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肿瘤咨询在线论坛私人领地『 海外生活 』 → The Beaujolais Murder (Chapter 1)


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主题:The Beaujolais Murder (Chapter 1)

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The Beaujolais Murder (Chapter 1)  发贴心情 Post By:2016-12-13 23:06:20

The Beaujolais Murder (Chapter 1) “No, I can’t do this. Sorry.” “But yes! You have seen how it is done, and you speak perfect English. You are the best candidate!” “Seeing it is different from doing it.” Laura was ready to resume her Agatha Christie novel. “Laura ma cherie, it is just this one time! Please be sweet! I know you are kind and smart and wonderful. You’re my best friend! Ever!” Clair was almost on her kneels. “You’re dumping me to those arrogant pigs while you enjoy yourself in warm spa having haute savoie cheese with your boyfriend. That’s scandalous.” Laura said without looking up. “Spa? Cheese?… You see -” Clair decided to ignore Laura’s hyperactive imagination, “Nicola does not normally do this. It is so not like him. That is why I have to go this time. But you understand it, don’t you?” Laura was not as rough as she sounded. After twenty minutes of begging, five home cooked dishes and many homemade desserts promised, she reluctantly accepted Clair’s commission. Clair threw herself on Laura showering gentle kisses on both cheeks, but Laura did not exhibit much matching sentiments. She shouted: “Careful! My book!” Laura, if asked, wouldn’t easily remember how she met Clair. They seemed to have been friends forever. It was one of those unexpected chance encounters which originated long-lasting friendships in her life. With Clair it was at a wine salon in New York City one December Saturday evening. Laura attended the salon with her boyfriend Michel. The latter, being French and aspiring chef, was keen to initiate Laura on the fine art of appreciating wine. Laura, however, was never crazy about any kind of alcoholic drink. She considers it utmost important to keep her sharp mind in perfect control. But that evening, Laura’s shrewd mind had made the decision to not disappoint the warm-hearted Michel. She tried all the French wine Michel recommended to her. Laura could barely stay on her feet, when, at a stall sampling wine from Rhone-Alpes region, they stroke a conversation with a petite French girl. She had short curvy hair, large dark eyes and little titled nose, was wearing a peach cotton dress that spoke spring. Michel did most of the talking with her in French. They learned that Clair worked as babysitter for a young couple of a lawyer husband and a painter wife, was excited to have a break from work and speak French. In the warm and intoxicating atmosphere, Clair issued an invitation to her hometown, the Beaujolais area. “The wine is not the best in France, but it is a beautiful place.” They met several times afterwards. Laura and Clair grew a natural liking for each other. When Laura wanted a break from life and everything, the first thing she thought of was Clair’s invitation. Clair worked as a freelance illustrator based from home. She could barely make a living, but the matter was not pressing as long as she lived in her parents’ house in the country and they got along well. Clair’s second passion was to promote the local culture of her home town: the hilly Beaujolais area. She was supposed to work as a guide and interpreter for a group of visitors from CERN this weekend. The visitors, the people whom Laura referred to as “arrogant pigs”, were world renowned scientists from different countries in the world, collaborating on various projects in the field. Some of these physicists were permanent employees at CERN, others temporary visitors. In either case, they were people with diverse cultural background, and generally travelled frequently around the world to attend conferences and seminars. English was their work language. Clair learned to speak fluent English while living in the New York City for about a year as “jeane fille au paire”. Her presence was a release for the French local organizers, whose English skills were limited to “hello”, “thank you”, “yes” and “non”. For over a week now every evening Laura had been watching Clair practise in front of the whole family the English presentation she prepared for the CERN visitors. It consisted of the introduction of this part of the Beaujolais area, with a special focus on the vineyards they were to visit. Clair started with a brief history of the region, then a summary of the geographical traits and how they influence the growth of the grapes and eventually the wine, the making process in a small vineyard, and finished with the survival challenges of the small family wine businesses in the growing global economical competition. Laura was impressed by the patience and hard work dedicated in such an event, small and unimportant, as Laura would describe it. In New York City, where she came from, French people were famous for leisure-loving. Now she was seeing with her own eyes, the relaxed and slow life allowed a different value to the quality of work. There was a degree of perfectionism with these folks which would be unimaginable in the hectic New York City. At the last minute, Clair received a mysterious telephone call from her boyfriend and had to leave everything to Laura. This was, well, another thing you would not expect in New York. Laura sighed. (to be continued…) (2015)

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