09 September 2022

Win some, lose some

When I saw this chess set at the op shop last weekend, the first thing that came to mind was, "what a bargain!" It was only $5 and it was a Kasparov portable chess set. I thought, why would someone donate this? Anyway, one man's rubbish is another man's treasure as they say, so I was happy to bag this deal.

My daughter had joined the chess club at school so I thought this would be a wonderful way to play when not at home. The set itself is solid and wonderfully made. This is a magnetic chess set, actually, but some if the pieces have lost this quality. I would have thought that magnets do not lose this property?

At any rate, upon opening this set, a wave of nostalgia flowed through my mind. Back in high school, a couple of my friends and I got hooked up on chess. However, we only had this portable magnetic chess set and it was a lot smaller than the one I had bought last week. It was an all-plastic set; it's a far cry from this treasure I found at the op shop. But the hours we spent on that set! Amazingly, there were three of us, and it's a two-person game but one of us would patiently watch as the game progresses, and then challenge the winner on the next turn. Those were the days.

I play a couple of games at night with my daughter, and I'm amazed that I can still work my way around the board. Granted that my daughter doesn't have years of experience, but she has been able to make good strategies on the board. I have given her tips which she was able to use and win some games at school. Actually, she has already beaten me twice!

Chess is such a fun game and it's also great for logic. It brought friends together, and now it's bringing my daughter and I closer too.


24 May 2022

That time when I waited on tables

Last weekend was not-so-ordinary. We had a church group activity over Saturday and Sunday, and on Saturday evening I was able to experience being a wait staff. There were only eight couples we waited on, but it gave me a rough idea of how it is like.

There are two things I learned about myself from this experience -
1. I am undoubtedly an introvert - I found it difficult keeping a happy demeanour while going about the 'work' - it left me drained afterwards.
2. I am truly no longer as youthful. Standing the entire time left me with sore feet and ready to hit the sack.

I had to take Monday off just to sleep and 'recuperate'.

But also, there are things I rather liked -
1. I enjoyed being of service. This was a suprise dinner and the gesture was appreciated. I enjoyed fussing over their comfort and asking how their food was.
2. I loved being part of the team. We helped each other out in serving the food and ensuring the tables were not cluttered.

But overall I don't think I will make a great waiter. We knew the people in that event so that made it tons easier. But if I were to wait on strangers, I am quite certain I will have to push my introvertness to the limit.

My respect to those in the hospitality space, especially wait staff. It's quite a demanding job!

(I had to crop out the others from the above photo for privacy reasons, but I thought I looked good in the uniform 😂 )

26 April 2022

Wishy washy

I was in my final year of university and we were in Manila for our field trip. It was my first time in the bustling city, and the enormity of the place was just astounding. I remember being wide-eyed while our bus made its way through the highway with the tall buildings left and right; very different from my hometown! It was also stifling hot, something that I never got used to inspite of the fact that I would eventually work in Makati for many years.

It's funny that one of the unforgettable things from this trip is not any of the places we visited, but rather something we saw as the bus was idly waiting for the traffic light to turn green. It was comfortable inside thanks to airconditioning, but we knew how hot and humid it was outside. 

We then spotted a roadside vendor selling lots of coloured drinks in transparent containers, all loaded with ice and looking so temptingly thirst-quenching. We were commenting how awesome it would be to have a cold drink. 

Then we saw a passerby purchase a glass of it. I think he chose melon. So the vendor removed the lid, scooped out the juice using a ladle, took a glass from a tray and poured onto it. The passerby then dunked the drink in one go, then handed back the glass.

The vendor then promptly dipped the glass into a bucket of water once, then returned it to the tray.

We promptly lost our desire for a cold drink. I never attempted to buy any of those cold drinks those many years I was in Manila.
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