J-U-S-T S-E-E-I-N-G, no touching. I walk faster towards my hotel, promising myself that I will not be distracted by anything in sight. And that’s the irony of life, it’s when you don’t want to spend on anything that you find all the shops that you were looking for in the first place -- with cash in your pocket that you couldn’t locate back then.
There is this bakery that I discovered last year at Cannes which has the most divine desserts. They stock the Brad Pitt equivalent of sugared bread among other fancier dessert siblings. I happen to pass by, quite by chance. I had not been able to find this place for the last three days. I am not carrying enough cash to go berserk so I have a brief Oliver Twist moment. I console myself with thoughts of coming back as the saleswoman hands me the tiniest sliver of a strawberry éclair (divine) and a slice of sugared bread. You could forgive the French anything for their bakeries.
I have five meetings lined up today and four out of those five are at the Majestic. It's funny but I remember that being the case for the Carlton last year. The big guns are still staying at the old C, but the younger, preppier crowd seems to have ensconsed themselves firmly at the Majestic. I spot Craig Davis on the terrace and say hello to him. Craig is busy with media interviews on his new role at Publicis and says he’s raring to go. Spot Nakul Chopra and Emmanuel rapt in conversation in a corner with global Publicis people. I also see Jean-Marie Dru in the distance, as I wait for my interviewee to arrive. It is harrowing to have four meetings back to back at the same hotel. They do not all necessarily end at the right time, some of them get over extended and the next therefore suffers. And then, you finish others faster and have nothing to do, but twiddle your thumbs and ignore the waiter as he keeps hovering around, waiting for you to order the nth cup of coffee. Dark glasses help, as you can safely indulge in furtive glances.
I finish by 2.30 and rush for my next meeting. Lunch has to wait. At a time when people have been complaining about costs and are talking about the wasteful expenditure of sending people to Cannes, I see so many people having brought their assistants here; people who are there to ensure that everything goes smoothly. They could have done it sitting in New York, London or wherever it is they stay, but I guess the big boss needs an entourage, so that’s ok.
I stop over at this Sushi bar on my way back to the hotel to file my stories and pick up what the sales lady calls ‘Very Nice Value Meal.’ It’s not so great, after all. I should have gone for the salmon sushi pack, instead of the many value adds that added up to nothing much. I finish the soup alongwith it and it’s off to the room. Tough life. I need good uninterrupted sleep so Gutter Bar is going to be without one grumbling Indian tonight. Yay.