Tuesday 26 February 2013

Small city, small world

Had I realised I would be photographing my bag today, I would have taken the fancy cork one I bought in Portugal and not my battered old faithful. So disregard its tatty lack of style and focus instead on the rectangle of carpet beneath it: "a shag for your bag" our cheerful waiter said, as he went around the table putting down these little mats so our handbags needn't sit on the bare concrete of the terrace. What a sweet little touch! We were at Cibo for a long lunch hosted by Rail Europe, RailPlus and Switzerland Tourism, a jolly tableful of 8 pleased to be there on a balmy afternoon.
The food was interesting and delicious, with lots of unusual ingredients and combinations - like this chilled lettuce soup with prawns, tangy and refreshing, and leaving lots of room for the main course of scallops with dehydrated mandarin and other good things that the equally good pinot gris is preventing me from remembering. And then there was dessert: pavlova for which the Aussie in the group made no historical claim (he was outnumbered) with passionfruit sorbet, and other small sweet treats.

Although we were on the other side of the city from the Tourism Tasmania event two of us attended the previous evening, our hosts from that were at the next table, which made the travel business seem a very small world in Auckland. And so it is - though you can hardly claim the same about LA, which makes it extra astonishing that one of today's group, while being driven around there in a bus, spotted another of the group walking along the footpath, there on a separate trip. Now that was amazing - and so, on reflection, was the fact that anyone was using their feet to get about that car-focused city.

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