I needed toothpaste so I made a quick trip to France. It’s a long story and I won’t bore you with it but I use this certain kind of French toothpaste and I am running out. It’s a testament to how many times I have been to France that I have used this toothpaste exclusively since 1988.
Anyway, Strasbourg is just an hour plus from Frankfurt on the fast train and Ashish was working so I, you know, popped over. Strasbourg is beautiful. I mean seriously beautiful and I had it all mapped out. Visit this and that, get the toothpaste, have lunch and get back. Things didn’t pan out exactly and I ended up at a brasserie or bistrot or some damn thing near the train station which is never an ideal spot for food. I always think food near a train staion is just stuff getting foisted off on tourists fresh and hungry off the train. But well, It’s France. How bad can it be?
So I sit down and they bring me a beer but then I waited and waited, timidly putting my hand up as the servers buzzed by serving everyone and their crying infant children (god almighty) and I had yet to place an order. The guy in front of me had 2 bright green drinks and his lunch and I was sitting there unnoticed with an empty beer glass. Finally when there were 3 or 4 servers in front of me at the check out I said loudly, “Excusez moi?” And they all turned to me and I said, “Est-ce que quelqu’un peut m’aider?” Can someone help me? And the one guy server looked at me like I was nuts, and said scornfully, “Avec quoi?” With what? Well, I told him, I’d like to order lunch—Ben, je voudrais commander le déjeuner. And the green drink guy barked out a gaffaw. This may have been his reaction to my accent, I hope not but who knows. The waiter came over and grudingly took my order.
A pâté sandwich and french fries. It was divine. It is, after all, France. Rudeness and all.