Here’s a toast to my perfectly chiselled jawline, courtesy, totally gooey and rather half-cooked Sesame Bagel at Spinelli Coffee this morning. Thanks to Colgate, my teeth are still intact. Who says the face doesn’t need exercise?
Some mornings, you feel adventurous and decide to give a new coffee shop a chance. An outlet with cosy seating and enticing food pictures wows you in. You place your order on instinct – a double cappuccino, low fat banana muffin and sesame bagels. The sounds from vehicles on Avenue 5 make you nostalgic. The traffic at the crossroads in front of Tampines Hub transforms into a time machine and transports you to Dadar, Mumbai, 30 years back in time and you find yourself in your Nanaji’s (maternal grandpa) home.
Standing in the second floor balcony with my little brother, a huge Indian Tulip tree sprawling around the corner of it’s railings, branches reaching for us, distracting me constantly with bright yellow bell-shaped flowers, begging to be plucked, while the two of us gaze at the busy street below. I loved spending my school holidays there. A place where my mum grew up.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee brings me back to the present. And here we are, the two of us, tied by matrimony, starting off the morning on a rather laid back note. Up ahead in the distance, a group of women work out with Japanese fans in hand. I am curious if this technique helps burn more calories or helps beat Singapore heat. To my right, Madhuri Dixit dances on an old Bollywood number on a hanging TV screen. It is 8am. Am I in India or Singapore? From Karan Johar at Madame Tussauds last week, to Madhuri at 8am at Tampines to some Hindi dance numbers blaring out on Arab street at 10pm in the night last week; waiters of Lebanese food restaurants swaying to the beats with belly dancing moves, Bollywood seems rather ubiquitious. How did they know even the tackiest of Hindi songs can have therapeutic effects on me when food tastes terrible?
The first bite into any food is much like the first date; it decides the fate of any new relationship. This sesame bagel and me can’t even share a platonic relationship. I am glad my instant reactions haven’t been captured on camera. Although, a clip could be used to replace an episode of Just For Laughs. A rather grumpy snort later, I confess, I should have carried my hot and spicy sandwich chutney from home for contingencies like these. As I dig into the low fat banana muffin, more disappointment strikes.
Notes to self:
1. Every risk is not an adventure. There is a reason why even the youngest member of our platoon prefers a Starbucks bagel over others.
2. Work out for an hour, but feast on a buttery muffin. Count your steps, not calories. Happiness matters more.
The rather stoic better half who has been clicking me from all angels lest his photography skills be questioned, roars into laughter as I vent out how something as simple as a Chutney Sandwich outside Mithibai College in Mumbai or Durga Cafe in Pune paired with simple, no frills, cold coffee can be so immensely satisfying than trying hard to delight myself with the perks of sitting at a branded coffee shop in a perfectly sanitised environment and getting served in immaculately clean plates by pleasant staff.
To my relief, the coffee tastes great. Or maybe, it’s the law of Diminishing Marginal Utility at play. I don’t know. But the Cappuccino is perfect – the right bitter, the right amount of milk.
P.S. As we head home, I look at the silver lining. It is places like these that make sure my weight is kept under check. Because guess what, I am unable to guzzle down that lump of flour, no matter what. So if you see that chiselled jawline next time, blame it on Spinelli!
Someone needs to tell the advertising guys they must taste the food before printing those droolicious pictures. It’s a big lie. Cos chances of me visiting Spinelli again are pretty slim.