The Booth

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

"The booth, overseas" - Mark Tan
Singapore, London, California, Korea

So, maybe you do know the story about the booth in How I Met Your Mother, where the four of them had a booth in the pub below their home where they usually spend a ridiculous amount of time hanging out, well our booth was near Tak Wah's and my house, off the road of St George's, where we would sit at the corner-most table nearest to the road, talk about all the bullshit in the world, and just enjoy each other's company.  


I remember those days where we always used to walk home together after school when we were 15, after a horrible Chemistry class from Mdm Tan, we'd be bitching all the way back, talking about how we hated English class, what we were gonna do after we reached home, and sometimes gathering at the coffee shop nearby for some iced tea or horlicks. 

We grew up together, and we've seen each other through the worst, and probably the best, and even through times where we hardly contacted each other, but when we did, it was never awkward or hard to connect again. They were the ones who dragged me out of my house after a massive heart break, where I'd just keep myself in, playing games and not even getting out of the house.

They were there when all I wanted to do was to sit down, have a drink and bitch the whole night long. They were never fake, they called it out when I was holding up a front, and they weren't afraid to hurt my feelings by telling me to grow some balls, stand up like a man and learn to stop being a little bitch. For that, I'm grateful, I'm honored and I do hope I'm worthy enough to say that I too, have your backs. 

I remember how we all turned from little rascals, skipping classes, scolding vulgarities, being douchebags in class, and ultimately just having fun, into "fine" young men, and now probably adults. Listening to all the different conversations grow from bullshit to refined bullshit really makes me glow with pride sometimes, whenever I think about the things we used to talk about to the things we actually do now. Though the topics may still be the same, the context and depth is really different.

(For the following photos, yes I'm inside... though I may look really different now)

From secondary school....



To card games in class...



To our graduation party...  





To our graduation barbecue...


To continued hangouts in order to remember our childhood...


And disaster haircuts we went through...


To the point where one of us went to the USA to study...


Where we watched each other turn 21... 


And to the point where they sent me off to Korea...


All in all, I want to thank you guys. Location may have put us in a position where we could have easily become friends, but sticking by each other, knowing each other for more than 15 years, being friends for more than 10, and even being able to maintain the friendship through the means of social media really reminds me that friendship is no joke. We go through fights, arguments and even to points of falling out, but at the end of the day, what mattered was that we chose to stick together and work it out. We are what we are, because of the people around us. 

We have seen each other go through different relationships that change us, we have seen each other go through different periods of our own lives, turning us into better or worse people, but knowing that we can call each other out on it, knowing that tough words don't hurt friendships because we want each other to be better. After secondary school, tertiary education, military, and finally we're all in our universities. Though corny as it may be, I'm looking forward to the day we meet again, all 4 of us, at the booth where we can have our meal together, with that har chong kai that I love so much, served by that same lady, who might look a lot older now.

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