At the Tree House in UP Campus–an afternoon delight with Annamanila

Finally, finally, the lunch with Annamanila materialized. I went to her office at ISSI–it was as if we have never read each other’s blogs, we haven’t chatted for a while, and we have not been in touch for a long long time. There were so many things to talk about, so many tidbits, and we flitted from one topic to another. Before long, we were on our way to The Tree House, an al fresco restaurant next to the ISSI building within the UP Campus.

We realized later that on food, we had a lot of “likes” in common–I let her order, as I am not a person who is fond of the real food (“ulam” in Tagalog). I am more of a burger, pizza, pasta, dessert person. I also have a big liking for Japanese food which we could not find anywhere in the Campus. We did not want to go elsewhere, just nearby. The Tree House was very close, we only needed about a hundred steps from ISSI.

She ordered sinigang na hipon, sisig, and lumpiang ubod.  Long after she finished eating, I was still eating, animated conversation still continuing. I was even finishing up almost everything–she had an upset stomach a few days before, while I myself was on a perennial diet, the presence of food made me eat, eat and eat. We agreed that what she ordered was a “balanced diet”. I told her I like sinigang na hipon and sisig very much (they are her favorites, too), the only thing missing was an ice cold can of beer. Incidentally, The Tree House was closed for a while because it allegedly served beer earlier–a no no in the Campus. In the past, I used to see the place lighted late in the evening when we passed by, with lots of diners, who I am sure have enjoyed their rounds of drinks and good food.

What is tuna belly, one of their specialties, and sisig for without beer, by the way? Substitute–my comfort drink, I haven’t drank Coke for a while. She ordered for the Diet Coke while I ordered for the real coke, I mean regular Coke. Common again with the two of us–we put a lot of ice on Coke. I just enjoy my either with Coke with lots of ice or frozen. The food? It was ok, I was more than happy.

The two hours we had together was capped with dessert of mango crepe–hmmmm, delicious. And the topics we covered were endless, no sequence of thoughts, just anything that popped up. Such a heartwarming afternoon–this is the fun that is enjoyed by people like us–we have taken retirement. Even if we still do some work, we are in control of or time, we can talk endlessly, we looked back, reminisced, looked forward, talked about our mini plans, and being 50 (or 40?) and above–and friends at that, we could express what we want at the moment, no holds barred (Annamanila, tell me, is it the right mix of words?).

I told Annamanila–retirement is very obvious, she has that certain thing on her face, that certain glow, a refreshed look, something…

Thanks, dear for the lunch, and more so, of the company. lvya!

This post also appeared in my main blog, The D Spot.

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