Le Mistral

November 24, 2002 - 2:00 p.m.

A little while ago I was regretting sitting so close to the front door in a place where people come and go fairly frequently -- each time the door closed, a chilly breeze would hit me. And then the sun moved past a building and put its full force on me. The mirror to my right is reflecting the sun onto me as well, so I'm in a kind of happy toaster all of a sudden. The waiter has even subsequently propped the door wide open, but it doesn't matter. It's become summer again.

I'll have to describe the Heineken ashtray here since it's out of the ordinary -- it's an aluminum dish shaped like a smooth, rounded crater with silver sides and an oversized warped Heineken label on the interior. My espresso was served with a packet of sugar cubes, and no bill was left on the table -- I guess this place is too small to go through the trouble of paper receipts. The chairs are wicker with red and white plastic caning, and my round table has a red-edged white top.

At the bottom of the mirrored column in the center of the palce, as well as on the lower part of the walls, are fancy Persian-style tiles, the white background of each tile is covered with tiny little cracks for a nice effect. The tiles of the floor are just large off-white squares. On the far wall is a sign that features the word "Cafe" in sky blue neon next to a multi-colored neon tropical bird. To the left of that is a printed sign in French that says "If you are satisfied, tell others. If you are not satisfied, tell us."

The man sitting in front of me holds a long brown walking cane with a gold handle in the shape of an eagle's head. Or maybe it's a flamingo head. The man wears a dark corduroy jacket, white pants with slightly frayed ends, and white tennis shoes. His dark socks have pictures sewn into them; from here I think I can see an American eagle and an odd-shaped U.S. flag. But maybe that's me projecting -- they could just as easily be a chicken and a striped snowmobile.

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Le Mistral
Metro: Télégraphe

Price of an espresso: 1.50 euros
Sugar: packet of sugar cubes

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Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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