Not sure about other people living away from Singapore in Sydney, but I especially missed my hometown when I am sick.
I missed the convenience of hawker food centre. I missed the simple local healthy foodfare such as pure soups... like fish soup, seafood soup, mixed vege soup, lotusroot rib soup, winter melon soup, watercress soup, black chicken soup, dumpling soup...food that actually help to nurse your appetite and health back without clogging your system with unnecessary oil or grease.
In western countries like Sydney, its like hell being sick and your body feeling like shit. I craved for my mummy homecook minced pork porridge and her seafood porride made with pure unadultered pork rib soup stock without MSG or sugar or processed mixture. I havent had my mum's seafood porridge for over 10 years, since I last had my food poisoning episode...christ, was it that long ago?
The last week or so, all i could muster was chicken soup mixed with carrots and mushrooms. When i went to bed, I dreamt about my hawker food. How pathetic was that?
Few days ago when i woke at 6pm, went to the kitchen and I couldnt cook since my tastebuds and sense of smell were non functioning. Yet suddenly I craved a taste of mum. What would she cook when I am sick and be ready to eat in 15mins? Porridge, felt like porridge since no one sells proper chinese clear soup in this god forsaken city. 在这西洋城市，要喝到一碗清汤，比登天还难！
I cannot even get proper fish for steaming. All they know is snapper. Bloody fresh fish stall canx even bring in other varieties because i am not living in a chinese community district like chatswood or kingsford, and so all i am stuck with are snapper, salmon or tuna, take your pick. I am so sick of bloody snapper. They don't even taste that great steamed.
Then i rem...Lucky! I had earlier stocked up on can sardines for "critical" moment like this. So i threw in my slices of chilli, onions, garlics and tomato paste with my sardines and stired fry them. My porridge was also ready in 10mins. Not that its the best option but it felt good to have a taste of home, even for a while. For that minute, I have never disliked being in Sydney more than anything, for the fact that I missed my Chinese food, and of course, the fact that if I am back in Singapore, I wont have to be standing in the kitchen cooking my own meal but be ordering from a stall and packing it home.
As I was munching my quick dinner, I thought of mum's minced pork mixed with preserved Cai Xin, steam custard egg with minced pork... sigh... I hate being a grown up. Independence is overrated. It would be nice to be sick in bed and wait for mum to knock on the door and say dinner is ready, or wake up to the sound of something frying in the oil, followed by the fragrance of food...ahh.. memories....