Sunday, February 25, 2007

La Vie est belle

It's also the name of a new restaurant about two steps from the hotel where we're staying. They opened just a couple of days before we arrived, and since it's their first month we got an aperitif on the house. We were the only customers for the first half hour we were there, so we chatted a bit with the husband half of the owners. He's from just 25 km north of here, and his wife is from about the same distance in the other direction, which happens to be in France, so they split the difference and opened in Mons pour ne pas trop se disputer--so that they wouldn't argue too much. I asked about the music he was playing (Dylan, the Platters, Elvis, u/i Motown, bunch of 60ish French stuff) and got a long dissertation on how he loves anything that's useless (the place is decorated with marionettes and a French version of the Shoney's Big Boy) and how a lot of people don't step away from the serious side of life long enough to appreciate life. But this is where the French and the Belgians differ. Our restaurateur at least realized that he had given me more answer than I had asked for and made a wry little joke at his own expense. A Frenchman in the same situation might well have assumed that his long digression was the answer I wanted.

A thing I like about restaurants here: diners acknowledge each other's presence. They speak when they sit next to you, wish you bon appétit, and say goodbye when you leave.


travis said...

The inter-diner courtesies do sound like a pleasant custom. I may start doing it here, back in the States. Of course, if it annoys more people than not, I don't know if I'll still be able to call it a "courtesy".

Joe said...


not much about your blog - just wanted to see if I can put comments in using my gmail account.

Home sick today (third day in a row - kind of nice not being at work, but being sick is a bummer) so caught up on the blog. Seems like you have lots of time on your hands when you don't have umpteen church meetings to go to. Since I am ailing, after tonight, I will have missed 4 meetings at church this week.