analytical Q May-Aug 2000Sept-Dec 2000ContactDiscussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

5 October 2000 Thursday



Bourses and bolsas. Stock exchanges. The Paris Bourse opened its grand gates and doors to the power industry. As the champagne flowed, the music rocked, and the hors deuvres rolled, the delegates mingled in the halls.

"A hem." The music stopped. Someone got on the microphone to welcome us and introduce the important speaker of the evening. We quieted down.

The French, it is rumoured, love their language. I can see why. Even in English, French is a music of its own. In Montreal, I learned that speaking English with a French accent was much better than not speaking French at all.

In the beginning, I understood the speaker's heavily accented English. As his four-page (back-to-back, single-spaced) speech dragged on, I got lost in the champagne. I looked up and around. Sculptures and art decorated the ceilings and walls. It was a magnificent display of historical ideas. The high ceilings, the grandeur, the beauty, the timelessness, ..... oh! what are we doing here - listening to a boring speech?

After almost an eternity, the man finished what he had to say. We now had something to talk about. What did he say? Was it important? Why did he say it here?