Friday, September 16, 2005

Arrivederci: Addio à Signore Darren

Darren and I: northern chinese flavours for lunch

Manarola, Cinque Terre: Darren contemplates, prosecco in hand.

Me, London: at the balcony of our roomy unit at Maddox No.5

Manarola, Cinque Terre: inviting azure waters, where many a moments were spent and etched in our minds.

Me, Largo di Garda: Lunching by Lake Garda, taking it ohsoeasy.

Milan: DSquared's show at a warehouse hangar in the Naviglio district during the menswear shows. A pair of Dean/Dan-spoofs came out a-sweeping to drive home the theme of the sixties American diner.

Monterosso, Cinque Terre: the harmony of umbrellas.

Kino, Ost Berlin, an der Karl Marx Allee/Avenue: A cinema called cinema. rich and austere interiors fit for Stalin's entourage in town to assess Ost Berlin's Five Year Plans during the Cold War era.

Tuesday after Emotions lecture. There was Darren to meet for the very last time before he returned to New York. At Holland Village, we settled for an afternoon of grazing at Crystal Jade’s La Mian Xiao Long Bao. The predictable selection was well-done, in my opinion. What surprised me was the mindblowing 凉菜 of cubes of marinated tofu with bits of century eggs mixed in. Why didn’t I see that in Beijing? Aww.

Somehow rather inevitably, we ended up talking about European holiday--i call(ed) it la petite euro voyage--together back in 2003. Under a month, we went east from London to Praha, then west to take in Berlin, Hamburg and then further south to Italy, with me winding up in Glasgow and Paris eventually while Darren trudged on to see Firenze and Venezia. What was really memorable for him was the lovely visit to Lake Garda/Largo di Garda where we stayed at Villa Feltrinelli. There was an open bar in our quaint and old school room, which meant we had bubbly quite readily everyday while picnicking and swimming in the lake! It was straight out of Talented Mr Ripley in Napoli, Amalfi, Roma e San Remo.

I remember Cinque Terre, off La Spezia and Genoa, for its excellent beaches where we swam, tanned and downed copious amounts of prosecco without giving heed to the heat. We had dinner at La Lanterna, a smallish restaurant perched on a tiny cliff, awash with the sounds of gently lapping waves of the Mediterranean; and it’s run by an effervescent Italian papa who speaks a smattering of English in an Italiano accent. We were so charmed by the fresh starter of steamed mussels that we ordered take-out the next evening, had it wrapped in aluminum foil, and snacked on it on a higher range of cliffs off the town of Riomaggiore.

There were other great moments. Ost Berlin for its edgy feel (esp Friedrichshain und Kreuzberg districts) and Milano for the explosive fashion sense and wicked aperitivo hours. Hmm, I wonder when I will be back.

And then I was jolted back to my senses again when, after the meal , Darren ran into his ex-RJ friends at the news stand, Shien and xxx who were back in Singapore for the hols from London and Stanford.

Me. I couldn’t resist smelling like 2003 again; I walked into Sasa and promptly paid for a 100 millimeters of Chanel Allure Pour Homme.

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