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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Excellent Flip-Flops

I wanted to cook up a seafood galore for my friends with the freshest clams, fish and prawns. I went back to the wet market near my old home of 15 years and ordered from the fishmonger (and his wife) who had taken care of me and my family for 15 years. I watched them age and they watched me age. I do know that they're a little more expensive than neighbouring stalls but the relationship has stood the test of time because they've never failed me. I don't even have to choose my produce. I arrive to neat bags all packed and ready to go. At home, they go straight into the freezer and when I cook them, they're ALL fresh. And I mean ALL.

Unfortunately, after I moved house, they were a bit far and I went and dallied with other fishmongers. The family is picky about freshness and all it takes is one bag of less-than-fresh fish/prawn/squid for me to start exploring the produce from another stall. These new relationships lasted 6 months at the longest. There was one whom I thought I could build a new life with but sadly, he gave me 3kg of bad prawns that traumatised the children so badly I had to throw the whole lot. There is nothing worse than powdery prawn.

In my hour of need, I went back to the old and trusty fishmonger and his wife. It felt good to be back at the old market and it made me think that being able to afford more expensive items doesn't mean a higher quality of living. Prices at that market have stayed quite low but the produce is excellent. On Sundays, the out-of-the-way market that has none of the upmarket airs of Jones the Grocer's, is packed full of people.

And what really convinced me were the 2 pairs of slippers I got for $2.90 apiece. They're absolutely non-slip. They cushion the feet oh-so-comfortably and they were a fraction of the price I paid ($16.90) for an earlier pair that puts my health at risk on rainy days because they absolutely won't adhere to any wet floor. And these didn't even look as good as the $2.90/=!! Of course, taste is subjective but we like our accoutrements plain, simple and boring.

And then I kicked myself really hard because Little Boy needed 2 pairs of jeans for the European winter holidays. I almost keeled over and died when I saw Kiddy Palace selling them for close to $50/= apiece. Kids' jeans for $50/=? Whoa! And no-brand ones at that! I shrugged my shoulders and decided that well... maybe it was the inevitable inflation... and I bought them anyway. Not without my heart bleeding though. And then I really kicked myself because they were selling very thick and well-cut adult jeans for $20/= apiece at the market and their kids' jeans were going for $10/=.

The next time I need anything, I am so going to the old market FIRST to see if they've more good stuff at pretty prices!!


Open Kitchen Concept said...

Oh.. which market is it? And which stall? :) I can so understand about hard to get good seafood part. I get the best from my aunt from Clementi.. who buys it from me from Jurong. It's crazy I know.. but they are so good!

petunialee said...

I will sms you.

barefootgardener said...

You might want to keep this in your file...NTUC at AMK Hub sells jeans for boys (teenagers) for between $11 and $13 a piece. My teen son was delighted with the jeans we got and he said they were comfortable.

petunialee said...

BFG - Teehee! Sounds like Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant!! Thanks very much for the tip... though it made me wanna kick myself some more! I should've listened to Frugal Petunia and refrained from buying those $50/= jeans... Instead I listened to Impatient Petunia who couldn't wait to scratch the item of her list of things to do. Arghhhhhh!

Ummm... BFG, you ARE L right?

Ivana said...

Oh dear... when you in France, go to the kids shops there, it's no where as expensive... even with the conversion!

petunialee said...

Everything seems to be cheaper in France and USA. It would be impossible to find pure wool sweaters here for $50/=.

patsy said...

I just love your blog! (found it on renotalk!!)

petunialee said...

Patsy - Gee... thanks! Come by and visit more often!!