Saturday, 14 December 2013

Lunch with a stranger

After running some errands in the village, I decided to see if I could get a table for some lunch at the latest cafe/bakery that has opened in Yarraville. There was a baguette with cheddar and housemade dill pickles that had my name on it and a table to go with it! I took a seat, the last one vacant.

As I was pouring my water I overheard a woman who was looking for a quick bite for lunch. She was told there were no tables and as she turned to leave I offered her the other seat at my table. She accepted and the waiter was delighted.

Her name was Nadine and she was an ex-resident who had moved over the other side of the bridge and was really missing life in the village. She was doing some shopping and also coming over to have a full body salt scrub at a local salon.

We talked about sugar when she asked me how I had resisted the peanut butter and jelly on brioche sandwich. We were surrounded by things like salt caramel donuts and chocolate tarts. Thank goodness, I don't eat sugar anymore - I'd be eating those caramel donuts, I'm sure.

We talked about Christmas plans and she mentioned that her job was going to be "very intense" right up until the end of Christmas Eve. Naturally I asked her what she did for work and she said she worked for "Corrections". She told me she had been a case manager for the last four years and that she "absolutely loved it". She'd had 10 years in finance before that and saw the ad in the paper one day when she'd had enough. She told me that she loves her work because she feels she is making some small difference to world.

Just as we were getting into a really interesting conversation about the role of parole and recent tragedies caused by offenders who were on parole, she had finished her lunch and had to leave.

The waiter asked me if I had enjoyed my date and thanked me for being accommodating. I would like to share my table with a stranger more often!

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