16 December 2007

The Whirlwind of Insanity

Claypot Fishhead at Bukit Timah Market
This picture sort of says it all. A little crazy and a ton of damn good food, is how I would describe the last 2 weeks when Stella visited. My roomie in my third year of Uni and the one who shared much of my joy, and brought me so much comfort when I was down. When she decided to visit 2 months ago, I was over the moon!

I had been busy in the weeks leading up to her arrival but took the spare minutes in bus rides on the way to work or on the way home, to plan for places I had to bring her to. Over lunches and dinners with friends or colleagues, I would also consult them and seek their suggestions to make sure I would not leave out any part of Singapore.

From the touristy - Duck Tour, Hippo Tour, Esplanade, Geylang, Chinatown, to the less popular - Bukit Timah Market, Haji Lane, we walked and walked and walked. It helped keep the spare pounds at bay, but also meant that at the end of each day, Stella and I were thoroughly worn out.

Unfortunately, we still didn't get to visit some places. The National Museum, Dempsey Road, St. James, and most unfortunately, the DHL balloon. By the time I got my hands on the tickets, it rained every other day! Perhaps it was a blessing since she did have a height phobia ( you should have seen her clinging to my arm going up escalators in big shopping malls like Central Mall and Wisma Atria).

Thankfully though, she enjoyed her time here. As long as there was a constant supply of Ice Kacang, she was happy. After the countless orders of Ice Kacang at various places, we're convinced that one of the best servings of Ice Kacang can be gotten from one of the most unlikely places - Bukit Panjang Plaza. They're generous with their ingredients and do not add anything fancy or unnecessary, unlike the equivalents of Ice Kacang that we had in KL that oddly included peanuts. Plus, we both love red bean and the extra dollop of red bean on top was a big bonus.
Everynight, we'd shower immediately after reaching home and turn on our laptops to upload photos, relive the day, and laugh about things happening in Facebook. We'd turn in late, wake up relatively early and plan the rest of the day according to the weather. Very unsurprisingly, I planned our menu first, then let that dictate where we would end up.
I also arranged for old friends from Warwick to meet her as well, and a regular during these gatherings was Fel of course. She was the perennial fellow potluck-er at Warwick and a bundle of joy.

During one felicitous night, my brother joined us for dinner at Brewerkz over ribs and salad (the Soba Noodle Salad is tremendously yummy and you haven't lived till you tried it). I loved how things worked out that night, and the chemistry that flowed around the table. My brother, being his usual comic self, was entertaining. Having three people I adore and love so much sharing a meal together was a mind-blowing experience. It felt surreal and I couldn't have asked for more.
Now Stella has left and gone home. The send off at the airport was, fortunately, not a tearful one. As usual, Fel was there with her laughter and jokes to lighten the mood and make her departure a happy one. But I cannot help missing her oodles.
Her smell still lingers in my room, and I've pinned down the smell to the moisturizer she slathers onto her skin generously. She also left that moisturizer behind, among other things, to make space in her luggage. Yes, she bought THAT much.
She also left behind many thoughtful gifts for my family and I. I wish I could have taken the sight of my bed the first night she arrived and unpacked her luggage, half of which was of gifts which I unwrapped on my bed. A beautiful handsewn tablecloth with matching napkins, a cookbook from Mauritius (Thank You Aunty!), a container full of tiny green chillis, and my favourite, 4 packs of tapioca biscuits in Milk, Custard and Coconut flavours.

She brought these biscuits from Mauritius back to Warwick after one summer holiday and I fell in love. They were incredibly dry, like Weetabix, and just the way I like it. I was touched that she never forgot that and brought me not one, nor two, but four packs of that lovely stuff. I resolved to ration this stash, to last me for at least a couple of months. But tough luck. She has been gone for less than a week and half of it is gone! Ah, what determination or lack thereof.

The many days of leave I took to spend with her was worth it down to the minute. It was such a good break and now I'm reeling from the many emails that greeted me when I returned to work. Already, I cannot wait to visit her in Mauritius. I also cannot wait to try the recipes in the cookbook her mum got for me! Stella! Wait for me! I will be there one day!


valentinA said...

WOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, you're so ev'iiiiiiiiiiiiiii'l, posting the picture of the ice kacang, I miss it badly man! I'm craving so much for it that I have to content myself with pickles!!! (I've been eating pickles dangeroulsy since I'm back!)
I've had the time of my life in Sg, and all this thanks to you, D'aaaaaaaaaaaaaa'ffy!:P
Do let me know how the mauritian cooking went okay?!
and I shall be waiting for YOU IMPATIENTLY!

p.s: I didn't know I had a smell! hahahahaha

MamaBoK said...

So glad that you two had a great time..! i'm envious..! good friends are hard to come by.. and you two.. are gonna be having this friendship.. till you have your own children.. and grandchildren..! now that's my envy.. ;)

faith said...

lovely post on how you brought your friend around Singapore. i wish i can play as good a host as you did when my friends from overseas do come and visit. :) what a lovely way to spend the timing leading up to christmas!

huijun said...

hi, thanks for having us over. you were a great host! the food was wonderful too!

Anonymous said...

stelllaaaaa> Stop eating so much pickles! You'll get stomach problems! I'm really happy you had a good time in SIngapore my dear, I hope it helped you end the year on a high note. And yes, I shall let you know if the mauritian cooking went well, or if i need a little tuition. =)

Mamabok> Yes, good friends are indeed hard to come by, and I'm going to treasure this girl even though we have the Indian Ocean between us!

Faith> Thanks! Some people are worth all the effort, and it really isn't difficult to show them a good time once you know exactly what they want =)

Huijun> It was all my pleasure! I'm just glad that you decided to come in the end. And good luck my dear!