I’m going to Basilico after this Circuit Breaker

I don’t know why but I’ve been craving for a pasta that our Filipino tenant once prepared and shared with me and my sister when we were like 7 or 8? I don’t know what he put in there but I remembered it to be lightly seasoned (with olive oil/vinegar?) pasta with tomatoes, served rather cold.

While I was googling pasta salad, I realise I really miss Italian food. Basilico Italian buffet was a memorable experience. Fresh pasta and pizza, great desserts, endless Parma ham + sweet rock melon.. and friendly service! I want to go back there after COVID-19, which I hope can settle soon. This virus is unsettling… and reading about the after-effects of COVID-19 (even after one recovers) and the difficulty in creating a vaccine for it isn’t helping much.

Sorry this post is so superficial… it’s just one of those midnight cravings 😦

Circuit Breaker – Round Two!

With the end of our 2nd week of the circuit breaker yesterday, our Prime Minister announced the extension of our circuit breaker (aka semi lockdown) till 1 June 2020 – Round Two! Actually when the government announced the need for a circuit breaker earlier, I kind of imagined myself in a war, where our movements are restricted and we would have “curfews” to observe. Of course, a real war is definitely more serious but here, we are dealing with an invisible war where the enemy (aka COVID-19 virus) cannot be seen.

So to me, we should take it seriously like in a physical war. To be honest, I’m just thankful we are still able to head out to buy food and head to the park for exercise any time we want, albeit with a mask and ensuring we are far away from others. If we were in a real war, who knows whether we would have food, and our movements will certainly be more restricted.

This war against COVID-19 has certainly been unprecedented. Even SIA said this is the biggest challenge since its existence. Many people have lost their jobs within these four months of crisis as we stop movements of people and even as other countries stop movements of people into our country too. The circuit breakers have resulted in many non-essential shops closing. Closure = no money. With Singapore being such an open economy, it was simply unimaginable that our government made a move to close off our grounds to foreigners. But it was important to get the health of the country back again. The maxim – “Health is wealth” has never been so real.

Interestingly, COVID-19 has brought out the worst and the best of people. In a crisis, we see ourselves stripped to the barest. It is sobering. We also see what are truly essential in our lives – healthcare (Hospitals, clinics, pharmacies), supermarkets, food (not cakes, chocolates, bubble tea!), government services (e.g. social assistance, security), transport, sanitation and hygiene services, optical shops (surprisingly), hardware stores (for DIY repairs, screws etc), telecommunications and IT.

What’s surprising is that these things are actually not essential: school, tuition, shopping centres, clothes shops, furniture shops, electronics stores, hairdressing (shocking!!).

Puts things into perspective, doesn’t COVID-19? Things that we always think we need are really not so much of a need in the end when it comes to survival.

Let’s just say COVID-19 is a wake-up call to many of us.. and certainly an eventful way to start 2020.

Things I want to eat when I’m recovering from a cold

Don’t ask me how but I was down with another round of cough and runny nose recently. It is really not an ideal time to be unwell when COVID-19 is happening.

So I had to restrict the things I eat.. no iced yuan yang. No salads. No bubble tea. No ice cream.

What I really want to eat during this period of restriction are these:

FRIED CHICKEN AND MATCHA ICE CREAM IN MY FRIDGE!!

I have been saving the Chateraise matcha ice cream which we got during Chinese New Year till now. But because of my cough which I got in February and recently, I couldn’t eat it and it beckons me every day.

I am on the road to recovery for my cough. So, control control control!!

Taking a break during COVID-19

It was a much-needed break – a few days away from work while DR also takes a break before he moves to his new workplace. I was finally recovering from my weeks-long cough and runny nose. We initially had plans to head to JB but with the COVID-19 situation, it really isn’t a good idea to travel and go through additional checks at the checkpoints or in the worst case scenario, see a doctor in a foreign country should we feel unwell or catch a virus.

So domestic tourism and relaxation it was… I managed to catch “Parasite” which both DR and I felt was a bit meh after all the Oscar hype about it. I think if you analyse the movie further, one may appreciate and enjoy it. I conclude that DR and I are just the blockbuster-kind-of-movie goer where we go for the pow-wow effects. Hehe..

During these few days of break, we did many things while little E was in school. Went to Ikea, got an armchair and lots of interior design inspiration. We finally tried the Korean BBQ at the coffeeshop near my our house. Went to Jewel and tried Shake Shack (It was good but NZ’s Fergburger wins for me because it came with a gorgeous view and air). The icing on the top of the cake was the free parking we got at Jewel!!

A picture for the record. Finally tried Shake Shack!
Thick patties stuffed with cheese.

During those days of break, we also bought a new customised sofa because we suspect our old five-year-old sofa is being attacked by some form of termites 😨. Finally got to counting and banking little E’s angbao money. Bought new shoes. Cut my hair. Trimmed my brows. Slept.

Sometimes, you don’t need to travel overseas when you go on leave. Being in Singapore can be as comforting and fulfilling. Now is the time to engage in more domestic tourism! Speaking of which, there’s now free three-hour parking at Jewel with just $10 spent every day. This initiative just started from 14 February so as Singaporeans, we should really head there and support the businesses over there.

Free parking at Jewel Changi Airport! Go walk around and engage in some domestic tourism 🙂

Milestones in 2019

2019 has been arguably one of my best years with many milestones…

1) Learnt driving and passed on my second test attempt.

2) Celebrated little E’s first birthday.

3) Got a car (totally not our personality to do so… but we did it.)

4) Launched something that I’ve been working on for the past couple of years at work.

5) Little E starts pre-school.

All these milestones were met, because I had people supporting me along the way. There were encouragements, comfort and practical help given when I was in the process of going through these milestones. For that, I’m thankful.

When church leaders fall

Church leaders… we expect them to be like Christ. To love. All the time. To smile. To be friendly. And yes, in the Bible, it says that teachers in the church will be judged more strictly (James 3:1). So there is a level of standards expected.

However in 2019, two pieces of news which showed the “failure” of church leaders gripped me – Joshua Harris and Marty Sampson renouncing their faith publicly. The former used to write how he “kissed dating goodbye”, which was at one point of our time, religiously followed in our youth ministry and was the senior pastor of a church in US. The latter was a prominent worship leader who has written many worship songs we now sing.

Also this year, the picture of a visibly leaner Kong Hee who used to be the senior pastor of City Harvest Church, being released from jail also saddened me.

I ask myself why do I feel so bad about these church leaders falling away? I’ve read responses online. Some people are disappointed. Some feel betrayed. Then I realise many times, we place too much trust and “faith” in leaders and what they espouse, we fail to see our God. We trust in men, not in our Lord Almighty. We trust in their books but not the Bible.

We should never hold our leaders on the pedestal. The only one on the throne is God. Our leaders are human. Instead, we should pray for them. Humans can fail.. and when our leaders fail, do we choose to judge or should we as fellow brothers and sisters, lift them up in prayers and also ask the Lord to heal them, including those who have been hurt because of them?

I’m not advocating for church leaders to not be held accountable because they are “human”. But I’m focusing on the response that we should have as members of the church. May our souls be loving, merciful and gentle, should our church leaders “fail”.

Authentic Taiwanese mee sua in Singapore? Yes, at “Eat Three Bowls”!

Yesterday was a chilly day in office and we were craving for something warm. So a few of my colleagues and I trooped to “Eat Three Bowls” for our fix of mee sua and bubble tea. Eating there brings me back to Taiwan… their mee sua comes with oysters and generous servings of intestines – like how Taiwanese mee sua should be! The bubble tea was good. I will try their oolong milk tea next time.

My colleague trying to hide her face while I take the picture of 4 huge cups of bubble tea!

After lunch, we went down the street to check out Mother Dough to get some awesome bakes!

If Sarah was in Singapore, I would have bought more of these pastries but in the end, I only bought the baby sourdough baguette which came warm in a brown paper bag.

MmmmMm. It was a satisfying Tuesday lunch 🙂

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