Tag Archives: french wine

When You Meet Wine and Women of France Together

Continued from previous blog: Chinese Wife of the French Ambassador

Dinesh Wagle in the wine party organized hosted by the French ambassador in Kathmandu in his residence to taste the Beaujolais Nouveau Pic by Girish Giri

I was wandering around looking for people to talk to. I see this celebrated TV personality and former editor standing whom I had quoted in the beginning this story about the life in Thamel. “I read your story,” he says. [And says it was nice.] Then he charges me of removing one word-also- from the quote that I had attributed to him in the story. “But I had said you might ‘also’ meet celebrities,” he says. “Where is the ‘also’? Don’t put your words into my mouth.”

“It’s good to visit Thamel once in a week,” a famous TV personality and former editor had told me this a few years ago. “You might encounter celebrities from around the world.”

I should have written, he says, “…also encounter celebrities….”

“Well, I don’t really remember you saying “pani” or “too” but if that’s what you had said, then I admit my mistake,” I say. “I try to put exact quotes as far as possible.”

“Okay,” he says, “I am going now. Pani, pani, don’t forget pani!” Continue reading

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Meet the Chinese Wife of the French Ambassador

Continued from previous blog: Wine Party: The Dutch Guy With Helvetas

[Here is my article in Kantipur daily about the Beaujolais Day wine party: फ्रेन्च वाइन कूटनीति]

Behind every handsome ambassador is his beautiful wife: Gilles-Henry Garault, French ambassador in Nepal and his Chinese wife Shen Miao in the wine party on Beaujolais Day in Kathmandu. Pic by Bikas Rauniar

I am still looking some other people to talk to. Someone tells me that the ambassador’s wife is a Chinese and they communicate in German as the lady doesn’t know French and the man can’t speak Chinese. So I want to confirm this from the lady herself. “Excuse me ma’am,” I went to her and introduce myself as a reporter with a Nepali newspaper. “Can I talk to you for a few minutes?”

Sure, why not?

Yes, that’s true that the lingua franca in the family is German. “First we talked in German,” she says. “Later I tried in English. He can’t speak Chinese, I can’t speak French.” They are learning each other’s language but the lady says that the busy schedule of the ambassador is keeping him from improving quickly. “Sometime I teach him but he is busy,” she beams. Continue reading

French Ambassador’s Wine Party: The Dutch Guy With Helvetas

Continued from previous blog: Beaujolais Day in Nepal: Wine Talk With a French Teacher

How about this bearded man? I am not sure about his nationality but that’s fine. He must be a European. Yes, he is: a Dutch, married to a Swiss and working for a Swiss agency in Kathmandu. “How old are you?” I ask him. By his facial expression, I conclude that that wasn’t the question he wanted to hear this evening though he had happily agreed to participate in the interview for the Nepali edition of the Kathmandu Post. “You guess,” he files the usual reply. I certainly do not want to disappoint him. He is a nice guy, I like his beard. They are white like of some Hindu rishi. He has spent 25 years in Africa before coming here in Nepal to work at Helvetas. I calculate and come up with this modest number: 45? “No, I am sixty,” Jon Roukema says, and smiles. “Not that old,” I assure him. He lives in Chovar, “a very beautiful place with friendly neighborhood”. Continue reading

Beaujolais Day in Nepal: Wine Talk With a French Teacher

Continued from previous blog: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu

I am basically an introvert (except on the web of course), and I find it quite difficult to sustain with phony smiles and extra courteous talks in many social gatherings. But then there is another person in me who is a reporter (journalist, you know, newspaper guy? I work for a newspaper and am trying to write something out of this gathering this evening. Would you like to talk to me for a few minutes? Hell yes, why not? Kantipur? What’s that? Oh, I read Kathmandu Post. That comes on my desk every morning. Oh.. yea? Then just keep this in your mind that Kantipur is the Nepali edition of the Kathmandu Post -which is not entirely correct but then what the hell, you are already drinking wine and I have already finished first glass in my life.) Yes, many a times, a reporter has to start conversations to make a story out of an occasion. Some people get frightened by just hearing the word journalist and run away, some try to avoid very politely some talk a little bit hesitantly and some become really glad that a reporter is talking to them. These people make me really happy. Continue reading

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu

Beaujolais Day

The New Beaujolais has arrived!: Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel and the French Ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault in the “Beaujolais Day” party. Pic by Bikas Rauniar

15 November: I am not a wine connoisseur but the nearest thing that fascinates me after beautiful girls is a glass of wine. Did you believe that? Fine, don’t believe because I am just making that up (Or, believe at your own risk, what can I do?) as I am writing a blog about WINE and women. While I am typing these lines my status line on the IM says “2 glasses of WINE and I am DRUNK!!!!” One of my contacts on the IM screaming: “Just Stay Sane.” And the chattier creature thinks that it’s difficult to believe that I am drunk. (I am here in office waiting for the vehicle that will take me home at 11 PM along with night desk staffs at the paper. I don’t have motorbike or car so I have to rely on office vehicle to go home in late night.) Anyway, let me come to the point because I am sane enough to come to the point: It is 10:45 PM, I am just back to office from a wine party in the residence of the French Ambassador in Kathmandu hosted by ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault and Alliance Francaise. Continue reading

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu

Beaujolais Day

The New Beaujolais has arrived!: Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel and the French Ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault in the “Beaujolais Day” party. Pic by Bikas Rauniar

15 November: I am not a wine connoisseur but the nearest thing that fascinates me after beautiful girls is a glass of wine. Did you believe that? Fine, don’t believe because I am just making that up (Or, believe at your own risk, what can I do?) as I am writing a blog about WINE and women. While I am typing these lines my status line on the IM says “2 glasses of WINE and I am DRUNK!!!!” One of my contacts on the IM screaming: “Just Stay Sane.” And the chattier creature thinks that it’s difficult to believe that I am drunk. (I am here in office waiting for the vehicle that will take me home at 11 PM along with night desk staffs at the paper. I don’t have motorbike or car so I have to rely on office vehicle to go home in late night.) Anyway, let me come to the point because I am sane enough to come to the point: It is 10:45 PM, I am just back to office from a wine party in the residence of the French Ambassador in Kathmandu hosted by ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault and Alliance Francaise. Continue reading

The Talk of Wine & GF

Let me criticize myself first. I spent one of the most fruitless day today. Pillion riding with Devendra Bhattaria proved to be largely fruitless. Spending in front of computer proved to be fruitless. Watching a British cinema in the evening proved to be fruitless. I am now regretting why I spent more than an hour carrying a glass full of wine and pretending that I was drinking that. What an hypocrisy on my part. Sorry. I owe an apology to myself. I am sorry. I will never do that again. I know I am not a drinker and I cannot be one. That is fine. No problem. I do not regret for that. I do not care at all. But I know I should not pretend that I drink. I will never do that again. I know many people pretend on so many aspects in such gatherings but I think I should not have pretended.

The wine party (let me say the social gathering) started in time, at 5:30 PM, an hour ahead of the scheduled screening of “28 Days Later” in Gopi Krishna Cinema hall this evening. (I did not like the movie and that added extra pressure to think that I really wasted my time there.) I went there pillion riding with Girish Giri, my colleague at Kantipur, and took a glass of wine upon his kind ’suggestion’. With the glass of wine in my hand, I tried to see as much faces as possible in that small crowd and a foreigner girl caught my attention. But I did not go near her (and she did not come to me.)

Anyway, let me come to the drink talk.

“So you don’t drink?” asked Prem Khanal, the business bureau chief at the Kathmandu Post, the other day.

“No.” I replied.

“Not at all?” he frowned at me.

“Okay, beer. A glass at a time in the interval of a month.” I tried to prove myself. “I think last time I drank was a month ago.”

He dismissed beer as a serious drink and wanted to now if I drank hard drinks.

“No,” I replied. “No. no. I mean I cannot drink that even if I want. That does not mean I want but I simply cannot. So let me put it this way. Hard drinks are simply not compatible to me. I am not compatible to hard drinks.” And I told him how I unknowingly drank gin in an embassy party thinking that as water and how I threw that out of my mouth within seconds.

Okay, Prem daju seemed to be convinced by my arguments and points. But he was ready for the next big question.

“Do you have girlfriend?” he asked.

My answer was as honest as possible because I didn’t feel like lying to Prem Khanal. “No,” I said.

“So,” Prem thought for a few seconds before giving me a suggestion. “So, why don’t you go there and do dhyaan. You should replace that man.” He was referring to a controversial young yogi in southern Nepal who is attracting a lot of media attention these days because many people think he is the next Buddha. LOL.

You don’t drink, you don’t have a girlfriend. You should be a yogi instead of a reporter. I know he wasn’t serious but let me say that the question of girlfriend has become a matter of “prestige” (I hate using that term here.) The peer pressure is tremendous. Probably a friend of mine in Kantipur Complex (I don’t want to name him here because I am sure he doesn’t like that) knows it better. He is a failed lover and is trying to find a suitable woman for marriage. He likes not to talk about this but I can understand his eagerness.

Anyway, I am still with my old argument that to be without girlfriend means you enjoy a kind of freedom. I am enjoying that right now. No tension of being late in the date. No tension of finding suitable dating spot. No tension of making your girlfriend happy all the time. I think I told Prem Dhakal these benefits of being single.

Okay, back to that glass of wine. I know I was pretending. I pretended of shipping the wine several time. But I knew I was not drinking. So after holding the glass for about half an hour, I quietly went to a nearby table and left the glass there. I think I drank about 20 ml.