Those on facebook will already know that last night I met Leonard briefly. Here is the photo:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4 ... 5977782969
The story behind it is that after a rotten day (no electricity at work in the afternoon, netbook computer breaking so I could not really work at home) the whole family and my friend Domagoj went for dinner at a local restaurant (the one jarkko, ken, tom, juraj, jurica and others went to the first evening in Zagreb in March!). Great meal but the evening got worse as Luka got stung by a wasp and went home. Then on my blackberry was the latest twitter update from the road crew showing Leonard clearly celebrating Ryan Patrick Murphy's birthday 'in the pub' which we instantly recognised as the bar of the hotel they were all staying in. Sort of 'it's now or never' feeling meant that Domagoj and I got a taxi to the hotel. Driven up to the entrance and one of the porters opened the door for us. As we get in, there is really no one around in the bar but then Leonard comes out of the gents WC!!! "Leonard Cohen" I say more in surprise than courage. The rest sort of flies by like a fast movie. I remember trying to explain that I had seen on twitter that he was around, that I knew Tom, that the whole family would be at the show on Sunday, that I was so sorry my son was not here to meet him. He was - I dunno - calming, happy, interested in the twitter thing but admitting he didn't really understand all that technology, and saying he needed to look at the menu. Did I think they would still be serving dinner (it was 930pm). Yes, for you, for sure, I replied. I remember him liking what was on the menu. And then I said something like I really don't want to bother you but if Domagoj could take a photo of the two of us, I would be so happy. "Sure, man, no problem" was the reply. I asked how he was doing with jet lag and he said something like it was still there but he was getting through it. Then he said "I must find my daughter". "Oh, Lorca is with you?" I said. "Yes" he said and then led us to where Lorca and Sharon Robinson were sitting. I spoke briefly with Sharon. "I met you in Berlin" I said. "Oh, right, then nice to meet you AGAIN" she said gracefully! I mentioned to Sharon that we hoped to see her at the tribute event Saturday evening and she said she hoped to be there too but did not know the timetable. I wished them bon appetit and a great concert and we left! On the way out, all I could think of was I hope I didn't bother them but it was such a nice experience and so - I dunno - ordinary in its extraordinariness. It was nice the next hour and a half at one of the famous pubs in the centre of Zagreb with Domagoj saying: this is my friend Paul, he's a British sociologist, he's lived in Zagreb 15 years, and we just met Leonard Cohen!!!!!
Anyway, I look forward to tonight and to the concert tomorrow and - most of all - to seeing old and new forum friends!
Thanks for listening!