Thursday, 22 September 2011


Morning: Alexander technique session where Ulysses is having is training, a few steps away from Bévinda's place. Ulysses wants to teach Alexander technique. He had been looking for a path to follow in his life. His parents were worried that he didn't have any job. Being the son of rich parents may have lots of advantage in terms of financial comfort, but Ulysses had been spending all his time being the everlasting student. Music, painting, calligraphy, tai chi... never seeming to go beyond the status of student. At last he has found his way with the Alexander technique. 
"My mother is such a fearful woman, I guess she has passed that trait to my brother and me." he once said.  
I had a short music session with him and Benoît who plays viola di gamba, among many other bass string instruments. I suggested we sang some of the Händel duets with Benoît playing the continuo. Benoît had been complaining that they would hardly play together because Ulysses didn't think piano would go well with viola di gamba.
"I know it's supposed to be a harpsichord, but since we are here, the three of us and there's a piano, why not try?" I answered. Benoît was overjoyed. We weren't giving a concert or auditioning for William Christie anyway. The result was enchanting. Ulysses' enthusiasm grew by the minute and I was glad to have someone playing the bass part, which made it easier for me to sing the intricate vocal part and play the intricate piano part at the same time! I will ask Isabelle to join us next time. 

Lunch with Joshua, my London based Malaysian friend who came to Paris to go on a shopping spree with his best friend Dunk. I hadn't seen Dunk since I came to Bangkok two years ago.I must say I didn't keep a very impression about him: a rich and spoiled young man for whom appearances are everything. Thanks to his outragesouly rich parents, he can do whatever he likes. Contrary to some who could be those empty and lost characters from Fellini's La Dolce Vita, Dunk tries to be a musician. He is just about to release a new album which he played for me. As a true gay man, he loves Madonna and Kylie Minogue, and it shows in his music. However, he manages to catch some sort of edginess with interesting song structures and electric guitars - I feel he still has this contained rage which has to be expressed somehow. 
As I expected, Dunk started being annoyingly bitchy, but as the minutes passed by, he softened his attitude and ended up showing a much gentler side. I suppose he's constantly followed by a courtship of young admirers who want to rub shoulders with a pop star, so he needs to protect himself. Joshua and him make a very entertaining couple of friends even if I could be easily feel overwhelmed by this excess of campiness and friendly bitchiness between them. 
I was happy to see Joshua. We had been exchanging online for a few years now, calling each other on the phone, I had been introduced to many of Joshua's friends throughout the world, in Taipei, in Bangkok, in Paris, but we never met! For the occasion, we set an appointment at a fancy place in the posh - or shall I say overrated, area of Paris, namely the Ladurée tea salon near the Place de la Concorde. I couldn't feel more like a tourist... 
We joined Dunk later in another café nearby. They had been spending the whole day hopping from one Hermès or Dior shop to another. At the Hermès shop, I saw a young Vietnamese guy I vaguely knew from  my former clubbing times, sitting on a bench, calling everyone he knew because had had reached his paying limit and couldn't pay this prized bag he  was drooling over.... 
I would like to get to meet Dunk more often. "I could buy a flat here and we could come every other month to Paris to have fun!" he said. He's quite capable to just do what he said, I thought. I sometime find it fascinating the way extremely rich people function. We promised to meet again soon. January, maybe?

I was supposed to go to Lucien Zerrad's little showcase in Montreuil for his new album then come back to Paris to meet Philippe, Jan and Sandra for dinner then it occurred to me that the showcase would have to be skipped.
With Vanessa and Margie, Philippe, Jan and Sandra are my oldestand dearest friends. I hadn't seen Sandra that much, the past years but on my last visit in December, the four of us were together and had such a great laugh that we all realised that we shouldn't let time slip through our fingers like that without trying to see more of each other. 
I treasure my friends. 

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