Singapore Adventure

Monday, June 26, 2006

Anything But Ordinary
by venitha

Back in January, a hundred years ago, a quick run to Cold Storage with my sister-in-law left her wandering the aisles in delighted curiousity. It left me, on the other hand, outside the check-out with my groceries wondering where I had lost her.

I wasn't worried. You might call Cold Storage a supermarket, but honestly, the place is not that big, and I know from experience that a red-haired, freckled ang moh cannot become invisible in Singapore - even if she wants to. Sure enough, before long I spied her, examining first the spices, then the rices (an entire aisle for rice). I quietly watched her and was left to ponder: When did this become so ordinary?

Today, I sing mindlessly along with REO Speedwagon (or is that Air Supply?) as I stock my basket (never a cart, for I have to carry this home) with my usual oatmeal, bananas, and eggs (brown, not white, in Singapore). I regularly purchase such exotic items as palak paneer, persimmons, and pecks of pickled peppers (not really, but I was stuck on p's). I tut-tut calmly over the ever-changing, but always tragic, salad dressing offering. I shrug at the unsurprising information that no, Cold Storage doesn't carry Indian pickles, which really are pickled peppers; Mustafa, here I come. I sagely acknowledge a friend's Singapore grocery shopping rule: If you can get 75% of the items on your list, it is a smashing success.

Of course, such a been-there-done-that attitude is a sure sign that all hell's about to break loose. Or at least that as I paw through the containers of durian ice cream in search of the ever-unpopular chocolate (Bwa ha ha ha! All the more for me!), I'll find something worthy of "Jim, look at this! How much do you think we'd have to pay Matthew to eat it?"