Walk Down Memory Lane

Last night after running some errands, I took a walk down memory lane. I was around Zhongshan area, where my first work and apartment used to be. It was close to dinner time so I headed to that night market where my colleagues and I spent many a summer night chowing down fried chicken fillets, iced sugary drinks and our favorite dessert- ding xiang dou hua (tofu pudding).

I strolled a bit, re-familiarizing myself with the place. A few stalls closed down including one of my favorites- the omu and sukiyaki rice stall. I bought my 'usual' meal- seaweed takoyaki with mayo and freshly-made sugar-raised doughnut. The tea shop had a long queue so I settled with just a bottle of water from nearby Family Mart. I walked to the end of the lane until I reached the children's park.

I sat at one of the benches and watched little girls and boys take turns going down the slide. I ate my food in peace while observing moms and dads from afar, happily looking after their kids. It was endearing to see parents enjoying a moment together-- peaceful and quiet, without the worries of tomorrow.

Memories of 8 years ago came rushing. I was 23. I was happily employed at my first job after my MA graduation, just moved into my first apartment, made new friends with new colleagues, started learning the ropes of adulthood. This night market became a third home and even a friend-- the place I run to when my horrible PMS strikes with only the basil fried chicken can pacify... or when days are slow at the wire desk, or when I'm having one of those give me a break I'm so homesick- kind of day.

How different my life was back then. I actually smiled at the thought of this... my thumb traced the piece of jewelry wrapped around my finger... and my eyes shut for a moment. I never knew this would come. I looked at the people in the park and imagined a future like theirs.

And just when I was about to be emotional, I was reminded of the dessert place's closing time. The auntie at that stall can be masungit when you place your order before her closing time so I had to rush. True enough, she was still masungit but this tofu pudding is still the best. I ordered the iced version, with mini sago, sweet potato balls and nuts. The hot version is perfect during colder months. What a nice and sweet ending to a small trip down memory lane :)