Friday, September 30, 2011

Miettes: A Way of Life

Nothing of the sort, of course, just needed a title for this next batch.

As autumn creeps in on the rest of Europe, we're still nice and warm and sunny down here. This unchanging state of affairs shouldn't be mistaken for boredom, however. I mean, things do happen from time to time. For instance, about a month ago, I was coming back home and there was a great to-do at the Comédie tram stop, with all kinds of flashing blue lights. Apparently, the notice board which tells you which tram is next and how many minutes until it arrives had blown up. Smoke was pouring out of it and people were gathered all around.

The real news, of course, is that was a month ago and as of today it still hasn't been repaired.

* * *

The nice warm weather means that stupid t-shirts continue to be worn by our citizens, and since, as I said, I don't carry a notebook around, I've only recorded the ones I've remembered long enough to get back to the slum and write down. We may, in this batch, have a winner, though, for the worst t-shirt slogan ever.

It wasn't on the young guy I saw yesterday, who was walking along wearing one which said


because (surprise!) it was, except for the black lettering. Nor was it the Chinese gentleman whose shirt declared


There was also a young Japanese girl whose shirt made me think.


Does she not want to enrich Yoko Ono, or is the change of word a complete-the-sentence game?

Some men seem to like to display testosterone, like the guy I saw whose t-shirt simply declared


He had a young woman draped all over him, so who knows, it might have been true. Then there was the guy with the enigmatic slogan


which definitely had me thinking all the way home. If stress fuelled what I did, I'd be working 24 hours a day, although I can't say I'd guarantee a quality product.

No, the winner in our really stupid t-shirt contest so far this year is the impeccably made-up woman, very classy-looking, around 50, who had a shirt with one of those leggy female silhouettes which were once confined to truckers' mudflaps, and the words


Should I have asked her for a job, or run away? She vanished into the crowd before I could decide.

* * *

Going through this part of the broke-not-poor cycle, I haven't been able to eat out much, but one very notable food happening has occurred around here recently. A defunct sandwich shop suddenly sprouted a nice new sign and a lovely interior and opened as Omija, a Korean deli.

Now, this is notable because of the specificity of its mission. This is not an "Asia" place: it's 100% Korean. It serves lunch for €7.50, either a dish of the day or one of those lovely rice-with-stuff-on-top dishes called Bibimbap. There are also soups and other dishes, like bulgogi, available at the whim of the chef. The freezer has some Japanese stuff like gyoza and edamame, and there's Japanese and Korean beer available. I forgot to ask about kimchi, although it's inconceivable that it's not there.

I spoke with a young woman named, I believe, On, who was very happy to speak English ("Much easier!"), and who was optimistic about turning the French on to her cuisine. It sure would be nice if it caught on, and so far there seems to be an enthusiastic crowd at lunchtime. There's also free wi-fi if you're hanging out at the outside tables, and apparently the omija the place is named after is a drink made from a Korean berry, which I have yet to try. I wish them luck, because they're going to need it!

Omija Coffee House, 8, rue Boussairolles (a block off the Comédie). Open Mon-Sat, hours still being determined. Phone: 04 67 92 70 18

* * * 

Finally, the Montpellier Opera has just announced its new season, which is mostly the same old same old, with one notable exception: Philip Glass has been working on a revised version of the piece which made his name, the collaboration with Robert Wilson which premiered in Avignon in 1976, Einstein on the Beach, and this new version is having its world premiere here in mid-March. No idea why Montpellier was selected, but this should be fun. Unfortunately, it's happening in the middle of SXSW, so no way I'll be here. Dang.

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