got back from Singapore in late December - we have enough weekly portions all the way to April at least. We even have packets of Prima Taste in our kitchen. And we’ve been trying to get nice Chinese Cantonese food near us.
So last week, we went to Sun Wah at Argyle. Today, we went again but with some friends. I didn’t expect it but it was fun to use purely Singaporean lingo and have everyone understood! We ate a lot*, went to a nice-smelling bakery and bought a lot of food in a supermarket.
* Sito said my sweet and sour chicken was better than their sweet and sour pork! :)
One of the guys bought an entire pack of some 12 servings of Yan Yan, so I asked him if he had that much in Singapore as well. The answer was an expected “no”.
I guess familiar food is the best antidote for homesickness. Even though I don’t usually crave for such familiar food – cos I like angmoh food!! :p – but it’s nice to have them once in a while with friends, and of course, see Sito happily eating :) My food slims him down so some good Chinese food once in a while – well, weekly now! – is good for him! :p
It makes sense, really, that food is the most missed among the three F’s – family, friends and food – when we’re overseas for a long period of time. After all, we can easily “meet” family and friends via Skype but authentic food? Not unless you’re lucky enough to have a good restaurant near you. Or you can really, really cook!
PS: I had a sudden craving for bubble tea this afternoon, and Sito got it for me, happy :) It’s like having our favourite Each-A-Cup on hot afternoons in Singapore, lovely!