Thursday, 14 February 2013

A light non lunch at Le Pain Quotidien - On being a Mall Rat and other musings.

On Saturdays I become a bit of a  strange version of a  Grown up Mall Rat.
Before you slam me down as being a shallow shopaholic let me explain.

By the way, the persona (“shallow shopaholic”) is saved for my fantasy of being a Jumeirah Jane with an unlimited budget where I can indulge in shopping sprees at (insert name of your favorite designer label) with the occasional good deed thrown in, say, for example, a climb up Mt Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the needy. You know the ones:
Cost of trip = One squillion dirhams.
Money donated to needy = One Fifth of a squillion dirhams.
But hey it’s the thought, and publicity, that counts. For the needy I mean not me. Right?
But, back to my Saturday’s. A typical Saturday for me goes something like this. Set the alarm for four a.m. ,so that I can do the Greek Homework, that I should have done on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday , Wednesday, Thursday evening or at any time on Friday.
Before I start my homework I HAVE to have a shower. I am not procrastinating.  Usually I have not washed my hair since Tuesday and my hair is in dire condition. How I get to this state (hair in dire condition that is) is a long thought out, and I hope to be justifiable, experimental process involving a theory on hair maintenance that goes something like this. If you wash your hair every day you will forever need to wash your hair every day. If you “train” you follicles to get used to going without a wash for longer and longer periods you will find that you will not need to wash your hair as often. Now, this may be flawed thinking, but I have seen animals in the wild with glossy coats and they don’t have shampoo. Or hairstylists for that matter but there is a limit to what I am ready to give up. I am not going to the place where I have to think about the fleas and other parasites that wild critters may or may not carry about their bodies. If I go there my whole argument might crumble. So I wash my hair. Make a pot of tea and beaver away at my homework. All the while feeling GUILTY! I know that doing an hour or so of studying every day is the way to go but why oh why do I feel like I am cheating in an exam when I do the work at four a.m. in the morning? It is not like I am cribbing or stealing or betraying a nation. Go figure. By the time I have finished my homework it is around eight thirty. I take off my snug dressing gown, get dressed and finish drying my hair and attend to my “make up”. This takes an increasingly long time with less and less success as the years go by SIGH. I then negotiate with Bryan. Do I get a lift with him to the Mall or should I take a cab? This discussion, obviously, has me becoming an enabler as I coerce Bryan into becoming a Mall Rat too.
By nine thirty I am in my Greek Lesson which is “AT THE MALL”. So you see, I am there in the Mall at sparrows for the betterment of my mind. Bryan is either still in bed, slowly waking up, or having coffee in one of a dozen coffee shops on offer, slowly waking up.
My lesson ends at eleven. My shift at The Old Library (good deed and hobby rolled into one, how clever am I) starts at two. WHAT TO DO?!! Now I could obviously just go to the library early, and I do on occasion, but I have been up and at it since four am remember? So I need a break. I can either mall trawl or coffee shop hop which brings me to the reason  that I started writing this particular blog post.
We often stop off for a quick coffee / tea or light lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. On this particular Saturday  I was not terribly hungry - unusual for me. My eye fell on their Tomato Bruschetta side dish. The waitress explained that it was not a usual Bruschetta and rattled off the ingredients and the way it was prepared and presented. I was a happy bunny with a watering mouth and  looking forward to lovely fresh tomatoes and pesto with some crusty bread. And that is what I got……together with a heavy load of onion in the mix. I should not eat onions at all and especially not raw onions. So I sat with my meal in front of me feeling sorry for myself looking at it and thinking “Should I? Shouldn’t I? Hummmmmm???????” I was sipping my refreshing Moroccan mint tea and pondering my dilemma when Bryan arrived sat down and snaffled up the bowl of tomato, pesto and onion mix and proceeded to eat the lot. Smacking his lips in a satisfied manner he grabbed my pot of tea to pour himself a cup. He stopped short. Gave me an accusing look and said “YOU DRANK ALL THE TEA??!!!!!”

You see what I have to live with?

I left Bryan ordering himself a beverage and clip clopped my way to the Library where I had chocolate digestive biscuits for lunch. Such a librarian-ish thing to eat don't you think?



Julie Mackenzie said...

Ok so seriously 4am on Saturday AND for the betterment of your mind I am seriously impressed! Is the Pain whatsit the really rustic place that does great soup?

Penny Mackenzie said...

Hi Julie, Yes that the one. Good memory!

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog and so glad it led me to yours. Bravo for volunteering at the Old Library - and you've prompted me to go and visit again. I forget that it's there.
I also volunteer - for the longest established 'challenge' non-profit here and the amount that goes to the charity is over one third, to children in the country of the challenge and to capital projects which are administered meticulously. The challengers also visit the charity and help them with something practical too.
Good luck with the Greek study.