What A Pleasant Surprise!

I was driving on the highway feeling a little bit better than yesterday when about 3 kilometers from my supposed destination I decided to pulled off at the side of the road next to a gas station.

The reason for this was in my peripheral vision I saw a glimpse of a brasserie/restaurant, and from my position behind the wheel the place looks quite inviting;  their terrace in particular, which is overlooking the road and seems full of happy people. I pulled off because I was hungry. Aside from the bowl of cereal I have eaten earlier, I consumed nothing yet. I woke up at 14:00 o’clock and it took me more than 3 hours to clean myself up and get dressed. This past few weeks, it’s taking longer and longer for me to do life’s daily routine. The answer as to why I am struggling with movements these days is at this moment I am not ready to disclose yet.  Maybe later if I’m feeling courageous.

I knew I was not dress up to dine (I’m about to take my daily walk, remember?) but I thought, brasserie/middle of the week/side of the road, how off-key I could be?

The nearer I came to the place the more I realized how wrong I was! For reasons known only to them, I found myself amidst Louboutins, branded clothes and signature/statement bags and blings.

I am  not the kind of person who right away gets intimidated by these sort of things, but clad in loose-fitting printed everyday dress, flip-flops and jeans jacket, I never felt so out of tune than that precise moment. Though I wanted to run away as fast as I could my pride gotten hold of me. So, I shook my hair, stood tall and walked erect all the way inside.

I emerged into a posh dining area where almost all the tables were reserved for the evening. Maneuvering between them, I looked for a place away from the main view. There was a table for two at the back of the room which was still available. I was about to sit when a charming all smiling waitress asked me if I rather sit somewhere more comfortable instead of hiding myself at the back near to the loo.She didn’t really say it that way but something to that effect.

I was surprised! I didn’t even notice the door leading to the toilet. Could it be also that the entrance to the little room does not look like the typical door one might expect to find when looking for a rest room? It is made of opaque/smoked glass with some image itched on the surface next to an identical door that says: smoking room. Both have no door knobs/handle. Hygienic I thought.  
I looked at the charming girl and she smiled in a professional courteous manner.  Not a smirk, but a real genuine smile without underlying meaning to it. I was perplexed. She then guided me to a table in the middle left of the room near to a window overlooking pastoral scenery and an outside lounge area with black and white bean bags and coffee tables that look like overblown mercury droplets.

With that simple ordinary gesture, I was intimidated in the way no Louboutins and signature items could do. There are lots of reasons for it. Allow me to cite a couple of them if I may.

First: Nice, polite people are scarce nowadays. It doesn’t matter which step of the ladder and walk of life they are from, friendliness is a dying gesture. People are become so cramp in their style that smiling hurts their faces muscles they often look constipated. Big houses and even bigger car, high profile high paying jobs and prominent status in the community and they don’t find a reason to smile; why is that? The strange thing is: ready smile (and happy people) you can find in most places where people don’t have a lot of reason to smile about (and be happy) but still can produce a genuine example without difficulty while in the middle of a typhoon or submerged in flood water trying to rescue their meager belongings.

Friendliness with matching smile doesn’t hurt anyone when on the whole your bread and butter required you to do just so. And I am talking from experience here dealing with people in day to day basis.

Scanning the menu is not a good idea when one is not yet collects oneself from a strong jolt of unexpected event. So, out of confusion I ordered just bread with something, a cup of coffee and some sparkling water.

When my food came I almost passed out. The coffee which I expected to be just a coffee came with a small glass of fresh whipped cream with a cigar biscuit dipped in some delicious yellowish liquid, and a piece of chocolate so divine it was made of dreams accompanied by a clear unidentified liquor which I gulped in an instance.  And the sparkling water! It looked like an over-priced cocktail in some fancy nightclub complete with a wedge of melon hanging on the side of the glass and there were long pieces of lemon and orange zest floating in there! Right away I  panicked! I grabbed the menu to check in what price category these sumptuous delights belong to. I almost lost it when I saw that all of what they serve including the ones I have are priced 2-3 euros less than most restaurants I know fancy or not.

The fairy tale continued down to the bread that was brought to my table (the best looking bread I’ve ever seen so far) the small salad accompanying it was wrapped in cone-shaped banana leaf, there were pieces of fruit on the side, some resting on scribble of balsamic cream, one physalis was speared and put on top of the bread looking like an airborne fairy. In short, my plate was more resemble a painting on a plate than just A bread. I have a glutton and lactose intolerance but I attacked most of what they served with gusto. I will worry about consequences later.

Why I was surprised getting the quality of food and service they offered in that one particular restaurant? Because like smiles, quality is so hard to come by these days you have to look so hard and pay a lot in order to obtain it if you’re lucky. We become a world where the demand has to be higher than produce they messed up with the quality in order to maintain that balance. Durability is a thing of the past and like I mentioned somewhere in my previous post semper fi it does not only apply on products alone but relationships as well. Someone from the medical field told me that it’s the same story with medicines out there. The main purpose of them these days is not to cure but to make people dependent on them to assure a continuing productivity of the business. But we will not explore that alley, would we? Too complex and too shifty ground to stand on.

I could yada-yada-ya a lot more about various things that question my sanity and understanding as well as whether these things are insult not only to my intelligence but to fellow humans and consumers as well. But I have a long walk to make and the sun is sinking too fast on the horizon and I’m afraid it will be one of those follow the yellow brick road sorts of walks again. But yeah, in this life, we can never have everything we want, can we?

The only regret I have about the whole visit is not being able to take pictures of the food. But my camera was in the car and I don’t use cell phone to take photos. Besides, mine is a Jurassic piece I doubt if it can produce decent images. And I am not sure if I want to be caught photographing my food by those shiny happy fashionable people.

Hong-Kong-Red-Soho-2 (1)

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