31 July 2006

Are You Sick of It Yet?

As my unofficial graduation happens in less than 14 days, I've been doing some reflection. And I happen to remember a particular online chat I had with another senior when I was in my first semester, more than 2 years ago. She was also in Computing, and in her final semester. So I took the chance to find out more about the course.

One question I remember asking her was whether she was sick of the college canteen yet. Without hesitation she answered "Yes!" And we laughed a little (in online chats, that's usually a 'haha' or a 'hehe' for those uninitiated among you).

But now as my turn comes to leave the college, I thought about the food. Sure, it's not the best food around but I'm not a picky eater in the first place. So if another junior asked me that same question I would say "No, I'm not sick of the food here. In fact I 0might just miss it a little".

How can that be possible? People who live in big cities might understand the following scenario. In Penang when I want to go out to eat (regardless with whom), we'll be having a volleyball game.

One person will ask, "Eh, where do you want to eat?"
"I dunno leh. You decide la."
"No la, you choose this time. I anything also can."
"I anything also can wat. I'm tired of ."
"OK, we won't go there then. So where do you wanna go?"
"I already said you decide lor!"

After we reluctantly decide on which place to eat, then we have to drive through endless traffic and idiotic drivers to get to that place. Or if we couldn't decide where to eat, we would just drive aimlessly around town until we are so frustrated of the traffic that we'll just stop at the nearest place without complain.

Of course, "stopping" is not as simple as making your vehicle stationary. There's the issue of parking, and in crowded places like Penang, parking can be hellish. If the place is packed, we have to tread the fine line between parking at a valid spot and parking on a yellow line. Or we could just go to another place, which would restart the whole volleyball game again.

Lastly once we settle down at the eatery there's the unenviable choice of actually choosing what to order. We'd be scanning around the place looking for some food we haven't eaten for a long time. We'll be creating mental checklists such as this:
  • Char Kuey Teow: Too heaty
  • Wan Tan Mee: Had it last night
  • Kuey Teow Th'ng: Too bland tasting
  • Curry Mee: So popular! Don't wanna wait that long
  • Chicken Rice: The chicken looks more like sun-dried chicken than roast
  • Nasi Kandar: Too damn pricey!

If you're lucky, you'll find something you like. If not, you'll circle the place until you get tired and order the same thing you had for lunch.

So, can anyone blame me for thinking that eating is such a chore back home? Over here, we only have 2 canteens with a total of about 15 shops. At least 50% of them suck, which leaves 7 shops for me to choose from. Since I don't like taking chicken rice, that leaves 6 shops, four of which are economy rice stalls.

That basically comes down to making a simple choice between Stall A, B, C, or D. That's not much of a dilemma, with no parking to think about and practically no travel time involved. And prices are (generally) reasonable so it's not like we're paying a huge premium for this convenience.

So in conclusion this post proves two things: I'll miss the food here and I'm lazy.


Kelly said...

I miss the Hakka mee and the burger man and the dumplings in Kopitiam:( I miss the food back home!! Sigh~

William said...

Sometimes no choice is the best choice.