La Rotonde

August 4, 2002 - 5:00 p.m.

When I first arrived, there was a man sitting at one of the outside tables intently videotaping something, but I couldn't tell what his camera was aimed at. I considered videotaping his videotaping, but I restrained myself. After he and his wife left, the waiter was standing outside listening to an order and tilted the tray he was holding behind his head a little too much, allowing at least one teacup to fall and shatter across the sidewalk. He came back a while later and cleaned it up just in time for it to start raining, a real torrential downpour, the heaviest rain I've seen here in a long time. It rained like that for five or ten minutes, forcing several customers seated under the awning to retreat farther back inside the café to avoid getting wet. The sidewalk seemed completely flooded. Then the rain stopped abruptly, and patches of dry sidewalk are already visible.

I'm sitting just inside the main part of the café. The front is wide open and it's a little chilly, but I thought to wear a long-sleeved shirt today. My table is round with a brass-edged top that slightle resembles reddish rocky road ice cream with marshmallow swirls. The ashtray is smoky glass. The cup and saucer have a pink trellis and flower design. The money plate is maroon plastic and holds a receipt that the waiter neglected to tear when I paid, so later he had to ask me if I had paid, and then he tore it. I was served a small glass of water with my espresso, and a chocolate-covered almond. The sugar came as a packet of two cubes. The chairs are wicker with yellow and red plastic caning. The overhead lampshades look like they're wearing flower-embroidered petticoats of various widths with maroon fringe.

Nothing has happened since the intense rainstorm, but that was pretty exciting. I almost videotaped some of it, but it ended before I could get my camera out of my bag.

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La Rotonde
Metro: Vavin
Phone: 01.43.26.68.84
Fax: 01.46.34.52.40

Price of an espresso: 2.80 euros
Sugar: packet of sugar cubes
Bonus: chocolate-covered almond

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Copyright © 2002 David Sadegh.
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