In Poor Taste

Gwen and Will sat down at an outside table in a pleasant looking restaurant near the corner. It was a bit noisy along the street, but the temperature was so pleasant it would be a shame not to take advantage. The chaos of Marrakech pulsed by in rhythm with the traffic signal. Cars, bicycles, donkeys, motorbikes and pedestrians in a jumbled mass, all jockeying for position.

It was cool in the shade of the restaurant canopy. A dignified waiter in a crisp white coat immediately brought them menus and took their drink order. Gwen was relieved to see that menus were available in French as well as Arabic. An opportunity to practice!

Gwen decided on a menu item she thought she remembered having enjoyed in Paris some years before. She ordered in French, and reinforced her choice by pointing at the item on the menu. The waiter nodded confidently. Will, despite Gwen’s prodding to live a little and be more open to new things, ordered a small omelette. Plain, sans fromage.

When the food came out, Gwen was a bit confused. Instead of the crepe dish she’d been expecting, she was being served a soup of some kind. With some sort of oil and spice on a plate beside it. But the waiter had already stepped away before she recovered her wits, and she was uncomfortably hungry, so Gwen decided to give the soup a try.

First, Gwen dipped her finger in the oil and put the finger in her mouth. She made a face. She did the same with the spice. Another face. Finally, she scooped up a big spoonful of soup and gave it a try.

“This is the most terrible thing I’ve ever eaten!” Gwen made the pronouncement just as Will was about to take his first bite of omelette.

“Would you like to try some?” she asked politely.

When the waiter returned to their table, he noticed Gwen munching happily on a small omelette. Sans fromage. He noticed the bowl of soup, oil and spices on the edge of the table near Will. He noticed Will didn’t look happy.

“Puis-je?” asked the waiter. He pointed at the soup.

Will nodded, thinking the waiter was asking to take the uneaten item away.

Instead, the waiter poured the oil into the center of the soup. He added a healthy amount of the spice to the center of the oil. He added salt and pepper from the table. Then he stirred it all together and placed it in front of Will.

Will looked at Gwen finishing the last bite of his omelette. He felt his stomach growl. He picked up his spoon and tried a spoonful of soup. Then he tried another. It wasn’t long before the bowl was empty.

Gwen looked over at the empty bowl.

“Aren’t you glad I convinced you to try something new?” She smiled brightly at Will. “You need to live a little and be more open to new things!”