An Unexpected Rose
Yesterday we went to Ventura on business . These trips are always exhausting and throw my body off-schedule, since they affect when I get up, how much water I can drink before and during a long car trip, and what and when I can eat. Yesterday we left on the nose of 9:30 AM (my usual rising time.) We hit our normal rest stop, Trader Joe's in Santa Maria, at 10:30. We stop there because they also serve coffee samples and also some kind of food sample. We stretch our legs and use the restrooms. Then back on the road.
We arrived in Ventura at our building about 12:45 for our 1:00 appointment. It lasted until 3:15 and we were starved. We usually don’t eat again until we get to Hometown Buffet in Santa Maria, but we were starved and Santa Maria was two hours away. We decided to go to Sizzler in Ventura, instead. I hadn't realized there was still one there. Many have shut down.
We ordered our meals. We both got steaks, but I had broccoli and salad bar with mine, and Kosta had sweet potato fries and a dinner salad. When my meal came, I noticed the streamed broccoli looked pretty brown – not too fresh. So I sent it back and traded for fries, and they were perfect. It was a much better experience than Hometown Buffet, except for the desserts. The atmosphere was quieter, and the salad bar was fresh with some interesting choices.
Our service was excellent. We got talking to our waiter, who had cheerfully taken my broccoli back to the kitchen and brought me my fries. He had also taken care of a second salad bar plate and offered us drink refills. His name was Sal, and he was from Lebanon . He said his wife was visiting her family there. I asked if he was worried about her, considering the situation in the Middle East right now. He said the people there just take the violence in stride. His wife said she wasn't concerned because the latest bombing was five villages away. That kind of blew my mind.
He then explained that these civil wars recur about every fifteen years. People of all religions and ethnic backgrounds will live peacefully side by side for a long time with no animosity. Then some outside agitator comes in and stirs things up and civil war breaks out. That was the same thing the Communists did in Yugoslavia , but they made it seem as though it was an ethnic war between Serbs and Croats, and it was reported that way. In reality, it was two groups of Communists struggling for power. We know because my husband had family there on both sides.
Most people want to live in peace, and then suddenly, a war breaks out because of someone coming in from somewhere else. There is always someone somewhere that doesn't care who suffers, as long as they gain influence or power.
We finished our conversation and Sal went to another table. Soon he returned and handed me the rose you see in the photo. He must have made it from foil. I was touched. Nothing like that had ever happened to me in a restaurant before. Later he came back and handed me a business card asking us to take a survey to win a gift card for Sizzler. He said if I was happy with his service, to please let them know, since the restaurant would soon be under new management. I think he wanted to keep his job.
After I post this, I will go take the survey and give him a good recommendation. He did give us excellent service. I believe in giving credit where it is due. How about you?
Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved
Image Credit » I took the photo