Thursday, April 03, 2008


It's raining right now outside our office block in Singapore. The windows are darkened; there is a chance that my pants will be drenched to the knees tonight. I am craving palabok - warm and salty-sweet, the neon orange sauce mixing togetehr with squid bits and shrimp, crispy chicharon bits sprinkled on top, the thick glass noodles freshly cooked and smothered in sauce and the thought of home.

It's very easy to chalk things up to home sickness, but it's not that. It's a kind of hunger that's difficult to describe - food is a way of describing a home, anyway, but somehow living away does not make me feel any more or less homesick than the dull, subconscious throb of knowing that "home" - the concept, the familiar entity - is somewhere beyond here, but that home is is where you are and what you make of it. So it's not the longing for a place, but longing for food - something that is difficult to describe to those who have never been away from family for more than a few days, who have never been away from the place they call home for anything other than a vacation.

So now I want something tasty and salty - something with rich white rice, freshly steamed, maybe some stewed pork (not halal, but still) to remind me of adobo or maybe some God, I miss home. Or rather, home-cooked food.

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