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.|
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.