Thursday 30 June 2022

Month of June 2022

For the past ten years until Covid struck, I used to frequent a coffee shop near my office that among others, housed a Teochew porridge stall run by a pair of early fifties couple. They were down to earth, got ready very early everyday for the morning workers and closed after lunch. My favorite breakfast was french beans, eggplant and braised tofu with a small bowl of porridge that cost $2.80. Such affordable and comfort food. During the WFH phase, I probably went to office about once a week and dropped by the stall twice in 2021. The price had risen to $3.30 for the same combination. The couple retained the same vigor and eagerness despite the slow business. Somehow, I did not manage to visit thereafter and early this month, made the long awaited trip. Getting off the car and looking in with excitement, what greeted me at 630am was a brightly lit frontage with many trays of food ready to be served. Not bad, it appeared things were looking up. When I got to the stall, the couple were not around, instead it was manned by three guys in uniform with various tattoos on their arms, looking dreary at proceedings. The signboard had also changed and the feel not as cosy as before. Unfortunately, I do not know the names of the couple (since they were addressed as Uncle and Aunty) and not taken a photo of the stall before. I walked towards another usual haunt for Ban Mian and the stall keeper was no longer the young Chinese man with a thick Southern accent. They are probably economic victims of the pandemic and needed an income replacement elsewhere. Sadly, these strangers whom I had not acquainted with left without notice after ten years of breakfast service and all I can only say is to wish them the best of whatever life brings them next.

Ever since I contracted Covid, one of the action item I wanted to tick off quickly was the annual IPPT. This year, I had to do it twice. In the first session, after completing the static stations, it was decided to cancel since the weather wasn't cooperative. When the announcement was made, you could immediately see a group of twenty inch closer to the trainer as if the instruction was not clear enough. They wanted to appeal the cancellation as it was their last chance before the test window closes. Of course, many disappointed faces emerged after. The booking system reopened a day later and I quickly secured the next available slot which was an evening one a few days later. My memory of the second session was running my lungs out in the 2.4km and scrapped through for a silver award by seven seconds! Very close shave there.

To round up, the last week of the month was spent serving this year's reservist requirement. Not much going on in the unit except preparation for the very important celebration of SAF Day on 1 July. Well, I just played a small part by manning the office area while the regulars get on with their work.

Tip: Gran Maestro Primitivo 2019, gooseberry, plum and menthol. Decent sample

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