I had dinner with the bunch of kids from the College Publications team circa the '09 era and it was a wonderful session where we catched up on each others' lives. The last time all of us met was about 8 months ago so it was great seeing everyone together again. It was also a farewell dinner for N since she'll be going on her exchange trip to the University of Calgary for one full semester before having a two week holiday in London next year. The five of us went to the famous food centre at the Old Airport Road since N wanted to have her share of local delights before leaving in about a week's time. We talked about university courses and Austen novels and of white Christmases and exchange programs.
N was also telling us about her 21st birthday party which was Austen themed. No surprise there since she's a Literature Major at NUS. N is also an official member of the Jane Austen Circle of Singapore (JACS) and she's thinking of inviting us to a ball that they're having next year. The two other guys in the group were kind of apprehensive but balls and costumes and dressing up sounds just right up my alley.
After parting ways, E picked me up and we went to Gardens by the Bay together with A. Along the way, we picked up McDonalds from the drive-thru at Mountbatten which means that A and I have officially ticked off one item from our list of verbal bucket list. Despite being a Geography student, A could not for the life of him read a map from the iPad so I had to swoop in and save the day. The Garden was huge but it was not as impressive as I'd thought it could be. N had previously mentioned that the plants were a little worse for wear but I had doubted her because this nation had spent S$1 billion for the construction of the Garden and therefore, by any conceivable logic, it should be well tended to and taken care of.
Unfortunately, I think that I need to give the Garden another chance, a full year perhaps, and should reserve my judgement until then. We did walk fom the Garden to the Barrage which was filled with families and lovers and friends enjoying the night breeze amidst the whir of motorized and colorful LED-displayed kites. The car ride home was filled with an impromptu karaoke session to classic Aidilfitri songs to end the day on a perfect note.