We spent the couple of days before the surgery laughing and talking at home, watching old Tamil movies and reminiscing about old times. It was good. I was glad I had flown in from North Carolina to spend this time with him, leaving my little brood behind with capable Prince Charming.
The day of the surgery was not so light hearted. After we saw my father wheeled into the operating theatre, not knowing if we were going to see him alive or conscious again, we turned to look for the waiting room to sit for the next 8 hours or so. It was small and completely full. There was no space for the entourage. Just then, we bumped into my old school friend, Dr. Tea Party, from my SCGS days. She was now a senior consultant at the National University Hospital and she knew to expect me at the hospital that week. Thanks to Dr. Tea Party, a beautiful, tall, well-dressed Chinese woman, a fellow foodie of course, we found our way to NUH's Kopi Tiam just in time for breakfast. No one had eaten and we suddenly realized that we needed breakfast. By the way, I need to find out when this Kopi Tiam concept started off! Great idea. Corporate licensing done for hawker stalls and managed centrally, brilliant.
The following lists all the things I ate at the Kopi Tiam just that first day as my father underwent the long and arduous surgery -
Breakfast: Char Siew Noodles.
Dessert after Breakfast (why not?): Bean Curd with Ginger Sauce.
Lunch: Popiah (only ate one of the two rolls, promise!) and Tahu Goreng (not shown). Dr. Macaroon had the other Popiah.
Tea: Coffee and Onde Onde from Bengawan Solo.
As the afternoon rolled into evening, my father was wheeled out, still very much under anesthesia and we were thankful the surgery had been relatively successful. We were eventually kicked out by the ICU staff and we all went home after 15 straight hours at the hospital to a simple Indian meal of yogurt and rice.
Swiss Chocolate, remember you asked me recently if I stress eat and I valiantly said no? Er, I think I was wrong! I just don't have my Singaporean food to stress eat whilst in North Carolina. Thank goodness for that!
More importantly, thank goodness my father is safe and sound at home. I am truly thankful.