It has been more than a month since I moved on to my new workplace at Si Pai Por. The location is really convenient; the MRT is literally at my doorstep with the nearest exit a stone's throw away. My commuting time is also shortened and for the first time there is no need for any bus-transfer. While the remuneration and perks are not fantastic, the opportunity, where location is concerned, is a godsend.
For lunch, I have been wandering by myself to try out the different food in the area. Well, if you read this blog, you'd know I am not a connoisseur of food. In fact, the part about me trying out different food is a misnomer; if I recall correctly, for the whole week or consecutively for many days, I was having Kway Chap for lunch. My real purpose in wandering alone was to explore the history and heritage of Si Pai Por and its vicinity. Lunch gives me the perfect opportunity to do that.
By eating that same food many days, caution was thrown to the wind but my wandering - on foot of course - was enriching and fulfilling. Si Pai Por's location at the city fringe is also strategic; at a confluence of history and heritage of vastly different flavors, it is a natural springboard for exploring all the "places of interest" around it. For example,
- I made it a point to try out all the food centers within walking distance of Si Pai Por - some for the very first time and others first in a very long time. So far, I have tried the ones at Hong Lim Complex, Maxwell, Chinatown Complex, Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Jalan Kukoh, People's Park and Tiong Bahru. Any one you think I missed out? Going further, I may try the one at Jalan Bukit Merah and in another direction, the ones at Havelock Road and Beo Crescent.
- I have also tried the food courts at my workplace and in the malls, though I'm not sure if I should do a complete coverage like for food centers. The list is quite endless even if we consider only air-conditioned eating places. Once, I even ate at a Chinese restaurant (餐馆) but the Sichuan Dan Dan Noodle (四川担担面) at upmarket price was so-so only. The other time, I ate at the food court under our first 50-storey public housing, having discovered it few months ago while searching for a lost railway line.
- I did not hesitate to experience, also experiment, different food which explains why I had Kway Chap for so many days (I hope this is no binge eating because I had Kway Chap again just now for dinner). Once I had Kway Chap and Char Kway Teow in one sitting, that lunch took a pretty long time; the other time I bought two big Chinese pancake/prata (饼) back as snacks but they turned cold in office.
- I did not forget to pamper myself. A Koi Cafe gives me the chance to try their various concoction. In between sips of bubble tea, I have climbed the hill nearby with a peak reservoir and also examined the land where a notorious prison once existed. It was good workout in the heat of the day and I had my soaked business attire to prove it.
- The wandering also brought me to Tiong Ma-Lu where our blogger friend Peter Chan had a colorful childhood. This time in between sips of sugar cane juice, I combed the neighborhood of pre and post-war SIT flats. Finally I have a good idea of the photos and streets in his blog article. Nothing beats seeing the real thing up close after reading the anecdotes. Again, I would not return to office without a soaked business attire.
What should I do next? What I have done is a recce of the vicinity, the real work has yet to start. Now that I am more familiar with the surrounding, any investigative work should take less time and hopefully less sweat. Lunch, anyone?