When in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you can’t, just hold your tongue. Clearly, the cast of US reality TV show The Bachelor isn’t privy to that notion. Or should we say, common sense.
The fourth episode of season 23 saw the cast coming to Singapore, probably thanks to Crazy Rich Asians. The Bachelor, Colton Underwood, took the female participants to hawker centre to enjoy some local delicacies, but reacted like they were playing a punishment game.
One expressed disgust in eating pig’s feet, while another remarked, “Wait, will I die?” No, you won’t. In fact, your joint health and skin might improve. But you wouldn’t attribute it to an Asian cuisine anyway. (OK lah, maybe one mouthful isn’t enough, so you wouldn’t see an improvement anyway.)
Another girl said, retching, “I just ate a fish eye for him!” Cool story, sis, but my mum has been eating fish eyes all her life—for herself, not to impress anyone—and she hasn’t made a big deal about it. There is no evidence to show that it has health benefits but she thinks it’s delicious.
The Bachelor himself topped it off with a toast, “To weird food and you.” You know what weird food is, Colton? Pandan McFlurry and Salted Egg Yolk Loaded Fries from McDonald’s. Give those a try. But maybe you’ll find it exotic because hey, they’re ice cream and fries—with an Asian twist.
Yes, we’re angry and cynical about this whole thing. Food is integral to culture, and culture-shaming is never OK. Sure, food is a personal preference, but no need to be so rude lah. OK, sorry, let us write that in proper English: You don’t have to make derogatory remarks about another cuisine just because it doesn’t suit your palate, especially if you’re in another country. We get that you probably did it for entertainment value, but honestly, that’s what everyone claims to do when they make racist, sexist, homophobic and discriminatory remarks.
But hey, what do we know? We’re just a bunch of Asians who eat “weird food”.