Tuesday 20 July 2021

Back to eating sandwiches in the park


OK, back to eating sandwiches in the park during my weekend sales gig.

We'll treasure it when we lose it.

During the previous phase 2 (heightened alert), I did the "ang moh" thing during my meal breaks - have a sandwich and a soft drink/coffee. 

Its a lot easier to handle (and less messy) than trying to navigate a plastic bowl of dried noodles or packet of chicken rice out in the open...

Why in the park?

Tell me where can retail workers eat when we can only "da bao" from this Thursday onwards?

Oh! But you'll be surprised!

I often find myself as the lone Singaporean out there.

Saturdays its mainly foreign workers from South Asia working in the vicinity like me.

Sundays of course will be mainly foreign maids.

Then there's this one time where there's a Japanese couple in their early 30s having ice cream on the park bench next to me. 

You can verify yourself as you walk around your neighbourhood shopping centres. 

Try spotting any Singaporeans enjoying the parks or green corners during the day!

I guess East Coast may be the only place where we can find Singaporeans enjoying our parks during the day...

I know what you gonna say.

Too hot right?

I know!

No, most retail workers no choice have to "da bao" and eat at their own working place. At least got air-con!!!

I know its not very presentable or professional, but do be understanding when you walk into a retail shop to find the staff having their meals at the sales counters. Especially at those small retail outlets.

As for bigger retail stores like the one I'm working in, the only approved place to have our meals is the claustrophobic storeroom where at max. we can have only 2 persons having meals there.

I don't know about you, but to me, that's the most dangerous place!!! 

I rather brave the heat and eat out in the open. I haven't given back all my science to my teacher yet!

What' about the heat?

I just pretend I'm still working in Shanghai or Athens where after a long blistering cold winter, the warmth of summer air caressing my face and having a sandwich in the open is heavenly!

This secondary clusters spreading thing is not play play.

Most of us will soon know someone who are in close contact with these clusters...

I have.

Over this weekend, I found out why a sales colleague was on "MC" during the previous weekend. 

He got sent to hospital for mandatory check-up for 3 days. Mercifully after all the testing, he got released and declared as healthy.

Eh, this colleague is not working on another sales floor or other departments. He's in the same department as me. Standing next to me.

Guess what?

There's this small retail store next to ours (as in just the next unit) that's closed this weekend after all 3 staff have come into close contact with one of the clusters.

Me concerned?


Paralysed by fear?


I guess there's some benefits in taking the craftsmanship route.

Critical thinking on our own.

Base decisions on science (facts); not voodoo (remember coconut water?)

And taking responsibility for ourselves and our love ones. (Sick don't go to work and see a doctor lah!)

Let's hope we all can pull through this Wuhan virus challenge together.

Oh! Can we do our best NOT to have conversations on trains and buses?



  1. Hi Smol

    Store room stuffy and lots of dust.

    That's the best place to have your mask on. Haha.

    1. Small Time Investor,

      Store room got air-con, but where's the air circulation in a confined space?

      I rather take my chances in the open, with free greenery to boot!

  2. Smol,

    You're smart!

    When it comes to respiratory diseases, being outdoors in the sun with 2m spacing from others is a heck of a lot safer than being in an air-con public building even with 10m spacing from others.

    It's an irony that you're probably safer unmasked eating in the park than masked indoors doing your sales gig.

    My most miserable eating conditions were having to eat cold tinned food (think pork cubes & sardines) & biscuits in tropical rainstorm in some jungle. I was more concerned with my Ultimax100 machinegun (2nd gen with horrible anti-rust) that by then was 60% covered in rust. Quite a few makan sessions like this during the monsoon season, with rain-infused food & sometimes sand-infused too (think the cookhouse guys dropped the food on the ground).

    2nd most miserable was having to wolf down a cold sandwich while trudging across campus thru calf-deep snow in heavy snowfall coz we were late for a meeting. My angmoh buddy next to me was eating ice-cream(!) and snickers for his lunch.

    1. Spur,

      Ah! Infantry platoon light machine gunner!

      Yup, field camp I'm most afraid of hot cloudless day with scorching sun beating down... I'm the air-con soldier.

      Next would be thunderstorms in the middle of the night...

      I often recce where the 3 tonners are parked and would "abandon" my post to race to them before others wise up.

      And yes, in real war I'll get the whole brigade commanders killed :(

      Serve them right.

      Who ask them to ask a Pes C sick chicken to defend the brigade command post???

      Your ang moh buddy is showing you besides alcohol, that's how they keep warm in winter - calories ;)

      Besides, the sugar rush is a bonus!


  3. Getting a healthy tan is good, my old friend. Hehe...
    Stay safe! :)

    1. Dividend Tech Warrior,

      Welcome back! It's been ages!

      We all stay safe and healthy :)

  4. I also avoid the staffroom to do my work when I am not teaching. Not so much of dear, but I just like that corner of the corridor with a table and breeze.

    I am like a hermit ... Kind of in the right element, I not many cannot than the social distancing

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      We do us ;)

      Remember the story of the students at the fast food outlet after their meals?

      Just as long we either stay to clear our trays or leave without a 2nd look, we are fine.

      Its when we dither and look to others for direction on what we should do...

      Never ask others what shoes fit us best ;)

  5. Hi smol,

    Eating in the public not allowed?


    1. WTK,

      Eating in the parks allowed. But how many Singaporeans appreciate the pleasure of alfresco dining?

      Of course, cannot eat in public where there are lots of people around.

      I guess got to use a bit of common sense.

  6. Smol,

    I believe that there will be a few. You are one of these few.

    Common sense is applicable especially in the current circumstance. Flexibility in approach also plays a part.


    1. WTK,

      I find it perplexing to see 2 extremes of behaviour in Singapore:

      1) Those who are so "obedient" until in a burning building, they'll wait for instructions from big daddy to evacuate before doing so!?

      2) Then there are those who are so "independent" until openly defying big daddy for delusional own self believe, own self makeup reasons!?

  7. No longer Wuhan virus because in China, they have been back to normal life for a long time now. My China friends are all doing great!

    They have the largest population and yet they are controlling it so well..

    We can blame it on KtV or Jurong Fishery.. but if we are locked down, where did the virus sip thru?

    Are the citizens at fault for being one of the most obedient in the world? Look at Europe, they just ignored the govt rules n advices.

    We follow guai guai most of the population, but still suffer…

    The maths is not correct.. anyway it’s always the Sg citizens at fault

    1. Rolf Suey,

      OK, must give credit to big daddy for telling the truth that the reason for this heightened alert phase is due to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster; not the KTV cluster.

      Which meant its a between the lines admission, like the blindspot in workers dormitories, despite our focus and control on airports and seaports, we had another crash got sound "oversight" when it comes to fishing vessels calling from countries ravaged by the Indian variant...

      Compared to our neighbouring countries, big daddy has done a much better job. This we cannot take away.

      I believe there will be soul searching moments in big daddy team.

      Like why supermarkets and shopping centres got tracing control, but wet markets no?

      On hindsight, resources for monitoring returning of trays can be better used for entry control instead?

      Why food produce from Malaysia via land route did not leak their Indian variant to us but we kenna from the sea route?

      Same team handling border control or 2 different teams working in silos not sharing best practices?

      What I fear is irrational and unsympathetic Singapore citizens blaming fellow citizens.

      What next?

      Blame old folks who didn't vaccinate?


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