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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happy birthday, Australia. And about a long, last dinner with anambassador and his wife.


A children's choir performs at the
Australia National Day party tonight 

My long and happy evening tonight, living a #Travelife, began at the Makati Shangri-la for a party to celebrate the national day of Australia, hosted by the Ambassador of Australia.

I've had the pleasure of knowing the ambassador of Australia since his first days in the Philippines, as we'd been seated next to each other at a formal dinner when he'd first arrived.

And tonight, his party took up the entire ballroom of the Makati Shangri-la, and what a big party it really was. When I entered, I glanced around the room, and it seemed like everyone who was anyone in this small town was there.

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LONG TIME NO-SEE

I was really happy to bump into a couple of friends I hadn't seen in a very long time.

If I had walked around the room a little more, I'm sure I would've seen more friends. Unfortunately, I had a 730 PM appointment in the lobby, so I could only stay at the party for about 30 minutes.

To make sure I made it on time for my next appointment, I even set the alarm clock on my watch, as I was sure I would get carried away talking if I didn't mind the time.

THE AFTER-PARTY DINNER



Then for dinner, an ambassador and his wife and I went to a popular restaurant at the Fort.

We met at the Shangri-la lobby and went together to the restaurant, which was the special request of the ambassador himself.

LAST NIGHT IN MANILA



Tonight was their last night in Manila before leaving the Philippines tomorrow, and they'd only placed two appointments on their calendar for today -- one of them was dinner with me.

This ambassador and his wife are very prominent in Manila society, and until yesterday, they'd been wined and dined by the Who's Who of Manila.

I, too, had hosted a sit-down farewell dinner for them with a couple of surprise VIP guests.

JUST US TONIGHT



But they'd reserved tonight for me, and the three of us went for a nice casual dinner, reminiscing about old times, and also planning for future ones.

At the last minute, someone else joined us, and the four of us had a very nice time, in Manila, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.





Wednesday, January 28, 2015

According to feng shui expert Joey Yap, the Year of the Goat brings good luck for romance. And other predictions.


At a lunch hosted by Kingson Sian at the Genting Club of Resorts World today, living a #Travelife, I met Joey Yap, a feng shui expert who is supposedly one of the world's top experts. He told us what to expect from the upcoming Year of the Goat.

According to him, the Year of the Goat will be lucky for most, and especially for those looking for love.

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LOOKING AND FINDING LOVE

Those who are single will stand a good chance of finding someone significant, while those who are already attached may have many opportunities to strengthen their bonds.

Those born in the Year of the Goat will also be lording it over everyone else, as they will have lots of good fortune and happy moments compared to others.



And in between the predictions for the Chinese New Year today, we were treated to some incredible acrobatics and a happy song and dance number. 

Pretty amazing lunchtime fare, even in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

A drink called Piscine, enjoyed a lot in the south of France

Piscine is usually served in a larger and rounder glass than this.
But this was certainly fine tonight,
living a #Travelife.

Today I won't bore you with details of what I ate or cooked, somewhere in the world, living a #Travelife.

Instead I'm going to write about what I drunk, at a dinner that began way later than my usual time.

Midway through dinner, I finally had the drink called "piscine." Someone I was having dinner with had began cocktails with it, having glass after glass next to me. And then he continued with glass after glass at dinner.

Just like water.

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NO TO ALCOHOL

Meanwhile, I strenuously resisted anything alcoholic, as this was my nth night out, and always with lots of wine. I even said no to offers of champagne. So I actually began the evening with a pot of peppermint tea.

At dinner, though, I finally couldn't resist.

He was drinking the piscine right in front of me, you see. It's a glass filled with ice (and if you're one of my friends, you'll certainly know how I feel about ice) and a pink-ish coloured liquid. It looked just beautiful. And absolutely irresistible.

So when the waitress offered me a glass midway through dinner, I finally said yes.

Just one photo of the first course tonight:
smoked salmon with slices of grapefruit

WHERE PISCINE IS USUALLY DRUNK

Piscine actually means swimming pool in French. But in France, it's also the name of this drink, enjoyed a lot in St. Tropez and other glamorous and sunny parts of France.

The drink itself is just rose wine, and it's usually served in a very large and round glass.

But the magic is when the glass is filled with ice and then the wine is poured, so that it looks beautiful and fresh, and it makes you feel like you're drinking  a very cold glass of juice.

Of course, it's far from juice. But it was very good, and perfect for a nice evening in balmy Manila, living a never-ending, and never-endingly delicious #Travelife. 

PS: So perfect, in fact, that I'm going to serve the piscine at my next dinner party. I just so happened to spot in my fridge a lovely rose from Cloud Estate, a winery and luxury hotel in Western Cape, South Africa, that will make a wonderful few glasses of piscine.