What a weekend it has been. Bit of a forced alliteration for the title but still, it works for me.
Secondary school friends came over for world cup and poker. Multiples bet was already shaky after France scraped through with a 2-1 win over Australia, ticket was dead after Argentina were held by Iceland. Did pretty well in poker though, managed to extract maximum value after hitting a straight draw in the first hand, held on for a $12 win (pretty good for a $10 buy in). Quite pleased with a few safety plays though, mucking A6 and and a few other trouble hands before I could get sucked in. It’s not surprising that YR and WT view AJ and AQ much more highly than they are worth, but for now I will apply Victoria Coren’s advice where you only continue with two specific flops. Can’t really remember what transpired when I won with KK against two players, but YR is correct when he said that I was quite predicatable with regards to protecting monster pockets, so I need to rethink how to better extract value from made hands though.
The end of me betting on football. Quite a spur of the moment thing to bet with YR that I would stop betting on football forever if Brazil didn’t win Switzerland, and they duly delivered. And thus my betting “career” ends with a whimper as upset after upset happen at the world cup.
I don’t really know what to say though, for both the Argentina and Brazil games, the favorites dominated as expected but just couldn’t find that second goal. But a promise a promise and no more betting on football for me.
Finally went to Heap Seng Leong to try the traditional breakfast. Shame I can’t post the short 360° I took, but I will try my best to capture that 30 minute experience I had there. A lot of reviewers have used the term “nostalgia” to describe the initial feeling that they experience when they first step into the place, but I being born in 1995 do not share their sentiments; the closest experience that I have of such run down coffee shops is probably the ones that we walk past in Malaysia without giving much consideration. But even so, anyone will instantly identify it as an anachronism; a relic frozen in time even in comparison to the relatively old New Bridge Road area. Initially I thought it faced the main road as I was looking for it, so it was even more surprising to see such an old coffee shop suddenly come into view. When I walked in there were only 3 people in the coffee shop – the owner, his son and a customer. All stared at me with looks suggesting that I didn’t belong, and my discomfort resulted in me reverting in English and literally saying “breakfast set” as I approached the owner’s son, but I quickly regained my composure and ordering “咖啡，面包，鸡蛋”. I do not think that English would have been lost on the owner’s son, nor is there anything overwhelmingly wrong about ordering in English, but it just felt extremely out of place.
The coffee came first, and I really liked it. Admittedly I don’t really know much about coffee or its appreciation, but I really liked the sweetness, and a really subtle hint of a bitter aftertaste that did not become unpleasant. Next came the bread, which was surprisingly cold when it was served, and I suspected that it was not freshly made. It was still pretty good though, a traditional Singapore loaf with a slightly crisp exterior, kaya that was not overwhelmingly sweet and a generous slab of butter. The eggs were quite a let down, with the yolks being overcooked and most of it solidifying, but still decent. I ordered another serving of toast because I thought it would be unfair to judge based on a presumed already made batch. As I ordered, I told the owner’s son that my first serving of bread was cold, and he appeared surprise and mumbled something along the lines of “刚烘的啊”. When it came, it was only slightly warmer, and I started to realize that the first batch was not pre-made, but in fact the lower temperature was probably due to a combination of a shorter toasting time compared to other places that I have patronized, as well as considerable time spent scraping away the burnt ends of the toast. I would say that compared to the more ubiquitous chains like Wang and Ah Kun, I definitely enjoyed Heap Seng Leong’s version more, even though personally i would have liked the bread charred more and served more warm, but I think the scraping of burnt bits is done for the sake of their older customers. The last item I ordered was a Teh-O, and once again it was sweet, but this time it didn’t come with even the slightest hint of a bitter aftertaste…not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.
One interesting observation I made was the elderly man who sat at the table beside me. He almost staggered into the shop, and after giving his order immediately dozed off for a good minute, when he woke up his eyes were still bloodshot. What was interesting about how he ate his breakfast was placing his bread directly on the table, and pouring some of his hot milo onto the now empty plate, and dunking the bread on it. Quite unthinkable for me, but perhaps it is due to his teeth, or lack thereof. The other peculiar fact was that the eggs served to him were still in their shells, but mine came fully prepared. Maybe it was because there were more customers when he came, but it still seemed quite strange to me. All in all I think I will bring my parents to visit Heap Seng Leong at least once, because while the shop is certainly not from my past, it should remind them of theirs, and it would be interesting to hear their thoughts on the food and beverages too, with my dad being a regular coffee drinker and my mom and sis having their own standards for tea.