Roses are sweet and so are you!

Coincidentally I got a chance to spend the morning at home last Wednesday for some errands. On the way after for my post-valentine’s coffee, I stopped by to see from afar how my niece was coping in play school. Like many other 3-year olds, this was her first month here, away from the comfort of faces familiar to her.  She is one of the few i know who so dislikes going to school and beams with relief when classes are over. She is totally the opposite of her mother and me. Perhaps it was just the chocolates that got me hooked, but the irony is, I loved school, it was like a Neverland so full of Peter Pans. I could have stood watching her a little longer but I didn’t want give passersby the impression I was stalking pre-schoolers.

Rose Vendor in Hanoi, perfect for the occassion
Watching her there made me think about my own friends and how much each means to me. We meet many, who'd hop on and hop off our path at different stages, influence and shape some aspects of our lives or decisions  and without any announcement or expectation be  just there when you need them. Some stay longer in our lives. Sometimes, we feel their angelic presence even when they are  not close.  And there would be times when the words just don’t flow through as they should and silence over rules. We don’t tell them how much their presence means. 

Bitter, yet sweet, Kelantan's Coffee
My coffee for the week is Kopi Kota Bahru, a local coffee popular in Kelantan, the north east state of Peninsular Malaysia. I have tried this coffee on several occasions, and each time, I found the taste to be a little sweeter than my acceptance level. If my valentine is also as sweet as this every day, I’d puke, thankfully its just the right flare. The coffee is a dark roast – a Hainanese styled one rather, with a strong bodied flavor, bitter.  I like mine hot, and learnt so do most Kelantanese. Just on taste alone, for me, it gets a 3.

Hallmark is not going to be too thrilled with me, nor the local joint where I am having this coffee. Fact is fact! Ah well, what the heck, as for valentines, someday in the future when one is wiser or due to economical pressure, the roses and RM30-greeting-cards may get replaced with coffee and WhatsApp messages, and we would realize that everyday is actually Valentine’s Day and every friend is a valentine in some way. So Hallmark, make your money while you can, before we all go broke and realise this. And as for the coffee joint, you need to do something about the service. The street vendors bravely walked in to sell their products. I'd like to help, but today I am here because I want my space.

Pick One, its yours
I hope my niece will accept school a little better tomorrow than she did yesterday, and she too finds those little Peter Pans i promise I saw. Still, she is such a sweetheart, against the odds, she picks up  her school bag and goes there anyway. I just love her courage for being so brave.

To all my friends, whether you are my college/school-mate colleague, ex-boss, friend from work or volunteer projects, someone dear I met during travel or family thank you! You are in some way been a part of me and I hope I am the same to you. Happy Belated Valentine’s week! 

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