The Sun is the 19th card in the major arcana. It’s a card that represents finally seeing the light again after a long dark tunnel. It’s about re-finding that part of yourself that’s untouched and unmarked by pain, loss and suffering. The Sun is the Soul. Unlike the transient nature of our human experience, the soul is eternal, unwavering, constant.
The table is set for two. It’s been a while since I cooked for another human being. A while since I planned out an evening. A while since I embraced being in the kitchen. A while since I listened to Tracy Chapman and sipped on red wine while nibbling on Camembert cheese. This whole process feels really old to be so new.
I was only in Singapore for a week – but the sakura had already bloomed and were beginning to fade into nothingness. The whole time I was back home, my friends in Japan were annoying me with pictures of sakura on Facebook. I personally prefer autumn to spring – but missing out on sakura season is a sacrilege. Whether you like it or not – you have to celebrate it.
No one does chicken rice like Boon Tong Kee. Like all famous Singaporean things, it has a couple of branches. I’ve been going to the one on River Valley Road for close to 16 years. I order the exact same dishes whenever I’m home. I don’t even need to look at the menu. Half a chicken – steamed, not roasted. Mui chai slow-cooked pork. Poached spinach with three kinds of eggs.
I’m old enough to say that I’ve been watching The Kumar Show for 16 years. Yep. That’s how long I’ve been a fan. He’s the most hilarious Singaporean I know. I first started watching Kumar when he used to perform at the Hard Rock Cafe on Monday nights. The show consisted of some singing and dancing, his standup comedy routine – and of course, that segment where he calls on the audience and makes fun of them. That segment we both dread and love.
I’m back home for a week. I can’t say I was particularly excited by the thought of coming home. My heart was filled with a mixture of dread and a wee bit of excitement. The latter mainly due to all the yummy food I’m going to eat. And man do we Singaporeans know how to eat.
I’m a huge huge fan of Uzbek food. Actually, I’m a huge fan of all food that has a lot of lamb. I’m a big lamb lover. Unfortunately, the Japanese don’t share my fondness for the meat that is often described as ‘gamey’. BTW – it’s only gamey if you don’t know how to prepare it. Cooking lamb well is an art form. And the Uzbeks are brilliant at it.