When Australians open their house for a party they really open their house FOR A PARTY!
Sunday afternoon and I was looking forward to a nice contained French-style BBQ to wish four leaving families a happy farewell. Turns out I was in for my first experience of Australian hospitality!
The children - at least 20 of them! - were already waiting at the Embassy entrance to show us to the terrasse. One of the boys welcomed me with: "Welcome, the paaarteee is on the seventh floor." Immediately I looked around searching for George Clooney! What a brilliant welcoming. Even the elevator spoke English to me!
We made our way to the top of the building to discover a band playing on the terrasse, the BBQ sizzling and the salad buffet rich with a variety of salads any 5-star hotel would have been envious of.
We had been told - true to Aussie style - that there had been a bulk order made for meat and we were to contribute our beverage of choice and one of the following: salad, dessert or bread and one type of cheese. Sounds straight forward to me...
Apart from the abundance of food there seemed to be an endless flow of people between the terrasse where the music along with the sunshine and the superb view were to be enjoyed and the buffet on the lower level where the drinks were stored in eskies?!? I filled my cultural gap by learning that the term "esky" is commonly used in Australia to refer to portable coolers. Snags is Australian for sausages it seems.
The fact that you are not actually allowed to grill on your balcony in Paris and that the live band was to be heard throughout the entire arrondissement didn't not bother anybody in the least. We were, technically speaking after all, in Australia. So, thank you my friends for staging a brilliant paaarteee I will never forget! Bon voyage and come back soon to paaarteee!