Date: July 12, 2022

A quick trip to the Assemblyperson, Michelle Ng’s office in  SS14, Subang Jaya to collect the  annual gift (birthday?) voucher given to citizens above 60 year old. Hardly any wait. Was more like a dash in, collect the voucher, and dashed out; heading home, which was about 10 minutes away.

Got ready for the big event. anticipation without expectations. Yet there was excitement that was building to a crescendo…

Arrived at 1.55pm for my 2.00pm appointment. Always shying away from the popular Malaysian habit – always late. Reason for this habit: The other person will be late, too.😏 Sure one (Must have the “one” there, then sentence is balanced [noticed I left out the “the” before the word “sentence”? Then, more “oomph”]).😂

I am at “The Coffee Academics” at the Pavillion, Kuala Lumpur; waiting with bated anticipation to meet Sharon Ehler – after “many” years (not wanting to reveal sensitive information like age for example😘). I am more used to her being “Sharon Fredericks”. “Ehler” is her married name.

Sharon, in the centre.

I’m serious!

She is coming with her elder sister, Lorraine; whom I suspect is Sharon’s chaperone. This article is supposed to be with all seriousness, I mean  straight face serious; but by the looks of things, it is heading south. Ai ya ya yai,🎵 Ai ya ya yai.🎶

At the memorable camping trip in Templer Park. Sharon is first from the right. Lorraine is third from right.

New York, New York! Manhattan women are dressed in silk and satin… New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!!

And they are fashionably late, not Malaysian late. The difference is not that they use different time pieces. One is “fashion” fashion, the other one got the “one” one is Malaysian time. I still have not understood how this communication works; but a Malaysian communicating with another Malaysian, totally makes sense.

I chose The Coffee Academics because the ambience looked pleasant and comfortable. While penning / keytapping this article on the keyboard of my Samsung Galaxy Z-Fold 3 (In all my earlier articles mentioning the Fold 3, I left out the “Z”. Never too late to add it on😟); I did a quick research on this cafe, and found out that it had just set up shop in April of this year.

A few minutes into seemingly looking busy at work, on the “Z”-Fold3, they arrived. Her big, smile lit up, our long, long embrace and  the first few words of greetings – this is the same Sharon I knew from back then. Exactly! Wow! I was blown away!

Nice to meet up with her chaperone, Lorraine, too. The last time we met was about 3 years. They were accompanied by Lorraine’s son, Matthew.

At The Coffee Academics with Sharon and Lorraine.

Going down memory lane brought many, many wonderful long moments of laughter and smiles, over long blacks served in big (we had to reiterate to the waiter “big”) cups (saucers  not essential. We were ok if they did come with the big mugs). We had an orange muffin, and a couple of fairly soft brownie cookies with molten chocolate oozing from its centre when they were broken and shared between us, too.

Then, we went into the typical Eurasian mode. This is when we are related to everyone or everyone is related to us and whether we knew this person or that.  Matthew was pretty much on his own, as he was lost in our conversation.  He did the smart thing, smiled and played video games on his phone.

Though we talked a lot about our present and our past, there were many quiet moments, too; which I enjoyed thoroughly. In those quiet moments filled with love, gentleness and smiles, I resonated in the aura of calm that exuded in Sharon. Ain’t she sweet? That itself, spoke volumes.

Back to the future, today; we have our families, our loved ones; the ones who are the centre of our lives, whom we are blessed with.

We spent the next hour or so, “walking off” the long sit down at The Coffee Academics. Sharon and Lorraine shopped a bit. I just accompanied them.

Our meet-up ended at about 6.00pm. Lorraine leaves for the U.K. early next week. Sharon will be around til (I seldom use the word “un”til…don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I don’t plan on “un”doing anything(?). ‘Til sounds much better, maybe a tad laid back) the second week of August.

It was a reunion worth keeping – our friendship has become even stronger.

Ai ya ya yai… Ai ya ya yai!

Frank Sinatra: New York, New York

The Beatles: Ain’t She Sweet

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