Last week, we had a going-away party for two members of the Blue Mango... party during which we learned that a third member was also leaving next month, so we had another going-away party on Friday, where we actually convinced the restaurant owner to close his restaurant to all other people. As it's Ramadan period at the moment, he doesn't serve very many people per night, just fifteen or so. I'd told him that I could bring fifteen people, and could we play music and dance, so he shut up shop just for us.
That was the second party, but the photos belong to the first one.
We held the first party at a restaurant that opened a couple of months ago just down the road from where I live. It's not a very prepossessing site, as it's halfway between the road and the local landfill. To get there, you follow the "Landfill" signs. Doesn't exactly make you feel like eating dinner. It's a nice place once you're inside, though. The food is good, the presentation is very pretty and the prices are very reasonable.
I'd booked for fifteen people, but got phone calls up to the last minute from the various musicians saying that they would be coming not just with their partners but with assorted children and friends. So when twenty-five of us arrived in the (rather small) restaurant, the owner panicked a bit and warned us that service would be slow. That wasn't a problem, and the evening went very well.
At the end of the evening, I went to say sorry for bringing an extra ten people: I had tried to warn the restaurant, left a message on an answering machine, but no luck. The owner explained that he had been a bit worried about being able to manage everyone, but that it had actually been very good news for him, as he was doing his utmost to keep the restaurant open but was having trouble paying the bills and staff, so we are welcome to do the same thing again with another twenty-five people if we wish.