35 CH35: Travel fair

    "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."

    -  Erma Bombeck


    That morning, Delilah was having her lunch at the office cafeteria when her phone rang. She glanced at her phone, which on the table, beside her plate and saw it was Ai Meili. Ai Meili was her ex-colleague from when she had her internship before working at Kang Company. They were still close as they still keep in touch with each other. Although, Ai Meili got the job at the company where they interned at, while Delilah didn't.

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    Ai Meili was the type who does not like to send messages, rather, she prefers to send voice messages or calling. Not wanting Ai Meili to wait long, Delilah picked up the phone.


    'Hey there, bish! Whatcha up to?'

    Delilah frowned. "I'm having my lunch. What about you?" she asked politely.

    'Ehhh... Whatever. Let's skip all these niceties and get on to what I want. Lets go to the travel fair! There's one happening at Swanties Mall!" responded Ai Meili.

    Delilah rolled her eyes. This was so typical of Ai Meili. It's not that she was selfish but she likes to get to the point and get what she wants. "Ahhh... Okay...." Delilah replied slowly. "And what will we do?"

    She could have sworn that she could feel Ai Meili rolling her eyes at that moment. 'Like, duh! Buy plane tickets!' she exclaimed.

    "Didn't you just got back from your Euro trip?" Delilah asked, confused.

    'I did,' her friend agreed. 'But this is a travel fair! You don't get to see these kind of cheap tickets!' she reasoned out. Ai Meili loves to travel, as much as Delilah loves to eat.

    Delilah sighed. "Any place you're thinking of going to?" she asked. "But please, if you want me to join, make sure the place is not that expensive and is within my budget." She doesn't have a high salary, compared to Ai Meili. Ai Meili had already been promoted twice in the last three years that she's been working. Whereas Delilah hasn't. Hence, it was no surprise as to why Ai Meili's salary was higher than Delilah.

    'Sure, sure. No worries,' Ai Meili reassured.

    The two of them decided on the date. Since the travel fair will be happening for two days, which was at the weekend, they decided to go on a Saturday. Delilah will be working half-day on Saturday as usual, whereas Ai Meili doesn't work on Saturday. Hence, it was also decided that Ai Meili will be picking Delilah up from her office and they will go together to the place. The travel fair will be at Swanties Mall, which was one of the malls that were newly-opened a couple of months ago. Knowing how the traffic was in that area, they agreed that it was better to carpool.

    At first, Delilah was worried about leaving her car at the office while she's not there. But Ai Meili just pooh-poohed at her concerns, saying that it should be fine since the security was tight. She was confident that there wouldn't be any problem when it comes to leaving her car there. And if she was really that concerned and worried, it would be better if Delilah just informed the security at her office to look after her car.

    Delilah agreed and they settled on the time and rang off.


    The day of the travel fair, Swanties Mall.

    Delilah and Ai Meili was inside the Swanties Mall. The place was packed with people, that one had to squeeze through to get to another place. The travel fair was held on the first floor, where many booths were set up for each travel agencies in town. And each booth had chairs lined up in front of them for the customers to wait in line. Hence why the place was really crowded. It had already taken them an hour to look for a parking space. And now, they spent another hour looking around, accepting all the brochures that had been given by the standing travel agents.

    Delilah was never good with crowds, especially when she felt like she was being squeezed by people from all sides. She nearly fainted from dizziness until they finally found empty seats for two at one of the booths. They quickly grabbed the seats and sat down.

    Once seated, the two of them looked at the brochures which were given to them earlier. They then began to compare prices, as well as checking online on which country was the best place to visit.

    While they were looking through the brochures, Delilah also got the chance to see some of her university friends at the fair. She greeted them 'hello' and some would walked over to her and had a little chat. They promised each other to meet up sometime and catch up with each other. After they looked through the brochures, they finally decided on one place; which was a small state of a country. Since the two of them had never been there before, they decided to go to the state. At least, they can explore the place together. And also, another reason as to why Delilah had agreed on the place was because she had heard it was a perfect place for a fooDEE.

    Although they had already picked a place to go, they still need to wait in line for their turn to buy the tickets. It took them another two hours to buy the tickets. They could not even go anywhere or else their spot will be taken by other people. So, they could only chat with each other and also surveying hotel prices and places to go.

    Once it was their turn, they immediately told the travel agent the country that they wanted to go to. Earlier, Delilah had told Ai Meili of the dates that she was able to go. Because she did not want to use up most of her annual leave, she could only picked dates with weekends. So, they picked dates that the both of them agreed upon.

    According to the travel agent, to get to the state that they wanted to go, they would need to transfer at the capital city. Since the plane ticket prices were already included as overall, the two of them did not mind. In fact, they asked whether they could stay over a day or two at the capital city. The travel agent assured them that it was no problem.

    After settling the plane tickets, they decided to get out of the mall and go to another place to have their dinner. They agreed on a light dinner because even though, Delilah was hungry, she was not in the mood for a heavy dinner.

    Ai Meili drove them to a small restaurant, which was famous for their banana fritters. Arrived, they settled on a table not too far from the door, at the corner. Ai Meili doesn't like sitting in the middle, as she doesn't like being bombarded with noise from all sides. She prefers the quiet place for her to talk.

    The two women settled in their seats, catching up with their lives and having a laugh over past memories. Few minutes later, their food came. The two of them agreed in sharing the banana fritters and vegetable spring rolls.

    The foods were still piping hot so they wait for a couple of minutes for it to cool off. Then Delilah picked one of the banana fritters from the plate. It was actually a small banana that was covered with batter and fried cooked. The chef had drizzled some caramel sauce over the fritters, which made it a bit sticky. Delilah warily took a bite of the hot fritter. The outside of the fritter was crunchy yet soft. As she munched on the fritter, the sweet, fattening and savoury taste of the banana hits her tongue. Together with the caramel sauce, it made the fritter more sweet. The banana used wasn't ripe so it was less firm.

    The two women continued their talk while eating. It was when Ai Meili asked for the tickets, which was kept by Delilah. Delilah passed her the envelope which contained the tickets.

    When Ai Meili looked at the tickets, she gasped, her fritter dropped from her fingers onto her plate. Delilah frowned, surprised. Why did she suddenly gasped?

    Ai Meili looked at Delilah, her eyes wide. "Oh my gosh, D!" she exclaimed. "What are we going to do? Are you okay??"

    Delilah frowned even more. "What happened?" she asked, puzzled with her reactions and questions.

    Ai Meili slapped the tickets on the table, between them. "Look at the dates!"

    Delilah looked down at the tickets. Apparently, the travel agent had booked them for six nights, rather than five nights. And instead of spending a day or two at the capital city, they only have less than a day at the capital city since they will be arriving at the capital city in late afternoon and back home the next morning at 8AM.

    She sighed. "Oh well, we can't do anything about it," she said. "We already bought the tickets. I bet if we changed the dates, it will cost us more."

    "But what about your leave?"

    Delilah shrugged and let out a soft laugh. "It's alright. It's just a day. Let's just hope for the best. And seize the moment that were given to us."
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