Ok the weirdest thing just happened to me. If you recall I had a great lunch at this restaurant by the river. When I found out they open at 7:00 for dinner I decided to go back the next day for dinner. Bonus…they have paella on the menu.
So I go a little early and find a table outside and order a Red Martini (martini rojo), that’s Martini Red vermouth.
I’m sipping my drink, enjoying the people watching, and anticipating my paella. All of a sudden this older woman (I found out later she’s 85) asks if she can sit with me. In my pathetic Spanish I understand that she’s waiting for a friend who is late.
So we start chatting and my Spanish is so bad I ask if she speaks French or English so she starts speaking to me in French. We talk for awhile and soon another Spanish lady sits at the table next to me and my Spanish lady and she start talking.
Pretty soon she’s saying to me she told the other lady that she’s waiting for a friend but she’s speaking French with me until her friend shows. So my lady and I keep talking. I find out her name is Danielle and she is delighted to know my daughter’s name is Danielle. Then I tell her how Lucien/Lucienne is a family name in my family. In the meantime my paella has arrived.
Finally her friend arrives…and takes the chair opposite my lady at my table and the two start talking. I’m wondering if I’ll be having my dinner with two guests.
Eventually they both get up and thank me for allowing my lady to sit with me until her friend showed up and off they walk to find another table.
And now one at a time people are asking for an extra chair. So I’m sitting alone in my one chair. Another lady just came up to me, looked at my paella and said something in Spanish. I had to tell her I didn’t speak Spanish but the paella was bueno. She said “bueno” and got a chair from another table to join the ever expanding crowd at the table next to me.
Can anything else happen?
Oh yeah it just got a little more weird and this was of my own doing. The table next to me had 5 people sitting there and one chair had a lady’s purse sitting on it. Then there was the lady who commented on the paella sitting facing the street between that table and mine. I thought she was with the other people and when I realized she was alone I asked if she wanted to sit at my table.
She spoke no English and I didn’t have the Spanish to keep up with her. I did catch that she had 5 sons and 8 grandchildren and she pointed out to me at least 3 times that we were two women alone or possibly two single women. And she followed that up with pointing to herself and saying “solo” then pointing at me and saying “solo”. Plus she asked me 4 times if I had a hotel and said something that I didn’t really understand but the gestures and inflection seemed to indicate that I should avoid strange men which I heartily agreed with.
Finally I asked for the bill and told the waiter to put her drink on my tab. I tried to express to her that I had a pleasant time talking and I wished her a good night. As I walked away I saw the waiter and he gave me a big 👍
I may have been anticipating a quiet dinner but I’ll certainly say I had an interesting one.