Taste of Art Nouveau


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No prizes for guessing where this is, but can you guess where we are going?

It's almost six months since we last did any work on our website. The very small number of you who visit us here now and again can guess a small part of the reason: that it has taken us some time to deal with the after-affects of the theft of our laptops. That, however, is only part of the reason. The rest has to do with the fact that for the last five months we have been living in Europe, first Berlin and then Paris, and have only managed in the last month to get consistent, (relatively) high-speed access to the internet, thus allowing us to upload more than just one or two small files.

In spite of the low-tech nature of most of our stay, we sure enjoyed being in both places. Berlin turned out to be a great city for us, with lots of museums and other forms of culture and most importantly an opportunity for both of us to brush up our German language skills. We managed to read a paper in German just about every day, part of the magazine Der Spiegel every week, and last but not least Jan fulfilled a longtime ambition and read a Thomas Mann novel in the original German. Wooooow!

Coming back to Paris was very much like coming home. We stayed in Veronica's flat again and instead of running around town to try and see every last museum, this time we paid more attention to the political life of Paris, attending several meetings related to the rejected constitutional treaty, as well as some less accessible gatherings about French philosophy, literature, and economics. We took out a 2-month subscription to Le Monde and enjoyed getting mad at its not very subtle anti-Americanism. We met and said goodbye to an old friend from our Nancy days and hosted friends and family from England. And as the icing on the cake we got to spend two days at the Roland Garros French Open tennis tournament. Game, set and match to Paris!

But don't ask us where we'll go next. We don't know. It might be South Africa, but then again it might not.

June 11, 2005