To market, to market

Sleep has always been my bosom buddy and first love. I could think of nothing worse than dragging my reluctant slumbering body at a godforsaken hour to accompany my mother to gingerly wade through murky puddles and pinch my nose at the stench of damp and blood at the local wet market.

Yet here I was, bouncing Tristan on my knee at 6am enroute to Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre, more commonly known as Lorong Ah Soo market. My mother had a small shopping trolley between hers, as we chatted amicably about life. The world, still doused in soft light and dreamy colours, rolled past the bus windows.

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

14-year-old me would have yawned in deathly boredom, yet I found myself filled with contentment and gratitude.

Content to spend one-on-one time with my mother.

Content to revisit a long-ago tradition.

Content to see this way of life still preserved.

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Grateful I still have the opportunity to spend time with my mother.

Grateful she still has the health and strength to enjoy the company of my son.

Grateful I can learn some traditional knowledge about food and cooking from her.

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

And what better way to spend that time and soak up the knowledge she has to offer than surrounded by the sheer abundance and diversity of raw produce to create nourishing meals for the people you care about the most?

After all, my mother still had a thing or two to teach me about food.

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre

Hougang 105 Hainanese Village Centre