Tuesday, July 27
My work experience has predominantly been in asset management and I have been fortunate enough to work in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong. What I have learned about asset management folks all over the world is that timing is everything. You have to time it right to buy the share or bond low and sell it high. You don't want to lose out on any opportunity and hence, by nature, most asset managers are kia su.
Kia su, kia said with a nasal tone, is a Singaporean expression with Chinese roots that means "afraid to lose." Every Singaporean is born with it or at the very least instilled with with it by osmosis whilst growing up in Singapore. I have had to sheepishly explain this to my friends in the US when we get to restaurants, bars or cinemas with free seating, and all of a sudden they see me run to the best table or seats, like a woman possessed, leaving them trailing behind. My American husband has grown to understand this and simply rolls his eyes and says, "aiyoh, soooo kia suuuu!"
I see the element of kia su-ness in action at my workplace once or twice a year when the law firm that we work with sends in a box of peaches from Georgia. The peaches are always left in the kitchen followed by a mass email from the receptionist: "The box of peaches from Blah, Blah and Blah Law Firm is in the kitchen. Please help yourselves." At which point, you see a significant number of people simultaneously rise very deliberately from their seats, trying very hard not to seem desperate for these peaches. Everyone makes a beeline for the kitchen and the box is emptied out in a matter of minutes.
But you have to understand that these peaches are to die for. They arrive in the best condition, individually held in place by an egg-carton-like green foam, beautiful and perfect. The skin is smooth and fuzzy as a baby's cheek, in tones of mauve and coral, and the scent indicates the ideal state of ripeness. I like to slice them at work, to save myself from slurping the juices over the trash can next to my desk and I savour each and every slice.
Don't worry, I have once again not forgotten the mandate of a food blog, so here is a recipe I would like to share with you. Cut the peaches in half, pit them and grill them. As soon as they come off the grill, smother in a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and enjoy while hot! Personally, I prefer the original - fresh peaches.