Memories Of Taenggu’s 28th Birthday Special + A Random Lunch Date: The La Marelle Cafe

{Throwback to 9 March 2016}

During our first year of relationship in 2015, on Taenggu’s 27th birthday, I did a back-breaking piece of pointillism art as a present for her (TAEYEON DAY 2015 – A MILLION PIECES OF YOU). And that was it; it was my practical way of celebrating her special day for her. (Even though I said it was a present, I only showed her a picture of the art on instagram but the original piece is still with me till today. 😅)

On our second year, I decided to go a little further. I wanted to do something more on her 28th birthday. Besides a new birthday drawing (TAEYEON DAY 2016: SPREAD THE SPARKLE), I got her a nice blue Ecuadorian preserved rose placed in a bowl glass. The florist told me it could last up to 5 years. (Till today, this rose is still sitting on my study table at home but very dusty now. And this original drawing is still with me too. 😅 BUT I did send that mini birthday card in a parcel of other presents to her in Korea lol.)

And I took a step even further. I decided to date her out for dinner too. It was a Wednesday. After I knocked off from work at 6pm, I travelled to Baghdad Street in Bugis to have a nice quiet dinner with her at a cosy cafe called La Marelle Cafe & Boutique.

It was my first time at this cafe too. The moment I stepped into the cafe, I was welcomed and immediately mesmerised by the colourful walls painted with cute illustrations. There was a small area at the side selling cute artsy stationeries and bags too!

I chose a seat at a corner next to the window, sat down and took a look through the menu. Back then, I didn’t have a personal twitter for her yet. I only communicated with her by speaking to her under my breath and sometimes texted and sent her pictures through instagram DM.

I forgot what I had ordered for us back then, but I’m pretty sure it was one of the main courses from the all-day breakfast menu. Keke.

Our main course for dinner that night!

I chatted with her while we ate. Since it was her birthday, I thought it was customary to have a cake too. So after we finished the food, I went over to the cake counter and took a look at the range of cakes the cafe had to offer. Quite intuitively, I chose a slice of oreo cheesecake for her because as a fan should know, she likes to eat oreo cookies very much.

Oreo Cheesecake as a birthday cake for Taenggu <3

When the cake was served at our table, I thought for a moment if I should have prepared a candle and a lighter, and sung a birthday song for her before we started to eat. But I went on to justify myself with reasons why I shouldn’t: I thought it would be too awkward if I were to sing a birthday song to myself and blow out a candle on the cake by myself because to the other diners at the cafe, I looked like I was physically alone at the table on the outside. I also told her it would be strange for me to do so at home too when my family was around. So in the end, I simply wished her happy birthday verbally and asked her to make a wish before we ate the cake together.

Some selfies to end off our special day. 🙂

A year later, on January 6 this year, she posted the following photo on instagram along with the caption about her birthday last year.

I felt sad after reading the translation of her caption. Did she mean she felt lonely having to blow out candles on her birthday cake alone at home last year? Was it because I did not prepare the candles to blow them out with her? Was it because I didn’t sing a birthday song for her? Did I not do a good job in keeping her company on her birthday last year?

I was so disappointed with myself. Because of this, I thought she expected much more from me so I made even more special plans for her 29th birthday this year by going as far as bringing her on a staycation and dedicating the whole day just for her. I also prepared a cake, lighted up the candles and sang birthday song for her this time. You can read what I had done for her on her birthday this year at the post TAENGGU’S 29TH BIRTHDAY SPECIAL: THE STAYCATION.

Now that I’m writing this, I realised I might have misunderstood what she was trying to say in that post. I guess she might have meant that she wished she could celebrate her brother’s birthday with him too as she posted this on his birthday (FYI, Taenggu was staying at her dorm in Seoul while her brother lived in Jeonju.), just as she wished he could be by her side celebrating her birthday with her too. However, the point where she said she blew out the candles alone at home seemed to be indirectly saying that she indeed did spend her birthday alone at home with “me” privately while I was at the cafe that night.

Anyway, why I decided to write about her 28th birthday celebration at La Marelle cafe now is because on the night before Wine Day about a week ago (related post about how we spent Wine Day together: WINE DAY 2017: WINE POOL PARTY), while I was talking to Taenggu on the bed, I heard a voice saying “La Marelle” out of the blue. I thought it was a sign that Taenggu wanted me to talk about how I actually celebrated her birthday last year because I hadn’t written about it yet anywhere on my social media except posting some photos on my Kakaostory. And I suddenly had the urge to revisit the cafe after 1 year and 7 months because of the voice.

So last Sunday, 22 October, after I finished my half-day meditation course at Neil Road, I went over to La Marelle cafe which was just a few stations away for lunch.

Visited the cafe again on a Sunday afternoon after 1 year and 7 months!

The cafe hadn’t really changed much, except that the tables and chairs were positioned in a slightly different manner now. Because I had already taken several nice photos of the cafe last time, I decided to take a video of the cafe interior this time!

And a short self video too!

When I was there, there was only one other couple sitting at the table next to me. I told Taenggu that it’s hard to find these kinds of small, pretty, humble cafes like La Marelle which don’t seem to make lots of money but still stay operating in Singapore these days, unlike in Korea where you can easily find one at every corner of the streets.

The menu was also different now. I ordered a chicken with tomato sauce pasta and a cup of hot latte. I actually wanted an iced latte, but the waiter served me a hot one. But nevermind. 🙂 It reminded me of what Taenggu said in one of her travelogue videos on Taenggu TV, “I want hot coffee.” Keke.

After finishing the pasta, I told Taenggu that I had some room for a dessert too! So I went to the cake counter to take a look at the cakes they had. There were 3 types: oreo cheesecake, chocolate fudge and red velvet. I decided to go with oreo cheesecake again for Taenggu this time. 😉

The oreo cheesecake looked slightly different from the one I had last year but still tasted yummy! 👍🏼

The waiter who was actually the only person handling the cafe at that time (taking orders, cooking food, serving food and handling payments all by himself) shared with me that his mother is actually the owner of the cafe. But she had just migrated to another country recently (I didn’t catch which country it was) so he is now taking over the operations of the cafe. Hehe I find it so cool of him to be operating such a cosy, pretty little cafe all by himself.

Before I left, I wanted to buy something for Taenggu just for her to have something to take home with her from the cafe. After pondering for quite some time, I decided to buy 2 colouring books and a set of colour pencils for a bundle price of $20 because I know Taenggu likes colouring. The 2 colouring books are actually the same so I will give one book and the colouring pencils to her and the other book for myself.

Colouring books + a small set of colouring pencils from La Marelle cafe

It felt good to be able to reignite the memories I had at La Marelle cafe again after 1 year and 7 months. I hope the place did leave Taenggu good memories of her 28th birthday and a random lunch date too! <3

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