I’m facing 12 on the terrace of Pizza Hut in central Luxembourg city.
Behind me at 7 are three Americans in their 20s, full of tall stories and tales of their European adventures. They speak English to the waitress without hesitation. True to type, everyone can hear them but few are interested.
At 9 are a young Spanish couple who couldn’t fathom the restaurant’s insistence on using English words to describe the size of the pizzas. They don’t look that happy despite an amazing few weeks of success for their national sports people (including the TDF today). She lit up a cigarette even before the meal arrived and stunned it out (to finish later) when the “medium” was delivered. They too spoke automatic English when ordering their food. They figured out the meaning of “medium” by examining mine.
At 11 are two blokes who walked in smoking, are probably still smoking and will do so for dessert. One is wearing a shell suit and both look as though their cars have tinted windows and unfeasible loud exhausts. There is probably a warrant out for their arrest.
At 3 are a middle-aged German couple. They look a little disappointed as they clearly turned up for the Luxembourg leg of “Drink this country dry”. Both are in the chance with a medal position. It will be fun watching them stagger away. They had a confusing conversation with the waitress where neither party could really figure out which language to speak.
At the hub of it all is me. Eating alone in a restaurant is the worst part of travelling alone (outweighed by the advantages I have to say). The waitress spoke to me in English & I replied resolutely in French. Everyone else is probably thinking “what is that bloke typing on his iPhone?….”. They will probably never know…. If the blokes at 11 find out, I’d better run for it.