3/02/2012

Out to Lunch—Abroad


It's true, we were out of the country, and in that country, we took a trip to yet another country just to have lunch!

That seems like the height of over-indulgence and decadence, but we got invited by JR's wonderful “family” in Singapore (my niece and her husband, who brought along their three-year-old son) to do just that.

It was an invitation that thrilled us. We were to dine in a restaurant in another country (Malaysia), which required us to bring our passport, take two long train trips, four buses and two taxi rides, plus a total of four immigration documents for entry and departure (in both countries).

"JR tells us that as a family you often go out of town just for a meal,” our host said, "so why not go out of the country?"

Why not indeed?

The only snag would be JR's graduation ceremony at 5:30 PM that same day.

"Oh, we'll be back in good time,” JR said when we left the hotel at 9:30 AM.

Now in Malaysia, we pigged out on indescribably delicious dishes: Paper-baked chicken (incomparable to any bird I have ever feasted on); some spicy leaves; some baked seafood; some fried concoction; and a beverage of mixed longan and fungus.

Every morsel was polished off in minutes.
Spicy but yummy.
Melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
 
The trip was absolutely worth every step and stride, including a brief brush with immigration for Tony taking my photo. I'd never gone out of any country for lunch before, and this very first time was an adventure never to be erased from the memory of my mind's hard disc and external drive.

JR was right, we got back to our hotel in good time—3:30 PM.  All told, the whole escapade took only six hours. We had two comfortable hours left to gussy ourselves up for his graduation (or convocation, as New York University School of Law calls it).

Nothing ever runs amiss in Singapore, probably the most efficient country in the world. You can actually plan your day up to the last second. Everything is precise; even the flora and fauna along the way seemed to have been landscaped in clockwork fashion.

All toilets flush, have tissue paper, and are impeccably clean; a train comes every three minutes; and no electric wires nor eclectic billboards block the view of cookie-cutter structures with newly-painted look.

“Why, even the trees are trimmed exactly the same way!” I told Tony.

The experience opened my mind to the gamut of encounters this planet has to offer; and the gamut of grace that makes one enjoy it all.

4 comments:

Yay Padua-Olmedo said...

Syushal talaga! Out for lunch in Malaysia. The food looked so delicious. No wonder you kept saying, "I'm so fat!" Don't feel guilty na, haha!

Anonymous said...

Three pounds gained in Singapore and Malaysia! Now I have to walk the unwanted weight off.

The Dragon Scribe said...

I KNOW and HOLD it in my heart that ONE DAY, this will also happen in our country. We must adapt their work ethics, discipline to become globally competitive but still keep our hearts as native as possible. I am one of the few Filipinos who choose to think positive and dream big for our country rather than dwell on the negative aspects that are already existent. Complaining about it won't do anything, but changing our perception of it will definitely start something. Haha sorry Miss Grace for the speech, it's JP the patriot and not the fluffy panda talking here +0

Grace D. Chong said...

Hello, JP the patriot!

I know that this, too, will happen in this country. When? Well, we can start by supporting the projects of our government and encouraging our leaders to do the best they can while in power. Every Wednesday in church, we pray for them--our own small way of helping push our country forward.