Last Friday we went to an event hosted by the Maltese-Australian Chamber of Commerce. It was billed as an Aussie BBQ (although without kangaroo or emu on the menu, how Aussie was the BBQ??) with music and dancing and mostly great food. They had long tables so people got to sit with strangers ... we got there early (I know, big shocker right?) and probably had the most eclectic mix of people at our table. First there was the eccentric trio - a brother and sister from London and the brother's wife - they had a summer house on Malta. We never got to find out where the wife was from originally because the music was just too loud, but we suspect is was somewhere in eastern or northern Europe. Another friend of theirs who seemed to know everyone at the event is a former Maltese ambassador to [Saudi Arabia?] He'd basically left Malta as a youth, traveled the world, occasionally returned for short stints, and finally came back for good in his "retirement" - put in quotes because he either just recently left his last job or he was still working there.
The husband introduced me to the riddle of the 11 "hads" - my own name for it - and I loved it! Here goes. Punctuate the following phrase to make it grammatically correct. Here's the phrase - John wheras Peter had had had had had had had had had had had the most marks in the exam.
On the other side of us sat a few people I actually knew from various spouse events or friends of friends. It really made me feel like I was settling into the country that I could introduce Terry to people I knew!
At the other end of the room sat folks we knew from our embassy, so we also hung out with them a bit. One of the women is an actress/singer and ended up singing "Country Roads" with the hired musician after a lot of cajoling from others in the group.
About the food: the chicken was surprisingly tender and juicy, beef kabobs were also a hit although because I hate green peppers I didn't love them as much. The swordfish was juicy but not very flavorful, but then I never got into swordfish. After being spoiled on USA lamb, I don't care what anyone says about Oz or NZ, their lamb just can't compare. It was flavorful but a bit tough and very small. Jacob's Creek wine flowed, Terry didn't love it as much as I thought he'd like an Aussie Cab-Shiraz blend.