Thursday, December 14, 2006

Of Sukiyaki and wet market

I was at a Japanese restaurant along Siglap Road last weekend when I overhead the following conversation. It went something like this:

"Boy, you are eating Japanese food now. Next year, mummy shall bring you to Japan to eat their Japanese food ok."

I turned my head my right and there was this happy family having their dinner. On the table was an assortment of Japanese food. In fact, the table was packed with food. Some of them had actually spilled out onto the table top actually. There was a rather pretty lady with her hubby sitting beside her. On her right was a baby in a baby chair. Facing them were their children, a pair of boy and girl, less than 10 years of age.

And then I turned to my right. There was another family. And extended family this time. There was the a kid too and all the rest were adults. The kid looked also to be less than 10 years old.

At the far end of the restaurant, there was another happy family eating. There was a father and a mother with their boy and girl, also less than 10 years old.

In fact, everywhere I looked, almost all the patrons in the restaurants are families having their dinner. Me and my friend are the only non family there.

Back to the first family. I was thinking, "These people must be rich. Come to such a restaurant to having dinner and ordered so much food! That meal on the left alone must have cost like $200 plus I think! Singaporeans are definitely getting richer!

When I was younger, my parents never really brought us out for meals. Two simple reasons. First, nothing is healthier than eating at home. Second, we could never afford. My father was the sole breadwinner and he was a blue collar worker. My mum had to stay home and sew clothes to bring the 3 of us up. Dinner everyday was a simple meal consisting of 2 dishes and a soup at home. Holidays were spent at home watching TVs during the weekdays, whatever shows that was on and then cartoons during the weekends. Sometimes, father would bring us whole family out for an evening out at the nearby NTUC to get groceries for the week. McDonald's was once in a super purple moon. (Come to think of it, I cannot recall my parents bring us to McDonald's for a meal!) Toys for us kids were bought from the nearby market place and I have always enjoyed going with my mother to the wet market when I was younger cos that would meant that I might have a chance to get her to buy me toys.

I wonder if those kids in the Japanese restaurants ever stepped into a wet market with its slippery floor, its dirty and smelly chicken cages with live chickens inside and sweaty uncles and aunties shouting and blabbering in dialects. Or have they ever played at the local playground with the sand, getting all sweaty and dirty? Or seeing their father worked his ass off, sometimes 24 hours a day, all through the night and then coming back home, pissed and dirty cos he was bullied by his supervisor? Or seeing their mother sewed clothes until late in the night just to earn that few hundreds and then feeling overjoyed when her earnings for that month hit a record high of $300?

I really wonder......

Anyway, just some pictures of the stuff that I had. The Japanese restaurant do serve up a mean dish of beef Sukiyaki though....

1 comment:

hj said...

U went megumi right...

The pot looks so familar... My favourite is Sukiyaki and their fr3sh yellowtail fish sashimi...