As you know, I arrived back in Rome on Tuesday night. Despite the frigid temps and rain, I forced myself to go out on Wednesday to the grocery store as all I had in the house in terms of food was white rice, black beans, garlic salt, and coffee. And while I like all of those things, I thought they didn't really work in terms of a complete meal. So, I ventured out to the store and picked up a few things to get me through for a couple of days plus some supplies for at least one dinner for myself and the Doyles when they arrived. Well, due to weather issues in the States, the Doyles didn't arrive until yesterday. Needless to say, they were pretty tired when they got in and didn't want to go to the store. Then, today the weather was just nasty---cold and raining again. Once again, they didn't get to the store. But that was ok for the most part because I'd had enough sandwich makings that they could eat lunch and I'd made them pasta the night before. Dinner tonight though was a different story. Since they didn't have any food and they didn't want to go far because they were tired and it was, you guessed it, cold and rainy, they invited me to join them for Chinese at a place just down the street. I hadn't been out of the house since Thursday afternoon, so I joined them.
We've been, or at least I have, been going to this particular Chinese restaurant for 3+ years now. The people and the woman who runs the place know me by now. I wouldn't call those who work there or the lady particularly nice or warm people. They get you in, get your order, get your food, get your money, and get you out. They're not ones for conversation or niceties. At least not with us.
When other patrons, ie. Italians, come in the door, they're overly nice and accommodating. So accommodating that they always give the Italians these free appetizers that we've come to refer to as "elephant ears" because that's what they look like. They're these rice puff thingys in the shape of elephant ears and are served with sweet and sour sauce. In my 3+ years, I have only been the recipient of these twice. Twice. Now, it's not that big of a deal to me because I don't really like them, but it's the principle of the matter...the principle. So, when Sean, Joy, and I noticed that every table around us had these...and I mean every table...well, we weren't too happy. What's wrong with us that we don't get the same kind of service? We order in Italian. We speak to them in Italian. Why aren't we given free stuff? Joy and I were dying laughing at the situation because it seemed so ridiculous. Of course, I thought it was funny, but she was legitimately scandalized.
It may seem like a very minor issue, and it is, but c'mon...who doesn't like free stuff? What does a girl have to do to get free elephant ears!?