So I was strolling down the road, in my hand I had a restaurant’s menu written in Arabic language. Someone had slipped it under the door to my house and I found it lying on the floor when I got back home. I was on the way to a pharmacy to buy some medicines for my roommate who was having a really bad headache. We’d eaten pizzas an hour before and I could hear him throwing up in the bathroom. So I thought I’d go buy some real dinner and get pills for this guy’s headache.
A pleasant, cool breeze as the footfalls began. We hardly ever look up at the sky anymore. The sun, the clouds, the magnificent moon surrounded by a plethora of stars. It is a humbling feeling to look at the moon with all its dark spots and crescent shapes. It puts into perspective the lengths of our lives. The ever-changing nature of things and our, arguably, non-existent contribution to the goals of the universe. Waddling along, I realized that for some reason I had the Arabic menu in my hand.
Looking at this menu it occurred to me that since I couldn’t really understand what was written, knowing not how to read the language, the menu should be chucked into the nearest bin. But then, noticing a phone number on the front page, right under some text which was designed to look flashy in blue and golden hue, I realized that this was probably a new restaurant in the area. Although the cuisine photos were quite cliché with the usual masala dishes and sweet desserts, beneath the standard print of the menu, there was a noticeable air of diligence.
The menu did not betray the hard work that would have gone into planning the venture of a new restaurant. The tedious paperwork, hiring manual labor, months of toil to erect the structure, the practiced eye of the interior decorator who would have been picking out the finest details. Looking for master chefs to power the kitchen to cater to that authentic taste unique to their land. Several hundred hours spent in front of a computer screen, designing, re-designing, scrapping, finding a new palette, losing sleep and otherwise struggling to keep the real aim in sight.
This menu, I wondered, was so disappointing that it merited a place of honour on a wall made of silver. Such a betrayal of all the work that was put into this unique idea. Such a bland way of portraying all those minds’ thoughts about the idea of a restaurant. Yet I couldn’t help but realise that in its meekness, that menu had spirit. It spoke in the only way that neutral type faces and a-shade-too-brown backgrounds can. It projected the dreams that were fulfilled when the red ribbon was cut. The tears of happiness a mother shed for her sons, the brother who was assured a good education, the hundreds who would meet everyday, igniting bonds as only a shared meal can.
All of this from a piece of paper coated in plastic! I really should get around to eating pizza more often!