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A Café in Verona

Sitting in a Café in Verona
I’m sitting in a mock-wicker plastic seat at a green plastic table with steel tubular legs, on one of the white-marble pitted slab pavements of Verona; the pavements in Verona are made of large, as much as 8ft x 3ft, slabs of white marble, in some places with quite large fossils in it, and this marble becomes pitted with wear, shiny on top, a ruin to the wheels of pushchairs and pull-along suitcases, and slippy when wet. The café’s chairs are on a wide pavement by the bus-stops on the busy road that comes into the centre from the station. Four bus-stops in a row taking the people to their homes in the surrounding milieu. At a nearby table sit two men evidently talking business, one with a coffee and another a coca-cola, and one of them is a dapper man with a designer-stubble beard and glasses, a grey lounge suit and a pink open-neck shirt (it’s warm today, in Verona, 25 degrees c.). He has RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome. So far so normal, but on his feet he has some fawn-coloured loafers and . . . no socks. Funny lot, the Italians.
And at another table, grandma, and daughter perhaps 30-years-old with her little boy and a baby. Grandma drinks a coffee and daughter and the little boy eat ice-creams. The baby is in a forward baby-carrier, the type that mum wears across her chest, but I cannot see this baby, in fact there may not be a baby at all, though there probably is, but daughter has covered the carrier with a damp towel. The poor old baby is entombed between mamma and a towel. I suppose it’s a good idea, on a warm day. But it’s not a very high-quality towel.
The café was run by an Arabic-speaking man, whose family were there for a while, sipping menthe, and he ripped me off on the price of my beer – cost me more than in the smart cafés on the Piazza Erbe. What’s he think he’s playing at? Does he think I’ll ever go there again? Maybe he thought I was a one-time tourist, which in the case of Verona is wrong on both counts.


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