Day Whatever

All I’m trying to do is not join my ancestral spirits just yet.

Joshua Nkomo

Four months since I last posted! I embarked on the Covid-19 circuit-breaker journey here with such ambitious goals – that I’d report everyday on the infection rates here, kinda like a diary of what has been happening in Singapore and the world in general. But it was becoming tedious writing the same things everyday – the infection numbers (much much lower now!), weather (exactly the same – unpredictable every single day), and my daily doings (which has significantly changed, but more on that later). And yes, we are still safe and haven’t caught Covid-19 so far.

Briefly returning to our previous format; weather today is pleasant and sunny. The infection rates were at 31 as of yesterday (25-Aug), though it is going crazy high in India. Though New Zealand had the virus under control, as of a couple of weeks ago, they found a new cluster and shut down Auckland again. In the US, Trump is as trumpy as ever, maybe even more so since Joe Biden became the official Democrat Presidential nominee and appears to be ahead in the polls.

Alright, back to what I really want to write about – our landlord (soon to be ex-) and his agent. We have lived in various rental apartments in Singapore, but never ever have we come across a landlord/agent who are truly a$$ho!e$ of the first degree. Our previous landlords and agents have been fine upstanding citizens of this country, courteous and well-behaved. But there must be an exception to every rule, and our current home proved to be exactly that.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin the new series ‘Yin and Yang – A Monster Landlord and his Agent from Hell’ – based on our experiences renting the current apartment and soon to be leaving it (the best thing that’s happened since circuit-breaker ended).

NB: I spoke too soon about the weather. It is POURING now – feels like there is a storm on outside!!!

Day 20: Again Monday

Candy is nature’s way of making up for Mondays.

Rebecca Gober

Once again, I’m running out of ideas to write about. And to think there’s more than a month of Circuit Breaker to get through! Plus, I really need to get better at choosing headings for my blog posts. Maybe this is a symptom of the Monday blues.

Today I saw a report about an American family who simply could not do without swimming (all condo pools have been shut down on account of Covid-19), that they chose to rent the pool of a nearby Sentosa Cove private villa for S$10,000! For a land boasting Crazy Rich Asians, I must say that other continents too have equally privileged nuts.

The best aspect of this week is that it’s short. Just 4 more days and we bid adieu to this week and month. And boy, has this been one long month! May 1st or May Day or Labour Day is a public holiday in Singapore. Here is hoping May brings better tidings than the past four months of this year.

There’s nothing scarier than the prospect of harm coming to our kids. So far, the only silver lining of the pandemic is that kids are being spared the worst. That’s when a rather chilling Guardian article caught my attention this evening – an increased number of children across UK have been referred to hospitals suffering from baffling symptoms. Doctors are worried whether this is a fallout of Covid-19. I hope nothing more comes of the story, and it’s found to be nothing.

Day 18,19: Coconut Martini

I drink to make other people more interesting.

Ernest Hemingway

Weekend #3 since Circuit Breaker commenced in Singapore: The current tally of Covid-19 positives in Singapore stands at 13,624, which sadly isn’t very encouraging as far as lifting Circuit Breaker is concerned. Unfortunately, evidence indicates that people aren’t any closer to accepting the current state of affairs. If anything, many are exhibiting weirder behaviour than usual.

Take the case of this woman who felt she had to spit and shout at a KFC outlet staff simply because she was asked to wait for her order! I wonder if the spitting managed to get her the order faster. Then there are the xenophobic ones – a guy felt he had to exercise his ‘God-given’ right to spew venom against the migrant worker community in Singapore through Twitter.

Friday evening, Husband decided to order dinner from a restaurant ‘Featherblade’ – a place we had never ordered from before. Well, let me just say that we will never be their customer again. Firstly, the food was delivered really late – about an hour later than they originally said. That alone wouldn’t have mattered. But, the quantity provided was miniscule, and most of it was inedible. We’d ordered a burger, which was still red and raw inside. The beef was tasteless and hard. Potato wedges – I don’t even know if they were made of potato. So Friday night dinner was a disaster.

Saturday and Saturday – Son and I played online games with my brother and sis-in-law. We video-called using Google Hangouts and played party games on Steam – Jackbox. There was a game called Drawful that required each to draw things and the rest to guess what was drawn. Then there was Dictionarium, that makes up words and meanings. That was a new experience and a really fun one. We played for about an hour each day, after which we’d go have lunch while they went for dinner.

On Saturday, Husband also atoned for his Friday disaster by making one of the most delicious drinks I’ve ever had – Tender Coconut Martini. It was fabulous and really simple to make! Mix vodka, natural coconut water, sugar, ice and shake it up in a cocktail shaker. Voila! You have a fantastic drink for dinner.

All in all, a beautiful weekend with a divine drink and games 🙂

Day 16: Obsessed with Food

What is it about a pandemic that has people going overboard with food? Everywhere you look – Facebook, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Instagram – there are pictures of people celebrating with food. And that too, usually making things they’ve never tried making before. Dalgona coffee, different types of bread, cakes, gourmet dishes, just to name a few. How does a pandemic create a food obsession?

The manner in which so many of us are going on, it almost seems as though they are on a foodie vacation, instead of on a lockdown that doesn’t look like it will end any time soon. Have you folks thought about how these food items reach your pantry shelves and freezers? Have you spared a thought to those farmers who aren’t working, fields that are staying barren and unfarmed, supply chains that have been disrupted across the world?

What makes you believe you are coming out of this ordeal unscathed? You may not catch the virus as long as you stay inside and social distance, but what guarantee have you that you will also have enough to eat? The shops are stocked for now, but it is only a matter of time before they start running out when supply trucks don’t deliver because there is nothing for the trucks to deliver.

Granted, food is a source of comfort for many. Food brings people together. But, it could also turn into one of the most divisive forces when people can’t get enough to feed their own families. Remember the story of Marie Antoinette who allegedly gave a solution to her country’s starving population – ‘If they don’t have bread, let them eat cake!’? She was beheaded (due to her family connections, not for being an idiot), but it might be wise to heed that cautionary tale.

Several countries have already begun rationing the food purchases of its residents. It may not be apparent immediately, but a time may come when there is a huge food shortage as a fallout of this pandemic. There may be parts of the globe where people are dying of starvation, while another section is forced to throw away food because they can neither sell it, nor use it themselves. No matter how much money you have today, you may still end up without enough to buy staple foods.

Conserve what you can. Do not waste time preparing fancy gourmet lunches and dinners. Keep longer lasting foods for later, for when you have already gone through the perishables. There is no need to hoard, but buy food in small quantities and keep them for a time when even that may be deemed a luxury. Use your common sense – ‘Do I really need to try out that new recipe my friend posted on FB that needs quite a few ingredients?’ or ‘Is it really necessary for me to post competing pictures for every fab dish my friend posts on Instagram?’. Think again before deciding to take up a cooking challenge or a food challenge.

Stay Safe. Be Wise.