Jun 4, 2012

"Lady Smuggler!"

This day had to arrive.............

Finally I accepted and went with my neighbour to this "neighbour's party...."

It was not what I expected it to be... I thought it would be a sort of directed meeting / party with drinks to actually get to know who is who in the neighbourhood.... However, it happened to be just a bar, opened with such excuse, where people who already knew each other were having a drink together.

I arrived and she was there... old, tall, sitting with a glass of white wine and smoking. The type of "liberated woman" of the late 40's that many years ago would have been called "shameless".

I sat down and we started chatting... from Sudokus to Politics... about everything.

This woman must have had a fascinating life. Polish, grown up in London for some reason. She started studying Chemistry (a woman stuying Chemistry at that time in London!!) but when the II World War affected the UK she had to leave the university. She says that for studying Chemistry in the UK you had to pass a German test, which brings me to think about how many languages she speaks... At least Polish, English, German, French and Italian... I don't know.

Afterwards she moved to Luxembourg for another reason and started working for the European Commission.

She told me old stories about her life, such as her connections all over the world, how she falled in love with Nerja, a small village in the Spanish mediterranean coast, an argument with the major of Luxembourg or how during the Soviet Union, a friend of her had to ask for a special visa to get out of there and bring her personally some documents...

In addition to this she kept talking about Luxembourg.. about how our district, Bonnevoie did not belong to the city.. it was just a suburb for the workers of Arbed: the jewel of the steel companies of Luxembourg, one of the most important steel companies in the world (today Arcelor Mittal), just between the rail station and the Alzette river. This makes sense (apart from the political reasons) for Luxembourg to sign in Paris in 1951 the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty. It would bring to Luxembourg prosperity and the headquarters of the ECSC (in 1952), the court of justice... in short, the foundation of the European Union.

Later, we went to a restaurant for dinner, and she showed her strongest character.. giving orders to the waiter, drinking more wine... Her face was a mixed between "Mrs Marple", and Kristine Scott Thomas in The English Patient. Very british but at the same time her Eastern features and the expresion of her face together with what she was saying, gave her a fascinating misterious halo.

The conversation turned more funny. She told me that "a century ago" the old neighbour of the ground floor, "the spy" knocked her door for help because she had to cook something for a boyfriend of hers. I can't imagine that old single woman with a boyfriend.. :).... besides she started critizising all the neighbours in the building.. "whether the old woman of the ground floor (the spy) knows everything about everybody (OF COURSE SHE DOES!!! INDEED!!!), whether the Porguese neighbours are quite simple people, whether the banker on the 4th floor is bad mannered, whether..." and how pretentious the current major was.

Chatting and chatting we turned back home (she almost started rebuking when we passed in front of the major's house) and the day was over.

Good night my friends.... 

Le voisin!

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