A New Year dinner for a princess and about a guy with a keen eye for detail and decor

In Manila tonight, living a Travelife, a friend invited me to join a big Christmas dinner he was hosting for his extended family, and he invited some of my friends as well.

It was such a fun evening of Christmas carols, good food and great company.

A very elegant table was set for dinner, and they served such delicious food, including the best callow I’ve had in a very long time.


There was assigned seating at dinner, and I was seated next to one of my friends who lives in Hong Kong and who is very much into art, culture, and jewellery. You might say that he grew up in this kind of rarefied environment.

Of course, we talked all night about art, culture and jewellery — especially as he has such a sharp eye for everything and he doesn’t miss a thing, aesthetically.

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I’m very much like that as well, so I know how that’s like. I usually don’t miss an image, a word, a movement, an emotion or a meaning, even if I don’t say anything about it because I think it’s quite tiring to not miss anything all the time.

But, yes, nothing usually escapes me when I choose to pay attention, and I usually can read other people like a book. The latter is something I try to turn off, especially when I’m with my friends, as people’s thoughts and motivations start filtering through my consciousness like data on a computer if I don’t.


It just so happens that on January 1st, I’ve offered to host a dinner at my home for a princess who is visiting Manila over New Year’s, and I’ve invited this guy as well.

But, tonight, when we started talking about other people’s homes that we’d seen around the world, I realised once more just what incredibly good taste — and expensive taste, I must say — this guy has.

So I teased him tonight: “I’m uninviting you to my house on the 1st. I’m not having you come into my house and start looking at everything with the eye of a critic.



Tonight, he’d talked about the clutter he’d seen in people’s houses, and the mishmash of decor. And here I was — I’d just turned my home in Manila into a mini Morocco so there’s nothing simple about it.

I like what I’ve done and most people who’ve been to my house like it as well. However, I know this friend from last night lives a very streamlined existence in somber colours on the Peak, so a colourful riad in Marrakech is not his idea of inspired decor.


But, everyone has their own taste, and mine is eclectic and so very Travelife, actually.

So, of course, I’m just joking, and he is definitely invited, and welcome to critique my choices. But I did say tonight, when we said goodbye: “I’m going to renovate my house before you come over…

All in good fun, on just another nice holiday evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.