Tuesday, June 21, 2011


244. On a Jet Airways flight. As we descend, the inflight entertainment system broadcasts a video about Brussels, showing spectacularly picturesque images of parks, of the Royal Palace, of the European Parliament building the glass windows of which sparkle under the bright sun. Watching the montage, I am amused at the art of advertisement, smiling. Anna, on the other hand, expresses her reaction more directly, "What the **** is this?"

245. Traveler, by Adam Zagajewski.

A certain traveler, who believed in nothing,
found himself one summer in a foreign city.
Lindens were blossoming, and foreignness bloomed devoutly.

An unknown crowd walked down the fragrant boulevard,
slowly, full of fear, perhaps because
the setting sun weighed more than the horizon.

and the asphalt's scarlet might not
just be shadows and the guillotine
might not grace museums alone.

and church bells chiming in chorus
might mean more than they usually mean.
Perhaps that's why the traveler kept

putting his hand to his chest, checking warily
to make sure he still had his return ticket
to the ordinary places where we live.

246. Gaston: So did you walk around in New York? 
Me: Well, pretty much everywhere, along Broadway, Times Square, SoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Russia...
G: Did you go to Little Belgium?
M: No...
G: It's a really well-known place!
M: Really?
G: No.
Grinning, Gaston asks if I would like another piece of his home-baked zucchini and cheese quiche. It feels nice to be home again.

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