Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Canteen

The canteen in 0705 has such lousy food that even the disabled speaker who was invited to speak in MCV today commented on it as slightly above hospital food. The wonderful talk had taught me something, which is, to always compare to things that are worst off than ourselves. However, my mother and all those ah sohs out there never do such a thing. And when will RJC compare itself with 0705? Guess they just couldnt bother.

0705 has got a wonderfully small canteen, a canteen which can house at the house 500 comfortably, and 800 when stretched. Yet there are many many cases of people not getting to eat because of the long queues and no seats. It is not the canteen that is too small, but rather, the time tabling that screwed up, bringing a hell lot of people to the canteen within the same time slot.

I skipped a few lectures once, and was shocked to discover that the canteen was virtually empty at those times. This is definitely the gift to 0705 students by the time table community. Neverthless, we as students will stand STRONG. We are willing to go hungry before sitting for important tests or after PE lessons, and not having the next breaks until 3 or more hours later. These are just parts and parcel of life in 0705.

Despite what others may believe, I embrace the school happily and arrive at the school canteen promptly at 7am everyday. Much as I hate the school, I was never late for it. Anyway, I would then go to the canteen to chat with my friends there, and what rewarded me everyday without fail are canteen tables filled with bird droppings. It seems that the canteen in 0705 caters better to the bird's toiletry needs than the nature out there. More than that, 0705 canteen is the home to various wildlife, such as rats and mices, which could be spotted once in a while, just like how rare creatures of the night can be spotted in the night safari.

After positioning my hands, bum and bag carefully so as not to touch those droppings, I begin to chat. Around 5 to 10 minutes before the bell ring for flag raising, the 2 televisions in the canteen will switch on abruptly and suddenly as if by magic, and the familar faces of Channel News Asia news anchors filled the screen. Too bad, the canteen is too noisely to hear anything. Who would bother anyway, when there is only a little time before one has to leave the canteen for flag raising. You couldn't catch much news that way. In the end, the TVs only added to the noise on the canteen, and the electric bills of the school. There was once during one lunch break when a certain student could not bear it any longer, and somehow managed to switch one of the TV to tvtext, afterwhich the rest of the 0705 students enjoyed their day viewing TOTO and 4D.

Unlike what the speaker had said, I feel that the food the canteen was still ok. A few stalls were probably overpriced, like the chicken rice stall that sell alot of rice and very very little meat, to tempt people to order an additional egg at 40cents, which most did. So each plate of rice with pitifully few slices of meat and an egg costs $1.90. Compare this to the Western food store, where a chicken cutlet with lots of fries costs $2, or with the Yong Tou Hu stall where no matter how many items I ordered, i never exceeded $2. The Yong Tau Hu stall sells cheap and nice noodles, but never order anything that has soup. Their laksa looked like laksa but tasted like tape water. There was once where we witness the auntie pouring tape water into the laksa pot because she was running out of laksa gravy. The same goes for Tom Yam. Never order any of those. In the noodle stall selling things like wanton noodles and the likes, never bring the small bowl of soup provided if you ordered the dry version. Have you tasted tap water with pepper? That is how the soup taste like. The malay stalls sells things that are overly oily. Just order a plate of anything, eat them up, and observe how oily your plate has become. All in all the stall with the best rate and food quality are the vegetarian stall and the fried kway tiao stall. The auntie in the later often cause fire to explode skywards from her wok when cooking her Or Fan, causing her Or Fan to tasted cooked but nice.

All in all, canteen in 0705 can be nice if you know what are the stalls to buy from, and you can ignore things such as bird droppings and rats running around while you enjoy your food.

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