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.

20 April 2022

The glue in the friendship

I had a wonderful group of friends in Manila when I lived and worked there. It was an unlikely combo but it worked, and I've always thought it's due to our love of the great outdoors. My workmates, along with my 'neighbourhood' mates, formed a bond went beyond mere acquaintances. We all even travelled south of the Philippines together on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

But in life's twists and turns, I found myself going on a journey to another country and leaving my friends behind. That's when one of my neighbourhood friends told me in one of our weekend get-togethers, that I was the glue that bound all of us together. Once I leave, things will no longer be as it was. I didn't think that would happen, but time proved he was right.
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