Singapore Expats Forum

Post dinner party doggie-bags

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

User avatar
Mi Amigo
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1790
Joined: Sat, 19 Jun 2004
Location: Kinto Pino

Postby Mi Amigo » Sun, 11 Dec 2011 7:53 pm

earthfriendly wrote:My mom always cooked huge amount of food . We ended up having to eat the leftovers and we could only tolerate this much leftovers before it ended up in the garbage. Very wasteful. My mom lived thru WWII and had to go without food or lousy food for a period of time. Somehow she never got over her trauma and it manifested itself in her out-of-control portioning. WWII was over 6 decades ago. Me and my sister found her behavior illogical. But then we never experienced hunger in our lives but instead we have the opposite problem, too much food and waste.


I can understand that. I'm guessing that the oft-used comment "Have you taken your lunch yet?" probably dates from those terrible times in the war, is that correct?

My mother-in-law lived through the Spanish civil war and saw a lot of hunger at close hand. The pleasure she now gets from having a full fridge and providing copious amounts of fine food to the family and visitors is heartwarming. But it took me a long time for her to understand that when I said "No thank you" to second / third / forth offerings of food at lunch and dinner, it meant that I really couldn't eat any more.
Be careful what you wish for

User avatar
Splatted
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun, 11 Jul 2004

Postby Splatted » Sun, 11 Dec 2011 8:05 pm

I do understand the "we have food at home" comment... it sounds like something I would have said, once upon a time.

In fact, I did say it. At the end of my wedding buffet, my mother-in-law asked the venue to pack the leftovers for us to take home. There was lots of left over food.

I said something to my wife along the lines of "Really? who doggy bags these days?"

My wife was on her mum's side, and I got the reply "Why not, we paid for it!"

You spend thousands on a wedding, and at the back of my mind I'm thinking, "wow, this now makes us look like tight a**es, as if we have no food at home"

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Sun, 11 Dec 2011 8:18 pm

Whenever there is Asians and food, there is much food - MUCH too much food!
I am teasing my wife that the complete inability to judge the correct amount of food is a "genetic defect".
In any case, rather than wasting the leftovers, it is given to whoever could use it later. That part at least is o.k. in my opinion.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34782
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 11 Dec 2011 9:34 pm

It used to shock me when I first got married here. But it didn't take too long for me to just accept it. The comment about "have you eaten" or "have you taken you lunch" is absolutely connect in it's conception, but it's not from WWII but from Chinese culture from the mainland where there was (and still is) cyclic feast & famine due to droughts/floods, etc.

It's okay to refuse food today, but if it's coming from your squeeze's grandmother, she could be off put and it's customary to prepare too much (display of well being/wealth) and then be magnanimous to your guests to offer the remainders to them. It's best to accept a small amount and as noted, toss it or eat it later. That's up to you. They'll not ask later.

This now runs through all Asian cultures in Singapore. Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, All. Gone. Turkey. Gone. My main ingredient for my turkey salad for the next week. Gone. (That's what happens when you have an Asian wife!) :cry:

evehow
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed, 07 Dec 2011

Postby evehow » Sun, 11 Dec 2011 11:57 pm

When entertaining it is considered ungracious to not have enough food. So hosts tend to over rather than underprepare food. We have no qualms about taking leftovers; in fact when we have office lunches, the caterers normally prepare styrofoam boxes for us to pack the leftovers, since "we've paid for them" already!

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 12:10 am

evehow wrote:When entertaining it is considered ungracious to not have enough food.

As it would be in the West as well of course. But that does not mean you have to over-provide so that you are essentially 'throwing away' excess food at the end of the night.



So hosts tend to over rather than underprepare food. We have no qualms about taking leftovers; in fact when we have office lunches, the caterers normally prepare styrofoam boxes for us to pack the leftovers, since "we've paid for them" already!

So you start with a presumption that you have paid for too much food. Strange, for such a penny-pinching people.



p.s. Some very interesting comments in this topic. There certainly seems to be a cultural divide...



evehow
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed, 07 Dec 2011

Postby evehow » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 12:14 am

Thank you for your generalisation that Singaporeans are penny-pinching people.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 12:20 am

evehow wrote:Thank you for your generalisation that Singaporeans are penny-pinching people.



In no other country on earth would you see pedestrian and traffic chaos just to get a 10c coupon off a curry-puff.

In no other country would every piece of fruit and vegetable have been handled 500 times in search of the 'best' one.

In no other country would someone choose a piece of say broccoli, and then spend 5 minutes tearing off the tiny leaves from the stem before check-out just so it cost 1 cent less.

I could go on...

QED.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34782
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 6:46 am

^^^^
So very true.

Even my wife complains about the handling, squeezing, bruising, poking of foodstuff in the markets. It's rather pathetic really.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 7:12 am

It is, and with the best will in the world they have no idea how pathetic they are in this respect.

There are probably terms for the pathetic genetic grabby-ness, It overides kiasuness, it is a moral and personal societal sickness...

Really.

evehow
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed, 07 Dec 2011

Postby evehow » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 9:22 am

Really indeed.

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Postby nakatago » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 9:50 am

I wouldn't blame other countries' grabbiness knowing their economic status and general poverty of the people. I should know, I'm from one. However, it's "WTF-inducing" knowing that such a developed country's people still act like it's the end of the world for them if things run out for them.

Granted, not everyone is like that. But observing that more often than not does quite paint an unfortunate picture.

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5266
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location:

Postby the lynx » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 9:56 am

Check this out:

URL CENSORED DUE TO COPYRIGHT ISSUES

The least they could do for a scrap of dignity for that was to go up and congratulate/thank the host.

Edit: Oops forgot about STOMP's copyright issue. Here, just search 'freeloader' in STOMP's website :P
Last edited by the lynx on Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
QRM
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon, 17 Oct 2005
Location: Nassim hill

Postby QRM » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:12 am

This also happens when we go out, the other half orders so much food we almost always need to pull over a second table. Its a case of open up the menu and asking chums what you DONT want. At the end of the meal there is huge amount of food still left to be served, hasn't even reached the table yet. These are placed into doggie bags everyone takes some home. Most of the time we give it to our helpers who share it with the neighbours helpers.

HSBC did a funny series of ads highlighting cultural difference, an ang mo kept finishing the food on his plate at a Chinese host dinner, the host was horrified and kept ordering more and more.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34782
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:29 am

Yep, I remember them. Purely cultural difference. Our western moms always told us to finish everything on our plate (because there's starving children in Africa - for the life of me, I could never figure out why my eating everything would help that problem though) whereas Asian culture demands that the guest is satiated and cannot eat another bite. Or the middle eastern habit of loudly belching after "overindulging" thereby letting the host know that they have performed admirably as a host.

I guess that's how the Singaporean Buffet Syndrome came about. Take all the good stuff & pile up your place, stuff your doggy bags and leave a mountain of uneaten stuff on their plates, thereby letting your hosts know that they got their money's worth and were satiated at the same time.

OH, sorry, you mean they are just kiasu, izzit! :wink:


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest