Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Observation KaDeWe

Berlin march 2009. My wife and I spend a long weekend in Berlin. Sightseeing and shopping. After shopping for a few hours in KaDeWe we went to the restaurant in the top of the building for someting to eat. 2 cafe latte macchiatto, 1 soup (for me), 2 sandwiches and 2 coleslaw. Alltogether almost EUR 30. "Pfff , pretty expensive here", I told my wife. We sat on a table near (5 meters?) the cash desk. Small talk. Observe people. Enjoying our lunch.
A family of 6 at the cash desk. Man, wife, 3 kids and an older lady. He: nice elegant  long man 40-50 years old in a grey business suite. She: very beautiful  elegant woman with long dark hair 35-45 years old. Kids: girl 10, boy 8, girl 6. Older lady: her mum. I observed this succesful and beautiful family. Asking myself: diplomat family from France? Is the older lady her mum or is she a south-american nanny? The way they talked  and looked to eachother and the kids convinced me it was her mum.
I couldn't hear him talking to the cashdesk lady. I only saw that he was not content. It was pretty bizzy and noisy in the restaurant. I only saw him talking and couldn't hear his voice. Was he talking German or English? With an French or Spanish accent? I can't tell because I couldn't hear his voice. This beautiful family had 2 trays loaded with french frites, steaks, coca cola and sandwiches. She had to pay the bill. I saw a few minutes before that he gave to her 2  EUR 20 notes. Was that all she had? Didn't she have a wallet herself? More noise from him. More not being content signs with his hands and eyes. The cashdesk lady had to recount the items on the bill. 2 minutes passed. The sum seemed the same. He got very angry. He signalled to her, "let's go!" The youngest girl was just nipping on her coca cola. There they went with the 6 of them. As little ducks following their mum they went downstairs stepping behind him. He with his head in the sky and full of selfconfidence. Or was it only a mask? The cashdesk lady was in shock and giggled to her colleague. The loaded trays abandoned.

I couldn't keep my eyes off all this. It's was just too beautiful. In retrospect ofcourse. Still puzzling where the family came from. Still puzzling why they didn't pay the bill - just like me. Lack of money? Cultural differences? Shattered expectations?

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes me pasa tambien, observo a la gente a mi alrededor, y pienso... que será de sus vidas, seran felices es la primera pregunta que se me viene a la cabeza, generalmente se ocultan detraz de mascaras para aparentar no ?
    pero la esecncia de las personas se percibe, o por lo menos yo creo que puedo hacerlo, será porque soy demasiado frontal, no aparento... yo soy...ESTO QUE ESTA ACA... no hay + nada.