The menus standing up on the tables are purple, which well-represents the atmosphere of this place. The chair seat cushions are purple as well; there are open purple curtains on the edges of each section of the café; the sofa I'm sitting on with an irregularly curved back is purple bordering on violet. There is a gold corregated column nearby and in the next room stands a clump of palm trees. The cylindrical light shades hanging from the ceiling are decorated with curving stripes of pink and yellow, the designs resembling flames in psychadelic style. The walls of the next room are purple, and then towards the bar the wall turns red at the corner, and upon it there is a stained glass design of more psychadelic flames in blue, red, orange and violet.
Dance music was playing for a while, loud enough for the repetition to become almost grating, distracting, especially with the English vocals seemingly coming out of nowhere, spoken over the cyclical beat like invisible Americans speaking loudly at the next table. Two English speakers have now actually sat at the next table, and at the same time as their arrival, the music has stopped completely. They are tourists and the man wants to go to Montmartre.
There are no packets or lumps of sugar here; my coffee was served with a large glass sugar container, a metal spout jutting straight up out of the top providing access to the white powdery stuff, as if one was sitting at one's own breakfast table at home.
The music has started up again, this time the vocals digitized and a bit muted to make it a bit more acceptable as background noise. Outside the window to my left is a long wicker bench of gold and purple alongside five round tables and five additional matching gold and purple wicker chairs, the colors laced in a series of x's, as opposed to stripes all in one direction.
The couple orders brunch and soon their table is filled with different food and drink items. The waiter says to them in English, "Don't say I don't feed you." They have not attempted a word of French, but the waiter seems to be used to speaking in English. There was an older couple with British accents here earlier; they attempted no French either. Next to the Arch de Triomph, that is probably more the rule than the exception.
Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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