During my recent Reservist stint, I had the privilege of camping out in an undeveloped part of Singapore. Yes, we do still have pockets of rain forest in Singapore that you might not get to see unless you are in Army Green uniform. I was involved in the Air Evacuation of wounded soldiers, so we were undergoing training to stabilize the wounded and loading them onto Chinooks for evacuation to the base hospital.
So, in the middle of the night, out in the jungle with mosquitoes carrying the Dengue Virus flying around, what do you do? You start thinking about life, your nice bed at home and when the stomach starts to growl, you start thinking about…….. Hokkien Mee, Satay, Char Kway Teow, Beef Hor Fun, Lobster Noodles, Laksa, Indian Rojak, Teh Tarik…….. What the OC said was right. As much as I hate to be where I was, I realize that our group of well fed, sweaty and smelly reservist soldiers are out there doing our bit to make sure that we can always go down to the Kopitiam to get our plate of Chicken Rice.
Yes, our food is very much a part of our culture and well worth defending. Of course, we are also out there to defend our homes, our society and our way of life. But I think that food represents, in a very tangible way, our culture in a very real sense.
Ask any overseas Singaporean what they miss most about Singapore and invariably they would say Friends and Food. I have many overseas readers writing in, desperate for a mouthful of Char Kway Teow that is 4000km
and 5 months away. I have received emails from Singaporeans who have migrated to faraway lands wishing that they could just go down to the food centre to gorge themselves on Laksa and Murtabak. At least friends are just a phone call away, but on the internet you only see pictures but don’t get to smell and taste the food.
We complain about GST, COE, HDB, PUB, and the PAP, but in the end, we know deep inside that we are proud to be Singaporeans. When I was living in Thailand, my Thai friends used to come up to me and tell me how much they admired Singapore and wish they had a stable political system like ours and to be able to do everything so efficiently. It is at those times that I think to myself….Oh yes, “we are Singapore….. Singaporeans.”
So at least for one day in the year, let’s pause and be thankful that we can continue to find something good to eat 24 hours a day! We have been blessed but we must be diligent to protect what we have.
During the recent Festival of Praise I attended, I was reminded once again that we should continue to pray for our Nation’s Leaders, that they continue to lead Singapore into peace and prosperity. So may I encourage you, whatever faith you may belong to, to remember to pray for our Nation and its leaders today. I am sure we all would like to continue to enjoy that cup of Teh Tarik and that the only Bombs we hope to ever see is a Prata Bomb!
and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority,
that we may live peaceful and quiet lives….
1 Timothy 2:1-2