We went around to N’s house on the evening before Hari Raya, just for a gathering and cards. We started off with a great dinner at Katong, sambal stingray, kang kong, hor fun, chicken wings, all kinds of local delights matched with sugar cane. The sambal stingray was excellent. I was so addicted to the chilli that I wished to just buy it to keep at home! And everyone was bantering on about various issues casually and catching up since we last met all together in a group. As T would say, ‘good times, good times!’
I am always amazed by N’s place, as there is not a speck of dust in the house. The kitchen is absolutely immaculate. I think the lawyers I’ve met in my life range from the downright all-out messy hoarders and the those who champion dust-free (and item free) living. In the kitchen, there is not a pot to be seen, everything is labelled and arranged perfectly.
This dichotomy was reflected in the offices of two of my lecturers in the UCL academic circle – Riz Mokal and A. Reisberg. Whereas A.Reisberg’s office was always spick and span, with all his books in tidy rows and with an incredibly minuted schedule, I recall ever stepping over some papers (and one suspiciously an essay) in Riz Mokal’s office. But do offices ever make an impression on me? To me, Riz Mokal is one of the most brilliant, if not the most brilliant, academic, lawyer and teacher I have ever had. Just an hour in his office, debating with him all manner of issues, from jurisprudence to insolvency, always left me with an enraptured and floaty feeling afterwards. I think the moments hearing him rationalize and debate issues were some of my happiest. Every logic link was always poised, calculated, and he was always willing to explore and challenge other points of view. The last I heard, he left to head the insolvency team in the World Bank, and they must be better for it. It seems as though the exterior state of his room was in way indicative of the consistency and tidiness of his thoughts and opinions.
Of the two styles of living, guess which I belong to? (No BS you are not allowed to join in this of course! You know me sometimes better than I know myself!)
Back to N’s house, he brought us around, and explained the placing and choice of his accessories and fittings. Much thought had gone into every part, even whether to have a hanging cupboard fitting or to attach it to the ground. He also shared with us many stories about people in law in his time, and we had fun times going through his photograph albums and spotting people – N especially looks very different! He was the head of the NUS Law Club in his time, and made it his business to know practically everyone in law, and had stories to share about every person, where they were now, and what they were like then. It was very interesting also seeing some past photographs of Raffles Institution, and I like the way he keeps little momentos, like all his bus tickets, food menus from the Istana (our N was spotted having lunches with the President…apparently he was a PAP volunteer before he joined the central bank!), and candid shots every now and then.
We had no work the next day, so we all had several rounds of wine and champagne. I stayed with only champagne though, as I had a book to read that night. I think I am drinking less since I left London, which can only be a good thing.
Two of my favourite girls, SH and GF. BS, I think I have mentioned GF to you before, she is one whom I chatter incessantly with most of the time haha, and she also has two adorable kids she nicknames Wei Wei and Di Di! I love hearing about their antics and how Wei Wei loves math so much he would hug his math book to sleep!
See, here’s Wei Wei!!
So adorable! According to his mother, he is here practicing ‘psycho-motor’ skills. He was asking alot of ‘hard’ questions like why there are extra buttons which you cannot button on mummy’s jacket. Questions like that which even grownups do not have the answer to. 😄 Really, it is true that I do not really know why there are 34141 extra buttons on my dresses which I do not use whatsoever, or why they are so many extra parts to a top which have no practical use. He must take the male point of view that practicality is foremost- do you see as many redundant aspects to male clothing as you do to clothing for the fairer sex?
And here is N on the left!
Our resident taekwando black belt jiu-duan expert slicing…no…shuffling cards!
N is a cat lover like me (I notice most lawyers tend to be cat lovers before anything else…) but he is allergic to cats…so this toy dog is his living room substitute I suppose!
Cake brought by Sin Huey…made by a ‘Chef Yamashita’, a mango cream cake…did it sound grand! I did not have any as I was far too full for dinner. This was not the whole cake, which was almost gone when I took the photograph!
Our finance expert WY and I share a happy shot.
Cheers to a fantastic evening! (and no one in particular won the card game)