The South African side of our family is passionate about Highland Dancing. Stuart’s sister, Hayley, has her own dance studio in Cape Town – and the niece, Robyn, has won the SA Championship (under 15) several times – this year being no exeption. Therefore, the SA Championships in August is a major event, with the entire family descending on us.
The day is always a lot of fun, but due to travel, work and life in general, I was unable to join them for the event itself. However, it did get me going back to my photos from year before. And because these were better than any pictures I snapped on this date itself (by a long mile), I decided to make an exception and post pictures from exactly a year ago.
If everyone knows about it, it ain’t cheating.
When Stuart and I started dating, he once told me how I made him see the nature in Johannesburg differently again. I was childishly excited how there are flowers blooming around the year – and commented on it non-stop. He had lived here long enough not to see it anymore.
We all need to be reminded sometimes to see what is around us. Luckily there are children aroud. Children and foreign visitors.
Today’s photo is not the best of the day. (My last day in Rome…). In fact, it was (and still is) a bad photo in many ways – overexposed, badly framed and lots of ‘noise’ in the picture (The cars really bother me). I am still not sure why I kept editing it over and over again, and trying to make it work. Something in it just spoke to me.
It’s still not the greatest of photos. But the story it tells is a story so very typical to Rome.
In one aspect my trip to Rome has been a bit of a disappointment: I wanted to practise my people photography skills and maybe do some street photography. However, my patience ran out quickly. It is practically impossible to take a picture involving people, without everyone being glued into their phones, either taking photos or messaging – and this includes the nuns(!) Only today, as I strolled quite far from the tourist area into a local park, was my fate in humanity restored.
Unlike Venice or even Paris, Rome has the feel of everyday life everywhere. Even in the most touristy center, tucked in the narrow lane between two monuments is someone’s laundry drying from the window, and someone’s grandmother keeping a careful eye of the comings and goings on her street. The pulse of real Rome.
Note the grandmother of the street on the right…
I enjoy the ‘drama of cooking’. And I don’t mean the drama of MasterChef (although I really enjoy that too!). I love the chefs who are proud of what they do, and willing to take that one extra step to make the experience of eating special – even if it is just flambéing the calamari at the table.
Friends’ birthdays make good excuses to go out and try new restaurants. Joburg is going thru quite a restaurant-boom. New (an often even good) places pop up faster than one can visit. Especially is one also enjoys cooking at home.
God mojitos, huge cake, and buzz of conversation – Happy birthday, Ridhima!
I travelled to Stellenbosch today for few meetings. Lunchtime I spent frantically finalising some materials in the street side restaurant – but it sure beats being cooped up in the office.
Group photo credits to Alexandre Halbardier
One weekend with 250 friends is not enough – but then again 1 year with 500 was not enough either. New memories were made.
- Friday house party – which proved NOTHING has changed in 5 years – we still live on champagne, pizza and laughter
- Doing another case in class – which proved something has changed, as the entire class actually read the case before the discussion
- Celebrating in style in Fontainebleau chateau – which was definitely a change from all the nights spent in fliplops and shorts in Singapore
- Hanging out in the lawn and cafeteria – which proved that even through many of us have moved, changed jobs, married and multiplied, nothing really has changed.
Let’s do many more mini-reunions before the next full-blown party 5 years from now.
PS. You can see the bigger pictures by clicking. If anyone wants the pictures in full size, send me a message.
The year in INSEAD was one of the best experiences of my life – so I definitely did not want to miss the reunion. About 250 classmates showed up – and some others were greatly missed! Another 5 years to the next one.