Rian’s lovely friends Shella, Janette, and Siobhan (She spells her name differently but I’ve always wanted to meet someone named Siobhan) took us to dinner at Westfield, a vast shopping mall. With airconditioning. Still not turned up to Manila levels, but it was a respite from the summer.
We ate at an Italian restaurant called Ciao Baby Cucina.
I was late because everything was on sale and I was looking for something for my sister. Apparently there was some animosity with the waiter even before I arrived. Everyone had ordered still water, and he tried to serve Shella sparkling water. When she pointed this out he said, “But you ordered this.” “No, I didn’t. Nobody ordered sparkling water.” Then I appeared and ordered sparkling water, reviving hostilities.
It’s a big place, but there weren’t many tables occupied. And still the waiter did not deign to take our order until we had waved him over several times. “May we order now?” I asked. “Of course, I am here,” he said snippily. Was he resentful about his career, his life, or the fact that he looked Italian but not the fabulous type? We gave our orders. Rian and I ordered a glass each of the house red.
The food arrived quickly, and it was alright but not the kind that turns you into a regular. Halfway through the meal I reminded Mr Petulant about our wine order. “Who did you order from?” he snapped. From Fabio Fognini, I wanted to say.
“We ordered from you,” I said.
“Oh. I do not remember.”
“Two glasses of the house red.”
He showed us the wine list. “Which one is the house red?” I asked.
“That one,” he said, pointing to the merlot corvina at the top of the list. I just wanted my wine, not a reenactment of Sideways. “The cheapest,” he added. I wonder if it is restaurant policy to pass judgment on the customers. Fortunately I am impervious to attempted insults by people who are unhappy with their lot.
Rian and I started giggling. “Then we’ll have the cheap wine.”
He brought us the glasses. “This is not bad for the cheapest wine,” we told him. He did not appreciate our humor and bustled off.
We decided to have dessert somewhere else. “You are not having dessert?” he said when we asked for the check.
No and I’m absolutely shattered, you’ll have to pick the pieces up off the floor, my life is over. The girls proceeded to complicate the petulant waiter’s life by paying him with cash and two debit cards.
We had excellent dessert and coffee at Balan’s, where the waiter was the opposite of petulant. “I’ll have the English breakfast (tea),” Rian said. “And how would you like your eggs?” the waiter replied.