Sunday, March 9, 2008

All Aboard the Orient Express

May I present my boarding pass.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Madamoiselle Marie Cadleaux St. Laurence. My passage was booked under an assumed Sassy Lass name because I did not want anyone to know beforehand that I was traveling to Istanbul on my most favored Orient Express.

I come from The vineyards of Alsace which are situated on the slopes of the Vosges hills facing the river Rhine. This small area offers protection from the cold and humid winds, thus protecting my vineyard. We produce Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling (our most renowned white wine), Muscat and Pinot Noir. This is our only non-white wine, as it is a rose. There is no need for you to know the name of my vineyard at this time.

This is my new tea gown. It can only be worn in my quarters (according to tradition) but I thought it beautiful and wanted to share it with you. Perhaps I will invite a few of you that I take a liking to to afternoon tea in my quarters.

The next gown is for evening wear. My jewels have been left at the vineyard under lock and key. After many travels by rail, I know it is a common occurrence that they might be stolen. I have the means to have them returned to me, be sure of that. I think you'll agree the decollette will bring quite a few admirers once they engage my company at our dinner. I'll be enjoying the oysters, of course, along with the potatoes and filet of beef. I prefer to not let pudding touch my mouth, but a bevvy of desserts suits me fine!

Over dinner I might entertain you with tales of how I sent my personal bodyguard and valet, Mr. Honore, into Italy giving his best and very successful effort to retrieve my beautiful diamond necklace from that very good looking but nonetheless, thief, George Clooneauxy. He happend to be in France at the time being honored with Chevalier des Arts et Lettres medal by French Government. Let me save that for another time and just leave you with the knowledge that Mssr. Clooneauxy was quite charmed by my wit in having my jewels retrieved and paid me a visit, whisking me off to the South of France for a holiday. Being the lady I am, the memories of the special time with that scamp will die with me and me alone.

I'm bringing the novel Madam Bovary along for this trip. I've read it more than once already, but think it's brilliant. Gustave Flaubert may have been attacked and made notorious by a trail concering what the public prosecutors considered obscene but fortunately he was acquitted and the writing became a best seller in book form in 1857. I predict that this will stand the test of time and come to be considered one of the two greatest novels ever written...second only to Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. If by chance you have not read that incredible work, please rush to do so! If the Orient Express does not have it in it's Library, I'd be quite surprised.

I will not be exiting the train along the way with our stops here and there. It is imperative that I stay within the confines of the train. My mission in Instanbul is of the utmost important to my winery. My bodyguard and valet will be joining me in Bulgaria. He will be staying in my quarters at all times. His meals will be brought to him. Mr. Honore is my most trusted employee. Though he only be 4'5" in height, he is a giant in terms of what he can accomplish. He's is usually a tad of a scamp himself however and I do not want him in anyone else's quarters after the clock strikes midnight. Let me be clear that he is not a scamp with me! All things are proper insofar as scampiness goes between us.

I am a friendly sort and will be visiting and enjoying high tea and meals with you all. I am certainly going to visit my old and dear friend, Chachaneen per her invitation for a game of cards and champagne. I find her fascinating, highly intelligent and certainly one of the more charming guests I've spent time with before this trip. She is such a style setter I look forward to her wardrobe this time around!

On Thursday, March 12th, I will be advising you of the outcome of my trip's purpose in Instanbul. Unfortunately I will not be returning by train with you. Mr. Honore and I will be on horseback in the back country once our mission is accomplished in Instanbul. Wish us well! And do return to see the outcome 3/12!

Bon au revoir,