|The beautiful basket and ostrich egg|
are gifts from the Ambassador of South Africa.
And that's my springbok skin,
bought right in the Cape of Good Hope
on our very last day in South Africa, living a Travelife.
Last night, in Manila living a TRAVELIFE, I attended a pre-Christmas dinner that the Ambassador of South Africa very graciously hosted for some family members visiting from South Africa and an assortment of close friends. It was a very intimate dinner for only 12 persons, and we obviously all enjoyed since we stayed till midnight.
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The invitation card was for two persons, so my friend D kindly accompanied me.
I immediately thought of asking him when I got the verbal and formal invitation because I knew he was interested in visiting South Africa and also going on safari sometime.
AND THEN FOUND ON FACEBOOK
I already knew most of the ambassador's guests, so it was a pretty relaxed dinner with lots of banter and laughter. In particular, one lady I happen to know quite well kept us in stitches with stories about a former love from 20 years ago or so.
They'd lost touch after he'd given her up for someone else, and recently she'd looked him up on Facebook. They exchanged messages and she'd seen some photos of him and his wife -- the very same woman he'd left her for.
REVENGE SERVED 20 YEARS LATER
Apparently he looks so much older now -- whereas she has certainly kept herself attractive looking and she doesn't look anywhere near her age at all.
"That's pretty good revenge," I said out loud, when she recalled how he'd chosen someone else over her, and now both he and the woman he had chosen both looked well beyond their real ages. You know what they say about "revenge being a dish best served cold..."
"She looks like she's gained 40 pounds as well," the lady added of her former boyfriend's significant other, and of course we giggled merrily at the idea of this.
A VERY NICE DINNER
So we continued throughout the meal with all kinds of banter, ranging from light and carefree topics like this, to serious things like the constitution and labor laws of South Africa. We also talked about the end of the world, of course, as last night was supposed to be the big night for that; and I think someone even proposed a toast to it.
It made for a very interesting evening accompanied by good food that was obviously prepared with lots of warmth.
In fact, the Ambassador's daughter herself had made the soup, which was a creamy butternut soup with a thin slice of cheese on top. This is one of her specialties and it was very good, with a hint of pepper at the end.
SURPRISES AFTER DINNER
For dinner, we had a spicy mango salad to start, and a slightly spicy salmon as a main course, followed by fruits and ice cream for dessert.
But the highlight came at the end. Teenee Chan, she and her mother were among the guests and Teenee performs with Repertory Philippines, sang a beautiful song from Oklahama, and then the Ambassador and her brother followed this up with excerpts from South African songs. We all enjoyed these.
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A FANTASTIC GIFT FROM SOUTH AFRICA
To say "Merry Christmas," as well, the Ambassador gave each of us a gift bag -- and inside was a truly lovely handwoven bowl in a myriad of colors from South Africa, and an ostrich egg. We were all very pleased with this surprise, and I was particularly beside myself with joy.
I'd seen these baskets in South Africa, you see, but somehow I'd never managed to buy even one of them. We'd spent two weeks in South Africa, but our shopping time had been strictly limited to two major shopping binges. So I'd gone home with just a few trinkets and a very large zebra skin.
Considering I hadn't even planned to bring home a zebra skin -- yes, it was an impulse buy -- this counted as a major shopping binge.
Of course now I'm so happy I brought home a zebra skin, especially when I see it on my floor by my Christmas tree every day. And now I have this lovely basket to keep reminding me about everything wonderful in South Africa as well.
Just another day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
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