Three random thoughts from a Hong Kong millennial.
1. I am a bit of a loner, and I like to eat alone. While solo dining is fun, it comes with its own problems. For example, take my experience of eating sour and spicy rice noodles on my own last week.
To start with, the restaurant staff questioned me twice: “A table for just one?” Made me feel bad for a little bit. I also did not think through my entertainment options. I first tried to read, but then eating noodles with one hand while balancing a book in the other was impossible. I tried to stream an episode of 30 Rock, but my data plan is too cheap to load even the first few seconds. I finally decided to stick with a podcast, trying not to worry too much what people must have thought while I was chuckling at my noodles for no apparent reason.
But my biggest mistake was to not have any Tempo on me. My nose runs like mad when I eat spicy food and I was desperately sniffing the whole time. I either looked like I was really sick or that I was close to having an emotional breakdown.
Moral of the story: You’ll feel strong and empowered eating alone, but you’ll also feel clumsy and awkward. IT’S ALL RIGHT. At least that’s what I tell myself, anyway.
2. I was reading this article about everything you need to know about packet sauces when I remembered what an awful sauce police I was as a child.
For example, I once told a woman off in McDonald’s for dipping her McNuggets in ketchup. I said indignantly: “Ketchup is for fries!” She was perplexed, wondering why on earth an 8-year-old was trying to tell her what to do with her McNuggets. She was nice enough to explain that she just liked ketchup better. (I was not happy about her explanation and still felt enraged that she was doing sauces “wrong.”)
This eventually extended to other foods. Instant noodles are bad for you, and so in my eyes, when people chose to eat them, they were making a deliberate choice to compromise their health. I remember giving a side-eye to a woman ordering instant noodles at a cha chaan teng, because she was with a newborn baby and I felt angry that she was not taking care of herself, for her baby’s sake.
I cringe every time when I think back to my former judgmental self.
3. What’s good from the internet: One of the best Bowie stories I read, about supporting artists that come after him.