Written by: Jonathan Chan
Edited by: Jocelyn Yeo
Photos by: Deborah Khoo, Pin Hong
Possibly for the first time in the last 3 years, the call to an F-block supper was not a shrill “F-block supper!!!” by either Mae Yue or Hazel, before that, but a baritone “Ehh, supper now! F3, F3 come on!” from Sheikh. One does not argue with The Rock – one comes down before he comes up, so I did.
The theme for this supper was, of course, centred around Chinese New Year, now into its 8th day. The F-block comm, helmed as always by Jerusha and Sheng Hui, had gone through hell and high water to decorate the F3 balcony beautifully. Khar Suan’s decorations adorned the walls and pillars, while traditional Chinese New Year music provided by Jiangwei left our feet tapping. The crowd of F-blockers was rapidly growing. But “Where’s the food?”
The latter article was produced with a flourish by Sheikh, the only resident present born in the Year of the Rabbit. Two buckets of yusheng were laid out, awaiting the arrival of more residents and Dr Seow. Who knew the Chinese phrases to use? “Man di something something,” said Alycia earnestly, demonstrating her superb Hwa Chong command of Mandarin, as she sprinkled the crackers. “Kuai! Kuai! Faster, hungry!” retorted Arun, raring to get a bite. And with a flurry of forks, the F-blockers got down to the task, tossing the yusheng high as they wished for “Cap 5!” and other prosperous things for the year.
The two happiest present were two non-Chinese residents – Arun and Sheikh, who continued tossing the yusheng long after we had stopped. But we soon had our first bites of the sweet and sour Chinese New Year delicacy. “My favourite,” said The Rock, “though the sourness gives me shivers sometimes.”
The Block Comm members then passed out bowls of tangyuan (rice balls), a barley drink cooked by a very proud Mae Yue and jiaozi (dumplings). The first was chewy and crunchy, the second sweet and delicious, and the third…well, it was so popular that I didn’t manage to get to them before they were snapped up (because F for First come First served). And not to mention, of course, the ubiquitous pineapple and peanut tarts, which were present in abundance. The F-blockers were all eating happily and catching up after the extended weekend. For residents like Annisa, this was their first taste of Chinese New Year food and they were enormously pleased at the sampling opportunity
Not to forget also, our guests from the other blocks – Kailin was visiting from E-block, having been invited 3 times to F-block suppers but failing to make it for the past occasions. Nelson and Patrick were up from GH to add to the excitement, while Bryan (Cromwell from Hallplay) was all the way over from the East Wing, taking advantage of the situation “just like your character in the play!” said Mitchell.
And of course, there were games. Sheikh, who was obviously enjoying himself tremendously, produced a Styrofoam board with a picture of a large rabbit for a modified game of “Pin the [Rabbit’s] tail”, where contestants had to take turns pinning the ‘tail’ onto the rabbit image on the board while blindfolded.
The first contestant was yours truly, thoroughly sabo-ed by our crashers from GH block. Sheikh took me by the shoulders and spun me around 8 times, while the barley, tarts andtangyuan in my stomach debated whether or not to make a spectacular exit via my mouth. I reoriented myself as best as I could and took off for the wall with the gait of a drunk with Parkinson’s, before managing a decent placement of the tail. I thought it was hard, but as I would soon see, I had a sitting duck of a target compared to what came next
Ben Tham was up next, with the Block Comm members cruelly placing the board way above his height, forcing him to jump to place the tail, followed by Margaret, as we inverted the board and placed it on the ground, while she vainly tried to reach up for a board that was not there.
Our pageant queen, Ellie, covered in residual flour from her tangyuan cooking experience, went last. And a merry dance we led her in, including crawling on the floor and under the tables, before she managed to make the best placement of the tail of the night.
The supper soon drew to a close, and Jeana and Sirong scraped the remains of the yusheng off the table, while other residents scampered off to join the KE Fit activities (a move which would later prove abortive). Another memory to add to my considerable list of great memories and another reminder why F-block is so awesome! Well done, F-blockers, a night to remember indeed!