Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

So I lied. I’m not cured. I’m still not kicking it into high gear and I miss my loved ones more than ever.

I don’t get myself. I even miss being alone in Montreal. I’ve been hankering for a giant mug of tea at the Indigo Café in Place Montréal Trust. I’d sit there trying to concentrate on my work and daydreaming about Dave, who would surely be working his cute ass off. I’d watch the people below, shuffling along the intersection of McGill College and Ste-Catherine. I’d squint and imagine them in Frickean time-lapse rhythm. Grand Central in Baraka.

The latest Indigo selection would be playing. Since I’m playing “let’s pretend”, let’s pretend that it involves really mellow Anna Nalick, like it did this summer when I was enjoying being a stay at home girlfriend doing whatever the heck I wanted all day long.

There I go torturing myself again. I’m chasing a feeling…the feeling of being at home. Even though I was always straddling Toronto and Montreal, there was something about being in Montreal with Dave that felt so right. I could still zip back to Toronto at will to be with my family. I had no qualms about calling that “home” too.

Maybe it’s that domestic side kicking in again. Back home, when it would start to get cold, I’d cook and bake up a storm and fantasize about being a married mother. Why else would my girlfriends get me a stainless family size crockpot for my birthday? Heehee. Again, so wrong, but so right!

Why does this little law/grad school stage in our lives have to be equal parts YAY and BOO?

In case you were wondering, dim sum at the fancy shmancy Paragon location of Crystal Jade was lovely, but weird. There were no dim sum ladies pushing their carts and hollering out the names of their wares. There were no animated fights over the bill in syncopated Cantonese. It was a quiet lunch in a slick, chic modern restaurant straight out of one of my dad’s AZURE or Architectural Record magazines. Heck, this place even had a Wallpaper vibe.

It made me think of some of the places I’m dying to visit again when I head back to Hongers in December. You know, the China Club, Aqua etc. But I digress.

The food was tasty enough. We ordered pretty classic dim sum fare e.g. rice rolls, panfried daikon cake, har gow, siu mai, lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice, teochew (chiu chow for the Cantonese peeps) dumplings, taro puffs, BBQ pork buns/pastries and XO sauce fried rice rolls. Even though I didn’t get to eat the miscellaneous animal parts I usually devour at dim sum (tripe, chicken feet, beef innards), my craving for good old HK style Chinese eats was satiated.

But without all the noise and excitement, I felt a bit lost. It was so classically Singaporean. Here we were, Chinese born and raised in all different parts of the world (Mauritius, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore), largely communicating in English, but ordering in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. 3 people were drinking ice water instead of tea. The Singaporean-born (but, ahem, British by citizenship) kids, picked at the food with their forks and spoons as sadly, but not surprisingly they are unable to use chopsticks.

It was clean and orderly yet still dysfunctional. All very Singaporean to me. I’d still go back in a flash. What does that say about me?

3 Responses:

  1. gino888 Says:

    I’d like some dim sum right now. Someday I will open such a place here, in the middle of nowhere. And we will train Latinos to make dim sum for us.

  2. Adrienne Says:

    You will not do such a ridiculous thing since you will be living in suburban Toronto dining on dim sum made by imported Chinese labour with me!

  3. Jules Says:

    Mmmm … dim sum! Taipei has it’s share of dim sum palaces (;>), but people seem to be more into the beef noodle soup scene — must be all those transplanted, homesick Beijingers.

    I’d go, but it’s best to go with an army, given all the food you get! :> (Wo pa pang la!)