Saturday, February 2, 2008

Scene 1, Act 1, Take 2

I'm back in the Big City, and guess where we went this morning?

Yes, the pool and the library. Are we gluttons for punishment, or what?

We were a little smarter this time around though. I took my cell phone and we checked the library hours so I wouldn't be kicked to the curb at closing time.

First, we went to breakfast at a very popular and always crowded diner. For some reason there are only something like 2 places to eat breakfast within walking distance of the pool and library.

We had to wait outside for a few minutes before being able to get inside and wait yet once again. There were a couple of tables that could hold four people (referred to as a 4 top by waitri like me) but were occupied by lone couples. Hans remarked that if we were in Europe we could sit at the other unused half of the table and no one would care. But you can't do that in the Big City.

A 4 top opened shortly thereafter and the cute little couple in front of us offered it to us first. (They've probably been brought up to be kind to the elderly).

We told them to take it, but would it be ok for us to share? I promised them we would behave and this would allow other people to be seated faster. They were just fine about it and the waiter who seated us, thanked us profusely as this would certainly make things go smoother.

After we were all settled in and had placed our orders, we discovered that the young couple are students at a local university that's noted for its academic excellence (I wouldn't even qualify to scrub floors there, I'm sure). Hans himself pursued his Ph.D at the same school more than a few years ago.

The young man is an mechanical engineering major.

The young lady is a chemical engineer major.

Hans described his unpronouncable major.

And then all eyes turned to me.

"I'm a waitress." I blurted.

Then we learned that the young man is from Malaysia but his family now lives in China.

Hans perked up. Malaysia and China! Hans has visited both several times and knew exactly where the young man has lived. Hans has been to Shanghai and described the massive construction that he'd witnessed going on and as that's where the young man's parents now live, he knew what Hans was talking about.

The shy young lady was born in the U.S. but her parents are originally from Korea.

Korea! Hans has been to Korea many times also, and this was also discussed.

All eyes turned to me.

"I've been to Disney World!" (I hope they don't think I was bragging.)

So how did these two young people end up at this particular university? Hans asked the young man if he had gotten his high school education in Malaysia.

Well, no. Actually he'd attended boarding school in England and of course Hans knew which school it was and remarked that some of his friends had also attended boarding schools, although different ones, in England. Hans himself had gone to boarding school in Canada.

The young lady had gone to public school in a different city and I can guarantee you that she graduated at the top of her class.

Everyone looked at me.

"I went to a 3 room school house that taught 6 grades. There was 1 teacher for every 2 grades, but we did have a gym!"

It turns out the young man speaks Chinese in addition to English. He's studied French but remarked that he's not really proficient in it.

The young lady speaks English and Korean.

Hans of course speaks fluent German, English, understands and speaks French very well and can get by with Spanish. Hans' brother's speak German and English, but French is their main language, as their partners are both French speaking.

Here we go again.

"I just nod a lot when I'm with Hans' family." I shamefully admitted. And at this point, I don't think anyone was too surprised with that.

But just as we were getting ready to leave, Hans picked up my purse and God Bless him, he held it up and stated proudly, "Laura made this. She makes purses and dresses."

The young lady's face lit up. "You made that?" She actually looked impressed. "And you make dresses too?"

I admitted that I try to sew, and that my daughter actually liked and wore the prom dress that I made for her last year.

And on that happy little note we parted ways.

I think our world is in good hands if even a fraction of our youth, is as nice, and intelligent as the young couple we were fortunate enough to spend our morning with.

Here's the purse. I use it as my main purse and I really do like it.


Katie Alender said...

Ah yes! In this world of compulsive overachievement, knowing how to put something together with your hands is a complete novelty.

Angelia said...

Very cute purse!!!! I often feel out of place when I'm around people talking about their degrees and fancy jobs... and I'm like "i'm a bellydancer and costume designer" which alot of people in the south don't really know what a belly dancer is...
but knowing how to sew... always gets interest!

BTW, I'm still trying to find a way to save my pants,, the ladies are PR are trying to help...

Connie Bontje said...

ooh nice purse! Need to start on mine!