This week's topic was "Salad Bar". You should give it a go!
Here's what I came up with:
The transition from Sizzler Salad Bar to Ristorante Italiano complete with menu unreadable to the naive 21yo English only speaking female occurred over night.
He walked through the door of the massage therapy clinic I was working for. I had read his name in the appointment book – Fred – and was expecting an 80 year old man. Honestly, I was looking forward to the conversation as I massaged his life weary limbs and joints. Instead, the captain of the local basketball team, American import, tall, African American, amazing, walked in.
Fred was charming. Of course. He’d just arrived in town. Did I know any nice restaurants? Would I like to go out for dinner some time? Who could resist. He was the city’s equivalent of Michael Jordan.
He rang that night. Dinner was set for the next day. I dressed up in my most sophisticated 21 year old clothes, feeling at least 25, and met him at the restaurant. Clearly intimidated by his 10 year age advantage, not to mention his worldliness and African Americanness, I’m not sure how I managed to walk through the door.
Then I looked at the menu. It was completely written in Italian. I couldn’t understand a word. And so began my education in travel, culture, international cuisine and life. If nothing else, I can thank Fred for planting the seed for that part of me that I wanted to continue to grow and nurture.
A while after he left, breaking my heart, I went to the letter box to find a magazine containing an interview with him. He was now living in China. He said, “I’ve lived in a lot of countries and I’ve noticed that we all want the same thing. To be happy.” And he was right.