France’s President Sarkozy gave a master class in efficiency on Wednesday when he managed to insult three world leaders over the course of one lunch at the Elysee Palace. Doing his bit for the French diplomatic effort, the pint-sized prez reckoned that Barack Obama was not always up to scratch; that the Mexican president was dim and that the German chancellor would soon come around to his way of thinking on economic policy.
Perhaps we should be thankful that it wasn’t a multi-course state banquet or he might have had enough time to call Putin a big girl’s blouse, tell the Chinese that their Olympics sucked and ask Iran’s leader if he wanted to step outside. Given enough Bordeaux, it would have been World War III before the starters had been cleared.
Details of his comments were leaked by opposition politicians who were invited to the lunch. He might have expected his views to remain private but Sarkozy should have known better than to shoot his mouth while at table. There is always somebody likely to blab.
Overhearing other people’s conversations in restaurants can cut both ways. Hearing someone propose at the next table can be a heart-warmer. Hearing a marriage explode is rather less enjoyable. The best snippets to overhear are the random, surreal ones. Last weekend, I overheard a couple of crackers.
The first was the short but thrilling admission of someone who ‘couldn’t make it to the toilet in time so I was sick on her cat’.
The second involved a group of friends talking about an acquaintance of theirs who seemed to have set up a dare to bare webcam service. ‘I think he is making money out of it,’ explained the man on the table next to mine, ‘but I couldn’t do that. Showing your boaby to a strange bird? Nah.’
Not as high-brow as the talk around the table at the Elysee but a meal-stopper nonetheless.
On a completely different tack, Edinburgh has a new Thai restaurant: Baan Thai on Leopold Place. If you would prefer to let them settle in before giving them a spin then these 5pm members will be happy to help: Britannia Spice and Mya dish up Thai specialities as well as Indian dishes while the Wild Elephant is a straight down the line Thai.