jeudi 6 décembre 2007

a big "merci" to a grade school friend and café culture

Received Christmas card from grade school friend. Checked my mail and there it was: a red envelope addressed to me, not to my landlord, to ME!

It was this envelope that brought me sunshine on this cloudy, rainy day. Suddenly, "Crap, I have to go to class, which is probably canceled, but whatever.." became "I hope we have class today, it's been a while."

It was understood that I'd be the one sending postcards and letters. And that I'd get them from my parents too. But when the sentiment is returned, especially from a grade school friend I rarely see and keep in contact on the interwebs, I am touched.

Thank you, Edel. You made my day. Expect a postcard/Christmas card/birthday card or a combo of the three when you study abroad, and I am back in my home country.

Another visit to my lovely café. The waiter is cute, and the owner is named Noel like my Kuya. Lovely lovely. Went since class was cancelled and wanted to kill an hour or so writing/brainstorming/people watching. Hour was killed beautifully. Sat at a table this time, not bar, with my Moleskine and stylo plume, or fountain pen. Not my Lamy Safari, which was a birthday present from my parents, and stays at home, but with the cheapo one I got at a bookstore. Wrote this little bit 15 minutes before leaving:

These two guys outside having coffee are hilarious, debating the laws of gravity. One guy had his pack of cigarettes in one hand and a sugar cube in the other. He dropped them on the table from the same height. The friend takes a drag from his cigarette and does not seem convinced. I wish I could hear them, but just watching is too funny.

I love how no one bothers me. They see me scribbling furiously on my graph paper notebook, and they know it's business. They know not to disturb.

On the other hand, I have my money out. When are they going to pick it up? This part always confuses me. It makes me nervous as hell. Years of conditioning, impatiently waiting for the Denny's server to pick up my money and give me my receipt so I can go, go, go.

And it feels absolutely wrong to me to leave an establishment with the money on the table and no hint of, "Yes, I paid. It's there. I'm a good person." I'm a good person.

Okay, I'm gonna go. I put the money out, and cute waiter has passed by a couple of times he knows the money's there...Maybe I'll wait a few minutes. It's so nice to people watch in the square...Okay, I'm leaving...Other places are different. You can pay at the table or at the bar. It all depends. Okay! Cute waiter got my money. Now for home.
A bit juvenile, and too stream of consciousness, but that's me. Cute waiter said "au revoir, merci, bonne soirée!" or "goodbye, thanks, have a good evening!" like the French always do, which is nice. I imagine when I get back to the States I'm going to be saying "Hi" and "Goodbye" to every person I come in contact with.