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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Warm Watercress Soup...

Just some rants to start things off. I'm not saying this for the sake of saying this, but I must realy confess that I have been a bad blogger. I have been slacking since my last posting and now ending up with a major dose of blog-guilt.

There has been a slight change in my commitments and lifestyle since the early part of this week so I reckoned that I just gonna re-shuffle my schedule. The emphasis was on my sleep and maximising my waking hours outside of my working hours. I have no idea why blogging hasn't been part of that plan.

Or perhaps I have been too happening lately. Come to think of it, I had been partying and drinking over the weekend. Even as I blog right now, I am wondering if I would venture to a watering-hole in Holland Village later on.

Ok, back to my sentimental side. I had watercress soup for dinner with my family. It was a normal affair, we usually dine together on Sundays. Except that this watercress soup in particular, suddenly jotted up some near-distant memories of mine.

While I was spending my days in the University of British Columbia, I had too much time on my hands and not enough close friends. I was on an Exchange Programme, hence wouldn't be there for more than 5 months. I was very fortunate to have gain the friendship of two friends, Trevor and Jeff. These 2 chaps have put in their efforts to try and include me into their activities and made me feel like I actually had a social life. Without them, I might have been better off alone. I had my house mates, I do know a few people around campus but those were more of the acquaintance kinda thing. With pure acquaintances, you do not call them every now and then, and to try to intrude into their life. With pure acquaintances, you feel bad about making useasking for special favours. With friends, you would call them freaking often and try to get special favours done.

Family, was one aspect that I missed while I was over there. Most important, food was always laid out nice and timely on the dining table every evening. I remember once, Jeff, whose a Malaysian, had his parents over for the month and it was a weekend. I was invited to his place and his mom cooked. I was really heart-warming, to be sitting down, having home-cooked food, with a family. I swear I felt a single tear but it might be due to me choking on the char siew(red roasted pork).

While I was in BC, I had to plan for every single meal. There were a few options, either I cook for myself(not worth the cost and time, effort is not a issue, I actually enjoyed cooking, its therapeutic), I get some take-outs in mass(and make them last a few meals) or I could venture out into the wild and hunt for it. The last option was the most commonly exploited.

Most of the time, I would take the easy way out for dinner, and walk over to the University Village, only place where decent dinner would be found within the campus. Come to think of it, it wasn't that easy either. My townhouse was situated at one end of the campus and the Village wasn't exactly centrally located. I takes me at least 10 or 15 minutes just to get there(one-way trip).

While at the Village, 90% of the times, I would tuck into food from this stall, runned by a Hong Konger. Its always their chicken fried rice or the stewed-beef rice After awhile, it seemed pretty much like a ritual. Most of the time, dinner time at the food court was pretty quiet and to add to that, its not that common to find a guy who dines at the same place everyday, alone. The nice lady who ran the stall with her husband began to warm up to me with time. She soon knew that I was a Singaporean on an exchange programme and most of all, I think she could sense how lonely I was. Before I knew it, she would always give me complimentary soup, most of the time, watercress soup.

To anyone reading this, it may not seem like a great deal.(After all, they do offer the "Soup of the Day" at a fee and I had been patronising their stall so often. So what is a bowl of soup?) But it was something to me. Her gesture to me, was kindness and goodwill in its most sincere form. Nevertheless, the "motive" in brackets was hidden in the back of my mind.

All suspicions vanished when, upon realising that I was leaving, she asked for my contacts. When I got to Singapore, I received a post card from her, wishing me all the best in my endeavours. I was very touched, to mention the least. There must have been Watercress Soup in my tears.

Somehow, I couldn't find that card anymore. It must have been lost when I changed my desk. I do not have her address with me anymore and I have not received any more cards from her since. But I will always remember that one card she sent.


At 11:43 AM, Blogger jettykey said...

I enjoy watercress soup too.

That lady sounds really hospitable. I'm going to check her out.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger TriplePeriod said...

anna: Actually...the Indian Curry store there is pretty good too. You might want to check it out while you are there.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger kachuaz said...

lucky thing u only walked 10mins to the village for meals.

for me, i take 20mins just to walked out to the main road and catch a bus that comes every 1hr.

such is life...

btw, too much watercress soup is too "liang" (cold), not too good either.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous LiNdA said...

my mom's watercress soup is nice also. heh... i love soups!

At 5:43 PM, Blogger TriplePeriod said...

ka chuaz: Interesting... you also in UBC?

Linda: Talk about soup, my favourite is actually the ABC soup, the one with pork rib, potato, carrots and onions. Its so taste and so easy to make.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger kachuaz said...

nope. far away from that actually.

in perth. ha..


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