Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wine and Cheese

I don't generally enjoy being interrupted when I'm busy doing nothing, but if one must be interrupted, it might as well be by an Italian who has been drinking too much and is carrying a sack full of cheese, ham and wine. This provides the interruption with considerable substance, making it rather more pleasant than interruptions might otherwise be.

So was the case tonight at Limamike's. Moreno came looking for beer, which is not to be found at Limamike's coffee house, but joined me, nonetheless, for coffee, which he himself substituted with red wine from a plastic container that looked much like a baby's bottle, though lacking a nipple.

In addition to the wine, Moreno produced a boulder sized hunk of smoked ham along with a similarly sized ball of white cheese. All homemade, he explained, with real ingrediants, real milk, real pork, real grapes, none of this powder and paste nonsense that passes for food in the local supermarket. No, he makes this himself, both here and in Jakarta.

Moreno sliced the ham and the cheese, poured out my water and replaced it with wine (so that's how it's done!), and proceeded to tell his life story. A chef by profession, he lived ten years in China and owned three restaurants (by profession), speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian, English, German, and learned to speak Spanish in the course of one day spent in Mexico. He met the Javanese woman of his dreams in Macao, who had ended up there by way of Jawa Timor, Singapore, Bangkok and Beijing.

The more Moreno talked, the more he drank, and the more he drank, the more Italian he became, such that English itself dropped out of the conversation to a considerable extent. Which pretty much made it time to go.

Ah, what a life we have, he said. Eh, my friend, Ricardo, what a life, eh?

Yes, what a life indeed.

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