Tuesday, July 18, 2006

brush with fame

Quite by accident, I met the son of AJ Cointreau, the guy who runs the Cordon Bleu International school. I have no idea whether M. Cointreau fils is normally to be found at the Seoul/Smoo branch of the world-famous academy (housed on the 6th and 7th floors of the building where I teach), or whether he was merely visiting, but in any case, he was in the elevator today. I would never have spoken with him, either, had it not been for Mme. Hong, a lady who does Korean/French interpretation for the Cordon Bleu folks (and whose French is, I must say, pretty good). I taught Madame's daughter a couple semesters ago, and she occasionally pops into Room 302 to speak with a colleague of mine. On those occasions, Mme. Hong affords me a rare opportunity to speak in French. Alas, her visits are infrequent enough for me to mark the deterioration of my own French.

Young M. Cointreau appears to be about my age, maybe a bit younger. He heard me bantering with Mme. Hong in French, then complimented me on my French. Hey-- you take your validation where you can. Then he stepped out at the first floor while I continued to the B1 level. And thus ended my brush with fame. I can now say I've met the scion of a culinary empire. This might not mean much when I'm being tied face-down to a mattress in prison, but by God, it means something.


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