First Peek

Our room is in a private residence, shared with the two owners and a young college student from Vietnam. However, we rarely encountered any of our roommates during our 5 days there -at least the 2-legged variety. Singapore does not allow dogs past a particular height to stay in these apartments, so those that do are the sweet, small, cute, hairy types, such as Coco, who sleeps on the large, shiny, marble floors throughout the house. But that’s not all he does on those large, shiny, marble floors. We learned that it’s quite common for these sweet, small, cute, hairy dogs to be trained to do their beezwax onto a designated area of the large, shinny, marble floors -in our case, the kitchen. Yes!!! No!!! Are you kidding me?!!! Let’s just say that this wasn’t mentioned in the fine print, and that if it was, we’d be somewhere else! In fairness, we never saw the worst of the possibilities, but we did see the second worst. And/but the kitchen floor was washed and squeegied each morning by the time we awoke -but would still be drying- and, there were flip flops provided for us to use when entering  the kitchen. But the flip-flops only served to reinforce the issue, and were way too small for my feet anyway. All of it was enough to keep me out of that kitchen as much as possible, and to steer me down the elevator and into the food court.

Shaded and bustling, with bright orange tables and chairs, the food court was the place to be. I didn’t know what the food was on display, save for the crusty, crispy stacked fish with their mouths wide open. I instead pointed to the photograph of fried eggs, toast and coffee, worked out the correct (cheap) payment, and took a seat. Soon enough, something was delivered to my table. The toast I  recognized, and munched down without incident. But instead of fried eggs, I was given a plastic orange bowl, very hot, and under the lid were two eggs still in their shell, covered in water. Hmmmm. I took the eggs out of the bowl to cool, and focused on the coffee. It was black and gritty, and very sweet. I needed some milk. “mil…?” said the small woman behind the counter. I pointed to my glass of coffee and tried again. “Mil…?” Others gathered around us. “Mil…?” They giggled and looked at each other, as I kept pointing to my coffee, simulating pouring something into it, but they remained puzzled and fascinated. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I let out a long “moooooo”, which got the attention of even more people, who laughed -but still didn’t get it! Finally, someone nudged another and said something  long and complex. The small woman took my coffee away somewhere, and returned it with a white layer of something resting at the bottom of the glass. I returned to my table and stirred the two parts inside my glass together, which only remotely changed anything. But that would have to do for now. I had hard boiled eggs to eat.

I cracked open the first egg with the tiny spoon that came with it, to find a semi runny egg inside. I dribbled it out onto the plate and studied it, just as a counter person walked by. “Mus giv ten minut” she said, holding up her fingers, then she took my plate away. She arrived soon with another new set of eggs in another hot orange bowl. “Ten minut!” she exclaimed. I nursed my super sweet, off-black coffee while I waited the full 10 minutes. The closer I got to the bottom, the more sandy it got, until I just couldn’t go any further down that glass. Ten minutes later, I reached again for that tiny spoon and cracked open the new egg, but the results weren’t much different from the first go around. I didn’t want to draw any more attention to myself, and decided to just slurp it down and be done with breakfast, and offered thanks that I’m not a picky eater. And I was grateful for the mere opportunity to sit in that orange chair, at that orange table, and experience a Singapore food court at all. – matt

070  Coco

matts iphone 4-26-13 041  communal food court

matts iphone 4-26-13 040  fruit stand


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