27 February 2012

When I'm Sixty-Four. . .

Good grief! Paul McCartney wrote this when he was sixteen.

Anyway, I did receive my birthday greetings and a bottle of wine on Saturday. Plus a wonderful lunch out at Ocha & Bella. Although the Japanese side of the Menteng restaurant wasn't much in evidence on the menu, chances are we would have been ordering Italian anyway.

Parked prominently to highlight Italian theme.

 The bakers.


 And the best bread we've found in Jakarta.

 Pizza in the process of being devoured at the table next to us.

My sgroppino and Michael's vodka gimlet, both with lemon sorbet.
Toasting myself.
A Japanese touch: the drink garnished with kiwi is my iced ocha (green tea).

A close-up of some of that fabulous bread being baked above. This focaccia rivals any we've had anywhere. I was able to buy some to take home, too.

For the first course we shared gnocchi with baby lobster.

Shared main course was the fish of the day, red snapper, presented al cartoccio, with clams, mushrooms, and flavorful cherry tomatoes.

A view of the sublime broth.

As we waited 22 minutes (time noted on the menu was exactly right) for our lime soufflé with mint gelato, we noticed a family one table over who took us back 34 years to a restaurant in Monterey, California, with baby Iain. Either the mother was eating or the father; the other was outside walking a less than happy toddler.

The finale:

26 February 2012

Uncle John would have liked these photos

This wiring wouldn't have passed muster at the PE Company:

On way to Mangga Dua

Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Chips

When I taught back in the 1970s, I liked to think I was a pretty dedicated teacher. Ha! Hans-Jörg has shown me over the decades what it means to really take the profession seriously.

As of a couple of weeks ago, his days in the classroom are over. Right now he is clearing the mountains of papers in his study saved as possible resources for discussions with students. The end of an era: a return to the more carefree cowboy adventures of his youth is now possible, with a certain still-feisty redhead as his sidekick.

From Marlboro Man to Man in Black

Retirement party, February 2012

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, circa 1970

19 February 2012

A room with a view

One thing that never ceases to amaze us here on the 39th floor is what we can see out our living room window. Here's the show that we were treated to the other evening as thunderheads piled up near the coast.

 The drama ended with a view reminiscent of sunsets savoured with a glass of wine on our balcony in France. The Corbières could be lurking behind that mist.

14 February 2012

Dita's birthday

Luckily for me, I was free and able to accept Esti's invitation Friday morning for Dita's birthday luncheon at Din Tai Fung, an excellent Chinese restaurant in Pacific Place. The many dishes were, as always, delicious, including their signature speciality, dumplings with broth and chicken encased in eighteen layers of paper-thin skins. If the delicate skin breaks when served and the liquid leaks out, customers are guaranteed an automatic replacement.

(photo from restaurant website)

Once again, our dumplings were perfect, but the highpoint of the lunch was the surprise arrival of five friends of Dita's who had also been exchange students in the US. This wasn't, of course, a surprise for her mother, who had carefully orchestrated the entire event.

Lucky daughter, lucky mother. I look forward to meeting Dita again when as a late birthday present I treat them to a US-style meal at Hacienda, in Plaza Senayan Arcadia. Dita says she loves Mexican food.