Is it me?
At hotel breakfast buffets, you often see a clever kind of toasting machine. You slip your slices of bread onto the slipway and slowly they proceed through the machine with its glowing elements toasting the bread on both sides. It's like a conveyor belt but you have to exercise a little patience before the toast comes down the chute.
This morning, Shirley and I came down from the eleventh floor of the Ibis hotel on Lillie Road in West Brompton, London. We were ready for breakfast. I put my two slices of bread in the toasting machine, knowing I would have to wait a couple of minutes but then this happened.
A man of middle eastern appearance arrived at the toasting machine. He was not wearing a COVID mask as urged by notices displayed at the entrance to the breakfast suite. This is what he proceeded to do. He grabbed two slices of bread and tried to force them into the machine ahead of my two slices. But he was rather late. My slices were already on their journey and his slices ended on top of mine - one of them folding over itself.
I said: "What the hell are you doing? My bread is in there! You have to be patient! Now my toast will not be done. You should have put your slices behind mine. Are you stupid or something?"
The fellow said nothing. No apology. He took his half finished toast away as I retorted half under my breath: "****ing idiot!!" and I had to put two fresh pieces in the machine as my cooked breakfast plate grew slightly colder. It's not the way I expected the breakfast buffet experience to go.
Last evening we were on our way to our pre-theatre dinner venue. We had not had any lunch and we were both hungry and thirsty. We popped into a a little cafe at South Kensington. There were no other customers inside. We ordered two teas and two almond croissants. then found a table in the corner.
There was some nice music playing on the sound system - not too loud. You could still converse easily in spite of it.
Then a third customer arrived - a smart bearded young man and he sat at a nearby table with all his obligatory modern stuff - his laptop, his smartphone and his headphones with associated wiring. When his cappuccino and cake arrived, he asked the waiter to turn the ambient music down. Of course, he didn't ask us if we minded.
And why was this? It was so that he could listen to his own secret music via his headphones without any external music creeping into his ears. Then he could be in his own little bubble, listening to his insular music while tapping away at his laptop and checking stuff on his phone. He was utterly oblivious to us and the real world that surrounded him.
I have a feeling that the fellow in the cafe and the chap at the breakfast buffet were blood relations or as I said at the start: Is it just me?
Theres not a chance in the world I would speak to an aggressively rude person the way you did, they arc up in a moment and then you're in trouble.ReplyDelete
You could always use the cheap shoes insult, I guess :)
It's very rare for me to fire up like that but it was pure instinct and that blast was merited.Delete
I'm not disputing that :)Delete
I am very curious- why did you feel the need to point out that the rude toast guy was "of middle eastern appearance"? Could it be that perhaps he did not understand how the toasting process worked? Not saying that he didn't, but is it a possibility? I've never seen anything like that and would have not been sure how to proceed with the toast-making process.ReplyDelete
As to the younger guy in the pub, he obviously needs better noise-canceling headphones. At least he did not ask the server to turn the music UP! I see him as more of a narcissist than anything else. Chances are that if he'd come in with a book to read, he may have asked the server to turn the music down. It is funny that some people feel so self-entitled that they feel as if it's fine to ask the business to adjust the music to their own needs and wants. A few weeks ago my husband, daughter, and I ate at a place where the music was so loud that it interfered with not only our enjoyment but also our communication and yet none of us even thought about asking the management to turn it down. Perhaps we should have!
Regarding the guy at the breakfast buffet, I merely said that he was of middle eastern appearance because he was. If he had been wearing a University of Florida T-shirt I would have probably said that and if he had been red-haired I would have said that too. Such details just add a little interest to writing I think. In this kind of situation, experience has told me that I have very reliable antennae. I read things correctly and this guy was just being an ass. He knew exactly what he was doing - trying to push in front of me and being impatient. Even if he had never seen one of those toasting machines before, he would have to had to be a moron - not to understand how the simple thing worked.Delete
Regrettably, it's not just you. It's the times, I think, but then I'm old and I could just be starting that old man stuff.ReplyDelete
Repeat after me: "In my day it was never like this..." and "I remember when the world was in black and white only..."Delete
...and you didn't ask for the music to be turned up after Mr. Selfish had it turned down. What kind of rascal are you?ReplyDelete
I am a Yorkshire rascal.Delete
People are more openly insufferable and rude than they ever used to be. I thought it was mostly because of Trump's horrible example--but you aren't in the U.S.ReplyDelete
We have got Mini-Trump.Delete
There are a lot of self centered, oblivious people in the world who basically don't give a shit about anyone other than themselves.ReplyDelete
I agree and these two guys belong to that tribe.Delete
The human species can easily be divided into good and bad. Just watch how they behave around a buffet.ReplyDelete
A hotel buffet can be like a kind of dance in which manners are tested.Delete
Mostly I would say nothing, but sometimes you are pushed too far. I for one am pleased you spoke up. I guess there is something in common with the person who asked for the music to be turned down? If it not too loud for 'older' folk, then would it really penetrate his headphones. Clearly it was all about him.ReplyDelete
I know that you would never shove your bread in ahead of mine...would you Andrew?Delete
I dislike those conveyor belt toasters. The resulting bread is generally either limp, barely toasted or brittle charcoal.ReplyDelete
At our hotel in Rome a couple of years ago I stood at the toaster waiting patiently for my slice of bread to emerge. Just as it was about to plop out onto my plate an Italian man with a cashmere sweater draped over his shoulders reached across to take it. I vigorously scolded him, telling him it was MY toast. The effect was diminished somewhat by my admonishment being delivered in Spanish instead of Italian. Heat of the moment and all that.
Good photo of the tree-rat by the way.
Ha-ha! I often refer to them as rats too! Perhaps the Italian guy with the cashmere sweater was also a tree rat. Were you wearing your Italian waitress's costume?Delete
Oh dear YP, wasn't there any fried bread to have with your cooked breakfast? That would have alleviated the problem with the rude foreigner and your toast. Personally I always have toast afterwards, but we all have different routines. Usually I've found with those toasters that the bread needs to go round at least three or four times before it's even crispy enough to be edible!ReplyDelete
I like toast with my cooked breakfast. I wonder who invented those toasting machines? I am guessing it was Charlie Chaplin.Delete
A transmigrated soul - the squirrel.ReplyDelete
I have never seen as many squirrels in one place as I saw in Brompton Cemetery. The Lord hath given sanctuary unto them and they hath gorged upon the fat of the land.Delete
Perhaps it is just London people who are so rude, they have to make a space for themselves. As for gray squirrels, they are here to stay, just help in stopping them from encroaching on our own native red squirrels, and leave them in London with the bad cats!ReplyDelete
If you set up traps in Brompton Cemetery you could make a good living selling squirrel meat to local butchers and squirrel pelts to furriers.Delete
It isn't just you. I have complained many times that most of society's problems can be explained by people only thinking of themselves.ReplyDelete
Children should be helped to understand that other people are sentient beings - just like us.Delete
Remember when you point a finger at someone else you have three fingers pointing back at yourself. If this post doesn't illustrate that you think it should be all about you, nothing does.
This post might have been finding out and telling us how an American grey squirrel ended up in Brompton Cemetery. I would have found that far more interesting than listening to you prattle on about how you are superior to your contemporaries.
Please excuse my rudeness; I haven't had my coffee yet today and it shows.
I am not superior to my contemporaries. That perception is frankly ridiculous and I am sorry that you pictured these two little tales in that way. As for American grey squirrels, England is plagued with them. They have largely driven out our smaller native red squirrels. But this post was about human behaviour I had observed - not squirrels.Delete
Great Squirrel photo. Sartre said: "Hell is other people". Sometimes it's true when you meet people like the above.ReplyDelete
I doubt that you would have tried to push your bread in front of mine Dave.Delete
I'm going to take the charitable view that the guy at the breakfast buffet didn't understand how the toast machine worked and didn't speak English. (Although you'd think he might step back and watch how YOU managed, and learn from that.) As for the other guy, well, he probably never imagined anyone else was listening to the "ambient" music. If you'd asked them to turn it back up, I wonder who would have prevailed??ReplyDelete
Welcome to London. This is how it is. LOL
I saw you when we were in West London. I shouted across the road, "Steve! Steve!" but you just kept marching along. Ah well.Delete
That post and the comments thereon have proved very enlightening in so many ways.ReplyDelete