Saturday, September 12, 2009


When my boyfriend visited me last month, we decided to take some stroll in IKEA. At that point, an array of shopping malls along Orchard Road were already too boring to me and especially to him.  Hence, we chose to visit IKEA instead. It took us about one hour to get to IKEA Queenstown from Bishan as I was in great doubt on how to reach IKEA Tampines, the biggest IKEA outlet in Singapore. Not to mention that I took him to a more complicated route, somehow I made our journey was longer than normal, I think. We went to pay a visit to Serangoon first to show him where I lived before before heading to Alexandra Road by bus.

Finished circling IKEA outlets and checking almost all the displays there, we decided to grab some Swedish lunch in IKEA. I've been so eager to try their infamous Swedish meatballs. But Goodness! The restaurant was super packed. No place to sit. We walked around the restaurant twice and seemed like no one was about to leave their seats there.

I told him if he'd better queue for the food first as the queue is long while I'd try to "chope" a table for both of us, a uniquely Singapore's culture where you put a tissue, umbrella, name card or whatever you have on hand to reserve a table during packed eating time. Many foreigners in Singapore do not like to practice this and just find this a bit weird (including me, once upon a time) .

After I told my boyfriend about this 'choping' idea, he suddenly asked me, "Do you know about this Chinese saying, 船到桥头自然直 (Chuan dao qiao tou zhi ran zhi)?" "Huh? No. Meaning what?" "It literally means when a boat reaches the jetty, it will somehow find a space and naturally place itself straight there. Meaning, some things in life will fall into place on its own. Some things will eventually find their ways to work out. So, don't bother. Let's queue the food now. We find the seat later." "OK..."

There you go, he was right. After so long being influenced by this 'choping' tradition and been religiously practicing it in almost every hawker center I go, I was worried that if we didn't chope a table first before we get the food, we'd have to stand up for so long while holding the food tray before we get seated. Turned out, after we finally got the food, we walked around a bit and somehow found an empty seat and another person was about to leave her table too. There you go! 船到桥头自然直!

And by the way, those Swedish meatballs (something looked like the above picture) tasted superb! Slurp!!!

Shall we, then, sometimes just let the nature works? Human beings can plan just about everything but some things just happen naturally, out of our leagues and still result in the way we want it to be, don't they?

** Pictures are randomly taken from various internet source.

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