Thursday, May 24, 2007

Strawberry sweets

Reading ‘Winter in the Blood’ by James Welch over breakfast in my favorite patisserie in this monthly city, a family of Germans marches in: grandparents and a teenage granddaughter. Ordering, grandpa stumbles over ‘Pfefferminz Thee’. From my corner outpost I volunteer thé menthe, infusion à la menthe… Grateful, he proceeds to tell me how his trip was, enumerates German and French great men, explains his feelings about the eastward enlargement of the European Union and the fears that plague him, having twelve new countries joining the EU in such a short time. Now the conversation is all in German. Upon leaving for a day exploring the town and some touristy activities, he walks up to my table and in the gentlest way puts three strawberry sweets next to my plate. Mistaking me for French he explains: “A symbolic gesture for French/German twinning. France and Germany are the heart of Europe, so this is for ‘une entente cordiale’… “ I smile and I say: yes for cordial understanding in the whole world.

No comments:

Post a Comment