Open a champagne bottle. Take a firm grip and feel the tension in your body as you slowly push out the cork, every muscle ready to fight or take flight. Feel the slight perspiration on your palm as sweat starts to form. Sense the pressure from the champagne trapped within the glass as it pushes up on the cork, trying to take control from your slick hands. Right before the edge of the cork approaches the lipe of the bottle there is a moment where everything pauses, tensed, suspended and it's a 50/50 chance that you are in control.
The cork flies out like it was sent from a cannon, shot to some unknown place and the clear, crisp, bubbly froths out onto the floor, watering the ground like the great celebrations in honor of the old gods.
To me, this is Bordeaux right before spring breaks out. Days of rain dampen the city's spirits and push children into cramped indoor spaces already occupied by grumbling adults. When it isn't a downpour, the skies are heavy and grey, leaking every so often so
But then, without warning, comes the sun like the cork flying out and everything bursts open and suddenly spring appears where winter used to be. Flowers blossom, a soft breeze whisks away city smells, jackets move from back, to arm, then finally are left at home all together. Cafés compete for sunlit squares and finding a table is like crowd surfing. Parks, greener than even summer could imagine shelter lovers who shamelessly grope and kiss as they roll around on the grass, the daisies peaking up out of the soil to watch the show.
Away from the city awaits the beach, lonely from its winter banishment. First one, then two groups brave the climb through the forest and up over
It feels like the gods of spring are powerfully present, their exact identities unknown after the centuries but holding firm nonetheless. Or maybe it's just that so many different groups of people have come together that their gods have learned to live in harmony. Diversity here is a stew, where everything simmers together but retains its distinct flavor.
And Oh how delicious those tastes can be: Raclette cheese, melting under a slow heater and dripping down unto baked potatos and salad; crèpes hot off the stove, their contents melting in your mouth; lick the sauce from fingers covered in Ethiopian food, not quite having conquered how to eat injera; spices from India float out with fresh nan; Moroccon mint tea in the afternoons and French wine at night; share a plate of garlic shrimp with friends then feast on Portuguese specialty fish covered in peppers.