A Heart of Gold: HBD dearest AA!

Good friends are rare. Good friends who remain good friends decades later are even rarer.  Tonight I dedicate to my post to a friend whose birthday was a little over a week ago (AA) . It’s a birthday I never forget and remember it every year for it falls close to Thanksgiving.  It’s good for it also reminds us to be thankful of our dearest friends.  Every year we have a “celebration” that has become tradition for our cosy group of three close friends.

Yes, I remember meeting her first year of college.  It came out in one way or another with us helping each other out, going for our first dim sum together, spending time together and yes we ‘clicked’ right away.  You know when you get along with someone, like you know when you don’t get along with someone.  We talked about everything. We talked about life, thoughts and everything that could be talked about.

What I remember most is how she is always so happy, genuine, and so determined in everything she does.  She knows exactly what she wants.  It’s a great character to have and one that to this days grows stronger and more beautiful like a tree in blossom.  The good thing about her is that she is always just herself, not boastful and down to earth even though she is a busy business woman with a growing company. I love that.

Looking back, memories of college days still remain clearly in my mind. I remember late night karaokes, make up sessions, weekends exploring the culinary side of philly, day trips to New York, homemade carbonara spaghettis and summers back home in Bangkok.   The list is endless…we had a good four years together and almost twelve years after our graduation we are still the same (though older and hopefully wiser)

I also remember getting on the path to health with my dear friend. She convinced me to sign up for my first ever Yoga class at college when it was just a “new” kind of exercise and not many had heart of it.  She convinced me to sign up for the “gym” and together we’d go for late night workouts.  9pm onwards were when we worked out.  What a wonderful influence.  It was the first time I actually thought about exercise and it made a world of a difference.  Thank you dear friend. 🙂  Today you are still the fitness guru and have continued practicing Yoga through all these years until you are finally a qualified instructor yourself.

I could go on and on for we have so much history, but for now all I want to say is “Thank you” dear friend for being such a great friend through all these years.  You were seriously my first “Thai” friend and one whose heart is genuinely genuine.  I never see you think any ill of anyone and you always make time for your friends.  Happy Birthday!  Wishing you all the happiness in this world dearest!

Doraemon Girl: HBD!

It’s Thanksgiving weekend and with it comes turkey, stuffing, cranberry and pumpkin pie.  Yes, I miss Thanksgiving in the US.  Here in Thailand, it’s just not the same.  We don’t get the “feeling” of Thanksgiving and families reuniting, or the felling that the weekend kickstarts the festive season and Christmas mad shopping with Black Friday.  This week of Thanksgiving is also a week when two good friends of mine were born many years ago and so I want to also take the opportunity to say “Thank you” to you my friends.  Tonight, in particular I want to write about a lovely friend who was born on the 21st.  You know who you are WD 🙂
Yes, we’ve known each other since primary school days in Bangkok when we still had to dress in uniforms with white shirts and a turquoise blue skirts.  That’s how I remember you dear friend.  In uniform.  We were all in uniform and together we’d be there walking around school with a few of our other friends. To this day, I still think you look the same.  You do not seem to have aged at all and one can always count on you if we need to hear some fun stories about film or other superstitious stories.

I still remember when we were both in college in the US.  Phone calls and ICQ were how we kept in touch and I’d be there calling you sometimes in the midst of the night.  Yes, our conversations ranged from anything from movies to heartache and other things girls talked about. You were the one knocking some sense into my sometimes nonsensical brain.  During long weekends like Thanksgiving I remember you coming to dear old Philly for a visit.

It was always good to see you.  It’d be our chance to have a little reunion with RIS friends.  We went for dimsum at Chinatown, visited the old city, Independence hall, Liberty Bell and explored South Street.  During the night, we’d sit and chat and yes, talk about superstition.  You were always the one who knew all this stuff.  You even brought along Tarot cards one trip and we had fun looking at them.  I don’t remember what my reading said, but I hope it was good.  I remember thinking how accurate it was. We even went around New York City together during my first trip there. Together we took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and walked from Battery park up to Central Park.  We saw almost everything New York had to offer.

After graduation, you stayed and worked in the US and I came back. We still kept in touch though and whenever you were in Bangkok, we’d meet up.  A few years ago you finally decided to come back and since then we have been seeing each other more often.  You still have this fascination for film and movies and know so much about them it always astounds me.  You are still the same passionate person who knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to do it.  A person so sincere and without any negative thoughts or motives.  You are always just you.  A wonderfully reliable friend.

I thank you for being a friend who has always been there no matter how near or far.  We grew up together and will continue to do so.  It’s been great knowing you all these years, and of course for many more years to come. Thank you dear friend.  Happy Birthday!

Always in my mind: Happy Birthday MY

It’s been two days since my good friend’s birthday and believe me the words have just been flowing in and out of my mind in an endless stream that ebbs and flows.  There are so many things I want to say, so many things I want to write, yet having only 24 hours in a day, I could not quite fit everything in without fear of making myself collapse from exhaustion.  So here I am to write a birthday ode to a lovely friend who just celebrated her birthday two days ago.  You know who you are. You are always in my mind.  This is for you. I hope you like it.

Good friends who are always there are few in number.  Good friends who’ve you known for over 20 years are even rarer.  Yes, can you believe it, I’ve known you for over 20 years. I’ve known you since my primary school days.  Time though isn’t everything.  What’s more important, is that throughout the roughly two decades we’ve known each other, you have remained the same sweet and gentle person you’ve always been.

Not once, not ever have I seen you frown or expressed any signs of anger.  There is always a smile, a calm face to greet your gaze.  When you are happy, a light sparkles in your eyes and your smile lights up the entire face.   A few words from you suffice to let us know your thoughts.  No nonsense, but full of calm and good will.  No trickery, no ill feelings, no bad vibes.  There is not a person in this world who I think could do you harm.  You are always so serene, so gentle, so happy.  Stay that way.

Not having stayed in Bangkok throughout my entire life, we lost contact, but that was once again renewed when I later came back.  Birthday lunches, ladies day out, we will meet again.  There is always a reason to keep in touch, even if it is just for a nice lunch out.  What I’ve always found funny though is that not being a Thai, you have actually lived in Thailand longer than I have.  Even funnier, is that soon enough, we shall be living in the same area.  Minutes away.   I suppose then, we shall be meeting each other more.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday my dear friend. (Birthdays are celebrated week long right? :):)) I’m happy to have you as a friend and to the many more years to come.  Stay forever the wonderful person you are, forever calm, forever serene, forever happy.  That is indeed a lovely way to be.  See you in a few days my dear friend 🙂

September 7: A Special Day

September 7 is a special day for me.  It’s special because on this day, one of  my best friends was born.  You know who you are.  I’ve known you for almost fifteen years already and no matter how near or far, we are always the same.  Even though sometimes years have passed before we see another, when we meet it is exactly the same. We know each other inside out.  We know the good and the bad.

College was where it all happened.  I loved my time there and of course being with good friend made it all better. Together we explored the city, tried out new eateries and cried on each other’s shoulders.  I remember studying together in the library, hanging out in the lab (with me trying to help although I have no clue about robotics.  I did help put together a motor for a robot leg though!), buying lunch at food trucks, late night karaokes, or cooking dinners.   Her room was always where we hung out.  It was where everyone hung out.  People from near and far would come and together we’d cook some delicious food.  Those were the times.

It was cosy, it was comfortable.  It was where you could be yourself without having to worry.   Knowing that I have an urge to be tidy, she wouldn’t mind my just going around and putting this and that in neat piles. Late night chats were common as were Sunday walks.

For some reason, Sundays were always a day we’d be studying, get bored and then out of the blue call each other up.  Then we’d walk to centre city.  Those trips always resulted in us buying something together.  I remember my friend getting a TV on sale, I,  a VDO player.  Then there were the New Balances shoes (we each got one on sale) and our first mobile phones.  We bought a pair with the Valentine special from Circuit City.  I believe it was two for the price of one.  A nokia, with black and green screens.  Back then, it was already quite good but nothing compared to today’s smartphones and iPhones.  Yes, we were a valentine special.  Still makes me grin just thinking about it.

Then as she continued on to study, and I came home to work our paths diverged but our friendship never.  MSN and calling cards kept us in touch.   I remember on the night of 9-11, after watching the news, I rang all those who were dear to me in the US.   She had not known.   Then on nights when I felt like I needed someone to just be there, I’d call half way around the world and sure enough, the same comforting voice would always be there.

I was happy when she came back.  Yes, finally we could meet again. For some reason, we now have twin cars. It just happened, we both wanted new cars at the same time and buying two at the same time was just  a better deal. Now she is away again, but still we keep in touch.  Luckily soon she will be back.  I miss you dearest friend. No matter how near or far, you’d always be a dearest friend to me.

Happy Birthday!!

A Surprise to Remember

I dedicate tonight’s post to my dear colleagues with whom I spend more time than I am at home.  Today I have to admit I was truly surprised and would like to say a big “Thank You” everyone for having planned, ordered, putting candles on the frozen ice cream, being there,  and singing happy birthday so loud I have to admit I was literally lost for words.  I really appreciate it.  Thank you everyone.  You make my day.

I really was not expecting this for it was a Monday and everyone was busy, very busy, there are always a zillion things to do.  I imagined the whole cake thing would occur at a later more relaxed date.  Today’s event was indeed a surprise that made my heart skip a beat.    I had presumed I was going up to the office to wish farewell to another colleague.  I am that gullible.  I believed it. You can imagine how surprised I was to  find myself walking into a room full of people surrounding a huge box of scrumptious ice-cream from one of my favorite brands.  It was also so beautifully lighted up.  I wish I had taken pictures, but I was so touched I forgot.  Nevertheless, it remains captured in my mind for years to come.

No matter how old, I suppose I shall always like ice cream, birthday surprises and birthday candles.  It’s the little girl inside of me jumping up and down in delight.

I have to admit this is indeed the first birthday surprise I remember having.  Usually sitting in the same office, you somehow sense something,  but this year I am sitting at another desk and so had no idea what was going on two floors above me.  My colleague gave a wonderful excuse to get me upstairs saying it was to wish another colleague farewell.  I thought it credible, for we are indeed in the midst of saying farewell to a few of our colleagues.

Thank you dear colleagues.  Thank you for being such wonderful people, thank you for being such great co-workers.  I feel grateful to be able to work with you all and be surrounded by such smart and innately good people. Luv ya. 🙂   See you all tomorrow!

Another Year, Another Step, Thank you.

July has come and vanished before my eyes as if it were a firefly.  It’s my birthday month and now I am officially another year older.  (Hopefully a little wiser. )  Birthdays are one of those days you can’t wait for to arrive when you are a child, get a little anxious when it gets to a turning point, (like when you turn 30 or move up another notch), yet there remains a certain childish feeling of happiness one cannot quite put into words.  Though it dissipates over time, hints of it remain in the system as if it were a glowing glittering firefly that never dies.

Birthdays for me have always been one of those days to celebrate with friends and families.   Three decades on they still are but of course things have evolved. No more days of hot potato games, blowing out candles (that actually reflect your actual birthday), or  playing hide and seek.  Now it’s dinners and lunches in restaurants surrounded by those who matter most.   Now its facebook wishes from around the globe.  I have to admit it is something to “like” about facebook.

Nevertheless, looking back on this past year, I wonder if I am indeed older and wiser as the saying
goes.   I have to admit I do not know, for being “wise” depends on your  definition.  What I do know is this:

There are :
– many things I have yet to learn in this world
– many dreams waiting yet to be accomplished
– many places waiting yet to be discovered
– many prayers yet to be said
– many things to be improved upon (personal things like speaking louder, forgetting less…etc..)
– many things to forgive

Thinking about this, I hopefully still have several more decades ahead of me to work them out.  It shall be an interesting one and one that is still a mystery waiting to be explored.

For the moment though, I’d like to Thank You my family, Alex, my sisters, and my friends for always being there for me.  I thank you everyone for being who they are and for supporting me through everything 🙂  Thank you.  This is what makes life worth living.

Another year, another step, lets keep on moving together!! 🙂

It’s a “Dao” Day today: Happy Birthday!

This year I’m celebrating friendships and today is one of those special days for it is the Birthday of my lovely friend Dao.  Yes, we love her and we’ve known each other since the days when flourescent Body Shop T-shirts were in fashion together with  the the L.A. Gear shoes.  Those were “must haves.”  Those were the days of high  bangs and oversized tees.  Now all that seems long gone, but our friendship remains and has evolved together with us. Our interests change, but still some things never change.

I remember hanging out together at our school by the Church in the white and teal uniforms.  Eating lunch at the canteen and playing around with the drinks, hiding from the “Kapi” behind our textbooks and walking around Central Chidlom after school.   You were always happy and ready with a comment with everything from the heart.

Then there was the time we went to your house.  I remember it like yesterday.  We had a great time playing around in room and singing.  (I remember that was what we were doing with your music player..am I correct?)  Looking out the balcony and then you snapped this picture of me with you hat.  Awhile later I parted to live elsewhere and our paths diverged.

But faith would have us meet again.  We went to college and as it turned out we were only twenty minutes away from each other.  This allowed to see each other more often.  Holidays and weekends were spent together.  Dim sum lunches, walking on campus or going about town shopping for clothes and shoes.  I wished we had gone around a bit more, but we were young then.  Nevertheless, it was wonderful time spent together.

A few years after graduation we unexpectedly met. Yes, it was serendipity.  A happy coincidence.  Walking along in Paragon, we ran into each other.  I hadn’t known before that you had just returned from the US permanently and so it gave us the opportunity to exchange numbers and contact information.   A happy moment it was.  After years of absence, we were finally able to meet up and reunite again
with a good friend.

Since then, we’ve been having our regular “lunches” and it has always been great fun.  Good food, good company, that’s all you really need.  Everyone has grown to love your earring shop, but not as much as
we are happy to have you as a friend.  We have our very own original angry bird, who looks angry but isn’t really.  An angry bird with a good heart.

Happy Birthday Dao!!

Celebrating Friendships: Another April Birthday

There are quite a few birthdays in April, those of colleagues, friends and very old friends.  One such birthday though was of another dear friend whom I’ve known since primary school. Fifth Grade to be exact.  Time flies by so fast, before you know it, its been over 20 years since we’ve known each other.  She lives in Canada now and so we don’t get to meet her as often as we’d like and in our little high school reunions her absence is indeed missed.  You know who you are! Beaver!

I remember it like it were yesterday.  Going to classes in our white and turquoisy navy bluish skirt.  I still don’t know what you call that shade of blue we had for our school uniform, it is such a unique colour.  Together we had our little ‘Anti-Kapi’ club that if you knew what it was, you’d probably shake your heads and wonder how we could have been so young.  It was fun though nevertheless and certain stories will forever remain to be told and told again, like the story behind a certain yearbook photo.

I remember you coming to send me off at the airport when I had to move to Belgium.  It was a sad evening for me to leave my friends and my buddies behind.  But there you were sending me off and encouraging me on.  Thank you 🙂

We kept in touch with letters.  That was back in the good old days when we still got real mail from friends in the post. Now most of what comes are bills and advertisements.

We each studied in different countries, Australia and the US.  Worlds apart but we never forgot one another on the otherside of the globe.  We reunited after graduation and spent many evenings out after work browsing through a shopping mall that has now changed names and renovated its facade until nothing of the old remains.

We fell in love with Lewre shoes when designs were still quite fashionable.  We bought some and even bought a similar pair in beige.  We have since moved onto different brands, but that was then our favorite working shoes.

Now worlds apart again we still  keep in touch though I wish we’d meet more often.  I know it’s great living and skiing in Canada but we do miss you here at our little luncheons. 🙂  Happy Birthday dear friend.  Stay sweet and loving as you always are and thank you for being who you are:)