8 Birthday Lessons

Lesson 1: The most comfortable way of turning a year older is to stretch your birthday parties into a month-long celebration. You may be constantly reminded that YOU’RE3YEARSAWAYFROM30!! but because it’s so frequent, you take it for granted, and it never really quite sinks in, thank God.

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When: 3 April 2012

Where: Ruby Tuesday, Newtown Plaza, Sha Tin

Who: The Ostleys

No picture because we were too busy shushing the baby

Lesson 2: One of the best moments there is is when you sit down with your oldest friends here, the ones who call you part of their family, drinking tea in the quiet of their house, taking turns to hold the baby, looking back and seeing how you’ve changed and they’ve changed and how you will still all change, and realizing, as you do every year with them in April without fail, how lucky in life you’ve been so far.

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When: 5 April 2012

Where: Al Pasha, K11, TST

Who: The work gang Friends who just happen to work together

Lesson 3: Seriously, I had no idea there’s so much you can do with birthday whistles! (Don’t read too much into that.)

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When: 9 April 2012

Where: Lawry’s: The Prime Rib, Lee Gardens, Causeway Bay

Who: The parental units, in for a visit

No picture because we were just too stunned with the prime rib.

Lesson 4: Your parents will love you forever and ever.

Lesson 5: PRIME RIB.

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When: 13 April 2012

Where: Full / Half, The One, TST

Who: The church gang

Lesson 6: If you can remember how old you were when you first saw Titanic in the cinemas, you aren’t old at all.

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When: 20 April 2012

Where: Red Chimneys, Prudential Hotel, Jordan

Afterparty: Ozone, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, on the 118th floor of the ICC, West Kowloon

Who: The girls

No picture because come on: 1. I am there 2. Makiko is there 3. It’s a buffet.

Lesson 7: Some of the coolest and classiest friends you have are the older ones.

Lesson 8: TAKE ME BACK TO OZONE PLEASE NOW THANK YOU

This Is a Bowl of Pho

This is a bowl of pho. I had one nearly everyday when I went to Vietnam this August. I had this particular bowl one morning in Hoi An. And I’m putting it up here because a bowl of pho is one of those rare dishes I give due aesthetic consideration to before wolfing it down. While most dishes elicit the thought process “Food!!! NOM!” a bowl of pho gets the much more sophisticated “Food!!! Oooh, pretty. NOM!” This is very rare, as anyone can see from my becoming visibly agitated when my food arrives and my companion insists in taking a picture of it, and then another because the first one was blurry.

This particular bowl isn’t even one of the most primped up I’ve seen; Hoi An is sort of in the middle of nowhere. The real reason I put up this picture here is because I tried the pho (specifically the “Raw Beef, Soft Tendon, Tripe, Muscle, Beef Meat Ball and Brisket Rice Noodle” variety) in the Hong Kong branch of Pho24 in TST this evening and was unsurprisingly disappointed it couldn’t match the one I had (same variety) in the same restaurant in Ho Chin Minh City. (For my entertainment though, I was seated next to an Australian mother-and-daughter who mulled over the menu and announced they couldn’t make any sense of it, so it wasn’t a total loss.) The soup wasn’t strong or oily enough and was overwhelmed by the meat and I did Unspeakable Things to the basil to compensate for it. But now that I think of it, maybe the original bowl of Pho24 I had in Vietnam grew so delicious only in that dark little corner of my brain way after I had already had it simply because I haven’t had it for a long time, much like a lot of things in life, 90’s music for instance. And now that I’ve spent so much time talking about a bowl of pho, I want another one quite soon, so I’m gonna see if I can go back there on Sunday and treat the basil a bit better.

(Yes, like most, if not all, the posts in this blog, this one is written merely for self-indulgence with no effort to be morally edifying nor educational. It’s Friday night.)