Saturday, October 29, 2011

To mummy and papa

Dear Ma and Pa,

As I told you earlier, the house in which I'm currently staying used to be the house of Rene Descartes. I often ignore the little plaque on the side of the door because I come home either hungry or in desperate need of a toilet, leading me to burst into the house and to sprint up three flights of stairs. The plaque outside, thus goes unread.

Today, however, was different. I think that's largely because as I have things to do and hence, I was overcome with a dire need to procrastinate. I began reading interesting things on Wikipedia and as it often happens while reading stuff on wikipedia, one thing and thought (pun intended that will be understood later on) led to another. I realised that I knew very little about Rene Descartes. It thus seemed natural to wikipedia him.

Another reason for that the curiosity is that at times while I sleep I can hear scratching and humming that sounds like a philosopher embedded deeply in his work. Initially, I used to think that it was my Transylvanian (vampire) neighbour who jokes about his comfortable coffin but now I've come to believe that it might actually be the ghost of Descartes himself.

Anyway, returning to my findings: I discovered that Descartes is the guy who said 'I think therefore I am'- without doubt, a wise and philosophical statement, endowing him with the title of 'the father of modern philosophy'. Turns out that he was also the chap who laid the foundation for modern maths and developed the cartesian system- something that I'd studied and quite despised in school. So while these were all things I'd known, I'd forgotten them. But now, living in his house, I'd become suddenly interested and fond of the chap.

It's the plaque outside my door. It says that Rene Descartes (who lived most of his life in the Netherlands) lived in this house for three years during his visits/sojourns to Paris. The quote mentioned on the plaque is from a letter that he wrote to Elisabeth, the princess of Bohemia in 1648.
The quotation is this:
"Me tenant comme je suis, un pied dans un pays et l’autre en un autre, je trouve ma condition très heureuse, en ce qu’elle est libre."
Which translated means this, "Staying as I am, one foot in one country and the other in another, I find my condition very happy/ very fortunate, in that it is free."
Somehow, I find it interestingly apt.
much love,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two years later

I am writing this to tell everyone- at least leave it out there for someone to find in case... well, just in case.

I just made a cup of hot chocolate. It is a very good cup of chocolate; thick and creamy as it should be. The chocolate is not too sweet, not too bitter and as I am opinionated, in my opinion, it is as it should be. It is a steaming cup of hot chocolate. With steam and creaminess and a thick liquid gold like texture. I have obviously run out of ways of how to describe this absolutely glorious cup of hot chocolate. You should know, however, that it is a glorious cup and that I am very happy.

Now why do I tell you this? You might be perplexed. I'll tell you why. I'm afraid that the milk was a tad bit yellow before I made it. Not sunshine yellow or golden ochre yellow. There was just a tinge of yellow. It was almost lemon yellow. I actually left it out for days. I didn't think it'd be hot here but unfortunately the temperature (without any prior warning) rose to about 30 degrees. I left the milk out for days in that heat. And earlier during the day, since today was colder, I had a cup of coffee. I have a slight stomach ache now but I'm still drinking the cup of steaming hot not-too-bitter, not-too-sweet hot chocolate. Did I tell you that it is delicious? It is delicious.

Know that I am happy and that I do not blame the milk. Which was not sour, but just slightly yellow.