Thursday, February 21, 2013
A sociable week
I wouldn't normally choose to host dinner parties two nights running but sometimes things just work out that way. And some very capable restaurateurs did the hard part anyway.
Croucher is in Brisbane at the moment visiting rellies. Since he usually lives in China, such appearances have to be exploited for the purposes of remembering old times etc. We have known one another since 1971 and have remained in frequent contact via the internet, so the opportunity of once again meeting in person was not to be missed.
We dined together on Tuesday, accompanied by another member of our old merry band, Henningham. Henningham is an extremely jocular figure when his wife is not around so we did well to get him along in a solo state. Croucher, however, was accompanied by his Cantonese wife. Anne and I were dining together the day after so Mrs Croucher was the only female person present.
I shouted the dinner as I don't travel these days. So the least I can do is shout for those who do. I offered to take us all to a local Chinese restaurant where you can get Chinese food you won't find in China but that was understandably treated as suspect. Instead we went to my local Indian restaurant: The "Bollywood", where the food is always good. I shout lots of dinners there so I get very good service there.
Henningham wanted us to order dishes to share, which is a custom I do not normally honour, but I agreed anyway. When it transpired that Henninghanm liked his curry mild and Croucher and I wanted it medium, however, he suffered some revenge for that. We ordered all the curries medium. He survived without notable discomfort.
After the dinner we repaired to my place for tea and coffee and continued the deliberations. We discussed many things -- from social class to IQ. In his usual Sinophilic style, when Croucher was asked whether there are any class distinctions in China, he said: "Of course not". But he did row back a bit from that later.
I am a bit deaf these days but I am reasonably OK with male voices. It is the higher frequencies that one loses in old age so I understand women rather poorly unless they are fairly close to my ear -- but male voices use quite low frequencies so I did not miss too much of what was said. Mrs Croucher's contributions were however something of a mystery to me.
Then on Wednesday I shouted a dinner at the Kafe Meze in celebration of Jill's birthday. Anne and Lewis also took part. The food is always good there and we again repaired to my place afterward. There was a lot of talk of travel and foreign places as Jill and Lewis are off on a cruise again soon.