Monday, July 23, 2007

Dining Out with New Friends

Family S, they thought about inviting us for a barbecue dinner at their home last weekend, but since we didnt have a prior appointment; they discarded the idea. And that time, too, we were thinking of enjoying a barbecue with someone, we called my sister in law and her hubby, they cannot come as they already have a prior date. We cannot think of anybody else; it would have been perfect if they called!

But it was two days late when we talked and learned that we could have been enjoying dinner together that weekend. We promised to get in touch if such case comes up. And it did, the next weekend, last Saturday. Anita called around 10 am, just when I was asking my husband what his plans are for the day.

I grabbed the ringing phone and was delighted to hear her voice, for it would mean, a date! She wanted to know if we would like to join them for a buffet dinner later that evening in a Chinese restaurant; I couldnt say no to that plan, but I told her I wanted to talk to my husband first.

I asked my hubby who glared at me and said, 'why would you need to ask me? You know you could decide for all of us.' Of course I know that, what I wanted to know is his feelings about joining the family; because he only knew of these people through me. I should have known better, I sometimes forget how lucky I am to have an uncomplicated husband like him :-)

Having been given a very green go signal, I confirmed our date for that night. At 6:30 pm, they would be in our house and we would drive on convoy as we dont really know where the chosen restaurant is. Meanwhile, MC got a morning visit from a playmate. They run off to play after a quick breakfast. I stayed with IC to play while my hubby took off with the vaccum and the mop, it was his 'mister clean' day. I cannot wait for the appointed time to come. This would be the first time that we would be joining the said family for dinner.

I got to know the woman because her daughter, Francesca, is the same age as MC. And they are both in the same ballet and gymnastics classes. And since we are in the same line of street, we have been trying to keep MC and Francesca to be more comfortable with each other -- as eventually the two would walking together to school next year.

Anyway, I have no fear about not having anything to say; being Asian, they would soon be wanting to know if I know how to cook the food (could be), if I use chopsticks at home (sometimes), if I like very spicy food (my husband actually), etc. Those were the usual questions when I am dining with new acquaintances, really.

The restaurant was full. We were glad to have reservations, but despite that, our table was a bit too crowded for two families with kids. We need not worry though, because the kids immediately got busy on the big aquarium in the middle of the restaurant. They played with the school of large koi fish; touching them, splashing water and even, feeding them. I am glad the restaurant owners tolerated them, I cannot say that to some of the guests, though. Oh, they did took some breaks -- by using the space under our table to draw and to play cards.

The kids ate their kiddie menu consisting of fried rice with chicken; they munched on some kropek; and had each a bowl of ice cream. We adults binged -- I cant remember the last time I got so stuffed. The food was good, there were even sushi and a grill corner! The company was great, the conversation as a whole was interesting (those questions I previously listed were asked, of course), and we got to know each other more.

Then time to go home after more than three hours. We passed by the other family's house to pick up something to help ease IC's swollen arm (she got stung by a bee during the grillfest). That supposed to be short visit ended with a long nightcap; the kids playing in Francesca's room and the adults enjoying a glass of grappa.

Ahh, it was lovely. I want to do it again.

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