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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Belated birthday dinner

I met Shu-er yesterday evening for a belated birthday dinner treat, though we went dutch in the end. We ate at Marina Square food court (and I got to know where her old workplace (DP Architects) is), which is a horror to find because of the labyrinthine layout of the mall and the ongoing renovation works. As she remarked, it's an architect's nightmare, to which I responded, "Which is why we need better architects."

There was a young family eating at the table next to us, and I admired the little baby (girl, I think) just sitting in her stroller, calmly watching her mum eat her dinner. Shu-er was surprised that married couples would choose not to have babies. I had to explain that that's why the government has been promoting its baby bonuses so regularly.

After dinner, we walked to Millenia Walk, which took longer than expected because we were unsure of the area. Again, bad layout/planning by the designers. I joked that that's why an MRT station is being built there: so that shoppers know how to get there. There's an Australian fashion display there, but by the time we arrived (after 9pm), the exhibits were still on display but there were no lights or promoters or other stands.

We admired the dresses (I often wonder why fashion designers design clothes that no sane person would wear), then went to the nearby coffee/tea/juice joint (I forgot its name). They have these huge red chairs that are soooo comfortable, you could fall asleep in them. I ordered iced fruit tea, which consisted (optimistically) of 2/3 drink, 1/3 ice.

She had to go back to the office to rush some work, so I offered to walk her there. Besides, it's only a 15-minute walk from Millenia Walk to the Lau Pa Sat area, no big deal after having trekked countless miles in my four years of university.

We went up to her office, and now I know what it's like after listening to her stories for so long. It's basically one big room, very open-concept (no cubicles), boss sits in plain sight of everyone, and very white (white walls, white cupboards, white tables). There were a few others working late as well, and when we left, they were still there.

I didn't plan to stay long, but somehow I did. While she worked, I looked through some of the architecture books, then helped to sort out her various drawings. To the untrained eye, architectural drawings are big messes of lines and symbols and small writings. It's like asking a non-technically inclined person to read HTML or source code for a software.

We finally left at about 1:15am. I shared a cab home because she can claim the expense, haha. Apparently, working this late is par for the course for her, poor girl. For me, I'd be in dreamland by 12am, latest.

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