Invited…

Sometime ago, I received an sms from an ex-colleague, also retired like me but more recently – earlier this year, informing me that the school’s alumni would like to invite me to their annual reunion dinner…

SHOSA/SEOSA annual reunion dinner 2017

…last Saturday evening at the grand ballroom at a leading hotel in town. Last year, I was invited too but I was somewhat under the weather at the time and I had to give it a miss when the time came. Luckily, this time around, I was as fit as a fiddle and was able to show up.

Nobody told me that they had a theme for the evening, “Springtime in Shanghai” and everyone was supposed to show up in Chinese traditional clothes. In fact, I had taken out my Chinese outfit from my wardrobe but in the end, I changed my mind and decided to go casually-dressed instead. Anyway, many of the ex-students had special t-shirts made, special ones for their specific years so I was not all that informal after all and did not stick out like a sore thumb.

In my previous post, I mentioned that everyone was home for the Ching Ming Festival and many took the opportunity to hold their high school or class reunions round this same time. Of course, that evening, the roads were jammed, the vehicles barely moving and my good friend, Richard, who so kindly offered to give me a lift had to park his car far away from the venue. Good grief! I hardly ever wear shoes after I retired and after walking all the way, I was sure my feet would be killing me but thankfully, I was fine when I got there. Besides, it rained heavily that afternoon so it was rather cool or else I would be perspiring from every pore, drenched like a drowned rat or something the cat dragged in after the walk…and I managed to show up at the dinner, not a hair out of place…

Table of retirees
*Friend’s photo on Facebook*

Incidentally, the handsome young man standing up is the alumni’s president, also the much respected Resident of Sibu…and his daughter, now pursuing her further studies overseas, was in my English tuition class at one time. The others were some of my ex-colleagues at the same table that night, all retirees like me.

Dinner was good and it started off as usual with the more-than-Four Seasons…

Kingwood more-than-Four Seasons

…followed by a soup dish and then, the duck was served…

Kingwood stuffed duck 1

– my favourite at this place, the one stuffed with glutinous rice and salted egg and all…

Kingwood stuffed duck 2

…something like lor mai kai.

There was fish next, steamed, but it did not impress me much and anyway, the photograph turned out blur and a mixed vegetable dish followed, mostly cauliflower and I did not take a photograph of that either.

I liked the cereal prawns…

Kingwood cereal prawns

…that night. I had on a few occasions encountered those that were not so fresh and was really put off by it but thankfully, the ones we got that night were very good.

Lastly, we had the fruit platter – 7 dishes altogether. Gone were the days when we had 10…or 12 even but that was fine as I did enjoy the dinner and had more than my fair share of everything…especially the duck. Hehehehehe!!!!

I certainly had a delightful evening and what I loved most was the very relaxed mood, none of the hard-to-breathe and very boring stiffness of some official gatherings and I did move around quite a bit, meeting old friends from near and far, some I had not seen for dunno-how-many-years! I sure enjoyed that.

It was announced to everyone present that evening, around 140 tables altogether, that next year’s event will be held on Saturday, the 31st of March so those not wanting to miss it should book their air tickets early…and it would be a good idea to book your hotel room(s) way in advance as well.

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