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November 01, 2008

Gelato, per favore?

November 1. Day 124.

The best time to ask for something, I'm started to gather, is:

--when someone seems happy to provide knowledge, access, goods
--when someone has slighted you and cares enough to make up for it, or
--when someone has something clear and direct to gain by giving.

People so far, on the whole, are givers. I'm totally impressed and humbled by seeing how the average joes and josephines around me, people I've never met before and may never meet again, react with kindness and generosity to my strange, gratuitous or fair requests, as the case may be.

Today was another story.

Twenty minutes after Mr. A and I ordered lunch at Pappalecco, an Italian gelateria and caffè I have previously raved about, there was no sign of our food. When we checked with the waitress, she said that ooooops, she forgot about my sandwich, but that Mr. A's croissant and drink were coming right up. Ten minutes later, my food arrived -- cold -- and his stuff was still missing.

Then, she forgot again. We reminded her. She ran off. She forgot again, we reminded her, she ran off!!

Finally, I made it clear I was unhappy, Mr. A was starving, and there was one way she could make it up to us: free gelato.

"We've been waiting half an hour for his croissant. So, could you give him a gelato, as a gesture?"

The smile melted for just a second, in the eyes if not the lips, as if to say: "So that's how it's gonna be." Svergognata!

And then she conceded: "Okay, okay."

His croissant arrived eventually, slightly burned (?!), but at least the ice cream wasn't soup by the time she brought it out. Some people might have walked out or asked for the meal on the house. But. It was sunny outside. The farmer's market beckoned. Why bother? Anyway, I ended up getting a gelato and a blog posting out of the ordeal.

Gained: One chocolate chip gelato for my amore.
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