Over the weekend, Dude convinced me to join him for dinner with a group of his army buddies, the men he spent his National Service and reservist trainings with. I didn’t know what to expect as I’ve never been to such gatherings before.
Photo by simonkoležnik
The dinner was at a Middle Eastern eatery/shisha smoking hangout at Sultan Gate. There were already a number of people there when we arrived. I was introduced to a whole lot of Dude’s friends but to tell you the truth, I think I can only remember about five of them. As the evening wore on, more started arriving and in the end, there were at least 20 guys and 2 ladies, me and a girlfriend of one of the guys.
It was an interesting experience for me to see how these men interact with each other. As I didn’t have any brothers nor many male friends, it was all a very eye opening and fascinating experience.
All of them were from different walks of life, with different backgrounds, interests and personalities but brought together through circumstances that were out of their control, namely, National Service. They greeted each other with manly hugs, slaps on the back and even kissing each other on the cheek, though I think that last was a joke.
Even though most of them had just seen each other not more than a few weeks ago during their reservist, they acted as if they’d not seen each other for years. From what I learned, some of them haven’t seen each other for years due to their jobs and other reasons. I watched them lounge on the cushions (we were sitting on the floor), talking, catching up, eating and smoking shisha. It was a very relaxed gathering, with multiple smoke breaks in between for some of the guys.
I thought there would have been more raucous laughter, more dirty jokes and for me to feel left out but I wasn’t. I found that I did have things in common with them and even if you don’t, they guys were easy going and rather nice to talk to. I didn’t expect to enjoy myself, frankly. Though, I was told later that the guys were holding back a lot of their usual antics due to the presence of the two ladies. Even so, they weren’t rowdy or rude and some of them had been drinking too.
I’m not sure if this was the norm for most male gatherings but if it is, I think it’s really cool. I wouldn’t mind going for dinner with them again if I was invited.