Given my schedule this quarter, from the time I got here the only place I've been to for sightseeing is the hotel room's bathroom (Yes, the bathroom has a view of the city. The glass walls and windows enable me to watch the world while you shower or pee.) It's good that this time I didn't have to stay at the Amara, which is just a three-minute walk to our office building. The hotel I'm staying in this time is a good two train stations away, and the 15-minute cab ride (or the 5-minute walk to the train station) affords me a view of early-morning and late-evening Singapore.
The only two things I'm sure I will remember from this trip is the visit to my good friend Annie (barely a two-hour stay at her house, but well worth it) and the hotel restaurant's Warm Seafood Salad. I don't know but for some reason the description (which is unimaginatively stated -- no adjectives such as sumptuous and mouthwatering --and without even a tiny picture of it on the menu booklet) had me drooling and craving for it more than any other item on the menu.
grilled prawns, scallop, squid and deep-fried soft shell crab, served with
petite salad & lemon dressing
And so I try ordering the seafood salad along with my mean but the steward tells me "madam, the salad serving is good for two people. you will very full by the time you have eaten your main course and might not be able to finish your meal. So I canceled the salad order, disappointed, but with a promise that I will order it the next night.
And hell I tried, but the steward kept telling me the same thing. I would be too full. Maybe it's because I look frail, slim, and short, that he couldn't imagine me storing all those food in my stomach. I wanted to argue "but there is the word petite in the menu description, and I'm a voracious eater. You should have seen me eat a kilo of deep-fried pork back home!" but I'm so tired from the day's work and too hungry to do so. I simply canceled the order for the second time. The craving for the salad however grew stronger, that I swore I'll never leave that hotel and Singapore until that warm seafood salad gets into my stomach!
So tonight, the third night that I've been lazily dining in the hotel (rather than explore other restaurants), and my last night in the country for this quarter of 2011, I skipped my planned trip to Little India and Chinatown (where I'm supposed to buy goodies for friends and colleagues) -- it rained anyway, just a drizzle, but enough to give me an alibi on why I shouldn't go to the said places -- and went straight back to the hotel to FINALLY consume and be one with my most desired warm seafood salad. No other orders this time. Just that and a good drink to go with it.
I patiently waited, expecting a bloated stoamch and a happy grin on my face afterward.
And so it came. Appealing in it's presentation. Huge crab claws waving hello to me. I started digging into my plate as soon as the steward turned his back on me and cleared my plate in less than 5-minutes. Disappointing. Nothing orgasmic. My appetite was hardly satiated. My happy ending expectations were not met. I called the steward and ordered a burger -- he has nothing to say, just stared at the empty salad plate, and took my order, perhaps wondering how such a diminutive person could be so gluttonous.
What struck me is the paradox that most of the time we want what we do not really want. We put our best efforts, make sacrifices -- even time, for a thing we badly desire that we thought could bring us satisfaction, only to find out later that it isn't really worth it. That it couldn't bring us the happiness we badly expected from it.
I left Singapore with insights into how I should value things in my life. How I should assess my goals, my dreams. My negotiables and non-negotiables. I've been in the country several times, and this stay, is the most boring -- all work, no gimmicks, no new places I've gone to, not even pictures. But it certainly is the ost meaningful -- thanks to Wangz's warm seafood salad.