Veni Vidi Vermicelli: 7 selections of Singaporean-style noodles
It was dark outside when I came to myself. After my last review of 7-Select Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, everything turned dark and I had no idea how long I had passed out.
I tripped out of my apartment and into the lobby of my building. Hastily grabbing the security guard by his setbacks, I exclaimed, “What year are we ?!” How long have I been gone ?! ”My words choked with panic, my shirt soaked in sweat, my eyes wide as Steve Buscemi.
“Sir, I saw you 43 minutes ago when you went up to your apartment with your 7-Eleven pasta,” replied his stern but calm response, tired from years of putting up with my frivolous bullshit. An accomplished professional, this Mr. Chan. I think that’s his name, I don’t know, I never asked… I just assumed all of my security guards were called Mr. Chan.
I released Mr. Wong (I ended up asking for his name) and walked out onto the street, my senses slowly returning to me. Had I been freed from the vice of convenience store pasta? Had he let go of his hold on me? I needed answers. But what was I looking for? What would I find?
There you go, just like that, the universe sent me a sign. A man called Jack responded to my previous review and told me to seek solace in 7-Select Singapore Style Fried Rice Vermicelli. Yes, a man I’ve never met before in my life literally asked me to ‘send messages’, and nothing unfortunate ever happened to those who trusted the advice and opinions of others. strangers on the Internet.
So now I find myself drawn to the nearest 7-Eleven like a helpless butterfly to a flame. Its logo is an obelisk, engraved deep in my mind. A cosmic entity older than the Ancients – its unwavering presence, its inescapable domination, its unfathomable motives.
A shiver runs through my back as I approach where they store the 7-Select brand foods. Goosebumps are forming all over my skin, my hairs are starting to stand on end. “Nerves?” I think about myself. No… just the freezer section.
Then I see him, sitting unpretentiously on a refrigerated shelf. Its packaging – that elegant and tasteful shade of orange; usually reserved for traffic cones, hi-vis jackets and other such delicious accessories.
I pay for the noodles and thank the Cantonese cashier so poor it should be considered a war crime, and walk home – half scared, half excited, fully on my feet.
Back home, I tear up plastic packaging, the production of which I’m sure won’t have any negative impact on our ecosystem. I look at the food… it sits there, looking like a ball of unwanted yellow yarn, tossed carelessly by an unloved kitten. A few peas and pieces of meat also accompany the lifeless mess. Maybe reheating it could make it more appetizing.
I detonate the food corpse with microwave radiation for a few minutes and remove it from the device. He immediately sizzles to life, angrily hissing at me for waking him from a former sleep. The oil starts to seep in so I decide to add a little soy sauce to hide some of the texture. I lower my eyes and am horrified to discover what now appears to be a supernatural abomination – the child in love with a Shoggoth and corporate culinary creativity. Something that manifested in HP Lovecraft’s mind, but without all the racism … the feverish dream of a hentai novelist who moonlights like a fisherman on the high seas.
More oil and soy sauce oozes from the vexed primordial lifeform. A litany of peas all open and lock onto me in unison – a dusting of angry eyeballs staring at my very soul. The twisted mass of stringy vermicelli tendrils covered in oily shadows begin to swoop down on me and my chopsticks. The bowl continues to fill with viscous black liquid, apparently out of nowhere. The noodles grab my chopsticks and tighten their grip on them, wrapping around them like ivy crawling on the side of an old building.
The being pulls me towards him – does he want to communicate or to consume me? I have no idea… I should be terrified, yet I am in love and overwhelmed by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I have so many important questions. Is that long noodle all tangled up? Or a series of individual strands, interconnected and knotted, like the tails of a rat king – a creature made of teeth and nightmares?
Will I forever be entangled in a web of sprinkles for the rest of my life? What secrets are hidden under these inky black tides? I NEED TO KNOW MORE!
I keep my grip on the chopsticks but let myself pull further into the bowl. The sprinkles work their way down my arm, tightening their hold on me, demonstrating their dominance as they pull me deeper.
I am now completely inside the bowl… I don’t know how. The dark ocean of oil and soy sauce begins to envelop me completely. It crawls around the edges of my face, it pours into my mouth, it seeps into my nostrils, it enters my eyelids. It burns… OH MY GOD HOW IT BURNS! I open my mouth to scream, but there is no sound. There is no air… there is no liquid. I try to look into the abyss to find my bearings, to find anything… and then, finally, I understand.
There is no light, there is no darkness. There is no heat, no cold. No pain, no comfort. No life, no death. Only the infinite embrace of nothingness. H⊥ SI NO ƎH⊥ ˥∀NᴚƎ⊥Ǝ ᗡIOΛ.
In addition to the vacuum, 4/10 vermicelli noodles and enough oil to put your apartment on a priority strike list for an American invasion. My high school tuck shop had better and cheaper Singapore noodles – and I saw these tossed on a girl’s head. True story.
Viraj is a New York Times bestselling reader who has lived in Hong Kong for over two decades. He’s definitely a human being and does regular human things like eating, drinking, and sleeping – please don’t need to delve deeper into that. Viraj shamelessly hears all of his puns and has never heard a dad joke he didn’t like. He hates kale less than he used to.
You can spot his ridiculous antics on Instagram: @virajbindra.
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