DAI PAI DONGS REMEMBERED
by Jeanine Chuen 6A
A dai pai dong stands
Solitaire at a side street.
Here families converge
Young and old connect
Eating their fill, sipping milk tea.
A weekly ritual, a way of life.
Out of sight
A lone chef toils
Intent, sweating, smoking
Brewing, sizzling, stir frying
Serving up congee, fried rice, noodles too.
Egg tarts, toasts, roasts, and thick stew.
It’s a place where we can all be ourselves
And you have no call to prove yourself.
It’s where a tight budget’s not a glitch,
Where dishes come quick and flavours are rich.
It’s where you feel you’re right at home,
And where local culture makes us whole.
Who would have thought
They’re now few and far between,
What with rents soaring sky-high
And fast-food chains in over-supply?
Soon, they’ll be another folk story.
But rest assured, they’re in our collective memory.