Friday, November 18, 2011

The Breakfast

Today I went out for breakfast. When I arrived at the place that someone had recommended me, I took the stairs to the semi-basement of the building without knowing very well what expected me down there. I pushed the glass door with red undecipherable letters on it and walked in crossing the wide entrance until I stood in front of the woman at the cash desk. She was seating on an old high desk, one of those you usually find in antique diners or restaurants. With a short hand gesture, she told me to go ahead and seat wherever I wanted. At the table I studied the menu for a couple of minutes, though it wasn’t difficult to choose one of the ten different options. Imitating what other customers did, I raised my hand like in good old school times and waited until the waiter saw me. When he approached my table, I pointed my choice at the menu.

While I was waiting for my breakfast, I observed the other customers: a mixture of employees from the adjoining skyscrapers, a couple of retired people and two small groups of students. That was at least my guess. Apart from the students, who were too busy playing with their smart phones, most of the customers seemed to be absorbed in their papers or snoozing lost in their dreams. It was pretty early. Delivery men came and went through the kitchen door carrying tottering staples of boxes. The waiters moved smoothly through the tables, leaving dishes and drinks on them without stopping. There was a known sound of dishes and cutlery and, in the background, the humming of the air conditioning and a television nobody was paying attention to.

For a short moment, a couple of eyes took a furtive look at the only person in the place who didn’t look Asian, as she was about to take a picture of the food in front of her. My breakfast had arrived. At that moment, a thought crossed my mind: this could be the same bustle you’d find in a Spanish restaurant during the busy breakfast time. But I was not in Spain, I was in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong


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