I ask to take his photo and he agrees on one condition: I sit and have a coffee with him, and tell him about New York (although I knew I would really be the one asking the questions).
Now, I wanted to go to the Zucca show, but how do you pass up a chance to sit and hear a little about the life of a gentleman like this?
Guess what he did? Deep-sea diving! “I was mad for diving,” he said, more than once.
The years have not been so kind to Avner’s ablity to communicate and he had trouble remembering certain words, but from what I could make out, he spent some time living in the Middle East with the bedouins, he owned a camel, he and his wife own a country house in the South of France but currently live on the Left Bank. He travels every year to Antwerp to visit the area where he grew up.
Before we said good-bye, he gave me his address and promised that when I return to Paris he will show me photos of when he was young in the Middle East riding camels and of his diving adventures.
His handshake is still strong (stronger than I expected) so my guess is that although he is 83, we will still have quite a few more coffees together, hopefully soon.