Huat Kueh and Forebearance

The thing about living in Joo Chiat and the 7th month hungry ghost period is that I always have to stop our food-motivated dog from eating the offerings left by the side of the road. Even the week old ones. Even the two week old ones. Last night, while I was talking to some neighbours about our dog’s recent escape (and rescue), the greedy dog bit a piece of huat kueh (this awful tasting cake that would make me mad if I was a hungry ghost – I want, you know, eggs benedict), dried and hard from the sun and dust and whatever floats around in Joo Chiat. I grabbed it out of his mouth, threw the huat kueh on the pavement, and bid a hasty, embarrassed farewell to my neighbours.

This very hot morning, I took the dog out again, and sometimes, when it’s very hot, I

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