Sunday, December 16, 2012

The weekend before Christmas

This weekend wasn't supposed to be very busy, but I ended up hosting three dinners in a row, going out to lunch yesterday and today, and doing a whole lot of shopping in between.

Christmas is about remembering people dear to us, and it was so nice to catch up with three sets of people for three very relaxing dinners at home, away from the Christmas hustle and bustle and amdist a quiet that enabled us to have real conversations instead of simply indulging in merrymaking.


Tonight, I gathered our "Prague group" over at my house for dinner. We were five Filipinos from Manila, and four of us knew each other casually.

We just happened to be in beautiful Prague at the same time last June. So one night, we all arranged to have dinner at a famous restaurant by the Charles River in Prague -- the same one that Hillary Clinton had eaten in when she was last in Prague.

We had a very nice time -- I can't ever forget that walk through the Old Town and across the Charles Bridge that we did at midnight -- and since then we've met every so often in Manila.

Tonight, we met in my house and had lots of fun talking about the economy, the future of the Philippines, and of course all our travels for 2013.


One of them asked me: "Where are you headed in 2013?"

I have about two dozen destinations in my head, and I've already started planning some of my trips. But two dozen is too much to talk about, so I simply said: "I'm going back to Africa. Kenya or Namibia perhaps."

This certainly intrigued them. This same guy asked: "What are you planning to do? Stay in Windhoek?" Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, and it's supposed to be quaint and charming.

I replied: "I want to do one of those desert safaris. And in Kenya, I want to see the animal migration, experience the Selous and visit Lake Naivasha. I even bought more clothes for safari already."

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It was true. I don't usually feel like shopping much, but this weekend, I shopped up a storm of new clothes, including a lot of khaki-colored clothes and sporty things that woud be usable on safari.

I even bought a North Face jacket at the Duty Free, which, as any of my friends will tell you, is so uncharacteristic of me. But I just felt like doing so.


Then for lunch today, I met up with one of my favorite ambassadors and his wife. The wife wanted to eat Italian food so I suggested going to Caruso, one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Manila. I don't go here often enough, but when I have a choice of where to go for Italian food, this is the first place I head for.

We had a nice long lunch -- and between that, my three dinners this weekend, and all that shopping I indulged in, it certainly felt like the holidays indeed.

And just another wonderful weekend in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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