Thursday, April 11, 2013

Surprise Belated Birthday Dinner

"As you get older, three things happen: 
The first is your memory goes, 
and I can't remember the other two."  
 Norman Wisdom


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Traveler's Dining PUSHUP nearby Akihabara station.

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Yup, I was thrown a belated surprise birthday dinner last night. What supposed to be just a normal dinner among the four of us ended up as a surprise for both Mokkun and myself. The initial idea was to have dinner together to celebrate our second year at our company. Due to our working and personal tight schedules, the four of us – Samitha, Mokkun, Ayana and me, rarely get the chance to gather and have a meal together lately.

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 The private room in the restaurant, besides the table and counter seats.

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A bright red carpet decorates the wall in the room.

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At first glance, we thought this is a treasure hunt map or something. It turned out to be the drinks menu.

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There is a special discount for people whose name is similar to those written on the board. It changes every week.

For one whole day, we exchanged messages in Line, trying to coordinate our finishing times and and also reserving the restaurant. Samitha and Ayana did the booking, and sent us the link of the place. Traveler's Dining PUSHUP is an unique restaurant where diners get to enjoy various foods and drinks from over 30 countries. This restaurant is just a five-minute walk from Akihabara station, where our company is located.

Unfortunately, Ayana had some trouble at work and would be late for the dinner. So, there three of us went there first, and Ayana joined us about half an hour later. It was great to be able to catch up with each other after so long. It is not that we do not see each other at all, but to have the four of us gathering together at the same time is something we had not done it for long, long time. I can't even recall when was the last time, but I think it was many, many months back.

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 First drink is always beer. Mine was Victoria Bitter from Down Under. Surprisingly, it was good!

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Potato salad and cheese as starters.

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Raw ham mixed vegetables and tomato salad.

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Raw ham and mozzarella cheese tomato pizza.

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Taco rice with half boiled egg.

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Salmon with cream sauce pasta.

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Avocado roll with potato salad.

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Fried spring roll with taco chicken filling.

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Umeshu #1 (out of 15 types lol!) and cassis orange.

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Kampai among the four of us.

Time really flies as it has been one year since we entered GWC. Recalling our first day of work, it was like small little kid on their first day at work. Then it was the job training course which last almost two months. As for me, I was involved in a project for half a year, which included a two-month business trip around Japan, which was partially kind of vacation for me *hehe* It was fun to reminisce those times, and also many juicy gossips and stories of people in the company.

However, as usual, for someone who suffers from "shotemelo" disease like me, I was always the last person to recall all those moments haha! Just in case you wonder what does shotemelo, which will not come out even if you Google it, mean, it refers to short-term memory lost hahaha!

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The birthday platter for the two boys.

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A closer look at the lovely platter.

Just when we thought of calling for the bill, the lights in the restaurant suddenly went off. I thought some electric power outage had happened. But in more than six years living in Japan, that has never happened before. As we were wondering what was actually happening, a familiar music rolled in. It was the birthday song. Initially, we thought they were celebrating the birthday for some other customers dining there. After all, my birthday had passed. Then, out of nowhere, one of the staff walked to our table, with a plate of ice cream cake, with two candles and some firecrackers on it.

Right at that moment, only I realized that it was indeed a surprise. The dinner was to celebrate my belated birthday and also Mokkun's birthday, which fall on the coming Sunday. Mokkun was caught by surprise as well and only then, both of us found out that the two – Samitha and ayana have been planning this the whole day in another Line group message.

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See, I was still in shock state haha!

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The two birthday boys. Our birthdays are just separated by six days.

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A group photo with the birthday platter.

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A lovely birthday message was left on the bill. That was sweet.

As the two of us blew the candles away, the staff scattered pink sakura petals made of paper around our table. It was indeed something which I never experience before. Nevertheless, I appreciate the surprise dinner a lot and many thanks to my colleagues, especially Samitha and Ayana for planning this.

As you would notice, my name on the plate is written as "karubi", the Japanese pronuciation for Galbi. Apparently, when they made the restaurant booking, they requested the staff to write that over the phone. However, the staff didn't really get it.

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Just as we left the restaurant, we took our trademark group shot lol!

So, in the end, they gave up and told them, "Yes, yes, the meat karubi!"

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