My Singaporean kaki in London are a ragtag bunch of mostly postgraduate students. I suppose what we have in common, other than Singapore, is the sense of a finite, too-short time we have in this alluring, expensive, extravagant city. We're all in our late 20s or early 30s (okay *cough*mid-30s*cough*), and have taken the time (and money) out for one reason or another to come and study something we couldn't have studied at home: cultural studies, art and politics, architectural conservation, development studies. Also, for various personal and/or professional reasons, we're mostly going home when our study time is up.
So we get together every so often to talk-cock-sing-song-lim-beer, and sometimes this throws up random conversation gems, like:
In the middle of tucking into grilled lamb rib served with rice at a Cantonese restaurant, we were wondering why the restaurant serves it --- very nicely done, by the way --- since lamb/goat doesn't really feature in Cantonese cuisine, to our (five-Singaporeans-and-one-Malaysian's) knowledge anyway. Then one of us recalls in a broken fashion some legend from Guangzhou about five goats coming down from heaven to rescue the city from some crisis or other. Another friend wonders: "So did the people eat the goats after that?"
It turns out Guangzhou has a statue commemorating the legend, so I'm guessing: not so much with the eating, then.
Another mystery that popped up over beer later: where does one get good goreng pisang (deep-fried battered bananas) in Singapore these days? I couldn't even think of one place to get them, though the goat-legend-telling friend mentioned the Lim Kee stall at Maxwell Market.
Funny thing is, I can almost recall the last place I bought them, maybe three or four years ago, it feels like. I remember the oily texture of the battered snack on wax paper in my hands, I remember telling the hawker how many pieces I wanted, maybe some of the battered sweet potato pieces too for the person I was with --- but where the hell was it?