Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grinding pepper - Bangkok, Thailand

At an Italian restaurant, somewhere out of Italy.

The waiter has just placed my dish on the table. I grab my fork and get ready to start when I see him coming with a wooden tool. "Some pepper, Sir?" I take a closer look at that dark brown club: what I had at first taken for a stick, is actually a half meter long pepper mill. I haven't had the time to reject his offer: I look at him fervently grinding his pepper, while a blanket of spice is coating my pasta. Anyway pepper is fine with me, I forget about it and start to eat.

During my meal I keep watching the waiter that walks with his tool around the hall. Sprinkling pepper on pasta and eating garlic bread: somebody spread the word that they are Italian must-does. With his left hand he holds the grinder in the middle, while the right one on top is ready to mill. He offers every patron two turns of the knob.

He gets to the table of a gentleman from Rome, who listen to him and then says "no". When the waiter is already a few meters away, this man gives vent to his Italian pride: "Hey man, what are you doing? Take that pepper away. The amatriciana must be covered with PE-CO-RI-NO cheese!"

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