I took a seat in the window and let my poor little eyes soak in my surroundings . . . . It was as though I had stepped onto the set of a very low-budget Italian comedy show, complete with vases full of coffee beans, baskets overflowing with bread rolls, plastic eggplants & courgettes, framed pictures of 'mama & papa' in the farmhouse garden and even a little iron bike covered in pots of flowers and herbs (all plastic, of course).
It was at this point that I contemplated doing a runner before any of the staff had seen me come in, but in keeping with the tradition of my life's roller-coaster ride of mishaps and giggles, it was waaaay too late for a swift escape.
I was like "ARE YOU SERIOUS? AM I BEING PUNK'D . . . . WHERE ARE THE CAMERAS?"
I looked up at my new little friend, his HUGE smile beaming back at me, and then it happened . . .
"Nice day to you Senorita"
It was at this very moment that I no longer cared about the cheap plastic coated decorations, or the over exaggerated "Coffee Shop" environment. I had no idea why, but the combination of sheer entertainment at its finest and the soothing powers of his cheesy little accent had totally won me over.
He mumbled a whole bunch of mumbo jumbo that I could not understand for the life of me, took my order and trotted over to his coffee machine to continue polishing a bunch of bronze nobbies and dials.
Whilst munching away at my delicious lunch I found myself bopping along to what sounded like the soundtrack of the Muppet chef during one of his killer spaghetti cooking lessons . . . I couldnt understand one word but yet found myself singing along like I had been listening to 'Papa Giuseppe's Greatest Hits' since I was knee high to a grasshopper.
Something about this crazy little cafe made me smile on the inside (deep deep underneath the overwhelming bellowing laughter I was forcing from the surface).
I wonder if this is my new coping mechanism for not seeing Europe after 14 months on the other side of the world??
All I know for sure is that as soon as I hear a bunch of mumbo jumbo with a "Bella" or "Senorita" or "mademoiselle" or even a "wee lassie" thrown in the mix, I am there with bells on baby!
After all, everyone loves something exotic and different - even if we have absolutely no idea what has been said - for all we know we could have agreed to live out the rest of our lives in a crate crafted from Play Doh and pipe cleaners, to be fed nothing but red skittles and popping candy and to be harvested after 48 days for our sweet sweet candied kidneys and velvety soft skin . . . . . .
meh, its totally worth the risk!
ciao bellas! xx