Thursday, September 27, 2012

We Didn't Know!

UntitledI'm not good at the full day by day recap posts about things. I get caught up in the details and nothing ever seems to be perfect enough to press Publish on. It's why I always abandoned my journal on the second day of camp. I'm pretty good at moments, anecdotes, super clear segments, though. You should have seen the deconstruction of the Medea myth I wrote for my senior project in college. (Note to self: When are you going to rewrite that again?)

The first night in Rome we were exhausted. We couldn't even eat. We drank Chianti in bed. Not the worst first night in a country ever.

The second night it was time to have a proper meal in a restaurant to kick off our plan to eat our way across the country. After peeking nervously in the windows of a couple of places we settled on one where we could sit outside. We got a nice corner table on one side of the restaurant and I got to sit with my back to the little barrier. We had a view of the little cobbled street and we were close to where the waiters came out of the restaurant but not too close to the other diners.

Do I need to say that the food was excellent? I shouldn't have to. I wish I could tell you what we had but I don't remember. Don't worry, there will be pictures! Just not tonight.

Untitled The food was so good that we didn't even leave a leaf of garnish when we were done with our entrees. We were laughing and talking and sipping our prosecco. Quietly a man came around the corner of the barrier I was backed up against. He stayed close to the table and, really, so quiet, I couldn't see him entirely. Mom and Queen Bee sort of stopped talking. I checked the dude out enough to see that he had a towel tucked into his waistband. I mean, sure, he had a longish unkempt beard and was wearing a wrinkly suit when all the other staff were wearing crisp white shirts and black ties but he had a towel! Surely it was just how things were done in Italy.

It was good prosecco.

The guy had two of our three plates in his hands when all waiters burst out the door screaming and waving their hands. Someone grabbed the plates, someone shooed the guy away, someone apologized to us, we apologized back. We didn't know. We didn't know! Who would want our empty plates? They were so clean, y'all, we loved that food.

General consensus is that, if he hadn't been caught, he'd have gone somewhere (where?) with the plates and come back shortly requesting a tip. I've thought about this a lot and I just don't see how in the name of hazelnut gelato that would have worked. We weren't going to give some random busboy his own tip. We may have been new to Italy but we weren't new to restaurants! Where did he put the plates? Really, where? I need to know how he thought that was going to play out.

It was silly, with everyone apologizing to everyone else and it being no one's fault. It was embarrassing in a way. But it was also our first experience with the Roma. And that was weirdly cool.

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