Where not to eat - The Lyorn's Den
Wed Apr. 11th, 2012
05:20 pm - Where not to eat
... at least when you have low blood sugar and a history of demophobia and social anxiety: here.
Yesterday I had the day off, it was a perfectly nice spring day, and I had a list of stuff I wanted to buy or at least look at, so some time before noon I bicycled into the city for some shopping (didn't get one third of what I wanted, but am happy with what I got).
Early afternoon, my mood darkened and my stomach was requesting lunch in very certain terms. I prefer to try out a new place whenever possible, and that particular one looked nice enough from the outside, pretty open, good view to the busy pedestrian zone, and I wanted pizza. Prices were a little higher than your typical pizza place, but within range for the location.
I went in and a woman sitting behind a till silently gave me a card. I stepped back to watch the proceedings. The place was about three quarters full, all tables were occupied. There were queues at the counters marked "Pasta" and "Antipasti". No queue at the pizza counter.
I formed a theory about how this worked, went to the pizza counter and ordered a pizza and a water. I got the water and a device. I stepped back to my "watch the proceedings"-position to find out what was supposed to happen next.
After some time my legs got tired and I had not yet groked how stuff worked, so I asked at a table if I could sit down there and got told off. So I continued to stand. Some people carried trays. Some waiters carried trays. There was a coffee bar in another part of the room, and a staircase in the back with people going up and down. No one had pizza.
The device in my hand said "I know when your pizza is done". My other hand got cold from holding the bottle of water. I didn't want to go upstairs because I did not know how stuff worked, and if I chose wrong, I might have had sat there forever with no pizza. Being alone, there was no way to claim some place and go scouting from there.
Instead I waited until no one was waiting at the till, went there and said, "I do not get this. How does it work?" The woman, quite put off by being asked such a stupid question, said, "This device knows when your pizza is done" (because I cannot, like, read). "And if you want to sit outside you have to pay."
I went back to my observation place. Which, it has to be said, was halfway between the door, the till and the coffee bar. Hardly inconspicuous. But at least no one seemed to have a problem with that. Still nothing happening on the pizza front.
There had been ten slips of paper at the pizza counter. Did that mean that there were ten pizzas in the queue ahead of mine?
And then my low blood sugar found my social anxiety, and they called on my demophobia for a nice game of "freak the Lyorn", and I, well, freaked. I considered attempting to cancel the order, but for the moment I was freaking out only silently, and being told off a third time might have caused me to freak out noisily. So I went to the till when no one else was there, said "I just want out of here". The silent women took my ten Euro without comment, and I ran away, leaving the card, the device, and my drink behind.
Now, that's one place I will never go to again. I told the tale to my co-workers today, and they all knew the place or others of its type and said that it had no service and what service they hadn't was lousy, and one could get a pizza faster, better, and in more comfort at every street vendor's.
Yesterday, anyway, I walked a few hundred meters to this place and sat down in a comfy little café, read about two or three pages in a motorbiking magazine, and then the friendly landlord served me enough bread, cheese, meats and cold cuts to feed two, and all that for far less than ten Euro.
Bicycling back, the wind was going my way and I was home in less than 50 minutes without even trying very hard.