Thursday, November 29, 2012

A crazy life and a long weekend somewhere cold

It truly is a wonderfully fulfilling, never-endingly eventful and crazily busy TRAVELIFE. Just reading this blog feels like an aerobics session to some people -- but what you read here is exactly how a Travelife is going so far.

I like to write about things, places and people that stand out each day because that's what makes life and this blog interesting. And because of this, perhaps, not a few people reportedly read this blog first thing in the morning or last thing at night -- or even both.


There's not much editing that goes on here as it's just a blog (in contrast, we edit each article at least 12 times for Travelife Magazine, by the way) and spontaneity is key.

And, yes, sometimes we have too much fun recalling and writing stuff here because life's really fun; and then it becomes cocktail party fodder in this small town.


Anyway, one day, I'm actually going to slow down -- but it certainly won't be tomorrow or next week. Or even next year. For now, we're living a Travelife and loving it. And not a day passes that I don't realize how lucky I am to be doing so.


But today was one of those crazy days when I was too busy to have breakfast or lunch. In fact, my last meal was at Kasbah for lunch yesterday. 

Last night, I was at a big party but I had two glasses of ice water and -- literally -- about four pieces of macaroni. I haven't felt much like eating lately -- but perhaps that'll change this weekend, with three pretty nice dinners in a row planned out. It's about time I actually had a proper meal.

Anyway, I was at work today until late afternoon, finishing up our next issue and editing a last-minute article from someone who obviously got inspired to write because he ended up sending me a piece double the length we'd talked about.

It was a very nice article, though, easy to edit and reading it made me smile because I knew he'd worked hard at it. But double the length just meant double the time to edit -- and time was one commodity I didn't really have today.


And just after 5 PM, finished with the edit, I rushed home to change into another formal dress to emcee the cultural evening that the embassy of Sri Lanka had organized for about 300 persons at a Makati hotel.

I was planning to wear a saree. But when I realized I had only five minutes to change, I took one of my Malaysian silk gowns from a closet and changed and was out the door again in four-and-a-half minutes. It takes me about ten minutes to get a saree on, so this wasn't an option tonight.


Well, traffic along McKinley Avenue certainly put a damper on my schedule, and I ended up slightly late for emceeing my own program. But there was no time to lose when I got to the hotel; so from the driveway, I literally went straight to the ballroom and up the stage without pausing for breath -- and just in time to grab the mike and welcome guests for the evening.

Talk about photo-finish. When I finally had a minute to sit down backstage -- and that was about an hour later, and still no food -- I thought to myself: "What a crazy life." But I love it, and I wouldn't exchange it for anyone else's right now.


That's not the end of my story either. After the program ended at about 10 PM, I avoided the usual socializing and returned straight home to correct layouts and pack up.

Yes, I've just returned from South Africa but I'm on another Travelife first thing tomorrow. But fortunately, it's only for the long weekend.

I'm going somewhere cold and delicious for the next three days, so not much packing's involved -- although I've had to think carefully about what to wear for three days of winter walking and three evenings of pretty nice but cold dinners.  Especially as I'm headed for a kind of fashion-conscious city, and one of my dinners is a very long degustation meal at one of my (current) favorite restaurants.

Basically, I packed three little black dresses and a black trench, and then a couple of dark jeans and black pullovers for the day. And my sunglasses which I always use as headband.

What a contrast to Manila, where I've been wearing all the colorful clothes imaginable, and even to South Africa, where I actually brought exactly the same iron-free dress but in about 9 or 10 colors for variety.


Speaking of South Africa, here's a funny story concerning my clothes. On the way to and from Johannesburg, we found ourselves on the same plane and even in the same section as an Asian couple who'd gone on a two-week holiday to South Africa as well, safari and all.

We'd never noticed them because the plane configuration from HK to JBG is all single seating and we'd literally slept all the way and back on the flat beds, save for about two hours out of the 12 when I'd watched a movie. But apparently, they remembered us pretty well.

On the return trip, just as we were landing in Hong Kong, the guy struck a conversation with us.

"You guys were on the same plane with us to South Africa two weeks ago," he said, smilingly. And here's the clincher. He then looked at me and said, "And you were wearing exactly those same clothes."

Uh-oh. He was right, though. I'd worn a white polo shirt and loose black pants for the overnight flight from Hong Kong to Joburg, and then I'd chucked these into a hotel laundry bag for dry cleaning at one of our hotels in the Cape area, and worn the same thing back, freshly laundered.

I was amazed at his memory, and at the coincidence of being on exactly the same flights.

What are the odds of that? Anyway we'd exchanged notes on our trips as they'd done almost exactly the same route as we had, except they'd opted for a self-drive trip to Kruger National Park, while we'd headed for the Sabi Sabi game reserve.

Reading about my today might give some people palpitations. But to me, it's just another day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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