Want to go to Spain IV

We scrutinize each other, mother and daughter, to be sure we are are properly understated and  yet absolutely  the essence of style  for our dining experience in this hotel of some note.  We are seated by a dignified and very handsome tuxedoed Maitre D.  The young waiters are casting not so hidden looks of admiration at my  daughter while  I  was feeling, I must say,  very elegant and at home.  There is a sort of comfort in being  above the youthful threshold.  No surprise to you that there is here before us fields of silver- ware surrounding our chargers waiting for our choice of entree.  Drinks, of course.  Choice of the wine that  would pare with our dinner, yes.  Nose  tenderly touching the rim of the glass for a whiff of a more than pleasing aroma. Taste, yes and oh! so good.

Off the waiters go to ultimately and proudly return with what would please the ladies from America:  eye appealing, aroma scintillating and service style that will overwhelm even a princess or two.  Oh! no, gentlemen you all are in for the shock of your life.  It occurs to mother that  moving of one piece of silver  to an “out of place” position might cause a quiet stir or perhaps not.   It is such a naughty but small action but highly disturbing to the waiter who is not sure if he might actually have made such a horrific mistake.  His facial expression is pained and quizzical.  He is undone utterly.  He returns to the table fortified with other staff who scrutinize the table in a sincere effort to be correct for we  (it would seem)  dignified ladies.  They leave  us briefly, with feelings of assurance that the table was set impeccably as was their solum and highly  professional  duty.

Oop! I forgot that Susan was watching.  Susan’s watching is the beginning of the most unique experience of the young lives of  these major domos.   We are enjoying our pre-dinner wine but Susan has caught the mischief bug and begins to move even more silver and  glasses to ” out of place” positions  -just a little at a time so that when a waiter returns, he blushingly is deciding if it is he or the ladies who are responsible for disturbing old world and absolutely proper dinner settings.  Now, mother is getting nervous because long experience has given me no assurance that Susan would stop any time soon.  She does not  stop.  Then an amazing dance begins by the waiters to replace fine silver and exquisite crystal.  This rolled on until somehow, we all laugh in unison and the evening goes on with suitably gracious behaviors on the part of we ladies and supreme relief on the part of the waiters.  We  return to  our sophisticated  and best behaviors and enjoy the meal that was splendid in many ways.


Nest day,  we meet the  tour guide who now who takes us to all the expected art museums along with the important churches, Moorish Castles and  the enormous statue of , Vasgo da Gama arms outstretched to the  Sea.  A word about Da Gama.  It is said that this Count , Vasgo da Gama was the first to open the global trade market in Asia, India ( the Spice Market)  and Arabia. Another surprise for me and the guide:  Susan stops dead in her tracks and tells the guide that we no longer want the regular tour but rather,  “show us the real Portugal”.

At that, we jump into the car and drive miles (at least a half hour) to tiny fishing area that is cloistered by a rocky high mountain on one side and the energetic sea on the other.  On this small plot of earth, as if we had walked into a Hemingway novel, we mingle with fishermen and their wives.  Soon after our arrival  a table is brought out into the open and covered with a white linen cloth upon which is put china,  glasses and silverware.  Probably the best fish we shall ever consume.  The whole reality is a display of dignity that shall always remain in my deliberation about human behaviors.  It is a communion of sorts.  It is an  awesome moment in time in this sequestered fishing spot where the highest deportment in human  dining is embraced.  It is a long and wonderful trip and tomorrow we will actually be in Spain.


mosswood 5/4/13



~ by mosswood on May 5, 2013.

One Response to “Want to go to Spain IV”

  1. Well done Mom! That lunch is one I can point to as the best in my life.

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