Uit: The Two Hotel Francforts
“So that was how we came to be at the Suica that morning-the Suica, the café that, of all the cafés in Lisbon, we foreigners had chosen to colonize. We were sitting outdoors, having breakfast and watching the traffic go round the oval of the Rossio, and it was this notion of settling in Portugal that Julia was going on about, as I drank my coffee and ate a second of those delicious little flan-filled tartlets in which the Suica specializes, and she laid out a hand of solitaire, which she played incessantly, using a special set of miniature cards. Slopes-lap went the cards; natternatter went her voice, as for the hundredth time she related her mad scheme to rent an apartment or a villa in Estoril; and as I explained to her, for the hundredth time, that it was no good, because at any moment Hitler might forge an alliance with Franco, in which case Portugal would be swallowed up by the Axis. And how funny to think that when all was said and done, she was right and I was wrong! For we would have been perfectly safe in Portugal. Well, it is too late for her to lord that over me now.
It was then that the pigeons swooped-so many of them, flying so low, that I had to duck. In ducking, I knocked her cards off the table. “It’s all right, I’ll get them,” I said to Julia, and was bending to do so when my glasses fell off my face. A passing waiter, in his effort to keep his trayful of coffee cups from spilling, kicked the glasses down the pavement, right into Edward Freleng’s path. It was he who stepped on them.
“Oh, damn,” he said, picking up what was left of the frames.
“Whose are these?
“They’re mine,” I said, from the ground, where Iwas still trying to collect the cards: no mean feat, since a breeze had just come up-or perhaps the pigeons had churned it up-and scattered them the length of the sidewalk.
“Let me help you with that,” Edward said, and got down on his knees next to me.”
Lees verder “David Leavitt, Rafik Schami, Aart van der Leeuw, Pascal Mercier, Franca Treur, Jean Anouilh, Richard Bach, Anna Achmatova, Hanneke van Eijken”