Hubby and me were presented with a white elephant. Not the big beast literally but a white elephant gift nonetheless. It was a gift coupon for a fancy degustation menu dinner in town. So we put aside our rubber boots and pitchforks, had a bath (though it was not yet Sunday aka Bath-Day), dressed up in our good church clothes and off we went.
As suspected, the restaurant proved above our usual social and economic standards, and I came totally unprepared. At a table for two, there were more pieces of cutlery and more glasses and plates laid out than in my entire cupboard collection. I was wondering if it’s worse to use the wrong fork and knife or to google stealthily on my phone which fork and knife you start from. (Now I know you start from the outside and I got it wrong. Of course.)
A waitress in an evening-gown-uniform inquired if we desired wine. I couldn’t figure out how to ask discreetly if it was or wasn’t covered by the gift coupon, so I remained silent. Hubby ventured an affirmative answer, on which the waitress offered a list of foreign-sounding brands. Hurrying to help my monolingual hubby out, I asked tentatively if they had perhaps something local. She regretted that they didn’t, and she surely thought we were Amish. Hubby chose the last option on the wine list by repeating the last cluster of sounds the waitress pronounced.
The wine was brought by a waiter in a tuxedo-uniform. He was probably sent by his female co-worker to get a share in the humorous spectacle of villagers in the city. The waiter inquired if we wished a vegetarian or a regular menu. Hubby was being humorous (or so he thought) and asked playfully if he looked like a vegetarian, patting lovingly his bulging belly. The waiter blushed, said nothing and started to bring in bizarrely tiny portions of fancifully arranged meals. Before serving each, he named it, and I understood none of it because I don’t speak Gourmetese.
The last course was a dessert brought in cups so incredibly small that I was doubting if it was worth the bother at all. When the waiter was out of earshot, I dryly observed that I drink vodka from a cup larger than this. A couple at a neighbouring table looked in my direction, mildly amused. The waiter returned to ask if we wanted coffee. I wanted coffee very much but I had all reasons to believe that I would have to order five to ten cups to satisfy my need. I said I didn’t want any. So we drove home, where I got my usual half-litre mug of coffee and hubby a buttered toast.