Post no. 9: This one’s about me, fire alarms and cheese toast

Fire alarms are almost non-existent in Singapore. At least to my knowledge. It’s not because we don’t get many fires. Oh hang on. To all my friends back home: when was the last (or first) time you heard the fire engine siren? Ok, so I don’t know why fire alarms systems are not big back home but as far as I know, I’ve never needed one before. Different priorities probably. We’re concerned about the COE prices, horrendous rap videos by our Government bodies, and church-going women who are about to be charged in Court. Fire alarms to keep our families alive? Meh.

So today for lunch, I decided to make a simple, scrumptious cheese toast. As I’m not sure of the Celsius vs Fahrenheit conversions, Google helped me with this ultimate cheese on toast recipe which promised me this:


But 5 minutes into baking, the fire alarm in the apartment decided to go off.

*Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep*

I opened the oven door- no smoke-so slammed it back shut. Wondered what on earth is wrong.

*Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep* *Beeeeeeeep**Beeeeeeeep*

Freaked out. Opened the apartment door-couldn’t find anything to hold it open so I used my leg to keep it open as I leaned over and strettttttched to flick the switch of the fan at the base of the overhead microwave oven- then ran over to switch on the aircon/fan central unit AND open the balcony sliding doors before – all before the main door shut. Hopped back to hang onto the main door and used it to “fan” the apartment for the next 2 minutes while praying that (a) the sprinklers won’t get set off (b) my neighbours won’t come over to see me for the first time – in my ratty-but-oh-so-comfortable nightie (c) the firefighters won’t come to rescue me and my cheese toast and see me in my ratty-but-oh-so-comfortable nightie and unwashed crazy hair at 1.30PM (yes, I’m having a lazy day, but that’s not the point).

Looked over at the timer on the oven. Drats. Still 2 mins away till the cheese toast is nice and ready. Better an underdone cheese toast than getting found in an unglamorous state by fireman – so I switched the oven off.

Amidst the beeeeeeeeeps and fanning the apartment with the door, I called the Serviced Apartment help centre for help. The operator asked me to remove the batteries on the fire alarm. I looked around the apartment – there were no less than 4 items (minus the sprinklers) on the ceiling that could be the alarm. ??? oh boy did I feel helpless. So she said she’s send someone to help. After fanning the apartment for another 10 minutes, the crazy beeping stopped. Finally. But still, no one has come to help. 😦

And so here’s the “Before” and “After” shot of my attempt at cheese toast today:


I hate fire alarms.

Guess who’s going to have big glass of wine tonight? 😀

xxx – ms wee

Every week I have a disaster in my kitchen. The fire alarm goes off repeatedly. But it doesn’t stop me being adventurous.
Paul O’Grady


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