Thursday, June 27, 2013

The girls smiled for me at my last meal in town

During the best of of my married years, the woman I was married to used to marvel at how I knew I wanted to marry her the day after I started talking with her. Four years later, we were wed.

That trait has been a consistent feature of my life.  I don't go comparison shopping if my mind has found something that I am truly happy and content with.  I didn't look around for more as a teenager, and didn't later in life either.

Female stalkers, er, readers, take note: now that I am happy and content with my solitary life, you have a tough task ahead, but not an impossible one by any means, if you want this single guy to fall for you.  Try harder! Yes, you can ;)

Anyway, where was I? Yes, I have been that way with most things in life, not merely with the affairs of the heart.  With cars. With homes. With shoes.  And, even with restaurants when I travel.

In a setting where the people and language and culture are very different from what I am used to, if I loved the food at a restaurant , then why should I even bother wondering whether there might be better ones out there?

At Orosi, I found one such place.  After my first lunch there, I knew I was set.  I had three more lunches at the same place.  Always the same food too.

My fourth and final lunch was after the energy-draining hours at the national park.  The waitress initially gave me a menu and then quickly corrected herself.  She took it back and said, "arroz con vegetales, frijoles, agua."

"Fritas?" I asked  I loved those freshly made potato fries.

"Si, si" she said with a huge smile.

The older I get, the more I find comfort, reassurance, and joy in genuine smiles.  I am tired of the fake smiles.  I would rather that people don't do fake smiles at all.  I will be completely ok with their pouty faces instead.  On the other hand, a genuinely warm smile from a stranger, like this waitress, is simply priceless.

I sat outside, as always.  There was a large group, a family of eight at the far corner.  We were the only customers.

I walked inside and told the waitresses that this was my final lunch and that I was heading back to the United States.  They smiled again.  The one with the long, thinly-shaped eyebrows had the best smile of them all.

"May I take a photo?"

"Todo?" one asked.

"Yes, all."

Their response was so genuine.  One immediately ditched her hair net, brushed her hair, and tied it differently.  The eyebrow waitress rushed outside and assumed her pose.  I didn't have the heart to ask her to come back in, because my plan was to take a photo of them all with the chef too.  I followed them outside.

After clicking, I went back in and said I wanted to take a photo of the chef.  She, too, smiled!

The food tasted excellent, as all the previous three were.  I was sad that I wouldn't see these women again.  Life is about the different people we meet. Some we like. Some we don't.  Some like us. Some don't.  Some stay with us for a while, and others are transient. Memories of these Ticas will stay with me forever.


Shachi said...

The eyebrows of all 4 women look so fake to me!

Fake smile bother me too. Nothing we can do about it.

To stay away from comparison is a very good trait to have....I did that quite a bit when I was, not so much.

Hope one of your female stalkers...errr....readers makes you fall for her - this blog will become so much more spicy n flavorful ;)

Ramesh said...

Tres muchachas bonitas.

Good that your vacation was bautiful in every sense of the word - nature, food, and even the waitresses :):)

Yes, life is, but a journey, isn't it

Sriram Khé said...

Quite a journey it is, yes. Of course, all of us cannot travel first class :(

Yes, "awesome" is how I would describe the entire vacation--in fact, that is a post all by itself. Stay tuned ;)

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