Wonderful friends for life

It all started in Johor Baru – more specifically – at the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, the only Convent school in Johor Baru. The JB Convent was then fondly known as CHIJ.

Angeline Lee Vinay [2nd from Left] with former
CHIJ classmates in Singapore
Some of us met in Standard One and continued as class-mates right up to Form Five while some joined the school when their parents came to JB on job transfers. It made no difference to us.

The friendships that were formed in school continued even after we left for further studies and while we moved away from JB for our careers or families.
Since we reconnected again for our class reunions – all held in JB - the use of social media and the convenience of WhatsApp kept us connected wherever were are in the world.

Whenever a former classmate came back for a visit, it was an opportunity to meet up for a meal and to catch up on the latest happenings in our lives.

It’s all quite casual and impromptu. Just about anyone who was ready to meet up could just initiate a gathering and whoever were available on those dates, would just join in.

Angeline [Seated 2nd from Left] with the group
in Johor Baru, ready to start on a satay meal
Recently when Angeline Lee – now Mrs Vinay – said she was coming back from France to visit her family here, one of the first questions that popped up was, “Are you back with your family?”

“No, I’m alone. Husband and daughter could not come,” read Angeline’s reply.

This reply somewhat cleared the way for an active discussion on when and where to meet again!

We understand that Angeline’s time with her family here comes first, so it was only polite to ask her to share her most ideal dates so that our plans to meet up could be made at her convenience.

Angeline, who had plans to visit her family members residing in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and JB, shared her dates with us and it did not take long for our meeting plans to materialize.

While the discussion for the meet-up in KL was underway, suddenly photos of a group who met with Angeline in Singapore for breakfast, were posted in the group chat!

Wah! The Singapore group clearly wasted no time to arrange a gathering there.

Cool and sweet, shaved ice desserts to end our meal
To help me decide on where to hold the gathering in JB, I asked Angeline about her food preferences and if she had any particular food item that she would like to taste again.

“How about satay?” she replied. And this set me thinking about the possible places to enjoy a good satay treat.

I’m sure she does not have the opportunity to savour good satay in France so I gave much thought to considering the best satay options here.

It’s also December so I prayed for fine weather so that our outing for satay will not be dampened by monsoon rains. And my prayers were answered.

It was a breezy and balmy evening, pleasant weather to be dining outdoors and we enjoyed a lovely time together over skewers of satay.

Our conversation flowed easily, as if we just met in school yesterday.

But when a live band struck up the chords to perform, we decided to leave as it was difficult to chat with live entertainment happening near us.

Angeline [3rd from Left] with the group in
Kuala Lumpur, plus two who flew in from JB!
Angeline told us about how she was enjoying local fruits and fresh fruits that are not found in France – its natural sweetness and how juicy it was – and how she longed for more.

So after our savoury meal, it was time to cool our palates with some cool sweetness – fruit flavoured shaved ice topped with real fruit.

And Angeline chose durian flavoured shaved ice topped with sliced bananas…

She was so impressed with the varieties of shaved ice concoctions on the menu that she brought her sisters and brother-in-law back there after lunch, the very next day!

Two days later, Angeline was in KL and there she met with the KL group at a restaurant inside a mall in Petaling Jaya.

Angeline was deeply touched that two girls from JB took a day-trip flight to KL just to join the gathering and as an opportunity to meet up with the others in KL too.

“Thank you to all our super CHIJ classmates who came together for an afternoon of nostalgia and simply a good time catching up!” said Angeline.

She continued, “I’m so blessed to have such wonderful friends for life!”

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