Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

what a w/e!

I am back!

this weekend was packed with inconveniences, some of which quite funny and all thankfully reparable. here my misadventures in chronological order:
  • waiting half an hour in front of the B&B because the host (a seasoned traveller) decided to go to the chemistry instead of waiting for her guest (me). The funny aspect of this annoying circumstance is that, during this endless thirty minutes, a man stopped his car to inform me that Madam K was coming. then, another passer-by, who noticed me standing in front of her majestic door, asked me if i wanted her telephone number. all of this in french, of course. it was like i had landed into an exotic community in which Madam K and her inefficiencies were all well known to her tollerant neighbours. when she finally arrived, she did not even apologise but simply justified herself that her and her lovely little accident (see below) were sick. the room, which was not ready (as i expected), made up for the waiting time. it was gorgeous: very high ceilings (for those who saw my house, they were higher!), an original japanese fouton, a royal kimono on the wall and an ensuite bathroom designed by my design guru philip stark. everything was decorated by african and thai sculptures and masks.

  • a tension headache targeted my neck and spread merciless through my head during my business dinner, making my lobster waterzooi nearly repulsive. what a waste! the pain escalated in the taxi back home and, by the time i was in my room, it was excruciating. oh dear! the landlady had gone to sleep already and i did not have painkillers of any kind with me. i resorted to several natural remedies to alleviate the pain, from self-massage to breathing into the back of my body to the chilly water on my forehead, until i just wanted to bang my head against the wall. it was pretty much a constant agony until 2am when i finally fell asleep, out of desperation. and i am not exaggerating! at least, i can say now that i did go through the pain in a stoic way, which is, incidentally, one of the highest yoga teachings. yo-ho!
  • the big black bitches of the house started barking ferociously. Madam K was out and i was in charge (I, me) to welcome new guests and show them their room. when we finally found the courage to face the excited dogs, we slowly descended the first flight of stairs, and there they were, staring at us with a grinned look. steve approached them softly, she smelled his feet and calmed down. i followed. my heart was beating 300 miles a hour. she smelled me too and let me go. phewww! steve gently directed them outside and locked them out. in the meantime a neighbour arrived. apparently the dutch couple sleeping in the ground floor got really scared and locked themselves in their room until they called Madam K. the dutch man looked really shocked when he came out. that night they left.
  • realising only at 4pm on sunday, when we found a museum closed, that the time had changed! so, 4pm was in fact 5pm. an hour gone.
  • getting to the wrong train station. I got confused with paris and went to la gare du nord instead of la gare midi. Opsss…
  • in the train, spilling water and champagne all over my seat.
  • last but not least, coming back to london with a soar throat gained from cycling around Brussels without coat on sunday.

apart from these hic-cups, i had a fantastic time: i got to meet interesting people who inspired me to implement some of my personal plans for the future (i'll talk more about it if i find the nerves). i had fruitful meetings which lead to exciting publication ideas and was entertained (and relieved) to hear that also millionnaire lawyers can feel frustrated. i also got to interact with other travellers in the B&B and to play with nerjise, the landlady's 4-yr toddler, who caught Lofty's and my hearts. she is a fun happy child with great sense of music & dance and with an innate love for her two big black dogs. i would talk to her in english and she would reply back in flemish making our conversations really bizzarre, but interesting. i was so impressed to hear that her passive knowledge of english (she could understand everything i said) developed with the occasional exposure to english-speaking guests. she got very affectionate to us in the space of 4 (for me) and 2 days (for lofty)...

between one meeting and the other i also managed to do some shopping: i visited a fair trade shop and got a beautiful hand-made indian ring in silver with interwoven branches decorated by six squared ametysts. and i got a multi-use bag to alternate with my more rigid business bag. it is perfect to carry my yoga stuff as well as paper and would act as an over-night or travel bag, handy for my next two trips. finally, i found, at last, the nail polish shade i have been after for ages: a flamboyant orange. if you are interested in this hard to find colour, YSL is the only one to produce the perfect shade of orange: not too salmon, not too red, not too pink, not too bleached... just perfect.

we had the usual stroll around the antique shops and flea market

and we had the honour to taste a bit of european identity at the concert thrown in occasion of the 50th anniversary from the treaty of rome.

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