It's exactly what I want: a growing fondness, inching closer and closer, striking the perfect balance between living my own life and having him in my life, wanting and needing him in equal measure. The perfect equilibrium, no more ferocious intensity that is not sustainable in the long run, and no more fleeting flight of fancy that turns cold as fast as it turned hot. It's exactly what I want, and exactly the thing that I thought I'd never be able to find after the last relationship.
This thing with Tong - it's refreshingly, thrillingly normal. It's so normal, and so good, and so comfortable, that it's utterly perfect. Sometimes I can hardly believe that just a couple of months back, when Mag asked me if he was a potential somebody, I said, vehemently and even a little bit disgustedly (sorry), "Um, hell no? Ewww."
It's amazing how far we've come. It's pretty incredible. And it's absolutely wonderful.
Last night he apologised profusely for something over which he had no control, as if it ruined anything, and in all honesty the entire time the only thing I wanted to do was to be there with him until he felt better. He eventually did, and eventually apologised again for it, as if he had anything to apologise for. Over the phone he apologised for the last time (last time for the night, at least) and I said, "I reject your apology."
In moments like that you stay the course, right? And not because you're obliged to, but because you want to, and therefore have to; and because, most importantly, because it's him, and you really don't give a shit where you go or what you do, as long as you're holding his hand.
It's the way it is, right? At least, for whatever it's worth, to me, that's the way it is.
So yesterday we were too late to beat the queue at Tony Roma's, and ended up at Black Angus. What a place for me to go. I concluded that I hate American food because the choices that are available to me are all the same, and because American food is boring and uninspired. And fattening. Extremely fattening.
If anyone's interested, I figured out the hierarchy of my favourite cuisines recently, as follows:
1. Italian (distinct from mere "Western", the same way "Asian" food doesn't make sense. Actually, "Asian" anything doesn't make sense, but I could write a whole paper on this so whatever)
I'm sorry to say this, but oh my god, there is something wrong with the Japanese food in Singapore. Because I have yet to eat anything labelled "Japanese" that I genuinely like. I prefer Taiwanese ramen and Taiwanese cold noodles, I hate raw foods, I don't eat unagi because I have a psychological fear of fish bones, I don't eat soup-based food, I don't even like Japanese tofu because it's too soft, and Japanese soy sauce tastes funny. Oh, and I have no interest in ever acquiring a taste for wasabi.
I like food that is rich in flavour to such an extent that it overwhelms you with just how fucking rich it is. Curry, for instance, never fails on that count. I totally fell in love with the food in Bangkok, especially that seafood curry in a coconut thing we had on our first night, AND all the amazingly yummy steamed otah thingies, because the taste was so distinct and recognisable. Thai food has character, even if they tend to put way too much sugar in their phad thais. Thai green curry is absolutely amazing. The red curry we had in Bangkok (at some restaurant in one of the many shopping malls around our hotel) was way too spicy. And needless to say, I haven't had the luxury of eating any Thai food of comparable quality since then.
As for Italian, I've been obsessed with pizzas and pastas since forever, and that hasn't changed. I only eat tomato-based pasta, and sometimes olive oil-based ones. Cream-based ones are a waste of money and should never be served ever again; the last time I ate some cream-based pasta (Marmalade Pantry's parmesan mushroom), I almost died. After five minutes, I wanted to throw the whole thing away. Therefore: A waste of money.
Lately I've been craving for nasi lemak ALL THE TIME, and this is a little-known fact, but my favourite local food is the otah. It is just AMAZING. That is all I can say. The non-spicy one is pure cheating though, and to me, it tastes funny. The best lunch I've had during the five weeks of pupillage was definitely the $2 nasi lemak I dabao-ed from Golden Shoe, followed by the nasi lemak I had at the Marina Square food court.
Before my random nasi lemak craving I went through a craving for mee siam, which I still love with all my heart, and in my humble opinion the worst mee siam I've ever eaten was at the Fullerton's local food buffet lunch. In fact, that buffet lunch is good for only two things: the fish briyani and the masala tea. Everything else is a waste of time and money. Why pay fucking $30 for subpar hawker food when I can spend so much less for so much better hawker food, right? I know.
I love masala tea, by the way. And Indian food is just incredible. IN.CREDIBLE. If there's one thing I have to give props to Singapore for, it's definitely the wide variety of food we have in this dumb country. Save for maybe Malaysia, you just can't find the same variety anywhere else. Of course, nothing beats the original, but the imitations we have here are better than the imitations that I've tried in other countries (my mom and I ate at this Thai restaurant one lane away from my grandparents' apartment in Taipei and it was not even as good as Thai Express. And Thai Express sells fake Thai food). If I had to come up with a list of things I appreciate about Singapore, I'm sad to say that "food" would definitely top the list.
(Sad because I used to not give a shit about food and couldn't understand the hoo-ha over the food in Singapore. But now, I have joined the crowd, I have conformed, and in the process, I have totally lost my individuality. Tragic, right? I know.)
Anyway, I digress. I was talking about last night; I don't know how the hell I ended up going on and on about food. I ordered the cheapest thing at Black Angus by default - pan-fried salmon. Because I hate cod with a fiery passion. I actually prefer the one at Tony Roma's which had an actual flavour that was not simply "salmon". The fries tasted better than the fish, and my mom makes better salmon than that.
The giant chocolate cake was pretty amazing though. Halfway through I thought I couldn't take it anymore, but I just couldn't stop eating it. I wish they hadn't put the ice-cream because it really diminished the richness of the chocolate. The fudge was quite out of this world, and although I declared halfway that I couldn't do the chocolate buffet at Fullerton, I have officially changed my mind. I MUST GO FOR THE FUCKING CHOCOLATE BUFFET.
This reminds me: my dessert of choice similarly mirrors my proper food of choice. Dessert has to be rich and in-your-face, which is why Chinese desserts generally do nothing for me. I also generally don't like eating fruit-based desserts, including fruity ice-cream, including most coconut-based desserts (the whatever that Tong likes at the Turkish place at Suntec is an exception - that one was really good). Mango sago does nothing for me, the jelly-ish things don't excite me terribly much either, and the almond/peanut/whatever soup thingies seriously don't turn me on.
What do I love? I love chocolate. I love chocolate. I cannot say enough how much I love chocolate. It's seriously the best thing, like, ever. Ever. And I only eat milk chocolate because it's just the right level of sweet. White chocolate is nauseating and dark chocolate...isn't chocolate, sorry. If I wanted something bitter, I'd drink a cup of coffee.
Okay, I don't really know how the two are comparable, but yeah, I'm on one of my stream-of-consciousness things which aren't strictly supposed to make sense, so let's move on.
So like I was saying, that giant chocolate cake from last night was incredible. I incredibly finished it when I didn't think I was able to. Needless to say, I was super full and bloated after that.
On hindsight, I probably shouldn't have asked Tong to take a walk. Where the fuck was there to walk to in Orchard? The Saturday night crowd was also in full force the moment we started walking towards the MRT station. Where do these people come from? Why can't they go somewhere else instead? How annoying.
We ended up at Borders, the travel section, 20 minutes before closing time. I wanna go to Vietnam and Laos, and Prague, and Tokyo, and Cambodia again, and the Greek islands, and back to Athens. The bluest skies in the world are Greek skies - such an unbelievably rich shade of blue, something so unimaginable that it only becomes real when you see it for yourself. Inevitably I thought back to my trip to Crete with Mag, the last afternoon we spent there, lazing around on the beach, and how stunningly blue the sky was, how the water gently cascaded from blue to green. Sitting on the sand and splashing around in the water, I felt an unusual sense of calm that I haven't felt much again since, as if nothing in the world could ever hurt me again.
I miss Greece very much. I relayed to Tong how damn slack Crete was and he decided that his ambition in life was to spend his time on a Greek beach, doing nothing. That sounds kind of lovely to me.
Okay, I'm spending way too much time on this and I'm getting bored so I'll do the rest in point form:
1. I bought lunch for my family at Royal China, Raffles Hotel, today. 10 plates of dim sum plus Random Steak my brother ordered. Generally I prefer Sheraton's Li Bai, but the prawn and chives dumpling at Royal China was AMAZING. The harkow was too dry though. And they put Chinese parsley in that fried beancurd skin prawn thing. I hate Chinese parsley with the passion of a thousand suns. I can taste it instantly, no matter how little of it the food in question contains (I have a pretty sharp taste palette actually but anyway). And the mushroom dumpling was also...let's just say if it was the first time you're eating mushroom, you might agree with Tong that it's poisonous.
1a. The bill was way below my budget - $105! HAHAHAHAHA. I was preparing myself for the possibility of paying $200 yesterday. Of course I wouldn't have minded at all, but I simultaneously don't mind paying less. I'm such a cheapo.
1b. We went to the Raffles Hotel museum and it was like stepping into a time warp. It was so weird and fascinating at the same time. The first thing I saw was Noel Coward's book, opened to the page where he wrote about his experience in Raffles Hotel. He wrote about sitting on the verandah, sipping on a gin sling, and looking out at the muddy sea. The first thing I thought of was, "What sea?" There is no sea surrounding Raffles Hotel, and subsequently my mom pointed to me an old map of the place where it clearly showed the hotel situated by the sea. Fascinating how far this tiny dot has come, and I will never ceased to be amazed by just how much we embrace, and even seem to take pride in, our colonial history. Of course, as a self-professed Anglophile, I can't sit in judgment of that; but as was discussed in my Human Rights in Asia class, Singapore is a strange country. Nowhere else, probably, would you find a society that loves the fact that it was colonised so much.
1b(i). This is quite sad, but prior to today I'd never heard of Noel Coward before.
2. Tennis on Friday with Mr. Thx U was utter nonsense. All but one of my backhand cross-court were out. It was very sad indeed. Thx U kept giving me fucking drop-shots that I obviously couldn't get to, since I was at the baseline and stuff, and he apologised a few times for the drop-shots. Was I supposed to marvel over how wonderful they were? Was that the purpose of his apologies? Because I can't think of another possible reason for him to keep doing it if he was genuinely sorry.
2a. Thx U kind of annoys me but he serves a useful purpose so yeah.
2a(i). Okay that's kind of mean. Oops.
2b. After tennis a tiny eyelash snaked its way under my left contact lens and it hurt so badly that I took it out and then threw it away. I wanted to take a bus home (from Choa Chu Kang) but couldn't see, and I had no money for cab, so I called my mom and she came to pick me up. Yay!
2c. I had Indian food that night. It was super yummy.
3. Tennis Saturday morning with NUS Wall Guy was pretty decent. It was sunny for an hour and twenty minutes, then rained out of nowhere at 11.20. At 11.45, the sun was out again. What the fuck. I tried directions - have been trying quite a bit lately, but never talked much about it. Anyway, it mostly failed. Yep. If I'm lucky I'd hit the ball in the direction my brain tells it to go, but apart from that I really have zero clue how to aim a ball at a particular spot. 'Tis very sad indeed.
3a. I tried to volley and panicked so much when I couldn't tell if I changed my grip correctly that the result was an utter disaster.
3b. What is also an utter disaster is my stupid crap-ass forehand. What the fuck is that utter abomination and monstrosity? It is so bad, I have no words for it. Most of the time I have no idea what the hell I'm doing, standing there not moving for a split second when the ball's coming to my forehand side. The fastest way to kill me is to keep hitting to my forehand, 'cause chances are, my brain would get all twisted and confused, and that'd translate to my movement (which doesn't exist) and my hitting the ball. It's just terrible.
3c. I still covet my backhand. Yay. At least I can get ONE thing right.
4. Lastly, I adore Tong Wei Chuen.