Tuesday, 8 November 2016


My Visa card screamed in agony, albeit not for the first time that day, as I slammed it against the contactless machine. I put it, sobbing, back into my wallet - mindful that I'd been paid earlier on that day. I can't do so again; there's likely to be a lot of outgoing expenditure this month.

The waitress that held the machine smiled benignly - but in a tired fashion - as she waited for my receipt of doom to print out. For want of something to do, I glanced at the initial notification.

"Ludmilla," I said, pointing out her name. "That's a nice name."
"Thank you. I'm from Slovakia," she responded, "but it's a Russian name originally."
"Did you know there's an actress called Ludmilla Ferraz?"


"There is?" she said curiously. "I've never heard of her."
"Oh, well," I freewheeled, "she's only ever been in one film, but I've seen it..."


"...so that's where I know the name from."
"Which film..."

I've never been as grateful to see anyone turn up as I was for the fact that, at that very moment, my girlfriend returned from the bathroom.

"OK, well, thanks, bye!" I said, at top speed, as we finally made our way out of Prezzo.

I was, at several points, quite giggly during the walk back home. To the untutored mind, of course, one may assume I was high from the large amounts of cheese-encrusted pasta and salted caramel cream I'd just been consuming.

But I was just ruminating on the question that I may have asked had I not been so thankfully interrupted. And I don't really need to know if our waitress had ever actually been to Rio.

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