Dreaming of Toronto

Last night I dreamt that I was visiting Toronto. I dreamt that all my Toronto friends met up with me and we went out to eat and had a great time together. I must be missing Toronto more than I realize…

I’ve been uninspired food-wise in Singapore. Whenever Zibin and I are meeting up with friends or even when we decide to go out for a meal, we can never decide on what we’d like to eat. Not because there are too many choices to choose from. But because we are uninspired.

No mood for Japanese, because any of the affordable Japanese restaurants here aren’t that good. Even Sun With Moon isn’t as good as I remembered it to be. Back in Toronto we were spoilt for choice. So many good Jap places that don’t burn a hole in our wallets. I miss Konichiwa on Baldwin St. most of all… affordable, authentic, and delicious.

Don’t even get me started on Korean food. I miss Soon Tofu! And pork bone soup! Please, if anyone knows where I can find these dishes in Singapore, tell me! Ah Koreantown… a place I appreciated too late into my stay in Toronto because I’m too lazy to walk that far. Ha ha… but now I totally understand the craze for Koreantown. And I truly, truly miss Toronto’s Korean cuisine.

Whether it’s Indian, Chinese (Hong Kong/Taiwanese/Northern Chinese etc), Italian… pastries, breads or even ice-cream… I don’t know why but they all seem to be cheaper and tastier in Toronto. I kid you not. Eating out in Singapore is very expensive. And the overall quality of food seem to have dropped… even my favourite braised duck rice isn’t as good as before. Or is it because my tastebuds have become Torontonian as well?

Ah, life in Toronto was good. Food was great. Company was swell. And there were different seasons to look forward to every year… people gave you lots of personal space and respected your privacy. Society was not as ‘in your face’ as in Singapore.

I was prepared to come back to Singapore. I still believe it was time to come back. But man, I still miss my Toronto days very much.

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People like to ask me if I like Toronto or Singapore better… and I always tell them I can’t answer that question. The two cities are different. I think the part of me that yearns for quiet and anonymity and greater freedom to just be myself likes Toronto better. But that part of me that is looking for my roots and a place in which I can take a greater stake in is Singapore because in Toronto… somehow… I will always feel like a guest that has been made to feel very much at home. But in Singapore, especially with the angst and love-hate relationship, I actually feel that I am a family member living at home.

It’s like asking me if I prefer to live with friends or family. I loved living with friends… the fun, the freedom, the space we give one another along with the love and support… the excitement of learning to be on your own. But yet, you know deep down that they can never replace your family. You know that while living at home can be a pain because of conflict or growing pains, your family are the people who love you more than anyone else in the world. And you know that you mean more to your family than you can ever mean to your friends, no matter how much your friends love you. That’s just the way some things are.

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