HUNGER.

I just read a book called The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins yesterday. It was indeed a "constant suspense," and I "could not stop reading." (I'm quoting the comments from Stephen King, by the way.) I borrowed it from a friend, and she's gonna give me the second book the next time I see her! I'm soo excited and I can't wait to read the next two books (yes, it's a trilogy).

Basically, the book is about survival against starvation and hunger. How the heroine struggled in a game called the hunger games, trying to survive as well as be the lone champion of the game. It's so thrilling, and the plot is full of twist. This is what I call a good book. Like good good. I recommend this, yes yes yes.



Speaking of hunger, I have never really understood it fully before I went for the 30 hour famine camp last year. I wrote about it, by the way. Check it out here. It was a real 30 hour famine. You don't get to eat, just drink, drink and drink. Well, your stomach's not empty, but everyone knows that there is a huge different between thirst and hunger. After fasting for 30 hours, I really appreciated my food, knowing that there are loads of people who are far more unfortunate than me. Lesson learnt.


More than a year has passed since that very day, and today, it seems like God wanted to remind me of that particular lesson (read: appreciate your food. be grateful that you have some decent meal.) You must be wondering what had happened, and how did God do that.


Lemme tell you, then.


Every Friday, my recess time was awfully late. It was the latest period of recess in my school. I used to get very starved when I haven't adapted myself to the recess time. Nonetheless, my body has been used to that by now. Some days and another, there would be very few food left in the stalls as hundreds of students have gone for their recess before us. However, there will always be enough food for everyone. The vendors can easily re-stock the food, and everyone would be happy in the end.


It has never occured in my mind that someday there would not be enough food.


Yes, that was exactly what happened today. When I went for my recess, I walked directly to one stall-the yong tau foo stall. I planned to eat a bowl of hot soup as the day had been quite chilly. However, I was surprised as I saw that there were only one tray filled with a handful of green vegetables and another tray half-full of some prawn balls and crab stick. During normal days, there will be about more than six trays full with fish cakes, seaweed, tomatoes, eggs and many more! I waited for awhile for the vendor to refill the trays, but she did not do anything with those trays.

My friends and I decided to move to the next stall to buy Nasi Lemak. Again, the vendor shocked us by saying that there were no more Nasi Lemak, and they only had some noodles which we do not really like.

What the hell, we thought.

Then I went and checked another stall, only to find out that they, too, had no more rice. By that time, my friends had rushed back to the yong tau foo stall to get anything that was left on the tray. I was not that fast, unfortunately. As soon as I walked there, some students had walked past me and queued.


So I walked to another stall. All the queues were so long, I was so pissed off. I was mumbling to myself irritatedly. How could a school canteen run out of food. This was so unacceptable. I knew I wasn't the only one who was so irritated, as I could hear some other girls muttering the same thing to one another. As I muttered and swore softly, my stomach growled along with me, as if it were also pissed off. I ignored it, and waited. While waiting, I looked around me. My friends had gotten their food, and had started eating. Great. My stomach growled louder. You're not helping, I said to my growling stomach.


As I moved down the queue, suddenly the bunch of girls lining up far in front of me walked away. They looked very disappointed. Then the words spread: there were nothing left. I was literally stunned in my place.

A few seconds later, I walked to the stall and tried my luck by asking whether there were anything left. "No" was the answer.

I became desperate. I looked at the next stall: there were nothing left there, too. The remaining stalls were the snack-and-drink stall, the Nasi Lemak stall, and one noodle stall. I had never tried buying food from the noodle stall before, but anything edible was okay for me at that time. I joined the queue at the noodle stall, as it was shorter than the other stalls. As I walked down the queue, the vendor took off one of the menu sign. Uh, oh. What if there were no food left when I reached the end of the queue, I thought to myself. I cursed and swore and cursed and swore.


After quite a few moments of cursing and swearing, a friend of mine came and offered to buy some snacks from the snack-and-drink stall. Oh yesssss, please. I answered. The queue in that stall was faster. And by that time, there was only one menu left at the noodle stall. As my friend approached me with the pao, milo and jelly, I walked away from the queue, thanked her, and ate the food.


Strangely, after finishing all those random snacks and milo, I was quite full. Perhaps it was due to the chilly weather, which made my metabolism rate decreased, thus less carbohydrate stored in my body was used up, leaving me not "that" hungry. I was still quite pissed, though. I still thought that it was unbelievable that a school canteen, which is supposed to be the "source" of food for those who doesn't pack meals from home, can run out of food.


Just then, I realised that it was due to the upcoming presidential election that will take place at my school this weekend. Today, we were to be dismissed earlier, and next Monday there will be no school. That was probably why the vendors decided to reduce the amount of food sold on this particular day, so that there would not be any excess of food, which would affect their earnings. However, it appeared that the "reduction of the amount of food being sold" was rather reckless, as it resulted with quite a number of "ill-fated" students like me ended up with no food to eat. Tsk, tsk.


Anyway, let's look at the positive side. (That's what we ought to do upon facing every problems in life, isn't it?) I re-learnt the lesson: appreciate the food we have and be thankful of what we have. The reason is that there are a lot of people who are far more unfortunate than us, and who knows, there might be any occasion like this, when you don't have anything to eat. Thanks, God, for reminding me again.


And thanks to this occasion, I could relate myself to Katniss, Gale, Prim and Peeta-the characters in The Hunger Games- to their lives, their struggle and fight against starvation. At one moment, in the midst of the swearing, I once wished I were able to distinguish edible bushes and leaves from the nearby patches of plants like Katniss, and therefore eat them instead of just staring helplessly at the stalls. (Okay, I am beginning to sound so hyperbolic._.)



So yeah, after some cursing and swearing and furious toned story-telling, I was finally able to see the silver lining of this cloud, even though it was very thin, not-so-silvery and vague ;).