I decided to head home for a much needed 2 week break, after graduation (yes, i did graduate hoorah!), to get over that huuuge feeling of home sickness that I was constantly harboring, and to catch up a little with the Singaporean dining scene and scope out potential restaurants I wanted to work at after coming home, but mainly just to see my family and friends that I haven’t seen in almost a year (or more).
The first significant change that I felt was that EVERYONE WAS WORKING. Everyone had a job. We aren’t talking like summer internships anymore, my friends all had proper paying jobs, working proper hours, were busy and occupied and were made responsible for very important things. So while I spent most of the earlier parts of the day lazing around, reading, working out, having a holiday basically, most of my friends were off doing far more important things. It really hit me one day when I had lunch with a friend (yes, he is currently employed) and he mentioned that he wanted to save $XXXX every month, so that by the time he’s done with this job, he would have enough savings to do ______ or just invest in something more worthwhile in general. And the whole time in my head, i kept thinking of my unemployment, or my lack of pay for the next few months at least, of my life as a stagiere, of my future career path in the F&B industry, and how I will probably never get paid the same way he does.
People always say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life and that’s cool and true, but sometimes, I wish that I loved paid well too, or at least paid enough so I could live my life the way I want to. My dad always taught us about managing and investing our money, making it grow, but how am I supposed to do any of that if I don’t even have savings or when I’m expected to live paycheck to paycheck almost. I know I’m speaking very generally right now, but I think it’s no lie that kitchen jobs don’t pay as well, not for the hours you are expected to put in at least. I want the best of both worlds, I want to do what I love, but also have enough to make smart investment decisions about my money and grow it like my parents did and have some sort of financial security that way.
Anyhow, not giving up this dream of becoming a chef and one day owning my own restaurant. You never know where live takes you, but for now, I am fully focused on this. 🙂
I checked out a couple of new restaurants that popped up- Plain Vanilla for cupcakes and coffee (absolutely love their shophouse space although, I think it a lot of the space could have definitely put to better use), 8 East for NY inspired tapas and watermelon soju (always a good choice), Binomio along Craig Road for some delicious spanish tapas and wines, and Moosehead for a really long and just plain tasty lunch with some of my foodie friends. All of these establishments are NEW, popped up in the past year or so.. which just means the Singapore dining scene has only become more saturated since I left :(. It’s exciting for the eating out and dining prospects, but for someone who wants to join in the rat race, it’s a lot scary to be honest. I don’t know how I’m going to come into the scene with a specialty, or some niche, or something that makes me stand out- what price point, what cuisine, what design, what location location location?? I guess stress like that isn’t always a bad thing- at least it got me thinking, instead of just assuming whatever I want to do will work in Singapore. But I’ve really got to find an “ethel-shaped” hole in the industry, someway somehow.
I’ve spoken to a lot of friends from LCB paris who have stayed on after graduation to start their stage almost immediately, and while some are thoroughly enjoying it, most of them are really homesick. I’m glad I made the decision to go home, albeit for only two weeks, because it helped me get that homesickness out of my system, and now I’m back in Paris feeling refreshed, and able to focus on why I’m in Paris without the constant feeling of wanting to be somewhere else. I start my stage tomorrow- so many feelings right now, mainly nervousness because I really hate being in new environments, but that will go away with time I believe. For now, I am all in to learn whatever I can and get as much out of this valuable experience 🙂
Bon courage, Ethel 🙂