Singapore Adventure

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Hasenfeffer Incorporated
by venitha

I know I've seen Powerbars in Asia, but I can't remember where, and, anyway, where would the fun be in that? For last Saturday's hike in Taiwan, we left ourselves at the mercy of vending machines and visitors' centre canteens.

You know how food somehow tastes better in the mountains? Well, better was insufficient improvement for this, labelled High Class Dried Beancurd. I shudder to think what it would taste like when you're not in the mountains; in spite of the fact that it was the only food left in Jim's pack when we returned, tired and hungry, to the city, we opted to leave that a mystery.

High Class Glace Fruit, on the other hand, was pretty tasty. Just be careful not to crack a tooth on the rock hard pit; I live in great fear, potentially unfounded, but please God, let's not find out, of having to make an emergency visit to an Asian dentist. These dried plums were sweet, and we both enjoyed them. Some time ago, we tried a sour version, which I liked, but Jim labelled heinous.

These are fairly typical Asian snacks: char siew pau (pork bun) and rice dumplings. In Singapore, you usually see rice dumplings wrapped in green banana leaves; my guess is that these are wrapped in bamboo leaves. Regardless, you don't eat the leaves, just the rice and other goodies within. Rumor has it that the string tied around the pyramid-shaped package somehow indicates just what those goodies might be, but we haven't yet figured out where to send our used strings to get our secret decoder ring.

A cow and bubbles? I couldn't resist the images this conjured of Laverne and Shirley schlemeel-ing and schlemazel-ing their way up the stone staircases of Mt. Cising, but it was pretty much just whitish sprite. Of note: Jim knows an alarming amount of the Laverne and Shirley theme song, which contains, interestingly enough, the line There is nothing we won't try; if you would like to share my pain, click here.

In spite of my wheedling, Jim flat-out refused to consider the peanut soup in a can. He gets veto power on these things because, especially if the food is not so good, I have a few bites, and then I make him finish it. One musn't waste food, you know; there are starving children in, er, um... At any rate, if you can trust the picture on the can, the peanut soup is actual peanuts, without the shell, in a creamy-looking broth. It's sold in a soda-sized can that you can peel the whole top off of. We did see some of our fellow hikers eating it, and they weren't making faces anywhere near those we made when we tried the dried beancurd.

We made up for our lame daytime snacks by going to Din Tai Fung, recommended to us as "the good dumpling place," for supper and eating enough dumplings to feed 's army. While these were clearly missing that essential ingredient, the love, that goes into the fantastic dumplings that we are lucky enough to be treated to by our friend Julie in Colorado, they were a perfect end to a perfect day.