Friday

September 29, 2007 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment

After a week of being cut off from internet, I have returned from Hong Kong. The food was great, but it’s a bit irrelevant for our project. Therefore I’ll start from friday, which represents my everyday life as an exchange student here in Singapore.

One big thing that I think is worth some attention, is the fact that I almost never cook anything in here (if you don’t count the occasional instant noodles when everything is closed). This leads to eating being a much more social event than just making food for yourself at home. This depends also very much on where you live. At PGP, which is a very big student apartment complex on campus, and where most of the exchange students live, people go to eat at the cantine, where the likelihood of meeting a friend is big. Because of this the meals extend to much more than just feeding yourself. People are more likely to stay there for longer periods of time or to continue somewhere together just to hang out. Therefore I think, that eating brings people together and is a factor that increases the amount of social interaction among people. I think this is important, because in other cultures it might have the opposite effect. For example where I come from, Finland, eating out is much more expensive than making your own food. People might sometimes go home to cook some macaroni with tuna and then afterwards resume the social interaction. In this situation eating would have an effect of decreasing the amount of social interaction.

As a case in point, my friday was as follows:
breakfast and lunch, same thing for me…
When?: at 2pm, I slept very late, tired from a weeks trip to Hong Kong.
With who?: I eat slow, so I met first a dutch friend, then followed by an English friend and then by Lauri, a finnish friend who I was supposed to meet there.
Where?: at the PGP cantine, Asian cuisine stall
What?: Kung Pow Chicken with rice
Why?: Because it’s cheap and tasty
How?: With chopsticks of course 🙂 In Singapore you generally get the option of eating either with chopsticks (and a kind of spoon), by hand (indian food), or by spoon and fork combo. They hardly ever have knives available, napkins are also rare.

Snacks:
5pm at the campus pool restaurant, something called a Bing. A kind of fried bun with veggies and egg in it. Ate with Lauri, after exhausting ourselves by doing laps in the pool.
7pm at home, alone. A bag of roasted chestnuts I had bought from Hong Kong while doing homework. Delicious.

Late Dinner:
9:40pm while doing some laundry I went to get a take away meal from the PGP cantine. I got some rice and different kinds of vegetarian food from the vegetarian stall, because it was the only one still open. There was tofu, some veggies and chicken (at least I thought so, might have also been some kind of fake tofu chicken). On the way I met a Korean friend Sinae, and I ended up hanging out in the PGP courtyard until late. It seems to me that the best way to prevent loneliness is to just go get some food :). You’re bound to meet some people.

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Entry filed under: Cultural Learnings, johan.

Thursday[270907]..What, when, where, who, why, how did you eat today? Back in the free world

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