A big domo arigato to Buena Vista International Vice President Dick Sano for including me in an intimate dinner party at Nobu’s. The guests of honor were one of the world’s hottest producers, Jerry Bruckheimer, his super-chic, super-nice wife Linda and two Buena Vista executives, Anthony Marcoly and Mark Zoradi I’ve had the privilege knowing Jerry through —,,; promo trips for “Armageddon:’ “Pearl Harbor” and “Blackhawk Down:’ set up parties for all these films and, through Jerry, got to meet and know some of my favorite film celebrities: Ben Affleck, Livlyler and Josh Hartmann.
Jerry was here with director Gore Verbinski to promote the Disney film, “Pirates of the Caribbean:’ and he had nothing but raves for St. Vincent, the Grenadines and small islands in that part of the world where they had shot “pirates.” “It’s beautiful with great scenery, blue waters and nice people;’ he told me. Jerry produced several of TV’s hottest series: “CSI;’ “CS! Miami” and “Without a Trace:’ This busy man plans to be back in Japan soon to promote another of his films, “Bad Boy 2:’ which was shot on location in Miami. New projects on which he’s working include “King Arthur!’ “It’s not ‘Camelot; but how it really happened;’ Jerry commented.
After five years in Japan, Moroccan Ambassador Mohamed Tangi and his wife Alia spent a few weeks in Rabat before going to Ottawa for his new posting as Moroccan Ambassador to Canada. In addition to the many dinner parties friends held in their honor, an exclusive lunch for Mohamed was hosted by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Djibouti Ambassador Rachad Farah, at the prestigious restaurant Queen Alice.
About 700 guests from all walks of life joined Israeli Ambassador Yitzhak Lior and his wife Amalia at a mid-day reception they hosted at the New Otani. The occasion was the 55th Independence Day of Israel. A late, but sincere congratulations.
Also congrats to our friends from Nepal on the July 4 birthday (the 57th) of their King Gyanendra Bib Bikram Shah Dev. To celebrate the occasion, the charge d’affaires of Nepal, Mohan Krishna Shrestha, and his wife Sajana hosted a reception at their home to celebrate the special occasion.
U.S. Ambassador Howard H. Baker Jr. and his wife Nancy must have shook 1,000 hands with wave after wave of people who congratulated them at a series of parties they hosted at their residence to celebrate the 227th anniversary of American independence. I went to the early evening party which was wall-to-wall interesting people. The huge dining room table groaned under trays of American food favorite (han, salads, chicken, fish … ), and they were serving freshly grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on the patio. It was a red, white and blue evening with the Bakers, perfect for the occasion.
It was a beautiful day for the mid-day reception hosted by Netherlands Ambassador Egbert Frederik Jacobs and his wife Francoise to celebrate their Queen’s Birthday. The always-chic and effervescent Francoise and her staff had gone all-out to give the residence and garden a colorful, traditional look. The food, the people and the ambiance all added up to a very special happening. Each of the guests left with a box of tulip bulbs; what a great omiyage-and memory.
This was my second time to visit Kuching, and I booked in the Holiday Inn, the same place I stayed four years ago. The hotel is located on the Sarawak River, a few minutes walk to several shopping malls, a street of small shops specializing in local tribal handicrafts, Chinatown and Kuching’s bustling Riverwalk. I always talk about how the world gets smaller, and I checked into my room overlooking the Sarawak River in Malaysian Borneo, turned on the TV, and the first things I saw was Johnny Kitagawa’s “Young Johnnys” doing a musical variety show on NHK. Music knows no boundaries.
I dropped by the Kuching Hilton, celebrating its 15th anniversary, for their luncheon buffet, The endless variety of selections included seafood, venison, ostrich, soups, salads, pastries and a lot of fruit. ft was all-you-can-eat for about ¥1,500. My apartment is like a cluttered museum, and I sure don’t need anything. Even so, I picked up a few of the Iban Tribe wood carvings and a couple of original ethnic shirts. Be sure to check out the E.O. (Edrik Ong) boutique when you’re in Kud1ing. Also have at least one meal at the Topspot Seafood Market. It’s always crowded, the staff is helpful and fun and the fish delicious.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender