Sunday, April 6, 2008

Day 57 (Sunday April 6) - Visiting old friends

The morning had an auspicious start: I played a Backgammon game with Phillip and I won! Phillip is very good at the game, so I was strutting around full of myself. So Anna decided to put me in my place and challenged me to two games (she is also very good), and I won again! So by now I am really rubbing it in.

My Backgammon exploits were pleasantly interrupted by lunch with Chrissy’s parents, Elizabeth and Toni; Chrissy’s brother and girlfriend, Toni and Zita; Anna and her boyfriend Andy; Phillip, Chrissy, Gustav and I. We met at an old guesthouse for a delicious meal to celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday, and then went to their house for coffee, cake, and endless photos. Chrissy had brought her computer, with hundreds of pictures from India, and Toni and Zita had brought theirs, with again hundreds of pictures from their recent vacation in Thailand. Picture shows may go a bit faster with the computer, but it still takes a long time to go through hundreds of pictures (very cool pictures), so after a while Toni senior, Gustav and I sat at the side making small talk. Then Gustav mentioned that Toni had been born in a small town in Bavaria, which opened the floodgates to memories and . . . a cardboard box full of old pictures! It was a delightful afternoon.

Later that day we went to visit Aurora and Peter, our companions from the India trip, and their delightful daughters Carmen and Carina. Aurora is from Spain, so the meal consisted on a great variety of “tapas”. There were dates wrapped in bacon, shrimp in a dill creamy sauce, small salami sticks, and “sobreasada” chorizo to name but a few of the yummy things the family had prepared. By now I was over the folly of being a tee-totaler, so we also enjoyed very good wine. But the best part of all was the conversation. Aurora and Peter have a wonderful collection of historical family photos, so we spent a good time talking about the families, and Corina and Carmen are a hoot. First of all they are identical twins, strongly linked by that magic connection that exists between twins, so they can talk on relays, following the same line of thought (they also talk extremely fast and without taking a breath, which is why I think they talk on relays). Both are doctors with specialty in neurology, and at 28 years old have become highly regarded in the hospital where both of them work, with the same schedule. Very cool young women.

OK, we are back at home getting ready to retire for the night, when Chrissy challenges me, in her quiet and friendly game, to a game of Backgammon. I better be scared, because she has the reputation of being a very good player, and she is a mother in defense of her little ones. But no, I am unassailable, and in a dash of good luck I beat her twice. Life is very good indeed :)

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