Sunday, June 23, 2013

Smile first. Flirtatious pout later.

I had barely checked in at the Eugene airport when I realized that I hadn't packed along the Lonely Planet guidebook on Costa Rica.

Maybe it is for the better, I decided.  I had done enough prep work and maybe I will simply go with the flow, I convinced myself.  After all, it is not that I can blame anybody else--one of the hassles of a single life!  And, of course, I shall not point a finger at me for forgetting it. ;)

I had read in the guidebook about a Swiss woman having set up a pastry shop, not too far away from the Orosi Lodge that was run by the German couple.  I wondered if the European geography would get reflected with a pasta place run by an Italian further down the road. (No.)

Without the guidebook, I still managed to find the Swiss pastry shop.  Only a dolt could have missed that and, thankfully, my IQ is a tad higher than that.

The Swiss bakery corner of the town's main drag

There was nobody at the counter when I walked in.  I scanned the display.  Strudels and empanadas and a lot more.  This woman has assimilated into the life here, I thought.

A woman first poked her head from inside, and then walked towards me.

That was no Swiss woman. She was a local.  I wondered if the Swiss thing was a facade.

The woman had a gorgeous smile and sparkling eyes.  For someone working in a pastry shop, slim as well.  Perhaps in her early thirties.

I pointed to the one that said mango and chocolate. She asked me something in Spanish that I understood as whether I was planning to eat there or take it with me.

"Aqui no" I said.

She smiled again. 

I wonder if women too find something special about the way some men might smile.  Well, I am sure there are some men who charm women with their smiles alone.  I know very well I am not one of them.

"Dollar ok?" I asked her.  And produced a one dollar bill.

She took that and gave me the change.  And smiled again.

"You have a beautiful smile" I told her.  I have gotten to a stage in life when I no longer stress about whether or not a genuine compliment from me will be misinterpreted and misunderstood by a stranger. It is their hassle if they twist things, not mine.

She smiled and said "no comprendo."

"Muy bueno" I said while pointing to what I thought was my smile.  Apparently she didn't know I was smiling.  I told you--I am not one of those men with a charming smile.  My smile is not even recognizable as a smile!

She pouted a friendly pout and put on a sad face.  Now she looked really lovely.  

"Gracias" I said and she replied yet again with a smile.

I had that with coffee in my room, while sitting on the balcony and watching the clouds wrap around the volcanoes.  Life couldn't be better.

Literally, the view from the balcony, in the mornings before the clouds roll in

The following day, I swung by that pastry shop equipped with the word that Google had taught me. Sonrisa, or something like that.

It was a different woman this time.  "Hola" she said.  

Out of habit, I said "hello."

She figured that I am a foreigner.  As I scanned the display, she asked me what I wanted.

"Everything looks good" I said.  

"This is mango ..."

"Oh, I had that yesterday and it was very good."

"I think I will try the pineapple one" I said.

The plastic wrap she gave me had the pineapple one, and a strawberry one.

"The strawberry is my gift to you" she said.

I am sure my response conveyed to her my thanks and excitement.  She smiled.

"So, are you the Swiss woman?"

"Yes, I am. I have been here for eight years."  She smiled and added, "I like it here."

Only a smile.  No flirtatious friendly pout?  Because she is a Swiss and not a Tica?

The room where I stayed. You can see a part of the balcony railing through the window. 


Ramesh said...

The pout is mightier than the smile - Thus spake the good Prof.

Plizz to post a photo of an "ample" tourist after consuming one Swiss pastry a day. That good ??

By the way, I fully qualify as a dolt :)

Sriram Khé said...

not a mere pout, Ramesh, but a friendly and flirtatious one ;)

not just one a day--the first day i had a pastry at my post-lunch coffee break for all the work, and then a huge slice of cake for dinner ... second day, it was two pastries with the afternoon coffee ... i ended the trip with a humongous banana-strawberry-chocolate crepe at the airport ...
i think i walked all those off, however, and am no "ample" tourist ... haha!

you a dolt? yeah, right. that can be the case only if i am a george clooney ;)

Narayanaswamy S. said...

"The pout is mightier than the smile" -- good one.
I think we Telugus rose one step higher above our Indian brethren. We made a heroine out of Satyabhama! :)

Sriram Khé said...

Am lost ... what is the Satyabhama deal?

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