Saturday, February 17, 2007
Just like every other Saturday at 3pm, today I walked over to Sedmica with the Weekend Edition of the Financial Times. I sat in the corner table with my back to the window, and my waiter came over. He said, didn't ask, "kavica" and I smiled and said yes. He came back with my "kavica" and a glass of water. He said (in English), "No sugar" (because there were none on the saucer and I usually don't take sugar) and I said, in Croatian, "yes, that's it," and smiled. He walked back to the counter, I enjoyed my paper and the music. A very tall man came in pushing a toddler sitting in a stroller. I've seen them here before, she's a little girl, this is her father, and when they come in, I hear lots of men greeting them with hello for the father and sweet things for her. About an hour later I walked to the counter to pay. The waiter was siting on a bar stool at the side of the counter, talking to the three customers at the counter. I couldn't find a space close enough to hand him the money, so I signaled to him that I would leave it on the table in front of me. I was really surprised when he said, no, it's ok, so I thought I misunderstood the language. I repeated my gesture, he repeated his. I smiled and said thank you. I left feeling so warm and happy. I felt like home. Maybe even for the first time.
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The problem with self-improvement is knowing when to quit. - David Lee Roth