There was no bran cereal on the breakfast buffet as there had been yesterday. Desengaño. Disappointment and sad resignation at the persistent bastardness of life. The Perspex cylinder for fruit loops was there, smugly full of it crystallized colored sugar "cereal", however the container for the more healthy bran cereal was missing. Anticipating a change in the circumstances, no doubt a replacement would arrive soon, E@L put some fruit chunks into his bowl; watermelon, papaya, pineapple (are we in a cheap hotel in Thailand or still in India?). This fruit layer was the upside down preliminary of my usual breakfast mix of cereal with the fruit on top, with yoghurt (vanilla by preference) and milk. I waited for the hollow-cheeked waiter, who stood by the window hovering at the shoulder of another breakfast diner, to look in my direction.
He came over eventually when it seemed sufficiently obvious that I wasn't brave enough to try the desiccated, curdled looking Indian vegetarian food in under-heated trays that were also on offer and that I wasn't about to sit down at my table so he could hover at MY shoulder and ask if I wanted black coffee or black coffee with milk, sir. (White coffee? No sir, black coffee with milk, sir.) I asked him for the bran cereal. He wobbled his head to indicate he had heard me and looked around to verify that the breakfast display was indeed incomplete. If auto-rickshaws had heads, they would wobble. If human heads were horns, they would toot all the time.
My cadaverous waiter disappeared into the kitchen. In a short minute he returned triumphantly with some corn flakes in a plastic cylinder. He picked up another bowl and went to pour some out, but I stopped him. No, sorry. BRAN cereal please. With a deflated sigh he put down the corn flakes and the bowl. Bran cereal, sir? he confirmed. I nodded. Back into the kitchen he went to return after a rather longer minute with another Perspex cylinder that he held rather awkwardly. This one was half full of crushed and powdery bran flakes and he revealed a steel handle that had become unfixed at one end and dangled ominously. Broken, be careful, he said as I tried to take it from him. But he turned it away from me and picked up another bowl and began to pour the cereal into it himself. No, no, I insisted, let me do it. I reached across and took the cylinder from him before he could deflect my approach. I avoided the risks of the fateful handle and covered my fruit with shit-swelling, cancer-fighting fibre. He still came at with his bowl, even as I poured in the milk. Here, this bowl, this bowl, he insisted, pushing his bowl against mine as if this was a contest of some sort. Pour it in here, he cried. Why the fuck? I asked. And by simply taking a step back and turning away I managed to escape. Just leave me the fuck alone, dude, I mumbled. The other breakfast guest looked up at me as I passed him, sympathetically I believe.
But skeleton-man came back to hover at my shoulder. Black coffee, sir,? Or black coffee with milk, sir?
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
My what exciting adventures you have. :)
Stay tuned, it gets even more amazing!