Thursday, February 18, 2010

Caviar

I am back! Yup, I know. Faint. If there any of you left to faint, that is….. I bet that one or two of you had me on their ‘following’ list, and for just a moment when my new post popped up you went ” Um… WTF? Oh yeah! THAT chick.”

Moving on. You know, I do keep choosing jobs that engulf my life. Luckily, I also choose jobs that have hilarious moments, or this blog would be something along the lines of ‘today I pushed paper round my desk and one of the guys in the office made a joke’. Unfortunately for you, and fortunately for my sanity, I now have EXACTLY that kind of job. What this means is this:

• I am (for the first time in about 8 years or possibly ever) working a 9-5, Monday to Friday job.
• I have my sanity back and have stopped swearing at random people in the streets.
• I no longer foam at the mouth if anyone asks me a stupid question.
• I have time to spend with my boyfriend, who has finally settled in Cape Town
• I occasionally sleep
• I have time to write blog posts.

In an effort not to bore you to certain death, I shall not discuss the ins and outs of my new wonderfully normal job, but rather I shall reminisce in bits and pieces about my jobs in the last year, and the fun and games they have brought.

And I would like to bring to your attention a story about how NOT to eat caviar. One of the quirks of having a ‘New’ South Africa is that you have a huge percentage of the population who have come into money (whether by restitution, guilt, or sudden employment) who wish to appear wealthy and worldly, but in reality have very little knowledge about how the other half lives. When people suddenly find themselves with enough free cash to afford a nice restaurant, they sometimes find themselves in confounding situations. This was one of those situations.

A table of 4 people came into the very fancy restaurant I worked in for a while. One of them was a newly appointed government minister celebrating with his wife and two friends, very clearly members of the Newly Rich. Naturally, they ordered the most expensive items on the menu, but even the minister balked when told the price of the Beluga caviar ‘on special’ for R5000. Not a problem, his wife simply waited until he had left the table for a moment, and imperiously signaled the waiter to take her order. R5000 Beluga Caviar please.

The restaurant takes pride in how it serves the caviar, because it is presented in such a way that one can either use or ignore all the extra bits that come with it. The caviar itself is served traditionally in the tin it comes in, perched on top of crushed ice, in a martini glass, with a hand carved mother of pearl spoon. A shot of premium vodka, also kept cool in crushed ice, is served on the side. The martini glass itself is served standing on a small plate which carries the standard extras of melba toast, grated egg, etc etc. Its beautiful really. Imagine something like this, but with a martini glass:




Mrs Minister, when presented with this array, and while studiously avoiding her husbands horrified expression, had a clear moment of panic. She gingerly reached for the vodka, and then changed her mind. Then picked up a piece of melba toast and hurriedly put it down. At this point she realised that if one was to appear worldly and wealthy, one must appear to be comfortable with expensive food. With a quick shrug and a sudden set of her lips, she reached confidently for the tin of caviar, grabbed the mother of pearl spoon and simply scooped it all out in one big black eggy glob onto the ice in the martini glass. At this point 3 waiters and I all stopped what we were doing and turned to stare. The restaurant was engulfed by a wave of silence as everyone turned to look at what we were all staring at. Oblivious, she snapped up the vodka in her other hand, dumped it unceremoniously into the martini glass and vigorously stirred it with the aforementioned mother of pearl spoon. I swear the whole world held its breath.

She stopped, looked at what she had created, evicted the brief look of terror from her face, set her shoulders and took a sip.

Have you ever seen a whole room full of disgusted faces? Every one of us had a notion of just how unpleasant that must have been.

I will give her this though: She finished the whole damn thing.