Nury kept things light and funny (even, at times, hilarious). He's a bright wit and dedicated writer, and the fact that he's been blacklisted in the Hong Kong press means that he must really be onto some hot stuff.
But the luncheon was about all things light and fun, and it was especially nice to have a chance to chat with Chris Sylvester, who has no small hand in running all the museums in Darwin. I made sure to haul her over to meet Ubud's champion of women's art, Gallery Seniwati owner Mary Northmore. Here's hoping some wonderful exhibition or cultural exchange comes out of their meeting.
Enjoyed another chat at the lunch with the tall photojournalist Irina Kalishnikova. And what a name! Really, all we needed that day was her ability to document the proceedings, but someone brought in a truckload of Balinese paparazzi, who snapped shots of the food, the celebs, the garden. Just a tad surreal after Sunday's beautifully subdued opening party, elegant for its lack of shutterbugs running around like hunchbacks.
So that was the literary lunch. One wit, one know-it-all. Veg or non-veg? Red wine or white?
Hitched a ride back to the Indus on the festival purple van. I had already missed Diana Darling and Jean Couteau speaking of Exiles, Expats, Diaspora. But I happened in on Tony, Ryan, and Bill's Guide to Bali. The fellas were able to fess up to their personal favorite spots in Bali, most interesting Bill Dalton's Pabean, where indeed my more interesting friends have gone for true relaxation. Oh, I may be misspelling Pabean.
Next up: that afternoon's surprisingly interesting look at contemporary Filipino literature.