“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.” ~ Franz Kafka
Snapshot No. 5 If the Line is Long
The line was long for this one little street stall, so I figured it was good. The young guy inside running the wine and sandwich bar was a flurry of movement, flicking wine glasses quick onto the counter from behind him, cutting tomatoes, throwing bread to toast in the smallest toaster oven I had ever seen. He was operating in the smallest space I have ever seen for a shop. It was a space smaller than a food truck. He had room only to stand and turn around for wine bottles and glasses behind him. It was wonder to watch him function in that tiny space. A portrait of efficiency. “Ensalata,” said the little girl in front of me, holding on to her mother’s hand. “Ensalata, mozzarella,” she repeated, tugging on her mom’s coat. “Si, si,” replied the mother, distractedly.
A waiter from down the street pushed through, rapid conversation with the man running the shop, a quick exchange, inside joke. A wine glass was flicked onto the counter, shake of the head, oh – plastic cup then? Si, si, duo. Two. Flick of the wrist, splash of red wine, and the man was on his way, menus under his arm and cups in hand. Men in business wear, suit jackets over the arm chatted outside the shop, wine glasses in hand. It was overwhelming to order, especially in Italian, so I stuck to what I knew. Pomodoro. Mozzarella. It was simple and easy and so good.