January 27, 2009

Sizing us up

It was supposed to be a little joke but oh boy! these French. It took her a few moments to catch on. Then she forced a little laugh. Her job, it seemed, was to size up how nervous we were and to calm us down so we’d feel better and sleep better. So far, so good. But it did not appear that her job was to explain WHAT would happen the next day.

Later Nando remarked that Helene was "very well trained". She was kindly (in a French way), reassuring (idem), alert to OUR respective states of anxiety; in short, on a reconnaissance mission the night before the assault.

I asked her if she was Annick, the woman to whom I had spoken several times by phone, also brisk, confident, reassuring. No. She seemed surprised.