10 Feb 2020
Over the weekend, after the Singapore government raised the alert to Code Orange in response to the evolving situation regarding the novel coronavirus, there was a rush to stockpile food supplies and essentials.
Last Saturday (8Feb), as I was waiting for a taxi in the east to take me home in the west, I deliberated on whether I should also stop by the supermarket to replenish some of my regular supplies that were running low.
I avoid eating out as much as possible. The queuing, carrying of my own tray and looking for a seat in food places will neutralise whatever nutrients any purchase promises to give me. People like me don’t need any outbreak to eat in. 😊
In the midst of my rumination, a taxi appeared in the distance. I flagged it down quickly as I had been waiting for some time.
When it pulled up, I realised it was a 6-seater space wagon!
I got on the cavernous vehicle despite knowing the trip would cost me more than the usual. The driver had made the effort of switching from the outer lane to stop for me. It would be unfair of me to decline the ride.
And as if reading my mind, the Indian driver cheerfully announced that his type of taxi ride will cost more because it is for group travellers with luggage.
“But don’t worry. U just sit. I know where to take you so that you can get a normal cab easily,” he suggested in a loud, booming voice, much to my surprise.
He then dropped me off at Kinex Mall taxi stand, and jocundly refused to accept any payment. Instead, he thanked me for blessing him when I wished him safety and good health.
After he drove off, I decided to make the best of his kindness by exploring the mall a bit to see if I could get some health supplements for my cats and find a quiet supermarket to replenish my noodle stock.
Next to rice & pitta bread, longevity noodles (mee sua or somen) is my favourite emergency food. And ever since I had tasted the ones from Kinmen Island, I’ve been hoping to find them in Singapore.
To my delight, the basement of Kinex Mall not only had a pet shop, but also a very peaceful & well stocked supermarket that devoted entire two rows of its shelves to imported groceries from Taiwan!
So among the Taiwanese snacks, staples & condiments, I finally had a reunion with my beloved noodles from Kinmen!
Considering that day was the 15th day of the Lunar New Year (full moon reunion) and Thaipusam, a very significant observance among South Indian Tamil Hindus, it was more than luck that a Chinese woman would be assisted by an Indian man to go to an unfamiliar shopping mall where she could buy noodles produced in her ancestors’ birth place.
The encounter with the Indian driver leading to the noodle discovery has given me the assurance to buy just enough for my needs, and to resist the urge to buy more because of the fear of not having enough, the greed of wanting more and the arrogance that I could afford them.
And I’m amazed to read that Thaipusam marks Lord Murugan’s victory over fear, greed and arrogance. 🙏