Ahmedabad, India, Travel

Penniless and Meatless, an absolutely depressing entry

1 Feb , 2007  

When people say they’re broke, they probably have money stashed somewhere (eg bank account) for safekeeping. So I could have $200 with me, and yet proclaim that I am broke, cuz I dont want to spend that 200 bucks. ME, JASMINE LEE, IS BROKE. Not the kinda broke that I’ve just mentioned, but simply, BROKE. Along with Kenneth and Joanne of course.

The 3 of us combined have an extraordinary spending power of 250rupees, which is 10 Sing dollars. That works out to about $3 per person. Great stuff man. If anyone has any juniors who intend to come India for exchange, PLEASE, do yourself a favour and bring LOTS of money to India. You have no idea how measly it is to know u only have 3 bucks to your name. Luckily, food is absorbed into the hostel fees that we’re paying (which we haven’t paid… DUH. Hopefully that provides an incentive for the school to hurry the bank account procedures, which I doubt so, cuz MICA can probably rest assured in the fact that the bank accounts would be done by June)

From the time we stepped into MICA, we have been trying to settle our bank accounts. It has been a month since and still, we have NO bank accounts. I wonder if Singapore is that slow, and whether all this red tape applies everywhere.

Argh i HATE being poor! I should try to devise some money-making scheme (as I always try to do). Right now, my hit-and-run ideas are

1) to write a really successful fantasy story a la Harry Potter. Mine will incorporate elements of my fav animes, plus hopefully, some India and Singapore aspects to it. When the book is launched, it will be tremendously successful and everyone would want my autograph. I’ll be freaking rich.

2) In case idea no 1 doesn’t work out too well, i.e., my book never gets started, (hey hey, im too popular for my own good remember? everyone wants a piece of me…. Social obligations okie. Please disregard the fact or thought as to why I’m so free to blog crap right now) my back-up plan would be to have a successful business.

My back-up plan USED to be marrying a rich, nice, UN-handsome, funny and chubby guy, who is the man of the house and im the woman behind the successful man. Seeing as to how my love life remains a BIG FAT ZERO, and looks set to be that way for quite some time (eh dedicating 6 months of my precious youth to India isn’t exactly going to get me married), I have very cleverly scrapped that back-up plan. SO yuppers, I’ll get rich on some innovative and smart business scheme.

There is my education plan which can be feasible I guess, but I don’t have the financial knowledge needed to set the wheels in motion. Then there is my demand and supply one, which essentially is that; buying at low cost, and selling the goods at a much higher price. However i need to source for warehouses in order for that to work…

3) Well there is no Option 3 as of now, except that I better be rich or be on the path to getting rich by 25. Having suffered extreme poverty (as of now, I’ve been surviving on $3 for 2 days, and it’s probably going to be $3 for the next one week at least. SOBs), I cannot NOT be rich. hahha. I want to go travelling ard the world and bring my mummy along with me! Wouldn’t that be nice, just the two of us triapsing around the world!

Hmm oh well, that is the end of my poverty rantings. Now onto another ranting, which as some of you may vehemently testify as my favorite topic – food. The post on Goa probably made all who read my blog salivate and drool, (which is the INTENDED intention anyways) but but BUT, that is NOT a true depiction of what I’m eating everyday. Remember what I said about there being an Alumni meet in MICA last week? It was good fun, there were parties and stuff, and the school canteen ACTUALLY served MEAT 3 TIMES last week! (otherwise, Meat is only served at dinnertime on Wednesday and Sundays). God bless the kind kitchen staff.

However, bear in mind the chinese saying… 天下没有不劳而获之事。I say this very VERY GRAVELY, because I did NOT bear in mind that wise saying and am suffering penance for it now. How I could have remedied the situation, I know not, but still, had I 把那个成语劳劳地记在心理, at least I would have been more prepared for the ABSOLUTE STUNNER that followed.

Today is a Thursday. Yesterday was a Wednesday. Following common sense and sheer logic, yesterday’s dinner served meat. So there I was yesterday, all showered and ready to hit the canteen for dinner, or rather, for some carnivorous activity, and GUESS WHAT? Yeah you guess that RIGHT. NO MEAT. Following the thread of thought in the chinese saying, why would there be free meat last week if I am not to suffer the absence of it this week? All that anticipation, and the ensuing HUGE disappointment that followed, (no i am NOT exaggerating) plus the surety of knowledge in knowing I have no cash to go out n treat myself to meat to last myself till Sunday……..Oh god, somebody give me strength… Or some form of meat for that matter

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH…………….. ONE WEEK WITHOUT MEAT. Technically, it is 6 days, since Sunday would have meat (I hope… I cant take any more stunners like this. It raises my blood pressure and cholesterol level to the max) but it feels like forever. That’s it man. It’s back to reality. No more prawns, no more crabs as per Goa. That was heaven. This is NoW. VEGGIE LAND for one week. I have NO idea how Buzzy survives on veggies. Still as flabbergasted then, still as flabbergasted NOW.

And today’s lunch was just as sucky. This was the whole of today’s menu for lunch.

1)Green peas curry (I know quite a few people who absolutely hate green peas. I’m SO thankful I don’t. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known what else to eat)

2) Rice and Roti (by the way, if you taste the rice here on its own, it tastes salty cuz the tap water here is salty. Aren’t u glad lovely little Singapore filters the water that runs through the taps? When i get back to Singapore, I’m going to drink water right off the taps. At some restaurants, the ice water they serve tastes salty. Yuck. Thankfully though, the water coolers here in MICA serve tasteless water.)

3)Ladyfingers with onions (for those who don’t know, I don’t like lady’s fingers AND onions.)

4) Onion salad.

5) Dal (which is like a bean curry or pulse carry that isn’t spicy. Not meant to be a dish but more like a gravy for your rice)

Eeeeeewwwwwwwww…. How nice can onions and lady’s fingers be? Vanessa, you’re right… I’m NOT fussy about what I eat or how food is cooked, BUT i’m totally a NON-condiments kinda person. FYI, I count parsley,  onions, fried onions, garlic, ginger etc as condiments. Lady’s fingers aren’t condiments, that I know, BUT i find it insulting to eat a food which bears the same name as my fingers. Ok fine that is crap, but lady’s fingers tasted horrible when I was 5 and I don’t expect it would taste any nicer now. Since I don’t eat options (3) and (4) and dal isn’t exactly a dish on its own, i ate peas curry and rice for lunch.


Above is a pic of a typical meal in school. From left in a clockwise direction: dal, corn curry, garlic palak (which incidentally is mashed up to a paste spinach. Not tt bad-tasting but definitely not the lovely crunch crunch kinda veggies we eat in Singapore), tomatoes and cucumbers (I’ve never eaten so many tomatoes in my whole life. It is one of the constants in my meals now…Can neither get too fantastic nor too bad) and rice

I hate having sucky meals. It’s like no matter how much you eat from a sucky meal, you never feel fully satiated and satisfied the way you do when you eat a good or a decent meal. That was how I felt man… So what did dear old Jasmine do? I came back to my room and gorged on Teddy Bear biscuits. Those huge packets of Teddy Bear biscuits you know? Kinda finished half of it, and then I checked the nutritional value. Oops. Just on those biscuits alone, I think I maxed out my FATs intake for the day. Darn. And now I feel like puking cuz I overdosed on Teddy Bear biscuits. I wonder if this is how alcoholics feel when they overdose on booze.

And see Steps, who says you can’t get Fat in India? When it is not the exorbitantly huge amount of SALT, SUGAR and OIL they put into food here, which Kenneth cleverly deduces is sold v cheaply in India, I gorge on other stuff like biscuits n chocolates just so I can get over my shock of NOT having meat. Or a bad lunch par exemple. Oh well~

And as if there is not enough sorrows in my life, I am also ear-digger-less. You guys noe how DIRTY the india air is right? On a typical trip back from town on an auto-rickshaw, (which is open-aired), if and should u happen to blow your nose, you’ll notice that your mucus is black. I know this sounds gross but it is true! If, and should u wipe your face with a wet tissue thereafter, you’ll notice that the wet tissue is black and grimy. And in such an environment, clever little me smartly forgot to bring my ear digger to India. And can’t seem to find any of its kind in India either despite my best efforts! Asked a fellow classmates where I could purchase them and they were totally clueless cuz it’s the kinda stuff that mummies buy, not students. DARN.

Thankfully, NTU sent out a mail saying the following:

A warm hello from Singapore!  I hope this mail finds you well.  Many of you have written back to Ms Nikki and me to say that you’re settling well and we’re so glad to hear from you. 

As CNY festive season draws near, we’ll like to take this chance to send you a little something from home (SCI), hence we need you to supply us with your ACCURATE OVERSEAS MAILING ADDRESSso that the stuff does not get UNDELIVERED.   Would appreciate if you can reply my mail ASAP as I do need some time to compile and verify the info. 

They also sent out another round of emails to students, mentioning that whoeever wants to send stuff to their overseas friends may do so through this CNY scheme, the only condition being that the stuff must be light since the sch is airmailing them. Seizing upon this golden opportunity, I emailed my NTU CS friends asking them to send me a ear digger from Singapore. Hey I’m realistic yaar, i’m not even thinking abt Bak kwas okie! But this is what they said, and i quote,

Khai Yan: “Linz, what’s with the eardigger thing man? oh gosh, let the schoolgoers do the exciting job of passing a ear digger to Nikki Draper. I can just imagine the scene. WHO CAN DO IT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE!! haha…” (in case you guys dunno, Khai Yan is not going to school now as she will be leaving in February for China on an exchange, and Nikki Draper is a CS professor who is coordinating on exchanges with the 3 of us in India)

Renyi: ” You freaking got to make your own ear digger k…Roll a weed and put it into your ear…send you eardigger – so unglam can!”

Jing Ting: “i totally sympathise with you on the lack of earbuds…haha…”, “…i think if i were in your position, i would have felt really dirty by then liao…”, “…..and like ren said, make a makeshift earbud loh…it will do you good when you forget to bring your earbud around again.”

Oh man, my friends are all so SYMPATHETIC to my PLIGHT. Grr. Think I shall send out another round of emails DEMANDING n not DEMURELY requesting a ear digger.

Lotsa love, and SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, please think of me when you’re thinking abt ur clean ears!



3 Responses

  1. steps! says:


    GAWD, india is probably my best weight loss plan. seriously. throw out the cambridge or cabbage soup diets.

  2. yan says:



  3. yan says:

    anyway your entry ahould be named : penniless, meatless, ear-diggerless. XD

    and yes im still not sympathetic hahahaahha

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