Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sorry, but I still think food is a waste of money.

So you know those girly magazines/food reviews in the Sunday Times/blog and what have you always showcase people who "LIVE TO EAT"...

So you know those girly magazines/food reviews in the Sunday Times/blog and what have you always showcase people who "LIVE TO EAT" and say that it is sad to "EAT TO LIVE"? And how people always say that they don't know anyone who eats to live?

Hello my name is Jacqueline and I eat to live.

And I don't think that there is anything sad about eating to live at all. These people who live to eat tell you that it's only when you live to eat can you really enjoy life to the fullest; that eating th best chilli crab is like achieving nirvana and that they'd rather kill themself than to eat a plate of *gasp* leftovers from the fridge. WELL, I BEG TO DIFFER. And let me tell you why eating to live is good and practical and why all you people who disagree can go drown engulf your sorrows by gobbling down some plates of the famous boon tong kee chicken rice/I don't know much about famous food so I'll stop giving examples here.

1. Living to eat is very troublesome.

Yes, you heard me. Let's say I am at home on Facebook. I want something hot to eat for lunch. I'll have to cook instant noodles or to go downstairs to dabao something to eat. DOWNSTAIRS, in the hot Singapore sun and in the humid Singapore air. And this is very tedious because I will sweat, my shirt will stick to my back and I will be very uncomfortable until I take a shower. This means that to eat I will not only have to go downstairs and feel hot and disgusting, but I'd have to take a shower before I can enjoy my food. And I'll have to warm my food up before I eat it because it'd be cold by the time I finish my shower. TROUBLESOME RIGHT?

And this is just me going downstairs to buy ban mian, because it costs $2.30 and how much can go wrong with ban mian? Can you imagine if I was a foodie who lived to eat? Would I be satisfied with ban mian day in and day out? No. I would probably eat ban mian once. And then I would be like "there has GOT to be better food somewhere else". So the next day I would travel all the way to Chomp Chomp to eat their (idk what is good in Chomp Chomp. I've never been there). Then the day after I would go to Simpang to eat the roti prata. Then I would go to idk, ABC market to eat the famous Fatty Cheong char siew. YOU SEE? This is surely even more troublesome than me going downstairs to dabao the not-at-all-famous Ban Mian and being satisfied at its mediocre taste/standards and anyhow presentation in a tub (Y).
Lan Xiang Ban Mian, one of the best ban mians in Singapore according to InSing but actually looks exactly like the ban mian from the kopitiam below my house.

2. Living to eat is emotionally draining.

Let's say I have a food chauffeur who would travel to any destination I want to buy me my food. Like a personal McDelivery guy who doesn't just bring you food from McDonalds. And today I decide that I want to eat the famous Balestier Bak Kut Teh. What if the Bak Kut Teh that is delivered to me isn't up to my standards or isn't as good as I remembered it to be? As a person who doesn't care that much about the food I eat, I will shrug and go "oh well!" and continue eating my Bak Kut Teh.

But if I'm a person who can only eat QUALITY FOOD, I'd be upset! I'd tweet about my disappointing experience, post a lengthy complaint on my Facebok, and write a bad review on hungrygowhere. Or if I'm not that social media savvy, I'd just give everyone a hard time by whining about the horrible Bak Kut Teh that I just ate. But because I don't care for the food being 1% more salty than it usually is, I can just happily post "FULL AND BURSTING TIME FOR A NAP" and spare everyone from the pain of listening/reading my grouses.
Founder Bak Kut Teh at Balestier Road rated 4.25/5 on ieatishootipost. Bernard likes it. And according to the pictures on the wall, Chow Yun Fat likes it too. But I can't tell the difference between this one and the one near Zouk.

3. Living to eat is expensive and also yes, troublesome again.

Yes I like eating good food. But let's make a comparison between Morton's and McDonald's. I like the steak at Morton's more than I like the cheeseburger at McDonald's. I can appreciate that the steak in Morton's is nice, juicy and flavourful beyond description while the cheeseburgers at McDonald's are "like that lor". But Steak in Morton's is more than 100 bucks per steak and the cheeseburger in Macs is like $2. And it is not a bad burger I feel. It is unhealthy and possibly damaging to my health but it is good enough for me! Also I can saunter into Macs in my t-shirt, shorts and slippers and still act like a boss because I am going to upsize my meal. I can't do that in Morton's. Because I will feel like crying once I see the bill. Crying is not very boss-like thing to do. And I can't like get my swag on in Morton's. No. I have to walk in in my nice dress, heels and makeup and attempt at eating elegantly. Once again, TROUBLESOME.
I don't care what anyone says! Macs has quality food.

4. Living to eat is time-consuming.

Because there is a general consensus amongst Singaporeans as to where all the good food is found, the queues to get to that food are always incredibly long. AND I AM AN IMPATIENT PERSON. I cannot care less for queuing up for 2 hours in the stiffling heat to buy 28 tubs of Lao Ban Tau Huey. Time is better spent, well, sleeping, Facebooking, drinking milo, you know, fun stuff that doesn't require you queuing up for hours in the humidity that is Singapore weather.
My bf, unlike me, lives to eat.

5. Living to eat is fattening.

Well, it is. Unless you have the metabolism of a hummingbird, you can't expect to eat the best food all the time without growing fat.

6. Living to eat is also irritating.

I don't eat chilli, durians, innards, chicken feet and a whole range of food because I don't want to/don't like the smell/I am picky. I am unadventurous when it comes to food and I am perfectly happy eating the same food over and over again on a daily basis. Ask my classmates in JC! I ate a granola bar for recess every day in JC. In the same flavour. For 2 whole years. Because this is how I am with food - boring and easily contented.

If I were to be adventurous, I would have to learn to eat ALL THE THINGS that I mentioned above. I would have to learn to acquire the taste of durian (which is smelly) and chilli (which stings and makes my eyes water) and this sounds like a very painful and long-drawn process. But because I don't really care about the pandan leaves being greener on the other side, I am perfectly happy consuming a limited variety of food on a day to day basis (Y).
Instagrams of my Xiao Wan Mian and Soup Spoon salad. Food I eat for lunch on a regular basis without complaint.

7. Living to eat is not very fulfilling.

So! Let's pretend I ate a very very good meal at Picnique. I had Mac and Cheese and it was wonderful. I can remember how the mac and cheese tasted like. I remember the melted mozarella and the little chunks of bacon in the pan. And also the cheesy aroma and the sizzling sound the mac and cheese made when the hot pan was placed in front of me. And then what? I ate it, went home, went to poop, and the end! No more mac and cheese., only great photos of it on instagram. And I am sure I can find similar pictures of mac and cheese on google images.

If I took the $15 to buy a top from Forever 21 instead, I would be able to wear the top, wash the top, iron the top, pair it with jeans/pants/skirts/jackets/cardigans, tell Nessie that I bought a nice top and wear it out to show her/tweet about it every time I wear it out, open my cupboard to admire the top everytime I think of it, etc etc. Isn't this much more fulfilling? Won't the happiness that I derive from a $15 top last so much longer than the $15 I spent on mac and cheese at Picnique? (But I agree la, the mac and cheese in Picnique is really good. Just that I would rather spend my money on clothes than food).
Mac and Cheese from Pic-nique.

HAHA. Okay that being said, I am not against eating. I like eating when I am hungry and also I do like munching on stuff when I am bored and have nothing to do. I can tell the difference between sucky food and great food but I can't tell the minuscule differences between food that falls in between. For that, I trust Bernard to steer me to the less sucky of the options.

So really, the next person who tries to convince me that I should live to eat instead of doing the opposite, can really go and bury his/her face into a plate of oily Char Kway Teow because my life revolves around social media, clothes, shopping, friends, family, money....etc etc. A long list, but food isn't one of the items on it.

♥ Jac, who eats to live and strives to find middle ground with her bf who lives to eat on a regular basis and whom she relies on to bring her to eateries with good food.

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  1. hello jac! i eat to live too! in fact, sometimes i forget to eat... hopefully can still live though. hahaha.

  2. Hey Jac, my girlfriend lives to eat and how i wish she read your article! BECAUSE WHAT YOU WROTE IS THATS EXACTLY HOW I FELT! But if i got her to read this.. it would probably spark a world war 3...

  3. lol my take-away from this article is "issit the mac and cheese at picnique very good ah? must try sometime!"

    -sometimes live-to-eater, mostly concerned-about-nutrition-eater