Monday, 17 October 2016

21st Surprise (Belated) Birthday

Last Saturday morning, Jeanne sprung up with the idea to have a gathering among a couple of us because she had bought cookies from when she visited the UK and Europe and had wanted to share her treats with us! We had decided on Sunday noon and I was pumped.

Come Sunday noon, I threw on my worn-to-death purple A-line dress and met up with the rest at Naughty Nuri's, located at SS 15 Courtyard for lunch. Chin Siang kindly gave Yu En and me a lift from our houses respectively, and when we arrived, Han Qin, Jeanne, Wen Qi and Aril were already seated. The guys were more than gracious about our late arrival (I later discovered why :P) and Jeanne quickly placed the order - a few of them hadn't had breakfast (cue *gasps* - the horror - I could skip anything but NOT breakfasts!) and we let her call the shots because she knows it best!


Everyone was clamouring over the dishes - Yu En suggested we use common forks and spoons due to hygiene purposes (we concurred) - some of us took pictures - others stood up and made way as not to 'destroy' the view - finally we ended with the photo snapping and hoo ha's and dug into our lunch!

 Behind the scenes. 

End product.

These gorgeous girls and goofy Aril. 

The other side of the table.

Chin Siang, Yu En and Han Qin. Adore them all!

At first instance I didn't realise anything peculiar with these pictures - but - you need to take notice of Han Qin's expression. That guy!

Chin Siang blinked 2/2 times.

Then, of course, I had to blink, too.

Finally, the agony of waiting to chow down was over!

I took my fair share of the pork ribs and salad and one bite worth of the chicken. I skipped the rice and most of the chicken completely because the boys looked like they could use the carbs and calories more than I did, haha (they skipped breakfast, remember?). The pork ribs weren't as tender as I'd like it to be, but it was well marinated and juicy (what could go wrong with BBQ sauce?) so it was flavourful, the salad refreshing and the chicken spicy! I was secretly glad I didn't go nuts in portioning my chunk of the meat because otherwise the food would go to waste because I wouldn't be able to finish with my low tolerance to heat!

The food was delicious overall and I could've gone back for more had the dishes been polished off less quickly, haha (<-- Goes to show how tasty it had been!).

Half-way throughout our meal Wen Qi stood up and excused herself to use the ladies. It was rare of her to do so, because it is usually the ones with the smaller bladders and hippopotamus-like consumption of water (*ahem myself*) who would dash to the washroom frequently - Wen Qi, however, unlikely. Though, I am now aware of this only in hindsight. At that point, I was indulging in the delicacies and hadn't figure anything out!

We talked, chatted, and laughed. I was having a blast because I delight in being surrounded by such excellent company whom I regard as my close, trusted friends.

Safe to say I wasn't suspecting anything at all. I was thrilled to see these guys whom I felt like I haven't seen for ages! I mean, we could only have been apart for a few weeks but I always find myself missing their presence! These guys keep me grounded and I am often in for a good laugh with these crazy crews.  

Just as I took a bite of a fried egg, a loud, shocking, crashing BOOM sound was made and I jumped at the resounding noise. The first thought that came across my mind was: 'Did someone accidentally dropped a plate or something? Boy, someone's gonna get into trouble because judging by the boisterous sound created, those must be a great deal of plates dropped and broken.' 

Yu En was most definitely startled because she had leaped over onto my side, her head buried towards her left, her hands clutching onto my right arm.

But before I managed to catch her eye, Han Qin and I turned to each other and as his eye contact diverted away from mine, I traced them which led me to my right and then I saw the unusual scene that the waiters and waitresses were putting up. OH. MY. GOSH. 

Jeanne successfully captured my reaction at that moment. As you can tell, my eyes had widened like ping pong balls and I couldn't help gasping! My heart was pounding, my mind was racing, trying to process what on earth was happening.

Yup, quite the reaction.

The staffs were dancing, twirling, clapping, singing and it was the most amusing sight! We were dragged coerced persuaded to dance together and Han Qin was the only one sporting enough among us to show off his dancing skills. We just laughed hysterically.

They also came approaching our table with a beautiful birthday cake and balloons. 

Ah, these guys had secretly planned a belated birthday surprise for all three of us October babies! 

Mine on October 7th, Han Qin's 8th, and Yu En's 10th. I find it pretty cool!

To say I was totally taken aback and elated would be an understatement.

Aren't the balloons they got us the cutest? I loved them! I wouldn't let go of it until one of them would volunteer to help hold it. Hahahaha. The girls were incredibly sweet and thoughtful, they selected the colours specifically based on our favourite colour. Han Qin got the black one, Yu En the pink one and mine the purple - coincidentally, it turned out to draw slight similarity to the colour of my dress! What a lovely coincidence. 

I was called to hold the cake because when you're the eldest among all 3 birthday boys/ girls, you gotta do the job. Hahahaha, kidding. It was such a pleasure! Yu En and Han Qin were kind to help me with it for a bit. Yu En had noticed my hands were trembling lightly - it wasn't just the adrenaline from ecstasy, I promise, the plate and cake together were heavy! 

Happy Belated 21st Birthday to you, Han Qin, and Yu En! I surely cherished the chance to celebrate our birthdays together!

Then we sang Happy Birthday.

The candles were SO LIT. Our friend in Melbourne, Sue Zen pointed it out as she saw our pictures. Literally. You don't see it but I was sliding all the way to Han Qin's side because I thought the candles were catching on fire in the nuttiest manner!

I couldn't concentrate on singing the birthday song. Yu En looked just as cautious and wary as I was inside. I was thinking: 'Whoa these candles are GOING WILD!" 

I was a sweaty mess by then, hence the sweeping of my hair to the side. Ooh, getting excited sure makes a person feels HOT. I had to hold my breath in each time we were taking pictures but after a while my abs got tired so I simply let loose hahaha.

Then comes the funny part. Trying to huff and puff the fire on the candles off.

I'm posting all these embarassing pictures of mine because I know one day I'll look back and have a laugh over these memories!

But now, I'm cringing hard looking at my expressions, hah!

You may laugh along. ;)

Blowing at the candles as if our life depended on it. 

The fire refused to go off, okay?!

The fire would extinguish for one second and the next, it rekindled! What in the world? I thought it was the most bizzare thing! 

I couldn't stop laughing because we just kept trying, and trying. 

At last.

 The girls later revealed that there was one rekindle candle among all 21 candles! No wonder the candles kept lighting up. These girls got us! Ahh... but it was fun - to watch - probably not so much to blow. :P 

Still, I think we all had fun as we burst into an uncontrollable fit of giggles!

Ooh, cake!

Yeah, I can't see my eyes too! I'm sure 90% of the time I look like this. 

The cake was yummy and I savoured every bit of it. I shared my second slice with Yu En. It tasted wonderful!

Happy (Belated) 21st Birthday, Yu En! 

My high school buddy, to college classmate and we finally went separate ways in university. It's always such a joy reminiscing our memories. Fun fact: We didn't talk a lot back in high school despite being in the same class because we may both have been a tad shy then. I did finally approach her at the corridor outside of 5 Cyberlink and the rest was history. 

Yu En is a dietitian to be and I love that we get to talk about nutrition and the geeky stuff sometimes. ;) She likes to share with me her current student life and it usually revolves around endless assignments and tight deadlines. I'm honoured she lets me proof read her essays at times because she wants to make sure she presents only the best to her lecturers. Albeit swarmed with homework, she is determined and diligent, I pray she'll press on and believe she'll do just fine.

Thank you for all the memories we had especially our A Levels years! 
Stay the sweet and lovely person you are!

Happy Birthday to you, too, Han Qin!

How I got to know him is another fun fact to share. One day in school when we had to stay back for English Science and Technology (EST) class, I found myself wandering around the class, bored and looking for someone to talk to. Then I spotted Han Qin sitting at his desk, I walked up to him, said hi, introduced myself and ask for his name.

 Yeah, that's how I make friends, guys. I'm thankful these two didn't freak out from those incidents and continued to hang out with me.

Among our group we like to joke that Han Qin probably doesn't need any presents or wishes this year onward. His most desired gift/ best wish has already come true. *winks*

Nevertheless, thanks for all the car rides, the time you took to guide me on Maths in A Levels, the talks we attended, the badminton matches we played, the hills we hiked, the farewell gifts and letters when I had departed to the UK... You eventually went on to find your significant half, and we are aware to give you space, haha, but I remain grateful for the times we shared and the friendship we have. Stay awesome and all the best! I particularly can't wait to see the lucky girl!

Because one round of meal is not enough, we followed our lunch and cake by desserts at Bingsu! 

I preferred the mango flavoured over to the Oreo one below, but I'm precisely fond of the fact that I got to enjoy it alongside some of my favourite people. 

That missing spot of Oreo shavings is a result of Han Qin's itchy hands. Hahahaha. 

The piggies at the background were souvenirs we got to take away from Naughty Nuri's! Not surprisingly, Han Qin teased me that I look exactly like the pig. Now that we have gotten closer he is more at ease at picking on me. Don't worry, I make sure to make fun of him as well. ;)

Still amazed and blown away by the effort my friends had put in. These guys said that they had executed it at the very last minute because they hadn't had much time to plan. 

Wen Qi's excusal to go to the washroom earlier on was to direct the waiters to prepare the cake. Jeanne's insist on the three of us sitting at the same row was to make sure all three of us had our backs against the waiters and waitresses who were told to surprise us from the back. Their early arrival was to buy and collect the balloons and cakes and had them hidden before we arrived. So many details went into making this a surprise for us, and I'm moved by their sincerity and effort.

I thought my friends did a SUPERB job and couldn't ask for more. I was grinning from ear to ear the whole time. It was nothing like I expected (probably because I wasn't anticipating anything hahahaha) and I was remarkably entertained!

It warms my heart to be remembered, celebrated and doted on. It has been 2 years since I had celebrated my birthday at home. These people had tons of other priorities lining up, possibly were running on pure adrenaline due to sleep deprivation, families and friends to spend time with, yet they carved out a few hours on a Sunday to put all these together and made a girl so, so happy.  

My heart was full, and filled with gratitude. Thank you, my dear friends, for such an unforgettable birthday. I loved it and I love you all even more!

I'm blessed with such incredible friends - it was a day I'll never forget. 

Picture credits to Jeanne darling! I had wanted more pictures with the girls and boys but they were delightful enough to center all the attention and spotlight on us and Jeanne had offer to help me with so many of these pictures that makes me over the moon.

So to the treasured Wen Qi, Jeanne, Chin Siang, Aril, Yu En and Han Qin, thank you. Also dearly missed on that day are cuties Sue Zen, Eik Ren and Leland who couldn't join us but whom I can't wait to reunite with. Hope you guys are doing well!

Thank you for playing a part in this celebration and for being there for me. Thank you for all the support and encouragement you guys are compassionate and loving enough to provide as I struggle through some of the most difficult times in my life. I want to do the same for you. Thank you for being you, and for filling my life with comfort and laughter. I love y'all!

Our friendship is precious and means the world to me. To many more years of celebration to come, but most ultimately, to many more years of friendship to cheer on.