"Dear Detective Chow," writes Sally from Enmore. "I noticed that you haven't written in your weblog for a while. Is everything alright? Did you get food poisoning or something? Also, I was wondering, what is the most expensive meal you have ever eaten?" -- Sally, Enmore, aged 11.Well, Sally, thanks for writing.
First things first. Yes, everything is alright. No, I didn't get food poisoning. Just a severe reprimand following something the bureaucrats call "an audit of expenses." As punishment I have been relegated to eating at the F.S.I. canteen and investigating the lack of hot taps and hand sanitiser in restaurant kitchens. Not, I assure you, something worth blogging about.
I know what you're thinking. The answer to your third question also answers the question I'm sure you're dying to ask next: what is "an audit of expenses" and why did I get into such trouble?
Well, Sally, the thing you hopefully haven't learned yet in your short, innocent life, is that sometimes we do something we're not proud of. And we get away with it. So we do it again. And again. Bigger and bolder. And before you know it you're in Singapore throwing around fifties and slapping down your corporate credit card at the end of the evening.
Singapore. It's hot. But that's not the worst of it. It's the humidity, Sally. Thick wet air that hangs off your body like one of those sleeping bag blankets with arms. I'm not making excuses, Sally, but people do stupid things in this heat. Like visit the world's 68th best restaurant (11th in Asia), where you sit in a private dining room with your own chef manning the grill, without paying attention to the cost. (There is always a cost, Sally. See the exercise at the end of this post.)
"We'd like to introduce you to your dishes."