Stuck in a scheduled 2-hour long meeting that indicated it was going to overrun by the 1hr15min mark, I quickly texted the friends to let them know that I'll be 20 minutes late...tops. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad. Factoring in travel time, I'd in fact, be just about under 15 minutes late. On the way there, the friends texted, "Oeh. We ordered for you anyway. A safe, if not boring choice." And that was that. No further information. Not very helpful. But knowing them, I wasn't too worried. We eat together often enough to know one another's quirks by now.
Stepped into a packed No Menu and slid into the seat. There were soup and other items that the table shared. Five minutes later, my plate of pasta was served. Grinned happily at the mushroom tagliatelle. Perfect! The table has sat down for many meals for many many years and can do away with the etiquette of waiting for all the seats to be filled before beginning a meal, especially when our schedules can run crazy. But we'll never not turn up. We always make time for one another.
Ahhh...so very good to catch the friends today when they all oddly had a free slot for a long lunch. Of course we saw one another earlier in the year. But it's always nice to see everyone again before they jet off on work trips that dictate the crazy travel schedule for the year. This isn't just a makan group. Makan groups can be scary. I've long drifted from groups that are too pedantic, or too into progressive cuisine, or just way too foodie. This is a group that got to know one another through work like...a good decade ago, and somehow, stayed in contact in spite of being based in different countries, and now we're all in Singapore, make it a point to meet regularly, and still don't mind one another's quirks.