Friday, January 15, 2016

Discussing politics and the tragedy of the Middle East over halo-halo at the Manila Polo Club



Yesterday in Manila, I invited an ambassador of an important country to the Philippines to afternoon tea at the Manila Polo Club -- or to what is known as "merienda" in Tagalog.

We were long overdue for a catch-up and when we meet one-on-one, we usually do so in the afternoon, after much of work at office has been done and before evening engagements.

I did the inviting this time, and I thought the Polo Club would be perfect for shooting the breeze as you can get a table where you can sit and not be heard by others, and at the same time enjoy a rare view of greenery in Manila.

Scroll down to read more about an afternoon at the Manila Polo Club...




HALO HALO FOR AFTERNOON TEA

It was very hot when I arrived so I ordered a halo-halo, and then I took a photo of my halo-halo and emailed this to him on his mobile. 

"Would you like me to order you one of these?"

Then I also put this photo on our #Travelife Instagram account and on our #Travelife Magazine Facebook Fan Page where it got a tremendous amount of "likes," to my great surprise and delight.



TALKING ABOUT WORLD AFFAIRS
AND CURRENT EVENTS.
AND A BOOK ON QUEEN ISABELLA
OF ENGLAND.

As for the conversation, we spent a good three hours discussing everything of interest, including politics in the Middle East, the current turmoil in the world, and the history of Europe and how European policies have affected the rest of the world.

I love history, by the way, and the book on my night table right now is a biography of the fierce queen Isabella of England who arrived from France as a child to marry Eduard II and who spent years alternately being ignored or mistreated by him.

With her life in danger at the end of their relationship, she cleverly managed to return to France where she raised an army and then sailed back, retook England and obliquely gave approval to his murder.

Talk about the ultimate revenge. It's extremely fascinating.

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THE SPREAD OF INSTABILITY
IN THE WORLD

But back to our discussions at the Polo Club yesterday, which centered on how unstable the Middle East is, and how little the Middle East still is understood by the West, after all this time.

This instability, which could once be localised, is now spreading throughout the world.

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And little did we know that another crisis was brewing exactly as we sat there talking about the problems of the world, with the tragedy unfolding in Jakarta.

"This is the most complex situation I've seen the world in, in a long time," I said, and we both sighed. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I'd seen this much tension all over the world, while living a #Travelife.

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