Dinner at Burlington Square

Few days ago I’ve just passed 54. My birthday is always 3 days after National Day. I’m also 2 years older than Singapore. In other words, like all older Singaporeans, I was once a Malaysian in that sense before we became independent 52 years ago!

I still remember vividly my son when he was just a little boy used to ask me, “Papa, when is your birthday?” I replied whenever you see our national flags displayed all over Singapore, that’s when my birthday is round the corner. Oh I didn’t know they all celebrate your birthday also said my little old man.

With a blink of the eye, he has grown up. He’s grown up too fast in fact. Like all other male Singaporeans, he’s about to give 2 years of his life to the country by serving National Service. My nephew who is here alone, far away from his parents have just completed his NS. He will be flying back to Vancouver end of the month to complete his studies. Link

Only the young look forward to birthday party, not the old. As one gets older, one gets dreary of birthdays. It means that we are getting nearer and closer to the finishing line. Sometimes, I wish that there is no birthday for me and I do not want to remember if possible. This is especially so after my buddy passed away exactly 10 yrs ago around this time few days before my birthday. I’m always reminded of his passing whenever my birthday is approaching. Link 

Sadly, one can’t hide away in a modern world of social media and smartphones. Friends or followers on social media such as FB or forums I have never met sent me birthday greetings. I thank them all especially Dr Toothfully whom I follow faithfully his FB and Instagram. He’s very active posting his travels and food. Even my big boss SVP also sent me a card with an email on the actual day.

Whatever, I took the opportunity to have a quiet dinner with my family. My nephew ever so busy was able to turn up at Burlington Square for the gathering. I was glad that my son could meet him. When they were school children my brother and his family migrated to Vancouver about 10 years ago. So they hardly meet up. They are vastly different in temperaments and not close even though they are first cousins. After this meeting, I won’t know when they going to meet face to face again.

I ordered some simple dishes – 8 to be exact with one beer for my nephew and one stout for myself. Another pot of Chinese tea. Total bill only $133. It was a Saturday, the place was fully booked with the expatriates occupying a majority of the tables. On the next day when I told my ex-taxi relief AT, he said he know the boss well. His father used to work for him. What a small world.

I’m looking forward to my next birthday for the first time in so many years cuz I plan to take a long break after working for more than 34 years. I may go on semi-retirement by converting to flexi scheme in my job. By then, I’ll have more time to pursue my interests like reading and writing. Of course, not forgetting to keep fit and healthy so as to prolong my lifespan slightly barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Till then, thank you all for the warm birthday greetings especially Heinz Schwarzkopf and Martin Wijaya amongst many others.


About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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5 Responses to Dinner at Burlington Square

  1. John you,syd says:

    Happy belated birthday.🎂.


  2. Reply from AT on my FB.
    “Datuk. My Father works there in that restaurant in d early days at Albert Street. Was call Weng Siong restaurant until today. Fatty was d Boss. Famous for Ang Mo seaman during those days. My Father was a chief cook there. Now that place is call Village Hotel Albert. They shifted to Albert complex then to opposite Burlington Square until now. During those days. My Father is d 1 who works only. Need to feed 10 children. During those days. Ang Mo cannot finished d food. My farther will Ta Pau d remaining food n bring back home for us to eat. Everyday also have. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. Staying in a 1 room flat across d road. Call Albert house. Now is Laselle college.”

    • My reply….
      You had a hard life dah. If only you were given the opportunity today you would have been somebody. Many youngsters don’t realise that. Taking life for granted thinking the whole world owe them a living. Yes there were many one room flats at LaSalle college in those days.

  3. Jared - SMOL says:


    Yes, flexi work is good!

    I now work weekends and must say the 5 days of leisure during weekdays is most welcomed!

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