Thoughts after Eating out at Tiong Bahru Food Market after 2 months of Circuit Breaker lockdown

Finally for the first time since Singapore entered Phase 2 to reopen economy and facilitate GE, we ate out. At a very popular food market in Tiong Bahru, which was always teeming with people before COVID19 and circuit breaker. I did not come here during the lockdown to take out food so I do not know the crowd condition during that time but this morning it was relatively busy. So what's new? Everyone young and old was complaint with face coverings, only removing while eating, during which you are without some form of respiratory protection against anyone who may be a virus carrier. But if people observe safe distancing, we should be safe per se. So how did we feel about eating out? I didn't miss it. We were just passing by so decided to check out the market and gave ourselves an excuse to have the Nanyang coffee once again after 2 months. If I can help it I would choose not to eat out. However the experience was refreshing; people are doing their utmost best to relive their life for old times sake, like standing in line for their favourite chwee kueh and cheong fan from their favourite stalls. 2 months are not sufficient to change our acquired taste for the most affordable eats. Most probably because of the pricing, most people would prefer the hawkers' food then going for the expensive food courts and restaurants. Expensive doesn't guarantee the taste that you are used to, the reason why most people go back to the same old places for their meals. The Covid19 pandemic has changed so many aspects of how we live our lives. Observing social distancing is the thing that changes everything. We were so used to jostling through the crowd that seeing everyone standing 1m apart while standing in line seems surreal. Seeing people with mask coverings feels a little strange too. Unlike other Asian countries, Singaporeans do not have the habit of wearing masks. We cough, sneeze, clear our throats and spit as and when we like, especially for the older generations. The frequency of such behaviour has tremendously gone down, to my delight. Just the occasional one or two stubborn ones who insisted to clear their throats when they walked by me as if they needed my attention. Anyhow, the social norm has changed in Singapore, to the better I hope. [For the record, a powerful earthquake of richter scale of magnitude 7.5 has struck southern and central Mexico but with no apparent serious damage to the city and injury to the people, however there was one reported death according to local reports. Unlike the 2017 earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1, 300 people were killed in the event.]

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