Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Last week, I had this meal that was a revelation.
I bought fresh wholemeal walnut bread, mini roma tomatoes and a can of tuna and ate it all together and almost swooned.
I'd completely forgotten what really good bread tasted like. The smell, the taste and texture threw me for a moment; I remember staring down at it in surprise. I mean, at he back of your mind, you sort of know that commercially sold sliced bread isn't fantastic, but having eaten nothing but that for the past 4 months, I'd clean forgotten what good, no sugar or weird preservatives added bread tasted like.
It has texture. It springs. The smell...of freshness and happiness. I could have eaten the bread alone with the tomatoes and been the happiest person in the world.
In the last four months, it's just been easier, to let my parents do the shopping for me. I come home and the bread, milk, groceries and produce are all there. My mum buys sliced multigrain bread from the convenience store on the way home and buys fruit from the market once a week.
It's all very well, except that I've read the ingredient list on the sliced bread and its terrifying. One of the ingredients listed is pure cane sugar and its added to every brand of sliced bread in the market. Every single one. The bread...just tastes kind of artificial, flat despite the added sugar.
The bread is a symbol of the much larger problem I now face. I miss having control. Control over what I eat, control over the way food is prepared and consumed. Control over the kitchen.
I miss cooking. I miss coming home to an empty house and knowing that I'm going to walk into the kitchen and create something. I miss feeding people the food I've prepared, knowing that I took every possible care with it. Knowing that I'm serving them something wholesome and good.
It's also all part of the vast problem of people in Singapore not having enough time to cook or pay attention to what they eat. The kitchen is my maid's territory. My mum isn't home enough to know what's in it or even where the pans are stored. When I step into the kitchen, the maid follows me around anxiously, wondering if I'm going to mess something up. After awhile, I give up and leave.
I don't want to stay in Singapore. No one has time here. I don't have time here. I work crazy hours and while I enjoy my work and I want to do my best with it, I know that this isn't the life I want to lead. This isn't the time to leave, but I know now. One day, I'll leave and this time, I may not come back.