To Laugh, or not to Laugh…

4 07 2007

June 26th, 2007

Today I had one of those moments. You know the ones – something weird happens to you, and you don’t quite know how to respond to it, or even whether there is a suitable response.

I’d stopped at a local SPAR mini-market (the ones that you see in all the Lego sets!) and was sitting near the front door, munching on my bread rolls and cheese, and about to crack open the ice-coffee milk I’d bought to wash it down with. As I twisted the cap off the bottle, I noticed a heavy-set lady arriving on a giant tricycle – I couldn’t help but notice, as she parked it about 3 inches from my face. I looked up at her to see if she’d noticed me sitting there, and was met with a fierce glare, one that left no doubt about how many inches she’d decided to give my face. While I tried to decide how I felt about this, I saw that she was toting a couple of walking sticks, and indeed she was very unsteady as she dismounted her trike and hobbled into the SPAR. Figuring she may be afflicted with MS or something similar, I promptly erased any ‘screw you lady’-type thoughts from my mind, and counted myself lucky she hadn’t parked 3 inches inside my face instead.

Peeling back the foil under the cap of the ice-coffee and taking a hit, I couldn’t ignore the total lack of coffee flavour I was getting from my toungue. I shook the bottle and took another swig, to the same result – complete un-coffee. I took a hard look at the bottle, and it dawned on me that this was not, in fact, ice-coffee – it was *creamer* for coffee (hence the ‘15% fat’ bragging on the label, which I thought was kind of high). Containing my disappointment, I took another shot, and decided that it tasted pretty good after all – basically a very rich, creamy milk. I kept drinking.

The lady hobbled back out of the SPAR and put her sticks on the trike. Just as she was about to mount-up, she spied the bottle I was glugging from and froze, wide-eyed. ‘Kaffee sahn… ha ha ha…  Kaffee SAHN… Ha HA!!! KAFFEE SAHN!!! HAAAAAAA!!!’ she chuckled, then howled, then outright *screamed* at me, face as red as a beetroot. My turn to freeze, mouth full of creamy goodness, just watching as she worked herself into a wheezing, coughing state. On her final howl she over-balanced backwards and held the ‘slipped-on-a-banana-peel’ pose for about 5 full seconds before I lept into action. I was behind her in a flash, not wanting to actually push her forwards, but sure to prevent her from going over backwards. She somehow managed to compose herself, slowly pivoted around and gave me the same death-ray glare as before. ‘Kaffee SAHN!’ she declared (which is exacly what it said on the bottle, I must admit), and gave me a withering sneer. I just smiled the smile of the defeated, and said ‘it tastes pretty good, actually’, which she took as a suitable apology. Then she was on her trike and gone, and I still couldn’t decide whether to laugh or shout something nasty at her back wheels. I still don’t…



4 responses

5 07 2007

Hey Nigel,
Greetings from your former Berlitz colleague! I just heard from Gerry and he told me about your trip. Unfortunately we will be missing each other as I will be in Austria only from August and Vienna only from August 23rd.
Good luck on your trip! I will be reading with great interest.
Let me know if I can help at all for tips on Vienna.
P.S Will you be cycling through Singapore?

6 07 2007

You did the right thing buddy. On her death bed she will realize she was outta line. By the way, I’ve got some jelly crystals for you – they’re a little rough on the nostrils but kinda nice.

11 07 2007

ahahahah too funny Nigel! I also loved the imagery of letting the current of the Danube carry you from the previous post. I’m enjoying the pictures and the commentary…and cheering you on!


12 07 2007
Margit & Peter

Hi Nigel,

Nice to see that you are still pedaling. Hope you remember us? We met each other on an rainy day when you were in Ravensburg / Germany (which has nothing to do with Ravens). Did you visit the Schloss Neuschwanstein (the fairy tale castle)? We will check your blog from time to time to see how are your doing. If you need help just let us know.

Margit & Peter

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