“Something-something” birthday dinner

We had made reservations in a new “destination” restaurant, currently the buzz of the city…  We were sooo excited, specially Marivic and I, for more than a week with visions of “slow cooking,” elegant table settings with the right silver, china, glass, and linens, gracious service, and a patrician prewar ambience…  We were ready to spend well to eat well!!!  We fully expected to have excellent, traditional Spanish-Filipino food…

Nening had developed a fever at the last moment but, always the gracious lady nonpareil, showed up in the early part of the evening because she had been the one who had made the dinner reservations.

Mary, Annie, Michelline, Salie, Chichi, Jiji, Minney, Joe Mari, and I gathered to celebrate Marivic’s “something-something” birthday.  It was also Rica’s “something-something” birthday but her daughter had just arrived with her baby grandchild and she was all excited about it.

The birthday celebrant Marivic had spent her actual 18 August birthday with Philip and some friends in Hong Kong at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.  While there, it was lunch and dinner every day at the latest interesting resto with her Hong Kong-based friends.  She would be returning this weekend because the annual big HK sale has just started and she wants to get a few things.  She will be returning next month September as we will be joining Alice, Hetty, and the rest of the jewelry-loving QPs for the annual Hong Kong Jewellery Fair.

Our own Polish aristocrat Mary a.k.a. “Marysia” would be leaving for a few weeks this August-September to visit relatives in her ancestral Poland.  She promised to check out the nice places worth visiting so the group could finally embark on a tour of Poland and the neighboring Eastern European countries.  I want to proceed to Russia, to Saint Petersburg and Moscow in particular.  Marivic said she l-o-v-e-d Saint Petersburg and was sure that I l-o-v-e it too.  Of course!  Palaces, one of my favorite words!

Lawyer and bon vivant Joe Mari had just returned from his annual Paris, London, & elsewhere sojourn.  While there, he visits with his fellow chichi Harvard graduates who reside in the city’s more social arrondissements.  He recalled a wonderful dinner he had with friends at the “Le Meurice” hotel.  As always, he had enjoyed his gallivanting all over Paris looking [ and shopping ] at all the beautiful things.

Lawyer Minney would be going to Berlin.  While there, she would like to follow her ancestor’s, Filipino national hero Jose Rizal’s, life in that city in the late 1800s.  Chichi said that one needed one month at least in Berlin, because of so much to see.  “Lovely museums.”  Chichi recalled.

Along with travel plans came travel reminiscences…

Joe Mari and Marivic wanted to go to Borobudur in Indonesia.  Both had already been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Marivic remembered her trek through Angkor Wat and how she could not move the day after…

Joe Mari recalled how he could not go down the Mayan temple of Quetzalcoatl.  He was able to climb it but once up, had great difficulty going down, because he had nothing to hold on to for his descent…

I related how I could not even step up a tread at the Great Wall of China at Juyong Pass.  The granite stair treads were uneven and it was difficult for an asthmatic like me climb them.  I just sat down at the cafe and had a cup of tea.

It’s good that we had the best time yakking among ourselves that evening!!!

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