Saturday, June 25, 2011
Barcelona, and the Craftsmanlike Cabbie
We've fetched up in Barcelona after more hassles than you'd care to hear about. It's a busier, noisier place than I remember from my last trip here 16 years ago but the main thing that hits you after Paris is how cheap it seems. Two bucks (dollars) for a supermarket sixpack; a serviceable lunch for five at $75. But the immediate purpose of this note is to salute the prince of cabbies, the guy who took us from the Maraist out to deGaulle yesterday morning. He was a debonaire little man with a pressed white shirt and a suitcoat, and I have never enjoyed the services of so deft a driver. He seemed never to brake or lurch: just threaded his way through the bottlenecks as if it was some kind of performance. He sported two racks of upscale magazines in the passenger seat, and the whole trip he kept the radio tuned to classical music--I think for his own enjoyment, quite apart from us. An artist; and come to think of it, maybe he is an artist. Could it be that this is the guy who came second in the graduation auditions at the conservatory? And if we went looking, would we find him at midnight on the Chatelet platform, busking for change?