At first it was the pink house gang, where we exchanged many updates about friends and reminiscences about spending many winter days in a certain magical snowy place over a hot pot dinner. Picture is obviously not mine.
Then, the high school friends came along. The first night, there were two others, and we were talking about going on trips to Bangkok and inevitably also about the days in high school. The second night, there were more, and the trash talking commences, but it was infinitely more meaningful now compared to the mindless banter we used to do in high school. Then, I suggested going for alcoholic goodness at my house the third night, and that was the day we did not sleep.
Many stories have been exchanged that night, including how we probably ruined a chance for one of us to have a fulfilling love life, to discussing of how biased we used to be in high school towards society, and also our adventures in high school that are memorable (and some that were undesirable). How goals and dreams were pursued, albeit doggedly, constantly facing blows and setbacks from society and the unstoppable flow of time. This was also where we talked heart-to-heart and stumbled upon some wise realizations, some of which I have inscribed in the bottom of this post.
Immediately after, another meeting with pink house, this was the only picture I have which was the beer that I drank. Hopefully this is enough prompt for me to remember the conversations we had when I read this post many years later. Found out that two different friends work at the same area under the same umbrella project, that was a very useful coincidence. Started playing a game towards the end, but the restaurant was closing so we were kicked out. The silence was strong at first, but pretty soon conversation flows smoothly just like this pint of Kilkenny.
I have also met up with a friend that I haven't seen for a very long time - in the order of 10 years or more. He goes way back to the days where we lived in a house right next to the beach. Sharing the same engineering research background as I am, we discussed lots about work and less about the past, my memories being slightly hazy and needs some jogging anytime we mentioned someone we knew from the distant past. That was a highly fruitful trip deep down memory lane, and pictures just don't do them justice.
There might be more stop for this nostalgia grand tour, or not, depending on the availability of everyone who intends to meet one more time before I depart this Saturday. Also, I'm very bad at remembering to take pictures, and I really should do that for the remaining meetups because god knows when I will ever see them again. But it is the conversations that I somehow have to etch into my mind, and I have plenty that I would like to keep. Maybe I'll inscribe some down here:
"Live life with no regrets. You chose your path based on the knowledge you had at that time, and you chose what you think was best for yourself. There is nothing to blame and to be resentful of."These meetings gave me a chance to look back without a tinge of regret, and even learn new things about myself and each other in the process. I treasure every moment of these gatherings, and look forward to many more.
"If the two choices are hard to decide, it's because they're both good."
"In the end, it's you yourself who you can rely on the most, and if you know that you are reliable you will get by no matter what."
"Cuddling is a slippery slope that leads to a salty surprise."