Sometimes there are situations that you can't anticipate, and that provide maybe for that very reason a magic moment in life. I just had a 15 minute lasting magic moment, that I want to capture. A long day in the restaurant, happy customers, among them my friends Allison and Paul, my team (I have now an apprentice and a commis) working hard, a flawless service, and my decision at 0:30 to let the last metro go and rather give some more time to clean the kitchen thoroughly and share a glass of wine with the waiters. Finding a taxi at 1:30 a.m., rather uncomfortable if not scared, because as a woman I always feel the metro is safer than a taxi, at least in Paris (there have been some "incidents").
I explain to the driver where to and how (!) to drive me home. Usually I would then pull out my cell phone, and type wildly nonsense prentending to text, just to give the taxi driver the feeling that he can't kidnap me without consequences. But not this time. Suddenly a huge wave of inner peace overwhelmes me by the beautiful music that is playing from his CD. After a while of silence between us I say : "what is the music, it reminds me of Leonard Cohen." And indeed, it is the London 2008 concert, and the taxi driver increases the sound level and tells me how much his wife and daughter love this music and that I must buy the DVD. Then we both listen in awed silence again.
We are driving by the opera house, the Palais Royal, the Louvre and its Pyramide, crossing the Seine on the Pont du Carrousel, with Notre Dame to the left and the muséee d'Orsay to the right, and all this to So long Marianne and Suzanne. I know it's very sentimental, but the moment almost made me cry and be grateful to be alive and live in such a beautiful city.
(photo by Arnaud Frich, www.arnaudfrichphoto.com)