It was the last day of the cultural theory course, and the class was about some fundamental differences between Chinese and Western philosphy/ways of thinking, as articulated by contemporary thinkers François Julien and Wang Hui. Which left me feeling like, as the only somewhat ethnically-Chinese person in the class, I ought to represent, somehow --- but what the heck do I know about Chinese philosophy, right?
(Sometimes I think there are only two things that are Chinese about me: my first name, and the fact that I find it very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY difficult to do something that would really upset my parents.)
So after class I made a beeline for Chinatown, for a hot bowl of noodles and to stock up on instant noodles. It's amazing how reassuring the flavours of MSG-laden soup, red chillies doused in chilli oil and blanched egg noodles can be.
For further reassurance, I came home also with dan tat (egg tarts) and yow za guai (dough fritters) from my favourite little bakery Sun Luen, and tinned dace in black bean sauce, in case I decide to make Teochew muay (watery rice porridge/congee). The only thing I couldn't find in the Chinatown supermarkets was Ayam brand tinned sardines in tomato sauce.
I don't think I am properly homesick, in that I wish I was in Singapore instead of here till next September. But after three months, perhaps I'm properly aware that there are Important Things Going On with family and friends at home that I've missed, despite the miracles of Skype and Viber and IM chats: babies arriving in friends' laps, kids playing "boomdit", birthdays and other milestones, meals of a gustatory and/or sentimental significance.
Not complainin'. Just a little wistful.