a side order of experience
“Spasiba,” he says to me in a thick Russian accent, and I set the next plate in front of his severe looking wife.
In between courses, the four round tables are left as the Russians take to the dance floor to move to some heavy European beats.
In one interval, a woman with heavy eye shadow and cleavage pushing out of her skin tight dress moves around the dance floor with a microphone. She’s a guest, but she’s more than happy to show off her singing and seductions kills as she approaches different men belting out “Kiss me my daaarliinngg…” Every word coated in her thick accent.
In the back room I join the other servers and cooks. A young Mexican girl teaches me to gyrate my hips, making the other young Russian girls laugh.
“This is why Mexican girls have boyfriends. In Russia, we dance like strippers,” says Natasha, a brown haired beauty, as she mimics a Russian girl getting dirty on the dance floor.
With another catering job for wealthy Russians under my belt, I left with new friends, dance moves, and Russian vocabulary. Once everything was cleaned up and done, shots were poured, the city was ours, and a pounding vodka headache awoke me the next morning.
Nevertheless, I popped a Tylenol, slipped on a blouse and skirt, walked down to work, and seated the morning brunch crowd at my restaurant. My head stopped hurting, the customers were polite, and my roommate stopped by for some French toast with caramelized pears on the patio.
After work we lay in the park, before returning home for a vegetable feast of artichokes, sweet fried mushrooms, asparagus and cherry tomato salad, couscous and Gouda cheese. I fell asleep feeling like a queen, ready for my double shift as bartender the next day.
Back at the restaurant I whipped up blended coffee drinks for the staff, and shook up some martinis for customers. I even moved over to the pizza section, where the pizza cook taught me to put together a proscuitto pizza and use the giant pizza oven. Next I got my hands dirty hammering olives to be diced up.
I am finding enjoyment in my work. I crave travel and a vacation, but I have yet to earn one, so I’m seeking experience and excitement wherever I can find it.