Wednesday, 6 January 2016

On the route to the bride of the Adriatic

27th December 2011.
In the adjacent seat of business class, the little blond boy went on spreading viruses in each and every direction, spraying his bullets all over the passengers from a nasal pistol that would not cease to sneezing. I said to my friend: “We should have armed ourselves with some vitamin C capsules.” Yet, the boy reminded me of my polished hair locks but in black.
Two hours elapsed and the plane landed at the humble Milan airport with its old plane stairs and wale bus which promptly swallowed the passenger for a few minutes then threw them up at the customs gate. After luggage reclaim, we boarded the hotel Mercedes prudently arranged by my companion. It was my habit to take a warm bath upon arriving to Milan which I did in preparation for dinner at Don Carlos.
Dinner at Don Carlos means dinner in the company of our friend Mohsin Suleiman (May his soul rest in peace) along with his great mates Verdi, Wagner, Fleta, Tetrazzini on table number one which Mohsin booked in advance in our reception.
“Don Carlos is one of the finest Italian restaurants and the dearest to my heart” said my friend as the music of “Va, pensiero – Fly, thoughts” decanted into our ears as a vintage luxurious perfume compelling the Coral of paintings that decorate the walls to echo: “Molto bene” following each movement.
Simone; the kind-hearted waiter who had received us at the beginning of the year recognized us immediately. "You have promised us a visit to Dubai," exclaimed my friend as Simone was serving us two glasses of Prosecco. "My four-months child could not bear to travel" answered Simone, "Now that he is more than a year old, I started looking forward to the opportunity".
Mohsen Solomon was turning the pin of the Gramophone to greet us with Mozart’s "Champagne Aria: Fin ch'han dal vino calda la testa" from Opera “Don Giovanni”. Mohsen said: "If someone knocks my door and it was Beethoven I would bow raising my hat and say:" Chapeau", but if it was Mozart I would just drop unconscious".
Oh Mohsin, I had to toil for years to learn that the cause of your falling and fainting was only because Beethoven did not compose but one opera in his entire long life; “Fidelio”, while the imaginings of the ephemeral Mozart yielded ninety-three operas occupies five of which are the most performed globally, alas death snatched the spirit of the musician at the age of thirty-six.
My friend inquired about the delicious roasted turkey we had at the beginning of the year; it was not on the menu. Simone explained that he can personally arrange for it with the Chef for tomorrow. We requested: “For tomorrow’s dinner, book the same table for the same group”.
Mohsen was still fiddling with the pin insisting on playing "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" – "My dear lady, this is the catalogue” from Don Giovanni.
We returned after a pleasant evening to Wallis Spencer Wing where that the Duchess of Windsor related the news of Edward VIII, and what made the lover who had just been coroneted in the 20th of January 1936 to soon place the crown at her feet and abdicated on 11 December of the same year.