I don't like the waiter's attitude. The place is a little too trendy for its own good, obviously. The front of the café is open and I chose a table just inside; the floor of the cafe is a bit higher than the sidewalk. The building across the street is painted with a mural that shows part of the same building from a slightly different angle. It's very well done, actually.
I waited for a while and then a man who was not my waiter, but who sensed I was not getting any service, asked me what I wanted, and I said an espresso. Then my waiter took the hint and approached me, first asking me if I wanted something to eat. No, no I said, just a coffee. Then I waited to see if I would get two coffees, but I only got one, in a rather tall cup. I also received two sugar cubes and when I touched one to the surface of the coffee, it was odd how slowly the coffee creeped up to the top of the cube. Normally it's a relatively quick process.
My ashtray is small, clear glass. The table is small, brown with an aluminum rim. There is a green plastic Carlsberg ashtray on the table next to me. Maybe this place isn't that trendy. The chairs in this section and outside are relatively small, cane wicker with woven silver plastic strips covering the backs and seats and wrapped around the front legs.
It rained earlier for about fifteen seconds. It wasn't rain so much as a little bit of water dripping lazily from the sky. Now the sun is out.
Though the bill for the coffee was an even two euros, I decided to try to lighten my pocket and gave the waiter a wide variety of coins, but he refused to pick up my two copper five cent pieces. His loss, and I ended up with a five percent discount. But I still have to carry the blasted coins around.
Outside, a quartet of women have sat down at the tables in front of me, and it is clear they are not from these parts. They don't seem to be American, though. Indian perhaps? Or Spanish? One of them (the mother?) just took a picture of the other three. I was probably in the background of the picture, writing away. At the table next to them a slightly large middle-aged black-clad blonde woman in sunglasses flips rapidly through a fashion magazine and sips Perrier.
16, rue Mogador
Sugar: packet of 2 sugar cubes
Copyright © 2003 David Sadegh.
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