Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

After much ado, we decided to have a leaving do at social seychelles hangout Exiles. Always up for a party, I end up dreadfully nervous of my own, and so it was, and I spent most of the hours before it trying to create the prefect playlist rather than doing the sensible thing of packing. But then as previously established, packing is boring. After much umming and ahhing, the other one drove to Exiles and did a sterling job of staying sober all evening while I had his share of the beers and chatted inanely to most of our assembled guests who’d very kindly put aside a saturday evening to listen to my drivel. It was lovely to see everyone and weird to think that many of them I’ll probably never see again – I’m sentimental like that. I also realised that there were a few people who I should have invited and completely forgot. Sorry if you’re reading this. The other one got a good school showing, and I can say the same from my work too although I’d have liked it not to have been just the expats from my side, but I guess a lot of Seychellois are used to people passing through, or they knew ahead  of time I was going to chat inane drivel.

I also managed to inveigle myself on someone I’d never met before and extract an invite to stay with him in Abu Dhabi – this diplomacy stuff must have rubbed off on me without my knowing – and also got a very touching thank you for all my work with social seychelles, which I embarrassedly tried to bat away. It was a bittersweet evening but one I left standing up. If nothing else, I may return from Seychelles a proper grown up.

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Jubilee Social Whirl #2

We nearly missed the bus, or maybe we had missed the bus, but it came for us and there were three of us laggards at least, arriving belatedly at the Residence for the official celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. The President was arriving and the protocol guys were lined up and some bright spark in front decided to go down the line and shake their hands, so it was like do I have to do that? I did. I don’t think I’ve ever greeted colleagues so formally before, I don’t know who was more embarrassed, them or me. The Ex Boss and his wife were at the door ready to greet and I chatted on with myself. They probably thought ‘move along gobby northerner, the President is coming’, and I did eventually, though in hindsight I’d like to have stayed. I could have put a few questions to Mr Pres, but still best to be on my best behaviour I’ve not left the country yet.

It didn’t rain, a relief for all the guys who’d worked so hard to get event together, and marquees had been set up to host Nikki Murrary and The Sneer again (getting maximum use out of them), though it was a shame as most people were there for the social affair and the music really just a backdrop to the chit chat. It was a lovely do and fitting as the Ex Boss’ last one before he leaves. He made a speech as did the Minister of Foreign Affairs listing all that had been achieved in the past couple of years – quite a lot!- and also bittersweet moment when they made dedications to our colleague who died a couple of weeks ago. It was strange and sad for her not to be there.

It was probably the last time the other one and I will get to smooze with diplomats (not that I did, I was doing my usual trick of chasing the hors d’oeuvres around). However, I’m delighted to report that despite there having now been many occasions where I might have smoozed, I have done so in such a way that my dignity  (and theirs) has remained intact.  Well, as much as I remember at any rate.  Diplomacy holds. Now that’s worth celebrating.

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Jubilee Social Whirl #1

Live music in Seychelles courtesy of the British High Commission and Nikki Murray and The Sneer,my god, what next, our very own Glastonbury? The event was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and I was happy for the excuse to get out, thus avoiding the incessant and inane commentary of all things jubilee on the tele. Whoever thought that 4 hours of watching boats move down a river would be exciting was clearly misguided – just because a painter has ‘brought something to life’ doesn’t mean that we then have to try, does it? Surely, that’s their talent –  I’ve never seen the Houses of Parliament cast in a Turner like glow, and I doubt a real life Mona Lisa would make it through the local auditions for cycle 1025 of America’s Next Top Model. The Thames was never going to be a Caneletto; more a Vienetta perhaps, masquerading as high brow.

Here in Seychelles, there was the official lighting of the beacon on the beach (a bonfire basically, and I made sure I wasn’t too close to it being lit, not wholly trusting that it wouldn’t go wrong) and the other one and I splashed out for once, joining the hoi polloi at the Berjaya Beau Vallon for a jubilee buffet and music from the bands already mentioned (and totally because I was supporting ex work colleagues and figured we didn’t have that many occasions left in Seychelles to celebrate!). There was plenty of food and choice, but it was filling and satisfactory rather than anything exceptional. There were loads of people there though. I was surprised.

Nikki Murray and his sidekick Victoria (I think) had great voices, though not quite music to my taste – sort of James Blunt or is it James Morrison I don’t know – and The Sneer were more jingly jangly guitar, again not quite my thing, and I certainly wasn’t drunk enough to dance at the front of the stage. I got a badge though. We didn’t stay too late as the other one was keen to get home so that he could watch the jubilee concert. I fell asleep.

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A suitable gap in the schedule…

After a long break, the Social Seychelles pub quiz was back on Saturday, and you could tell. My opening patter was more of a putter and cor blimey I even had people swapping papers before ‘A’ had done her Round 1 recap. V, v slack. Then again, we were lucky it happened at all:

1) Because we had to find a date that didn’t conflict with the rugby (see previous)

2) Much more crucially, I’d had a call from Exiles about 4 hours previously saying that they didn’t think they could do it all.

I called ‘A’ all calm like, ‘ok we have to think laterally’…

About three minutes later I called back and begged.

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The Splendid Ningxia song and dance troupe

That’s what they were called, not that I didn’t think they were splendid, well, they were quite good. I had hoped that they name might be related to some western corruption of  the word Ninja* and that they’d come on in tight black body suits, leap around the stage, whirl their swords and break bricks with their head. Alas, it was not to be.

The first number ‘ the Red Lantern’ had sweet girls in silk pyjamas, running on tiptoes around the stage, twirling lanterns and smiling gaily. I think I might have been alone in finding it rather sinister. Isn’t China great?! It was  – trademark please -‘tourism porn’.

Wolf Totem, the boys number won ten out of ten for effort  – best camp impression I’ve seen in a long time. I was particular mesmerised by the guy with the justin beiber haircut. He could dance, but unfortunately, his hair took centre stage.

Then there was the Chinese lady compere – stunning in a ball gown and maybe tragically mislead; I think she may
have thought she had the Miss World gig, or an audience 100 times the size it was.  Boy, could she project. That she later powerfully belted out a number or two of her own, explained a lot.

I shouldn’t mock though. This was a performance to mark the Chinese New Year and a cultural exchange between Seychelles and China that meant it cost the other one and I a quid each to see. And I can’t remember the last time we’d seen anything at the theatre. Plus, guys dancing, fantastic really. And there some great moments; the girls juggling tables and massive vases with their feet and riding monocycles and kicking and catching bowls on their head and the golden kettle dance.

I think you’ll believe me when I say – it had to be seen to be believed.

* I wasn’t even thinking of the right country. A ninja (忍者?) or shinobi (忍び?) was a covert agent or mercenary of feudal Japan (wikipedia)

** Pictures from the The Nation (Seychelles). Thank you.

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It started with my french teacher cancelling classes – the boss stopped learning and I plummeted in importance, I felt unwanted. Then I found out, my teacher was leaving the country – way to go to feel worse. Then I discovered my new teacher is an intern, i.e. the person who gets given all the s**t jobs. High five me!

Maybe they’re trying to tell me that my time could be better spent doing something more important –  like I don’t know, scooping up poop? Paris…now where better to start? And it would it matter that I can’t speak french? Would it hell, they’d so speak English to me anyway.

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Pooper scooped…

No not the cat but a potty training child. She thinks the potty is mobile, scoots around the living room on said potty, potty tips over, potty isn’t  empty, Dad scoops up. I gag.


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At the squash final was a guy I’d met before in a professional type capacity. I went over to say hello, shook his hand and asked if he was well. Turns out he wasn’t, he had some belly bug that affected his digestive system and gave him diarrhoea, you might well think, what to say that? And I’d agree but probably best not to say jokingly,’I wished you told me that before I shook your hand’.

Dry humour not the best crosser of cultural divides.

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Smashed at squash

hours of fun

Back in the shells in time for the other one’s inaugural squash tournament, fanfare please, only for him to be drawn first round with the chair of the Squash Club and he got veritably hammered. Wanting to support the tournament and our mate who was the chair and a Social Seycheller, the other one put our names down to watch the final. This is what we do in Seychelles, we do, or watch, anything if it has some semblance of entertainment value. So why I went I don’t know. The other one was busy being one of the squash dudes on the back row while I sat in front and had not a sodding clue what was going on. People were winning points, why? People find it fun to run around in a confined space whacking a ball against a wall, why? I sulked and texted instead, one friend in particular, who shared a school experience when we visited a local squash court for a PE lesson and I got hit by a ball. Never went back.

I tell you what though, people who play squash, dark horses. After a short ceremony to congratulate the winners, during which time the guy who’d been asked to play guitar was so eager he set up and had to be told to stop playing so they could actually do the prize giving, they brought our 50 rupees worth of food and drink out, the beer flowed, the guy got on his guitar again and people rocked out – to Dire Straits. There was clapping, spontaneous band fronting – Hotel California god help us- and dancing, all in the spectators section of the squash court.

ROCK AND ROLL ON A FRIDAY NIGHT. The truth of the matter is I quite enjoyed it.

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The wonder of TV

The other one when he get's a bit tetchy

The best thing about being away was watching Cable TV, though I can’t believe that I spent my valuable time watching Spread with Ashton Kutcher- dire – and couldn’t stay awake because I was far too tired (how lame) for Weird Science and Fright Night – what was wrong with me? I’d forgotten how much I loved both, especially Fright Night. Roddy McDowall was dead good mates with Elizabeth Taylor, there’s some trivia for you. I have yet to see the remake – but it’s on my list (nothing else by AK is)

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