As promised. Here I am at a pretty 'sadel' British Airways' lounge shared with American Airlines... which is equally 'sadel'. At the end of a long, long, day in Paris, with four different kinds of weather, what do I get? Yet another delayed BA flight! All that effort to get here on time after the nightmarish experience in Mumbai, where I was bumped OFF the BA flight, after an electronic check-in etc etc... on biz class etc etc. There was just a single, non-responsive office boy in the back room... not a single responsible person at the check-in counter. And the flight was an hour later! I was distraught and ready to commit harakiri since my first meeting in Paris was in the afternoon. It was the kindness of the Cathay Pacific staff that helped me locate someone from BA finally. Did that help matters? Naah! My next best option was to BUY fresh ticket on Emirates and wait it out in Dubai. But at least I made my meeting.... straight from the airport, I might add. In my travel gear, I might also add.
And here I am at CDG being told my BA flight to London is delayed.... and the connection to Mumbai is alarmingly short. So, the chances of my bags arriving home when I do, are looking remote. But am I about to buy myself another pricy ticket on Emirates? Am I totally mad?
With that, let me say 'au revoir' for now. The spectacular October skies over the Place de la Concorde made up a little for this mess. So did the outstanding Cafe Viennoise at Fouquet's on the Champs Elysee. I carry back with me the most sublime memories of Reims - at the heart of the Champagne district. More on what I was doing there in my next post. Let me just leave you with the tantalising tidbit about a special vine baptism ceremony I was honoured to participate in at the superlative Maison Veuve Clicquot that hosted the very presitigious annual Businesswoman of the Year Awards. Twelve international women in 2011. And only 300 others since 1972 when the first such award was given. To say the entire two days of meeting extraordinary women from as far away as Brazil, and as close as Egypt, was anything less than the great vintages we got to sample, would be doing grave injustice to the legacy of Mmme. Clicquot, acknowledged as a pioneering entrepreneur by all those who are aware of her fascinating story.