The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Table Manners

Is it raining? At an outdoor café in Novi Sad under an expansive web of umbrella-like-awnings, I wait for a slice of pizza. The tent above is tapped like there is rain, but pedestrians show no signs of it. No one ducks or covers their miraculously shiny hair; they just walk along, leisurely, strolling under the drops.

The waitress arrives with my food, but she does not set the plate before me. She sets it before the seat on my left and gives me a wink. Next to the plate, she thuds a red bottle of ketchup, a standard pizza topping here, though I demur. Quietly.

I move to the pizza-facing seat and nibble untouched as rain pours through the awnings above and fills the seat where I’d been scrawling. I hunt for her later to trade an appreciative glance for her small smirk of knowledge, as others leave their rain-gathering spots with surprise.

10 comments on “Table Manners

  1. journeyman1977
    December 3, 2012

    nice one! 🙂

  2. Clanmother
    December 3, 2012

    It is those little niceties that makes our lives beautiful.

  3. anglophiletoad
    December 4, 2012

    An inescapable truth: Europeans and Latin Americans seem to be follicly impervious to moisture from the sky. I have, in the midst of sprinting through an Argentine subtropical downpour, wet as a drowned, revived, and re-drowned cat, observed the casual strolling of my fellow rain-ees, looking like they just stepped off the set of a Loreal commercial. Not fair…

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      December 5, 2012

      Hahahaa! Well, that’s vivid! While abroad, I did acquire a fondness for walking in the rain–with a cap on my head instead of an umbrella. But perhaps that only came because otherwise I’d never get out. 🙂

  4. Enchanted Seashells
    December 4, 2012

    Pizza in the rain. How satisfying!

  5. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    September 12, 2014

    Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    On a rainy day…

  6. mrsmrs
    September 12, 2014

    Ketchup on a pizza, Paige ? Oh aaarghh … Nice interaction.:-)

  7. evelyneholingue
    September 20, 2014

    Funny how in Paris or in France, I almost never carried an umbrella or wore a raincoat with a hood. Now in California where rain is a rarety I cherish it and yet duck away when it falls. As for the waitress I love it when so much is said without a single word. Nice post, as always, Paige.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 20, 2014

      Thank you, Evelyne! I feel like I’m the only one wearing a hat in the rain and avoiding umbrellas. I do worry about harming someone and I hate to carry things. 🙂 That’s a Nabokov quotations, I think… (checking…)
      “I had a suitcase with me and it hampered my movements, for I belong to the class of people who hate carrying anything. ” From Despair. Yet, not such a despairing quotation, I think. I’m in!
      Thank you for your kind comment–

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This entry was posted on December 3, 2012 by in Blogging, Europe, Happiness, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , .

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