Diary of a cocktail delivery rider #1
It was a dark and stormy night late December, when I set out on my intrepid quest to deliver the evening's cocktails.
The destination was Montmartre, that famous church that looks like a wedding cake perched atop the 18th arrondissement of Paris.
My steed? A 3-speed bicycle, pre-dating the electric era. My cargo? A double-pack of cocktails containing a margarita and old fashioned with bourbon. Any other questions? Good. Then I'll continue the story.
Where was I? Ah yes Montmartre. Actually, I wasn't there. I was at the bottom of the hill.
According to historical ledger, the hill was named as the martyr's mount, a reference to poor Saint Denis who waltzed up there from Paris, his head safely tucked under his arm, till he reached his final destination: the rapidly gentrifying suburbs of Paris. They probably weren't overly gentrified 1000 years ago mind you.
I've probably butchered the story of Saint Denis, but it did inspire me to at least wear my bike helmet lest I suffered a similar fate - though more likely from a scooter than an axe.
This blog is getting grim. It's not supposed to be. In fact, it's about a festive occasion. Hanukkah! Yes, the Moonshine Delivery was making its first delivery ahead of the famous Jewish festival of lights.
I knew it was Hanukkah, because earlier that day I had been riding around the Marais, the Jewish quarter of Paris, and had nearly been bowled over by a curious vehicle weaving around the tight streets.
It was about the size of a small car - or the biggest pumpkin you've ever seen (I'll let your imagination do the work) - and was bedecked with an enormous menorah, all lit up.
Just in case you had not noticed this curious vehicle with its seven candles atop the hood, the was a man speaking through a public address system mounted on the back.
"Light your lights, light your lights!" it extolled the passers-by.
Cut to several hours later, and I had indeed lit the lights, on my bike that is. And was thinking of this vehicle as I slogged up the hill towards our wonderful client in the light drizzle. How wonderful would it be to have even a small motor attached to my wheels in times like this.
Eventually I made out what I'm sure is an endearing cemetery when seen in daylight: I was getting close. No, my customer was not dead or interred, but merely lived close to the cemetery, in case you were asking.
I dismounted my mount, and carefully locked her up, for there be many a light finger in this cosmopolitan town known as the City of Lights.
I had barely pressed the buzzer twice before the door swung open and I was welcomed in by my cheerful customer.
"It's a special cocktail for a special occasion!" she explained to her partner, handing him the parcel containing the precious pouches of cocktails while warding off her rather enthusiastic dog.
It was a dark and stormy night, but on the inside, Paris was as warm and cosy as could be.