|analytical Q||May-Aug 2000||Sept-Dec 2000||Jan-Apr 2001||Discussion|
RED WINE AND DARK CHOCOLATES
Since yesterday I have been wanting to speak to this man who had moderated a small panel of distinguished speakers. He seemed to have more to say, yet time was not on his side.
Today I caught him wandering about aimlessly. So I boldly went up and asked, "Hello. I'd like to talk to you. Can you tell me what you do?"
He couldn't begin in the middle of the hall. He had to find a place away from the maddening crowd. Even that wasn't enough. He had to find a piece of blank paper to scribble on. I could tell straight away that time was again not on his side. So we arranged to meet at 7 pm in the lobby or lobby bar.
I kept him waiting for one and a half hours while I followed my swim and sauna routine. By the time I found him in the lobby bar, he was getting ready to leave. Later I learned why he was able to forgive me so easily.
On top of the world, we dined on ostrich carpaccio, duck/quail rocket salad, and red wine sorbet. He chose a 1995 Portuguese Red, for I had never had it before. To top it off, he went back to his room and fetched dark chocolates. How odd, I thought. This must be a ritual, as he introduced the art of biting into a piece of dark, bitter chocolate and washing it down with the rest of the red wine.
Chemistry is what makes you forgive your loved one, he told me. That's what makes relationships last. I have yet to learn the art of forgiveness. But at least, I've made the time to hear what he had to say. Time well-spent.
Ciel Bleu is on the 23rd floor (top) of the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam.