October 26, 2008


I gave my name again and the sitting nurse checked a list in front of her. "Are you sure you are supposed to be here today?" she asked in French. I thought of the time I had made a reservation for my family at Alain Ducasse/Louis XV in Monaco, then ranked one of THE best restaurants in the world by the International Herald Tribune, and when we arrived, the maitre d’ had observed the inadequacy of our attire, the absence of headline value in our faces, and inspected the reservations for that evening, before announcing with haughty disdain that our names were not on the guest list. DesolĂ©.

This time we were not to be put off so easily. "Yes, our reservation is for today," insisted my husband, and said our name slowly, in the French way. The second nurse scanned the list again and found us. We were official. A few questions for a file; these were done by computer. Another few questions answered by pen on paper. Then a nod, you may go in now.