Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Paris, Oui! Paris, Non!

2008 was going to be a banner year. Three trips to Paris. Once in the winter, another in the summer and the third in the fall. I was planning on answering questions like: would I be able to smoke cigars at Robert et Louise? Is my space on Ile de Saint Louis still available? Will the receptionist at the hotel still be waiting for our date? Will the girl at the supermarche be there again with the pretty eyes?

All these questions were going to be answered during my November 4th trip to France and Italy. Once again, I was going to be in Paris. Dancing on the streets. And in the rain. I was going to tour the countryside and visit Provence, then make my way across Europe to Italy where I was going to see the white truffles of Alba, the red horses of Modena, the Lineas of Firenze and then make my way to the Espresso Expo in Trieste - and then be back in Paris to fill my suitcase with baguettes and Pierre Herme for the flight home on the 19th.

But all that won't be happening now.

Instead, I've accepted an invitation to visit Nicaragua and serve as a judge for their national barista championship. Instead of walking along a beaten path, I'll be forging new territory and exploring new adventures on the streets of Managua where the weather seems to hover around 80F.

Rather than indulging myself with steak frites, I hope to sample dishes like: Lengua en Salsa, Chuletas de Cerdo, Tajadas and Yuca Frita, or whatever my hosts decide to sample for me. You know my game: I'll try just about anything,

So, while my alter ego braves the long flight to Paris on the 4th, I'll be working the bar at The Spro from 8pm to Midnight offering refuge for the wretched Democrats, Republicans and other party members where we will watch on the Big Screen the night's election returns, instead of just waking up the next morning in Paris and finding out then who our next president will be.

The journey to Nicaragua starts on November 11th. I'll be reporting from Managua as events progress...