Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The title is Pepenero #1 because I have a gut premonition that there will be more stories  - e.g. #2 and #3 and so forth - to tell from my encounters at this place going forward.

I love Pepenero because (i) their generous bread basket and olive oil dips are comforting,  (ii) I can go on a budget or a splurge, and (iii) I always bump into someone I know when I'm there.  The last reason is either good or bad.  I guess everyone I know ends up working around SCBD at some point.

After finishing half a bottle of wine there last night, I was there again for lunch today. I ordered the Penne Arrabiatta and asked them to substitute the penne with tagliatelle.  The waitress said that would be no problem, and asked whether I'd rather have the narrow tagliatelle or the wide ones.  I love when the waitress gives me options.  It gives me the privilege to pretend I'm a picky eater who knows exactly what's good for me.  Without hesitation, I go for wide.  Images of rough cut laces of wide pasta conjure up in my mind, and that's exactly what I find on my plate when it arrives.  Reliability is comforting. 

When the bill comes, it is Rp.20,000 more expensive than the penne was supposed to be.  I figured that made sense, but for some reason Mr. Nine's once-made accusation that I "have no fuse" came up in my head.  I would have let it go, but wait.  In the interest of standing up for the sake of world betterment and quality service and defending my rights as a customer, shouldn't I make a constructive criticism? 

I call the waitress.  She explains, as predicted, that because the tagliatelle is homemade pasta... etc etc. It really wasn't necessary for me to ask.  I sternly tell her that that is fine, but at the time I made the order I should have been informed that my order would be categorized as something else on the menu so that I wouldn't mistakenly believe that they had given me the wrong bill.  I think in retrospect that I sounded unnecessarily stern.  Maybe even bitchy.  I unintentionally forgot to thank her as she came back with our change. 

Again, the memory of Mr. Nine once reprimanding me for not saying thank you to the waitress comes to mind. I feel I behaved like the snotty elitist he thinks I am, because I bitched and didn't even say thank you. I'm annoyed that he made me feel guilty, twice within 10 minutes, out of thin air.

He hasn't called me in two weeks but he haunts me.

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