I truly cannot get over how much I love cheese. I’ve always loved cheese, of course, but growing up in Singapore it was considered a luxury, and the kind of cheese I was most acquainted with was those kraft single slices, ultra-processed but still good when melted over a bowl of hot sesame nissin noodles. Even those I found to be a treat, when I was a broke undergrad I’d think for a long time before buying a packet because it was five bucks in the grocery store and most of the things I bought were way cheaper than that (think of a massive carton of eggs for 3 bucks, a head of veggies, a box of cherry tomatoes for a dollar). Anyway, all that is to say that when you have no money, nutrition is not at the forefront of your mind, much less small dairy luxuries. When I started working, being able to order a cheese board at bars was considered the ultimate pleasure, it was at Robertson’s Wine Connection and Cheese Bar that I was introduced to things beyond the basic understandings of cheddar and brie. Last year, when I stopped working and moved to the states to pursue my grad studies, I thought having no income for the first time in 8 years would mean the end of my love affair with cheese. Imagine my delight, then, when it was revealed that cheese was available in abundance in the states, that a great hunk of blue cheese could be had for two dollars in the grocery store, that smoked gouda could be procured for slightly over a dollar. What wonder, what joy. Now that I’m back in Singapore, waiting out the virus or my own delusions, who knows, only time will tell, the relative price of cheese has gone up again, and I find myself staring at the price tags in cold storage and ntuc and what not with a small measure of grief. Still, I find that this year more than any other, I have given myself over to irrational purchases, spontaneous buying… for if joy can be had for five bucks, who am i to say no, when so much else in the world around us burns?