Writer: Jonathan Chan
Editor: Ong Qing Liang
“You mean we are the only block where we prepare and you all come up and eat?”
“Yes, that’s why so many of us still stay in F-block”
The above was heard tonight amidst much laughter in the RF’s apartment of F-block, an exchange between Dr Seow, F-block Resident Fellow, and Aik Leong, ex-ex-block head, as we attended the annual RF’s supper.
Indeed, F-block’s RF supper is an event unique to us F-blockers, where we residents have the privilege of being invited to the RF’s apartment for an evening of interaction with fellow residents, as well as with the RF and his family. Dr Seow has been the RF of F-block since 2005. By day, he is a lecturer at the Faculty of Science. In the evenings, however, he is the benevolent and much-loved RF to the 100-odd residents of F block. In previous years, the RF supper was always an event to be looked forward to.
When 9.30 pm came, Sheng Hui and Ching Tse were found plodding along the corridors of F3 to gather residents to go for supper. While some wavered between meeting the RF and studying, the promise that there would be free food was always a decisive factor, for in hall, one literally goes with one’s gut.
Not long after, we were heading up the stairs from F3 to the apartment – the staircase which many of us, as freshmen (or in my case, as a Year 3), from F4 and F5 have accidentally tried using to get to our rooms, only to encounter a formidable-looking fire door and no corridor. For today, however, the above-mentioned door cracked open for us to behold a very friendly Dr Seow, and a pleasant smell of food.
A spread of chicken wings, gyoza (Japanese-style fried dumplings), garlic bread and numerous packets of juice awaited us, a delight for the residents whose energy had been drained from studying or sports training to which we eagerly helped ourselves.
Residents and fellow then made a round of introductions, culminating in a small introduction of F-block’s culture and the rationale behind RF’s supper by Dr Seow for the benefit of the freshmen. The seniors, most of whom had heard this in previous years, sat around and contentedly chewed on the products of this rationale.
The highlight of the evening, which unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of, for my hands were oily after eating a chicken wing, was the strawberry cheesecakes produced out of Dr Seow’s fridge, a delight to the residents. As Nan Hai said, “This is the first time I’m eating cheesecake and it’s good!” This particular product, according to Dr Seow, was something which the block committee. was thinking of bringing in for regular block suppers *hint, hint*. Another thrill for the residents was when Dr Seow allowed some of the residents to look around the apartment, allowing them to see how the construction of the apartment was actually much like our rooms all joined together. Meanwhile the rest of us listened to Mrs Seow describe the days when F-block’s colour was yellow and the residents didn’t have T-shirts, but singlets which were cut for girls and made the guys look weird in.
The supper could be summed up in a simple line by Dr Seow, who, as the evening drew to a close, said “This is what I tell the people who come is – F block is a family. We are all family.” A sentiment all of us share, and it is for this that we stay in F-block year after year, cheer and bleed for F-block during IBG, endure the hot afternoons when no wind blows between E and G blocks, for this that we wear our block shirts to school (where people ask us “why does your shirt say ‘boyfriend block’?”). For our blockmates and our RF. And of course, just a bit, for the food too =)