Tuesday, September 11, 2012

People Talk Too Much, In Case You Haven't Noticed

I don't even know her name. She will forever be the woman
who "out-desserted" me. 
           My idea of being a tourist is wandering around a city and stopping at indeterminate intervals based solely on what my eyes discover in pastry shops, chocolate shops, and cafe windows. I'm much less interested in museums and churches than I am in eating my way through town. I really needed a cup of coffee and this establishment happened to have multiple pages of different things that could be done with their coffee, along with six different kinds of chocolate to drink, and a wedding cake in the window.
          I ordered a piece of pflaumen-küchen, or torta, or who knows what...I don't even know what language is happening anymore. People speak to me in Italian, and if I can figure out what they've said I answer them in German (which feels insanely rude), or look at them like they've hit me with paper towel roll and say "Deutsch oder English?" I only just learned today, from the lovely woman you see above, that Deutsch in Italian is not Deutsch, or Allemand (All you people who told me I might understand some Italian because I took French were SO unbelievably up a tree with no bananas), but Tedesco. Señora did not speak Tedesco. She did not speak Inglesa either. That left us with not much that we could actually say to each other. 
           I desperately wished I could translate the German conversations happening around us - especially the reaction of the man to his wife, who appeared out of the shop next door trying to convince him that they needed the coral colored Scotty dog pillow she held in her hands. Yet, even without many words we were able to laugh at the two middle aged Swiss men in front of us wearing Kermit the frog green chino pants. We giggled over the fact that she ordered not one, but two full sized desserts - some sort of sugar vermicelli noodle on cream and a berry mousse pie. She indicated she wouldn't need dinner. I also was able to understand that she really wanted to sit in the chair at my table, even though their were four empty ones in front of me. And she asked if it would disturb me. It's amazing how easy it is to decipher the word disturb in other languages. I had a nice time sitting with her, not saying much. There was no pretense. No empty gestures. No lies. No grandstanding. No pandering. Only two people, enjoying their cappuccinos and sugary confections. 

FAZH - by the Limmatquai in Zurich

Sunset on the Limmatquai

                I found a medieval festival - much more colorful than Minutemen

I can think of a couple of people I might want to see like this.

Mountains by Night in Melide

All photographs copyright S Botham 2012 and not to be used without permission. 

No comments:

Post a Comment