It has never happened before – I have been treated to twelve meals in celebration of my birthday! These twelve parties are my family members, former colleagues and friends, the good people who have their paths crossed with mine at different times of my life journey! We savoured tender Angus beef, exquisite Chinese seafood dishes, exotic Thai food and dainty Japanese delicacies on top of the usual dinner buffets.
I am not here to write a food review but to share the joy of being so treasured by friends. I can expect family members to celebrate my birthday but not friends especially when these are young people who were my former students and colleagues – people to whom I should be of no relevance! And yet, five of these parties went to great extent to ensure that I would enjoy the meals they had arranged.
One planned ahead of time. Via Groupon, she bought an expensive Cantonese meal for two complete with abalone, sea-cucumber, swallow bird's nest etc. There was so much to eat that we had to stall.
Then another friend had dinner with me right after returning to work from a 5-day trip. She even brought a bottle of red wine to pair with the Angus beef. She was so thoughtful! It was only when the waitress gently reminded us that it was time for the last order did we realize we had been talking for three hours!
Two parties treated me to two different high-end Cantonese restaurants. To name one dish – the crispy Peking Duck perfectly matched with full-bodied red wine. The fine-dining was further extended by a round of drink at the bar! We four ladies vowed that we have to be good to ourselves! Another meal was in a restaurant with the Ferris wheel right behind us. The two ladies, my former colleagues, joked that they wouldn’t have thought of this restaurant had it not been the occasion of my birthday. At the end of the meal, we were pleasantly surprised when the captain presented us the steamed Chinese birthday buns!
Then there was the Japanese meal with three former students now in their thirties. One of them is getting married next month and the conversation was, of course, surrounding her romance story, the lucky groom and the wedding arrangement. We were all so happy for her as she was the last one to be married.
I am loved. I am cherished. I am lucky!