“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” -Paulo Coelho, “Brida,” 1990.
Señor Coelho is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my treasured quotes from his book, “Brida,” about a young woman’s journey to find the meaning of her life. Every time I have a glass of wine, I’m reminded of what a luxury it is to be able to have the time to sit there, the ability to hold a glass, and the peace of mind to enjoy its flavor. What a true privilege it is to be able to pick and choose, learn each wine’s history and special characteristics, and if I have the fate to meet one I like, bring a bottle home to uncork on an important day.
Today, I enjoyed a lovely glass of red at La Taverna in the French Concession neighborhood. This is the area of Shanghai that used to be a foreign concession, governed by French powers from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s. There is a distinct character evident in the residential buildings, shops, and restaurants, and La Taverna is no exception. From its fun aqua walls to the differently shaped EVOO bottles sitting in a mirrored nook, this little hangout was the perfect place to rest my feet and say a little “Cheers” to an adventurous afternoon of exploring my new home that is Shanghai.
The glass looked so full, I could not even imagine a debate involving the percentage of its emptiness. In Señor Coelho’s book, when our protagonist Brida asks how she should find her Soulmate, she is told to try everything and “drink from every cup.” To which she asks, “How will I know which is which?” and she is told, “By the taste. You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one.”
Life is full of lessons and we’ve all drunk out of a bad cup. When you are finally given a good one though, whether it be a soulmate, a job opportunity, a chance for change, a new or old friendship… you will know its value because of all your experiences. Don’t let it go to waste. See it for what it is – a glass half full and perhaps worth pouring more of in your cup in the future.
Outside, I spotted a line of chairs in varying sizes. Are the chairs too small or am I too big? It’s all about perspective.
La Taverna / Fumin Road, Shanghai