My idea of a perfect workday lunch involves a bowl of steaming U-mian, a pair of chopsticks in one hand and Lisbeth Salander in another. I’d sit in the farthest corner of the pantry eating messily and away from judging eyes, Lisbeth and her genius brain entertaining me for the next hour and feeling the liberation of not needing to wipe away my SULA (sweaty upper lip alert).
Nevertheless, the aforementioned is an ideal, and ideals are generally known for their hard-to-attain characteristics. My colleagues – bless their hearts – are zazzy and incredibly forthcoming with their lunch invitations. They’re hard to refuse too, given that their jokes and jester encompass the comedy that is authentically Singaporean.
But on sweltering days like these, which makes hawker-eating a torture in Singapore’s weather, I especially relish my quiet time. With no distractions and dulled chatter as white noise, it feels amazing to have this sliver of time to myself. It comes as a surprise to many – even myself at times – that a frequently-dubbed extrovert like myself would choose lunch reclusion.
Au Contraire, good Sirs and Madams, I prefer the term ambivert. No, it’s not an excuse to be anti-social. Socialising is great, and laughing myself sore is always nice. But I’ve always found myself mentally exhausted after each session, my brain unable to come up with anything further – As if a dam blockade had been installed in my verbal floodgate.
Lunching alone isn’t sad, it’s refreshing. Personally, people should feel less self-conscious about eating alone and embrace it as a natural part of life. You’re born alone, and you die alone – And that’s just, just.