I must remember to remind myself that I am no longer as young as I used to be. The trouble with ageing is that often the mind doesn't move in synchronisation with the body. You feel you can still do anything you want but your physical body says otherwise. Remember I was boasting about how I managed to attend six events on one day the week before? Well, I suffered for trying to do more than someone my age should be.
I came down with a bad cold and still have it seven days later. First it was a splitting headache, sore throat and aching bones—thank goodness it didn't turn into the flu! With plenty of vitamin C, hot tea and honey and rest whenever possible, what remains is just a nasty cough.
But it's a real nasty deal, one that can entail non-stop wheezing and hacking for what seems like several minutes, which means getting a full night's sleep is out of the question. Friends think I'm crazy for not going to the doctor and taking medicine, but I don't believe in drugs unless I have a very severe illness so it's still the natural way for me.
Thank goodness Monday was a relatively quiet day, giving me the chance to get quite a bit of work done. This is usually one of the busiest periods of the year for us, as, in addition to the monthly magazine, we also have the Society 500 list and Expat Society 300 list as well as our Best Restaurants guide all coming out close to each other. Then there are the many year-end parties and trips (never can understand why there should be so many invitations for international travel during this time), plus visits by PR people bringing holiday season greetings and gifts. It's very likely the high stress level of the season that has contributed to my succumbing to this bothersome cold, and perhaps not age-related after all, or so I would like to believe.
On Wednesday I was hoping to be able to stop by the opening of Cole Haan at Central World but it was not to be because of heavy traffic. So, I rerouted to Siam Kempinski for what was for many an eagerly awaited event: the launch of Thailand's first-ever Michelin guide. The results had been announced earlier that afternoon so it was a bit of an anti-climax but still a great opportunity for foodies and fooders (don't bother looking up that word as I made it up) to rub shoulders and for chefs to get up on stage.
As everyone knows by now, 14 restaurants that were awarded one star and three with two stars. The same three—Le Normandie, Mezzaluna and Gaggan—were numbers one, two and three on the Top 10 list of Thailand Tatler's Best Restaurants, launched earlier this year in March. Right on point even if we were to say so ourselves. All the one-star winners are also on our list, except for Jay Fai, the only street food restaurant recognised. Our guide does not include street food as points are awarded for four categories: food, setting, service and wine, while Michelin only focuses on the food.
Presiding over the event was new sports and tourism minister Weerasak Kowsurat. I couldn't help trying to see though if his predecessor Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul had been invited as she was the one involved in bringing Michelin to Thailand. (Of course she wasn't there.) With the Tourism Authority of Thailand as the host of the black-tie event, there were two sets of dance performances (necessary?) in between the award presentations. Add in the long pauses between each course and you get a night that went well past the original schedule. Again, not ideal when you sort of need the extra recharge.
The next morning I had to get up early to fly to Phuket for Omega's unveiling of the Seamaster Aqua Terra collection. The last thing I needed was an early morning flight when I could hardly sleep because of the coughing, but it was a commitment I couldn't get out of. It was a good thing my ears were not affected by the flying--absolutely hate the pain and ringing in the ears caused by the pressure when you have a cold--as that would have added to the misery.
However you can't stay miserable for long in a place like Phuket. Especially since the Swatch Group country manager and Omega brand manager Tipanat Lenbury and her team had made sure to pull out all the stops to ensure we had a good time. We checked in at Como Point Yamu, a hotel I had not been to before, with probably the best view on the island. Located at the end of a small strip jutting into the sea, this means views of the Andaman Sea on all sides. Designed by Paola Navone, every corner is Instagram-worthy.
By the time we boarded our luxury yacht for a cruise to the Phanak and Hong group of islands, I had forgotten I didn't want to come. Perfect weather, beautiful vistas, good food and good company contributed to a great time. Oh, did I say perfect weather? Well, that evening it rained quite hard during the cocktail so everything had to be moved indoors, but not before Gregory Kissling, Omega's head of product management, was able to present the details of the Aqua Terra's unique anti-magnetic properties, including a beautiful piece with rubies and diamonds, of which only 80 pieces have been produced. The skies cleared by the time we had eaten and we were able to return to the pool deck for fireworks.
The clean sea air helped also to make me feel better, and I thought even the coughing seemed to have improved. However, back in Bangkok, it returned with a vengeance, perhaps because I had to attend a wedding on Sunday instead of resting. Sid Sehgal, owner of Indus, married Narisa Kubota in a three-day ceremony, Indian-style. Held at the Grand Hyatt, one side of the ballroom had been set up with tables for the bride's guests and the usual heavy cocktail food. On the other side were tables for the groom's guests with food from Indus. No points for guessing where I spent most of the time, lover of Indian food that I am.
Wish me a speedy recovery as I would hate to continue with this cough for another week.
(Revisit: Naphalai's Diary: November 27-December 3)