Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Quality time with friends

The great thing about my new job is that for the first time in more than half a decade, I am working normal hours again. By that, I mean an 8 to 5 or 9 to 6 shift, and not midshift or the European shift as I had grown accustomed to in my previous job. This new daily schedule has allowed me to hang out with my friends a lot more recently.

My kumpare Raffa celebrated his birthday in Buca di Beppo on a Tuesday night. Despite it being a weeknight, all of us ex-colleagues who are still based in Manila were able to go. Interestingly enough, I just realized that while half of us were still working for the same company a year ago, we were now all working in different places. What a difference a year makes. Our venue proved to be a good one for us too since the food was pretty good. It was also quite heavy; we ordered two pasta dishes and two pizzas and there were 10 of us but somehow we weren't able to consume everything we ordered. I actually wouldn't mind eating here again. You can't really go wrong with good Italian (or American Italian) food.

My friend Myna also turned a year older this month and naturally, we celebrated her birthday by having game night. I arrived late in the evening due to a conflict and I had very little sleep the night before but I made sure to still go. I got to play Legendary again - two rounds in fact - but we lost both games. It was frustrating. I didn't realize it was so hard to beat the Mastermind in Legendary. In fact, all three times I've played it, we haven't been close to winning. I guess I need to play this game more times so I can finally experience beating the Mastermind, even if I don't score an individual win. I also got to play Dinosaur Island, a game that was only recently released via Kickstarter. It was fun to play and it kinda gave me a bit of a Dungeon Petz vibe (Dungeon Petz is one of my favorite games). I'm looking forward to playing this again.

I also spent a weekend in Pansol with my ex-teammates. When I met up with them for dinner late last year, we started discussing a possible out-of-town trip this summer. While initial plans included Subic, Tagaytay, and even Pagsanjan Falls, we ended up going to Pansol, which I guess is the cheapest and easiest option for us. Apart from catching up with people I used to see almost everyday, the other highlight was the steady stream of food that came out of the kitchen, thanks to Mykel and Nat.

Finally, my friend Mari returned to the Philippines after her US assignment so we decided to have dinner at Wangfu in Ayala the 30th. I suggested it because I wanted to enjoy their Salted Egg Prawns again (and I did). We spent the rest of the evening at Starbucks (although I surprisingly didn't order coffee; instead, I got ice cream from Emack & Bolio's right next to it). Mari had a second get-together that evening so we called it a night at around 11pm. There was talk of having another game night since Basil has a game that we still haven't played so hopefully we get to catch up again soon.

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