Sal and TBFs had lunch there, but we had agreed we’d meet them later. Around 2.00 pm, we walked in and saw that “perfect bald head” and knew immediately where we had to go. We sneaked up behind their table (that was thankfully covered by a half wall and lots of green plants). O-X, armed with only a camera, took this first shot. Just for the record… I think this guy smells that there is a camera 100 yards away! Really! How can a guy pose like that in the blink of an eye/flash??
So how do you greet an expat that you know from blogging and see for the first time? Well, Sal stood up and said “Hi. I’m Sal”, to which I kinda responded: “Hi. I’m CS”. And there we stood… not knowing what to do. How embarrassing! As good Swiss citizen, I extended my hand, inviting him to take it and then wanting to pull him towards me (naughty girl!) for the mandatory 3 Swiss kisses. And then, he catches me off guard by just opening his arms to hug me. Although my plan was ruined, it was a very warm welcome greeting indeed!
We had a beer, chatted a bit and decided to leave the restaurant to walk a few steps through Basel, lost Mrs TBF (she had informed us that she still needed to get a few things and prepare the rest of the dinner and would “jump-off”), took the ferry across the Rhine, had another beer and chatted some more. Thank goodness we had the chance to chat a bit with him before “the party”! You’ll understand as you read. :)
We arrived (like any good Swiss) five minutes before the expected time. Sal was helping set up the table and we had nothing to do. We tried not to stand in the way. Soon enough, the doorbell rang and the other guests arrived. Full house! Seven adults and 3 kids: The TBFs, Sal, Rammy, John and their son Oliver, Andy, Di and their two off springs, Ali and Sam, and us. Chit-chat, chit-chat: My head was already spinning and at some point, I asked Sal: “Is this what you had expected?” Sal’s answer went something like: “Uhm, yeah. It’s pretty much what I expected.” I wonder if he meant the cross chatting, or the champagne. Sal?
Mrs. TBF had cooked an excellent meal again, but much too much (to our luck… we were hoping for leftovers!), and it was De-Li-Cious! First a chick pea soup, then meatballs, filled conghilie (large pasta shells) with light tomato sauce, fennel and a beautiful assortment mushrooms. Of course, I just had to fill my plate (that I couldn’t finish!), but I did have a bit of Tiramisù that Rammy had brought later on. Yummy!
During dinner – even for us – it was difficult to follow all the different conversations that were going on, but let me tell you, it was very lively, fun, entertaining and interesting. We had many laughs … Andy even tried to get TBF to work again. Now THAT is a conversation you would have enjoyed! Of course it was full of jokes! What did you expect? Just look at the pictures!
We had a last few drinks … (yes, we were again the last to leave *sigh*. Will we ever better ourselves?) and left short before 2am. But you know what? We never got the “green fairy”. My fault…. I forgot to ask. Sorry, Sal.
We had a great time again, and Sal? Next time we meet, it will be in Chicago, or in Nova Scotia (this is a joke between Sal ‘n me, okay?) ;) What do you say, Sal?