Saturday, May 23, 2009

Local Boy Makes Good

Cognac is a sensualist's dream. You warm it up with your hands, then inhale and it assaults your nostrils. When you drink it, it's not how it tastes, it's how it feels, pleasantly burning your throat.

Cognac is especially good after a delicious homemade dinner served by gracious hosts. In this case Phil, our former classmate who is now a press attache to the US Embassy here. He's been in the business since the nineties, posted at a number of countries. My favorite, for the exotica of it, is Tunisia. Thankfully he's in London for the foreseeable future, which allowed me a chance to catch up with him, his lovely wife, and his two bilingual sons.

For a political junkie like me, it's disappointing that Phil has strong diplomatic training, because he wouldn't take any bait I threw to him to trash his boss or former bosses. Too bad, because bloggers live for stuff like that. The best I could get out of him is that he disagrees with me about the efficacy of Twitter; I think it's just dopey, he likes it and has found it useful.

He did say that the embassy is moving from Grosvenor Square in five years or so to someplace a little farther out of town (I can't remember where, and I'd heard it also on one of the walking tours) but he is puzzled by the reaction to it. It's true that the area is industrial and underdeveloped now, but as Phil wryly put it, "We're the anchor store." In five years time the place will be crowded with Burger Kings and Starbucks and Gaps. Just like Grosnevor square now, come to think of it.

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