Quiet Surprise

It was near to Christmas, which means, my birthday is coming really soon. Gerald invited me out for a nice dinner after work today, and I decided to go along, since I have been craving for some good steak. Nothing beats a heavenly grilled slab of beef to perfection. I admit, I am a carnivore, and I love being one.

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens.

Gerald, the kind friend who has done a lot to make this dinner happen.

My Starfruit fresh juice.

Onion rings for starters.

The venue for the dinner was at MeatWorks, Citta Mall at Ara Damansara. Gerald was kind to fetch me from my place all the way to the restaurant, which was not exactly near. Upon arrival, we were ushered to our table, and an unexpected hint rang out to me as I saw the reservation card on the table for us: it says “Reservation – 4 persons”. That was strange, I thought it was a dinner for two !!

My suspicion was proven true when Yeow and Mun Keat popped out of nowhere, and joined us for dinner. Aaahhhh, now there was a secretly planned, quiet dinner, for my birthday. I was flattered !! No one has ever planned any surprise birthdays or celebrations for me before (I did make a few happen for my close friends) so this was indeed something fresh and exciting !!

Mun Keat


My Order: Sirloin Steak, Well Done

CLose up on my sirloin. A little back focusing here, but still acceptable.

Gerald's beef fillet.

They did not come empty handed. I was tricked into thinking that my birthday gift was a small bag, which would be enough to fit my PEN camera and another small lens, something I have said I wanted to have so that I can bring my gear everywhere I go to, in a smaller bag of course. My current bags are just to huge. It was a useful small bag, with good padding, which I have immediately intended to use as a lens pouch for the Sigma 30mm or possibly the 11-22mm.

Nonetheless, it was quite an embarrassing moment when the truth was revealed. That earlier mentioned small bag was actually a small part of a larger bag which they have purchased for me. It was a National Geographic Earth Explorer NG 2300, a slim, sling/shoulder bag, which can fit my entire Olympus E-5, and possibly one or two more lenses !! Now, this was another surprise which I did not anticipate, and wow, seriously guys, I was left speechless. I must have dropped my jaw when I saw the bag.

The small bag. I thought that was it. Little did I know....

The National Geographic Earth Explorer NG 2300 !!!!!! OMG !!

Looks good on me, no?? Loving it guys !!

Free sample drinks, on the house. I know I know, there are traces of noise in the dark region. I accidentally underexposed this shot, and I adjusted the brightness exposure in post processing. Is that such a huge sin to have that bit of noise? I still love the photo, and how the waiter smiled for the camera spontaneously while he was doing his job.

This week has been a rough week for me, with me now shifting back to full time Site Supervision duties instead of just office design work. A lot of other smaller issues occurred there and here, and it has been emotionally and physically exhausting for me. Ending this week with such a wonderfully planned and beautiful dinner celebration with dear friends, and having the surprise gift were indeed something that have truly cheered me up. I suddenly felt that life is worth living and fighting for after all, for all the good things that it brings. Sometimes, it is our friends who remind us that we are loved and thought for, and we do matter, no matter how small or insignificant we think we may be.

Such a beauty !!

Special thanks to Gerald, Yeow and Mun Keat. You all have lifted my spirits up for this holiday season, and made me realized that I am truly blessed to have you all as my friends. I have enjoyed myself tremendously tonight, and the gift was splendid, exactly what I needed and wanted at the same time. I will surely use the NG bag for my coming shutter therapy sessions on the streets. The dinner was super delicious, and I have treasured my time and fellowship spent with you guys. Thank you all again. You guys made me a very happy person today.

Christmas and New Year are coming. So what are your plans, people? Do tell !!


  1. Very stylish bag, Robin! Doesn't look like a camera bag which is great. Merry Christmas!!! :) BTW, It's very cold and rainy here so I don't get on my shutter therapy walks recently.


  2. Hello Bartosz,
    Thanks !!!
    Hey, don't worry about shutter therapy man, enjoy your holiday season, spend the time with family and friends !!
    Merry Christmas to you too !!

  3. You are most welcome, do enjoy your day, and perhaps have a more surprise birthday blast on your real b'day date ;)

  4. Happy B'day!!

  5. Thanks Meow, I did have a blast, thanks to you guys !!

    Thanks Chun Chung !!

  6. Happy Birthday Robin!! I still check in with you weekly and love your posts. If my wife knew you were influencing my camera purchases she would bay me from your blog! Merry Christmas Robin and God bless your New Year.

  7. That is "BAN" me from your blog...must keep quiet.

  8. Happy Birthday Robin!! I still check in with you weekly and love your posts. If my wife knew you were influencing my camera purchases she would bay me from your blog! Merry Christmas Robin and God bless your New Year.

  9. Hello Carl,
    Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you too !!
    Oh my, I am so innocent !! my blog is harmless, really !! haha. Have a great and wonderful holiday season man. Cheers.

  10. May I know where you get this bag ?