I always carry a notebook in my bag: for thoughts and ideas, for my ever-growing lists, poems, doodles – you name it. Snugly fit next to it is my pencil case (what kind of teacher would I be, after all?) ready for all kinds of writing emergencies.
Monday night, was one such emergency — namely a list emergency. I had so many things to do and I knew if I tried to rely on memory, most of them would not get done. So out came my notebook and pen and I started jotting down to-dos.
We had been out on a photographic walk and spontaneously decided to have a quick meze at a tavern in the Old Town. Soon after the above photo, the waiter came with the menus. I did what any other list-compulsive person would do: opened the catalogue and inserted my notebook and continued making notes while my boyfriend pondered over our choices. I was pretty much in my own world after the waiter came to take our order, and as soon as he left, my boyfriend looked at me triumphantly and congratulated me with a spirited “BRAVO!” (capitals truly necessary).
I looked in confusion. I was after all still scribbling.
Reason for such warm applause? I had apparently looked quite the food critic with my notebook open. For a brief moment, our eyes met and it was clear that we both thought the same thing: Great food, great service – we sure fooled them!
As we waited for the food, I couldn’t help but get into character. I really started thinking like I was there to review, and began taking in the general atmosphere. It pretty much aced all the star ratings (whatever those may be). Romantic dinner? Of course, with these dry yet colorfully sweet flowers:
Excellent ambience, warm colors, and the food? Oh let me tell you about the food. It was an abundance of mediocrity. It was the epitome of staleness. It was royally bland and quite simply nothing to write home about. So much for our foolproof plan.
After I attempted to eat a little of each dish, I promptly called it a night because there was no way I was putting my stomach through any of that. My boyfriend, however, has the ability to eat pretty much anything, and though he concurred on the taste, he felt bad not eating anything at all. But even he gave up soon enough, much to the clear dismay of the waiter who came by our table to reprimand us for not eating any of the food. He jocularly asked us if the food wasn’t any good, and we were so utterly paralyzed by notions of politeness, that we vehemently said everything was quite alright.
Great liars, we are. And fools too.
In the fear of getting the whole interrogation again, my boyfriend devised a plan to fool the waiter. It involved piling food upon food so that it looked like we had eaten more than we had in reality. We almost ate all of the salad, see?
I don’t know if it worked, but we weren’t told off a second time. We paid the bill dutifully and I really do wish I could have left a business card on the table along with the receipt, saying: You blew it, mister.
And that’s being polite about it.