Finally, after being nearly 400km overdue, the M2 got his 5000km servicing done. Another Mazda owner *cough* had told me that the process would take the whole day, but I was able to collect my car at 12. Not bad at all.
So Mazda gave me a coupon for free servicing, plus a car wash and vacuum at no extra charge. They replaced my engine oil and topped up all the various fluids -- hydraulics, coolants, cleaners -- and checked for possible defects due to wear and tear. M2 got a clean bill of health from today's inspection.
While M2 was in the shop, I had nothing to do from 0930 onwards. My intention was to mark essays, but the workshop guest lounge didn't have tables (and why should it, anyway?), it was dim, and it had a TV blaring away. Not... conducive.
So I took a bus (gasp! public transport! how plebian!) into Toa Payoh and discovered that most stores open at 1100. So I just wandered around like a disembodied spirit looking for an unobtrusive place to park myself, though I didn't have much luck there. No unoccupied benches, so I just had to keep walking.
Finally collected M2, just in time to meet June for lunch. I had another craving for pasta, so we went to Al Forno Tratorria, a class above the Pastamania, etc., that we are so used to. The restaurant had heavy wood furniture and patrons tend to be business people, or from the tai-tai variety. In my ah-pek t-shirt and berms, I felt a bit underdressed, but hey, whatever, I was there for pasta and not to make an impression of myself.
What can I say? Beautiful lasagne, so smooth and creamy, with meaty beef chunks rather than the sprinkling of ground beef that we get in the el cheapo places. They even make you decide what kind of water they serve you, "still or spa?" They then bring a 1 litre bottle of mineral water with an impressive label on it, and pour your first glass out for you. Classy.
Warning: our pasta was a bit too salty. June's spaghetti vongole tasted like it had been cooked in sea water, and this was the one anomaly that marred what might have been a truly gorgeous experience. Next time we go, we'll definitely ask for way less salt.
Cost of meal for 2: $54. Explains the fishball bee hoon soup I had for dinner.