OVERA PASSIVEAGGRESSIVE BREAKFAST
After a long look at the breakfast menu, I settled on the ‘Bruschetta Royale’ – a fairly elaborate name for something whose description sounds remarkably like eggs benedict. Accepting that sometimes there are differences between cafes, I adopted the local lingo and placed my order. “Bruschetta royale, please,” I said. But as the waitress, who had a slight Euro lilt, wrote it down, she repeated the name with a subtle difference, “Brusketta royale.” Hang on, was she correcting me? Had she found my pronunciation so clumsy that she felt the need to educate? If so, she’d chosen the most passive-aggressive way of doing it. There was no direct, ‘Actually, sir, it’s pronounced brusketta,’ politely correcting me and sending me on the right path. No, she said it as though talking to herself, just loudly enough for me to hear. Like someone talking about you behind your back, but doing it within earshot. Anyway, really, what sort of a name is ‘bruschetta royale’? Talk about delusions of grandeur. Are we to believe that this is the bruschetta of choice for European aristocracy? When the Queen sits down to a bruschetta, is this really what her butler wheels in? I was poised to demand answers to these questions when it occurred to me that all of these salient points had only been made in my head. So, instead, I confirmed my order, with a subtle point. “Yes, the bruschetta royale.” See, two people can easily engage the passive-aggressive game. Delivered with a smile, I knew that little dig got through. She left to place the order and I sat awash with satisfaction, having regained the upper hand in this breakfast battle. After a couple of minutes, I settled back to further think about what had just occurred. Perhaps this shouldn’t be about her versus me; instead, it should be about highlighting what is clearly an information shortfall. What is the correct pronunciation of bruschetta anyway? Can’t we just call it ‘fancy and overpriced diced tomatoes on toast’ and be done with it? I decided to Google it, but elected, instead, to add it to the list of things that I thought would be fun to Google but probably aren’t. some way. I learnt a valuable lesson that day – there’s no point being a peacemaker if nobody knows about it. Nobody claimed a Nobel Peace Prize by hiding their light under a bushel. The bottom line – I’ve decided I’m now boycotting bruschetta: it’s too much of a divisive appetiser and is creating conflict in cafes between otherwise peaceful citizens. And it’s time for this to stop. Well, that and the fact an Italian friend later started I was pronouncing it incorrectly. Yep, just the eggs benedict for me, thanks.