Friday, July 19, 2013

Meeting Charlie Wilson in Peshawar, and how he's exactly like in that Tom Hanks movie

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So this is part 3 of my account of a sit-down dinner I attended in a pretty big mansion in Forbes Park last Wednesday.

We were a table of 20 persons, and the dinner was in honor of an ambassador and his wife, who are leaving Manila soon.



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A WONDERFUL EVENING

Most of us at that table were friends of the ambassador and his wife, and so we all knew each other.

The one person we didn’t know was our host, who was a low-key gentleman who very kindly offered to host a dinner party for the ambassador and his wife, and their friends.



I enjoyed it thoroughly.

We started with a tour of their private museum right on the grounds of the estate, and this was followed by an eight-course dinner, and then by a private concert of opera favorites performed by two of the country’s top opera stars.




PESHAWAR, TWICE OUT OF NOWHERE




I was seated next to an ambassador I’d met before at a dinner party, but he was not someone I knew well. We had a merry time talking about his adventures.

Out of nowhere, the Pakistan city of Peshawar came into the conversation.

This was the second evening in a row that a dinner companion had brought up Peshawar in conversation.



I just had to mention this to him. I said: “Do you know that this is the second night in a row that Peshawar has come into the conversation?”

Absolutely no one talks about Peshawar unless you’re with US military intelligence or something along those lines.

But suddenly, I was talking about Peshawar at two dinners. The previous night, an airline country manager was recounting what had happened to him on a flight from Lahore to Peshawar.

What are the odds of that happening? 

CHARLIE WILSON'S JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES



The ambassador continued: “I knew Charlie Wilson. He was a great guy.”

He meant the infamous Charlie Wilson whose life was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

That made me sit up. I said: “Really? How was he in real-life? Was he everything the movie made him to be?”



You know how Hollywood has a way of making a lot out of a little, in the name of dramatization and box-office success.

The ambassador said: “Well, I bumped into him in Peshawar (Peshawar again!) and when I saw him at a hotel bar, he was with a blonde.

That said everything, and I had to laugh.

MUSIC, THE 2nd TIME AROUND



After dinner, our host announced a private concert by two of the country’s top opera singers.

Again, this was the second night in a row that I’d been treated to a sit-down dinner with a private concert by opera singers

What are the odds of that happening?

Only in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife



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