We were tasked to redeem our Christmas Log Cake from Coffee Club this evening for our dinner tomorrow, so brother JM and I decided to go to Vivocity to complete our mission. I had sampled one of their Christmas log cakes before (Hope, I think that was it. Chocolate and cream cheese.) and it was fabulous, so I was definitely looking forward to running that errand. I also convinced JM that it was mighty worth it, although going to either one of their outlets was terribly out of the way.
Parking was horrendous. We drove around the carpark at Vivocity for almost half an hour, when we decided that we would definitely have better luck at the HarbourFront Centre carpark. When we finally got a lot and made our way to Coffee Club, the lady told us that we could not collect our log cake because we had to place an order for it at least three days in advance. Well, after that sank in, I admit that we should have read the redemption voucher very very carefully before redeeming anything. Turns out, the word “order” was printed twice in the voucher sent to mum (once as “last order date” and once under T&C) so Coffee Club is definitely not to blame for the misunderstanding – although I maintain that they are partly to blame for our disappointment – because they could have stated explicitly that an advance order of at least three working days was required for the redemption to be valid. This is what the letter said: “Thank you for reedeeming a O’ Coffee Club Log Cake. [that means an acknowledgement.] Present this voucher to exchange for a O’ Coffee Club Log Cake at any of the redemption outlets listed below. [the only instruction was to present this voucher, not place an order].”
‘Twas our very disappointing and exhausting trip to the faraway land of Vivocity to collect our non-existent log cake.
Well, JM and I decided to embark then on our mission to do two other things: Dinner and Christmas Gift Shopping.
We went to Hans, found a seat, and things started to turn upwards from here. Despite the disappointment, JM was careful not to let that failed mission affect the evening nor his mood or mine. He was most happy to pay for his own meal at Hans but because he was such a dear, I offered to buy him steak for dinner. When he knew I was paying, he changed his order to chicken chop instead (Difference of $4) – what a dear. That made me evening, actually. I offered to buy him steak anyway, that would be what Mu Shi would have done.
A good, worthwhile meal for Mu Shi would be tagged not by price, but by the love and joy you have while enjoying it with your company. So we both ordered our steaks, well done, enjoyed it, talked a bit, and then did some brief Christmas shopping (picked out some post tags for colleagues to spread some love and joy in the staffroom) before going home. JM was very accommodating throughout the trip despite his flu and cough – he didn’t complain about having to wait for me outside SIX while I admired accessories; or grumble when I spent time browsing the shelves at the Page One bookstore. That really moved me, and I thought it was a perfect experience of kairos, time measured not by the running hours, minutes and seconds, rather by the value spent with your loved ones.
When we think of redeeming the log cake as the main purpose of the trip, which was how I saw it at first, it would be mighty disappointing. We didn’t accomplish our goal, we wasted hours in heavy traffic (and even an extra $3 at the Vivocity carpark!) and we have no log cake for tomorrow’s Christmas eve dinner. But when we look at it as a sister-brother trip out for a simple dinner to run a family errand, the evening was pretty much perfect. We had a good meal (cooked all the better because we were famished!) and we had a good time walking about albeit briefly. I think this evening, although short, did teach us an important lesson.
Mu Shi would always be ready to change his outlook of things and see things in the positive. He would look on situations as opportunities, not challenges or trials. This was an opportunity to spend some time with JM (appreciating the boy’s finer qualities ahem!) and I think in that light, it was well spent. Thank you Lord, and thank you, Mu Shi, for being our guide even after three months since your passing. Indeed your Godly examples stay with us in our memories as valuable life lessons.