food for thought
image by J
This morning J and his sis accompanied Pa J to the Bright Hill Temple where Pa J paid between $180-230 for a little table of tiny vegetarian dishes for Ma J's hungry ghost.
image by J
The thing about the 7th month is that despite all the entertainment at Getai, there's something rather oppressive about the living's greedy shouts of "huat ah" (發啊!), the endless burning and that smell everywhere of hell-money/hell-ash, not to mention the thought of generations of hungry ghosts clambouring for food left under trees, on altars, on pavements and makeshift tables.
Y: It must be really depressing to believe in this hungry ghost thing.
Y: When you die, only once a year you are released from burning hell to eat and feast.
Y: For all eternity, condemned to this ritual.
J:...Ah, I can't stand it, the air's really horrible - I can't breathe...
About actual food - lunch - J and I found this little cafe Food for thought at North Bridge Road (right across from the National Library), set up by 4 young people who profess their faith in a God who made and is in control of all things, and say this about their work:
It started in 2002 with the School of Thought - a tuition centre started by a group of long-time friends. We are all teachers who believe education is meant to broaden your view about how to live life. At SOT, we teach young people about how to think clearly in a rapidly globalising and terribly confusing world while simultaneously guiding them through their exams responsibly.How not to applaud and support such a venture! The food's not fancy (the price isn't too - $20 for a sandwich, a soup/salad combo, coffee and iced tea), but it feels real and tastes good.
We also wanted to offer high end tuition to the less privileged crowd of students that needed it more - so not only are our prices pitched deliberately mid-market, part of our profits go back into supporting an in-house Financial Aid scheme that sponsors up to 50% of tuition fees for the needy. By sheer grace and happy accident, we realised later we had created what is now popularly known as a social enterprise.
Food for Thought is our second attempt at a social enterprise. Like our school, we want to offer the same winning formula - top quality stuff at a fair price, served up with a great deal of heart in order to generate profits to
support and serve the community we live in.
p/s Food for Thought is at 420 North Bridge Road, #01-06, North Bridge Centre. Call +65 6338 8724 or read www.foodforthought.com.sg.