A hawker centre, fries, and a lesson in life

21 05 2012

THE PROPENSITY of human beings to take things for granted cannot be denied.  I am guilty as charged.

Lately, two things remind me of just how much I should’ve been thankful for the sheer existence of the simple and the inexpensive.

The hawker food centre across the office has been closed for a two-month renovation.  I never knew two months could feel so long.  This has been the place where I was always guaranteed to have a filling, hot meal prepared exclusively for me for the cost of a few coins that I would jiggle in my pocket.  And I’ve made friends with some of the stall keepers, a few of them amused at my lame attempt to perfect my gastronomic survival guide condensed into the line, “jia liang ge mian.”

Hawker Food Centre, under renovation for two months

I never thought I could get my heart crushed while in line at McDonald’s.  All it took was Madam Irene telling me to my face, “Finished already.  Yesterday was the last day.”  While it seemed like I had shunned all semblance of fast food in my diet, I made an unequivocal exception for McDonald’s Seaweed Shaker Fries.  A part of me would worry about all the oil and all the cholesterol while another would foil any guilt creeping in with the thought of seaweed thrown – oh yes, shaken – into the mix.

A meal at McDonald’s


Three packets of love


…all used up!


My seaweed shaker fries ready to be devoured!

The hawker food centre would open its doors in a couple of months’ time.  But the seaweed fries would take a year before they’re back.  Patience is one of my strongest suits.  But I do feel being tested right now.  There is a lesson to be learned here.

Me and my measly S$ 10.00 go a long way in McDonald’s. I would go out a very happy man, satiated by seaweed shaker fries. (Photo courtesy of Yong Run, taken with his iPhone4.)

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