Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Giam Kana @ work again

Eating lunch at the park shops (a food court near office) can easily set me back by US$6 and mind you, no drinks included. And you even have to give tips to eat Chinese food. It is really expensive eating out in the U.S. When I was back in Singapore, a meal would at most cost S$4 (with tou hua some more) and for S$7, you can even have tepanyaki, Japanese or Korean food at the food court.

Furthermore, working in the Tanjong Pagar area, I could save a lot of money on food. The food at the hawker center is so cheap with a plate of nasi lemak, consisting of rice, huge chicken drumstick, sunny-side-up, fish, ikan bilis and peanuts and loads of sambal chili, costing only a mere S$2.

I could still remember when I first started working, with my miserable pay and huge student loan to repay, in order to save money, whenever my colleagues asked where we should go for lunch, I would always say, “No need to ask me. I am sure to say market. I don’t want to spend more than $2 on my meal.” Yes, I have been giam kana even before I came to the U.S.!

Why would I want to spend so much on food by going to the food court instead of the hawker center when the food at the former taste better than those from the latter. What’s more, a lot of the food comes from award winning stalls with many of them boasting certificates from Makan Sutra", Yummy King and Cheng Ren Zai Zi”.

But now that I come to the U.S. even if I want to spend that S$6 - S$7, I can’t get anything decent. It would always be pizzas, fast food, Mexican or Americanized Chinese food. Not only are they expensive, they are extremely unhealthy too especially the Chinese food which is always so salty.

Neo had been telling me how much he had saved by bringing home-cooked food for lunch. He would usually cook at night after he comes back from working OT and brings the food to his client’s place the next day. Not only did he save money, the food is much healthier too.

So for the first time today, I brought home-cooked food to work. Nope, I did not specially cook it so that I could bring it for lunch. It was after much urging from Neo that I decided that I should bring the leftover from yesterday dinner to work.

What’s on the leftover menu? Rice with sambal kangkong. Though simple, it is simply delicious! (trying to praise myself indirectly.) I am really glad I “tabao” instead of throwing them away. So much so that it triggered me to write this blog entry. After I come back from the California trip, I am going to make sure I cook extra during dinner so that I can bring the extras to work the next day. This will definitely help my wallet to recover from the trip. Giam kana at work again…


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