With supper about to start, I was a bit surprised to see Gert, the wine steward, kicking dust on the back road of the village. I’m not sure he noticed me standing there as he appeared twice from two different angles in the time I hung around figuring a shot.
The following night I witnessed Gert’s total meltdown on an unusually busy evening at the restaurant. I thought it was rather amusing, my unexpected dinner guests were horrified and I found myself diplomatically talking them out of calling the manager. I have a long-standing history at the hotel which I wanted to keep intact. The thought of possible spit in my red wine also crossed my mind. Complaining was not the way forward. Besides I like Gert, a few days earlier I was in his tiny lounge discussing his racing pigeon trophies.
Towards the end of the evening Gert came up and shook my hand, he remembered I was leaving in the morning. I got the feeling he knew he may have crossed the line. My guests were still not convinced as I could feel their hostility from my peripheral vision. But as I said, Gert’s a good guy, and I still have a long future ahead of me in the village. It’s also the only place to eat.