Monday, January 2, 2012


I have, of course, become aware that it is no longer New Year's Day but rather the day after that day. My only excuse is that I don't think there is really that much to differentiate the two and, through my eyes, they are indistinguishable.

I spent New Year's Eve in Le Bar where I had a heart-to-heart with a Ukrainian who claimed to be Russian--what is it with these ex-KGB/SBU guys?--and enjoying more than a few glasses of The Widow with a favorite single malt Scotch as a chaser. What caught my attention was his elegant Patek-Philippe Calatrava on a strap. As a true narcissist, he failed to notice my 5004J, but I was rather counting on that and would have been disconcerted if he had.

Somewhere toward the end of the evening, my friend disappeared to the consternation of his entourage. Ex-KGB/SBU mafia types aren't supposed to go off the map like that and one vocal party was speculating he had been the object of an extraordinary rendition of some sort. I suspected that he was more likely to be suffering from a slight case of indigestion (local slang for multiple abdominal stabbings) and that he would be right as rain in the morning--which never came if my own personal experience is anything to go by.

Ivan's mistake--I'll refer to him here as Ivan--was to allow himself to be photographed in public with me and a few other notables present on the scene. A Patek-Philippe on a strap may be low-key relative to a gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona but having yourself photographed with strangers in the bar of the Georges V on New Year's Eve is beyond the pale and his comeuppance was a certainty in anyone's book.

It is a new year but, apparently, old habits die hard. He did have a nice watch though.

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