Even in a never-ending Travelife, tonight was a really fun evening.
I received an invitation for dinner from Daphne Teo, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Singapore, to be her guest at the dinner of the Flowers Club tonight. She was hosting dinner at the embassy and the invitation said "smart casual."
When I arrived just after 7 PM, cocktails were just about over and most of the guests had already arrived. I was happy to see that I knew many of the members, who represented different embassies.
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A CLUB LIKE NO OTHER
The Flowers Club is a "club" composed of Deputy Chiefs of Mission ( DCM -- basically the #2 person in the embassy) stationed in Manila. However, membership is limited to only 12 members and it's strictly by invitation.
The group generally decides which DCM to invite and then a formal invitation is extended to that person.
Membership cannot be more than 12 and if the quota is full, a new member can only join if someone drops out or is posted out of the Philippines.
ORIGINALLY FOR THE BOYS
The Flowers Club was started in the 1950s by about five Deputy Chiefs of Mission in Manila, while they were all together for a social in someone's house. It was originally a gentlemen's club; but recently, they have also been accepting women.
The reason behind the magic number of 12 is simple: the group meets socially once a month, and so each member is supposed to host a dinner either at his or her home or at a restaurant once a year.
I didn't know what to expect, but I was happy to accept Ms. Teo's kind invitation.
And what a wonderful evening I had. It was relaxed and full of light banter, as well as good food. Ms. Teo's caterer served Singaporean street food, including the famous chicken rice.
NICE & RELAXING
Later on, over dinner, I laughingly said to those at my table: "How nice and relaxed your Flowers Club dinners are. The invitation even said 'smart casual' so I actually wore a pretty short dress."
I see many of them at events, so one of them agreed and replied: "Yes, you're always in formal dress. This is the first time I've seen you in a cocktail dress like that." I'd felt in a bit of a party mood, you see, so I'd chosen a dress I usually would never wear to a diplomatic function.
A DRESS FROM TINSLEY
It was one of the pretty party dresses I'd ordered from Tinsley, that home-service dress making operation that has been making a lot of clothes for me recently. I've just been ordering via email and text since they have my measurements already -- can you imagine that?
I ordered one particular style in two colors before leaving for the Middle East, and it had been ready when I returned.
I'd liked the results so much that I've now ordered all the other possible colors in exactly the same style. I'd simply chosen the fabrics and colors from swatches. This particular design hangs so prettily and makes me feel good.
So, now, call me crazy, but I've just ordered the same dress in even more colors as I'm planning to bring this same dress in about eight different colors to South Africa. They're light, they don't crumple, and they can function as a dress or a blouse -- great multi-taskers. Perfect for the tight luggage allocation on that small plane from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park.
AT OUR DOORSTEP
by Tinsley & Carmen Aurora
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Scroll down to read more about the Flower Club and a cool new bar in Greenbelt 3....
Anyway, at the Flower Club dinner last night, I also had the most interesting conversation at the table, being lucky enough to sit beside someone with whom I clicked in an instant. All of us came with a spouse or an escort, but everyone split up and sat at random beside other people. I could have talked all night with the diplomat I sat next to.
ON TO THE PARTY
The dinner ended at about 930 PM. And as it was still early, this friend who'd kindly escorted me to dinner, and I, headed for the opening party of Dillinger's on the 3rd floor of Greenbelt 3. Travelife Magazine was one of the major media partners for this event.
I usually never go to bars or late-night parties as I work all day and already do dinner out practically every night; but I have to say that the opening party of Dillinger's was really enjoyable. We entered through a small room that basically, and very surprisingly, opened up into a never-ending series of party spaces.
THE SECRET SPACE
|Prohibition at Dillinger's|
The VIP area is appropriately called "Prohibition," and it is accessed through a nondescript door that looks more like the door to the parking lot. But once you push the door open and go through a curtain, you're in this cavernous space with cool graphics, nice music, mood lighting and beautiful people.
And all the while we stood there listening to music and talking, we kept getting handed all kinds of industrial-strength drinks. It felt like I was back in college -- and that was certainly fun.
WELCOME TO A TRAVELIFE
Going home, my escort me tonight said he enjoyed both events thoroughly, but he particularly liked the dinner. He said: "Interesting people and substantial conversations about all kinds of topics. It was great."
Tonight was wonderful, but almost every evening in my life is pretty much something like this dinner -- full of stimulating conversations and pretty unique or amazing experiences. So I smiled at him and teasingly said: "Welcome to a Travelife."
This was, after all, just another evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
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