Grain Bowl Shops Are Superior

Unfortunately, this is not a sponsored post.
  1. If you’re at a well-lit place like Grain Traders, there are window seats at the glass panels that face the road so you get a perfect view of the street crowd, a ripe opportunity for people-watching. It’s easy to pick up on the little things. A group of interns lunching together by sheer virtue of their jobs, three of them are bantering and the other two are awkwardly following behind. That one gweilo with his mask off among everyone else who still wears it outside. Some al fresco diners stand around outside, and you can read that one dude’s lips as he says the word “metaverse”.
  2. If sunlight does not hit your eyes, turn your attention to the crowds within the store. Among this snaking queue at Daily Cut, who stands out? At least four of these ladies are wearing Love, Bonito. What company are those lanyards from? Can’t squint too hard if not they’ll look at me weird. Do they look like a [company name] type of person? Dunno.
  3. On my left is a bigger group of colleagues with their supervisor. There is one person Clearly Trying to Kiss Ass and you can tell he’s not really succeeding because everyone is looking down at their food. People say go to college to prepare for the real world, but does that mean college prepares you to be that guy in Wafuken, sesame spinach salad stuck in your teeth while you talk about “disruptive innovation”?
  4. A duo is sat on my right at Wheat Baumkuchen and they are engaged in a conversation that is loud enough for me to hear (not that I meant to, but I can’t help myself). “What do you do for fun outside of work?” “I don’t do much outside of work actually… I can’t find the time or energy to.” Some practical advice is exchanged (like “Don’t wait till you quit your job to explore what you like”), but minutes later they’re gone and you don’t know what to do with the borderline TMI things that you have just learnt about this stranger. These are bite-sized conversations that teeter on having meaning, yet only last as long as an office lunch break allows. Not necessarily enough time for a thorough introspection, but therapy is expensive and sometimes, all we can muster is acknowledgement towards the state of ennui that humdrum working life tends to bring with it.




20 / Singapore

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Jolie Fong

Jolie Fong

20 / Singapore

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