Last night, finally, Wuan and I met up with William and Cynthia again. William is our IRC buddy from many years ago and the very first online friend I met in real life. Cynthia and he got married recently. In the six years of friendship, William and I have met less than ten times but the times that we do get together, we would be chatting like we know each other very well.
William had asked me where I would like to eat and suggested Victoria Station if western food was my preference. Now, the last time I ate at Victoria Station in Penang, it left such a bad taste in my mouth that I swore never to step into any of its restaurants again. The service was absolutely pathetic. The waiters chose to serve the Caucasians and other better-dressed guests first even though we were seated before them. And they had the audacity to bill us for the Caesar’s Salad that we ordered but never served and never once apologized for that oversight. Instead the waiter and captain openly displayed their displeasure at having to wade through the piles of order chits to be sure we did not cheat them of the salad.
Therefore, I was slightly dismayed when William drove into the Victoria Station driveway at Jalan Ampang.
“You never give a second chance one ah?” William asked.
So there we sat, giving this popular steakhouse a second chance and to prove me wrong about their service, while talking about my kidneys and the kind of diet I have to adhere to.
“Today is my meatless day. You should be very honoured that I am breaking it just for you.” I told William.
William, in his usual self, shot off a series of seemingly innocuous questions about my dietary habits, then turned to Cynthia and said, “This fella very fussy one. This cannot eat. That cannot eat.”
Our food arrived and Wuan took my plate and cut the lamb into smaller pieces for me. William had wanted to get the kitchen to do that when we ordered but I preferred to have my food served as is first. Seeing Wuan struggling with the knife at the tougher portion of the cut, William offered and took over the task. This is also one of the reasons why I seldom eat steak unless Wuan is with me. Cutting meat can be an onerous task.
Victoria Station did redeem themselves. The service was good, the staff attentive and courteous. After our dinner, William suggested having a drink somewhere else. We went all the way to Strawberry Fields Caf? at PJ State. It boggles my mind how and why KLites can travel a great distance just to have a drink. Or did William drive the distance just to show me the night sights of Kuala Lumpur? KL Tower and KLCC were indeed impressive from the distance.
A short while later today, the four of us will be going to Low Yat Plaza. William had offered to take Wuan and me there because we could not find a wheelchair access ramp into the complex. William thinks the only way in is through the basement car park. I cannot ask for a better friend who will deprive himself of sleep to take me where I want to go. He was also the one who went to fetch me from the airport the first time I travelled alone to Kuala Lumpur in 1999. That is William for you.