When it comes to making a meal out of food-related faux pas, my Singaporean compatriots are world champions. As more than a semblance of normalcy returns to social life in the island nation while it implements its “living with Covid” strategy, residents have been returning their full attention back to the things they cared most about before the health crisis. In recent days, Singapore social media has been in a frenzy over a food writer’s attempt at “Singaporean chicken curry”, after it featured in a January article she wrote for The New York Times about the multicultural feasts that are a feature of the country’s Lunar New Year festivities. The video the writer uploaded of her cooking the curry immediately sparked an uproar, as hundreds of commenters expressed horror at what the final dish looked like. Some described it as longkang (drain) water. View this post on Instagram A post shared by NYT Cooking (@nytcooking) Jumping on the bandwagon were government agencies such as the Housing Board, which used the opportunity to remind Singaporeans that “even if the chicken curry turns out bad, the last thing you should do is pour it down the sink”. The food writer has not publicly responded to questions over how she got the curry so wrong. But that has not put an end to the saga. A report in The Straits Times this week revealed that the writer had in fact used a recipe for biryani to make her curry. On Friday, the New York Times said it was pulling the video from its cooking section’s Instagram page as it did not do justice to the original recipe shared by a Singaporean woman, Shila Das. Some are of course rolling their eyes at the controversy, seeing it as nothing more than this year’s highlight in the country’s traditional post-Lunar New Year silly season. I, on other hand, am choosing to see the silver linings. Sitting in Hong Kong, where much of our mind space is currently taken up by anxiety about the worsening local Covid-19 situation, it’s heartening to see brethren in our sister city indulge in frivolous matters with such passion. It shows life is slowly returning to normal. Singapore is in a place where chicken curry is a trending Twitter topic because residents for two years by and large abided by what was expected of them to deal with Covid-19. Getting Covid in Singapore: after 6 days in home isolation, I was free to leave Most importantly, they got vaccinated and the government stuck with its plans to move on from a zero-Covid mentality so that normal life can resume. Hong Kong residents should ask: when’s our turn? I look forward to days when my WhatsApp conversations are filled with debates about soggy egg tart crusts and mediocre wonton noodles. Give me that over virus doom any day.