Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I don't write anymore

Not because it's out of vogue, or there's no time. I've been working on my photographs. It's been more than 5 years of obsessing, learning, practice, frustration and renewing my interest through just not touching the stuff for a while. I still don't think I'm there yet, but anyway, let's see how far I can go without any more lessons.

Also, with time, I've become a lot more taciturn. I used to wonder how a bunch of Chinese people (all related) could sit around at a table and eat over New Year's and not really say much to each other (are they really all related?) but now I know exactly how they do it. There's just a strange invisible force that keeps all the words in, like each word weighs a ton and a half and needs to be lifted out with a crane. I bet I could eat an entire chilli crab now at a table full of people and not say a word.

With CNY just around the corner, I'm sure I will be getting some practice.

New Year resolutions for 2011: Don't forget to register The Son for Primary 1 (my mom forgot to register me and had to go begging 1 month out of time), learn to drive (auto), tidy up my office once in a while, don't forget to take my gingko bilobar tablets every day and try to put all the stray photographs of The Daughter into an album. The Son has about 6 completed albums. The Daughter has a really beautiful, empty album that has been sitting around for about a year. I believe it may still be available when she's looking for someplace to keep her graduation pics.

In other news, I headed down to the Mapo Doufu place at the corner of Beach Road for lunch today with the Lunch Crew where we proceeded to order almost exactly the same thing we had ordered over the last 5 visits. Chilli, chilli, chilli, as far as the eye could see. Only it was strangely not so spicy. One of the Lunch Crew called the waitress over and said the words which would doom us all: "This spicy diced chicken with Sichuan peppercorns is not spicy at all. It's just fried chicken. We've eaten it. Can we please order a second one, but this time please make it spicy like it's supposed to be."

Uh oh.

When the 2nd order arrived at our table, everyone leaned back at the same time, like someone had just placed a bonfire on the table. I almost put my hand up in front of my face. The smell alone made my eyes water, as my nose prepared to run. I turned away slightly and saw.. the chef, standing just outside the kitchen, watching us. That's when I knew we were done for. He had even given us extra chicken ("Finish THIS, assholes!").

When we were done, everyone had finished an additional drink (I had 2 more, and was drinking up someone else's green tea) and we had also finished using 2 boxes of tissues. Boxes, not packets. In the words of one of us, "I think I have to lao sai soon". It took us almost 30 minutes to make it through that dish, with all the wheezing, tearing, sneezing and coughing. I'm sure the chef was laughing his ass off in the kitchen the whole time.

But we finished it. Representin', yo.