calliope, calliope 2015
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The World’s Best Restaurant

by ang jing han, photo credits.

Have you been to the World’s Best Restaurant?

They serve your favorite sauces, no matter what they might be, exactly how you like them.

They serve your favorite dishes, no matter how hard they might be to make.

They serve your favorite drinks, the same way you had them when you were younger.

The cook greets you with smiles and you have to compliment them every time, because that’s how you learn to be polite.

The waiter is someone you know by name, he remembers whether you’re right-handed or left- hand-dominant.

The dishwasher is either the waiter or the cook, or maybe you do them yourself, because that’s how things work in this restaurant, they’ve always been this way, and always will be.

Sometimes they do a buffet-style meal, where everything is free-flow, but you can’t eat that much, so you bring friends, who are always welcome, because this isn’t the World’s Best Restaurant for no reason; advanced reservations are highly recommended but it’s okay even if you forget, the cook will smile and dish out extra servings anyway.

There’s conversation and laughs all around, you stay past 10 and sometimes till 12, they make exceptions for every customer and some days when you have to leave early, they’re almost always sad to see you go.

You say goodbye to the waiter and the cook individually, there are too many ‘bye’s and this is the place where you find that goodbyes aren’t so easy, but there’s always the promise of ‘please come again’ and ‘bring your friends too’, before they usher you out the door and you can see the stars in their eyes.

Do you have a place in mind yet, your own World’s Best Restaurant? Make sure you say hello and hug them well, go back again soon, because someday, the waiters and the cooks might only be able smile with their eyes closed, and there’s only so many goodbyes you can say without hugs to go with it, memory hangs a bit too heavy and you’re just holding on by threads, the last strands of instant noodles slipping through the tines of your fork. The World’s Best Restaurant might be closed, and who would you be, without the cooks and waiters of the dish called childhood?

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