Six German women sitting at the outside tables in front of me are laughing maniacally; one of them is standing on the sidewalk and videotaping the rest of the group. The waiter tried making a little small talk while they were deciding what to order, but he only came off as patronizing and rude because he so obviously could care less about them and their shopping. The camera-bearing one is now sitting on a chair and filming each one of them saying apparently hilarious things in German. Occasionally the waiters look at them from the doorstep, trying to figure out what's so funny. The front of the café is open, so there is no protective glass between me and their increasingly obnoxious guffaws.
My table is square, nice maroon wood, and I'm sitting in a cane wicker chair with a beige seat and back and red fastenings. The coffee cup and saucer are both painted with faint flowers. I was given a packet of sugar cubes. Inside the café the little floor tiles create a mosaic design of black, orange and white.
The waiter has a very unlikeable air about him. When an older woman ordered a glass of milk, he asked if she wanted it hot or cold. Something in the way he asked this, however, made it sound like he would have been much happier if she and her milk-drinking soul were far, far away from him and his little café.
Metro: Chausée d'Antin - La Fayette
Price of an expresso: 2 euros
Sugar: packet of 2 cubes
Copyright © 2003 David Sadegh.
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