VROOOOOOOOOOOOOM Death on wheels came close to claiming me for the third time that day. 🚘💀 I didn't feel like exploring Rome anymore. I wanted to be in bed, away from careless drivers and rancid crowds. My stomach, however, was quick to remind me I was on an important mission—Feed Me.
Finding a Place
I took out my phone and tapped my way through 48 places I wanted to visit. I made the most stereotypical choice I could think of. It was time for pasta, and Borghiciana Pastificio Artigianale was my next stop. 👨🍳
After adding a few more near-death experiences to the tally, I clawed my way out of the traffic. I was in a calm cobbled street. I could finally breathe again! My ears were thankful too. Though hunger kept gnawing at me.
When I finally found myself in front of the restaurant, I saw around 10 people waiting outside. Blinds rolled down my eyes. And not the fancy, slow-rolling ones that rich people use. The socialist ones that only have two positions.
I hate queueing—it makes me anxious.
Making a Choice
After asking around it became clear that they were all waiting to get in. Some had been there a few minutes, others for almost half an hour.
I imagined all the wonderful things I could be doing like bungee jumping, scuba diving, or being at home in bed. 😛 Instead I was stuck watching my life go by so I could get some Italian carbs.
I didn't want to wait, so I decided to walk around and get into the first place without a queue. As I was about to leave, a wispy figure opened the door, looked at me and smiled.
Hello, we could get you a table in 15 minutes. Do you want the menu?
I nodded and took the menu. Were they really able to get me inside in 15 minutes? 😏
Waiting in Line
The English menu was two-sided and handwritten, with pasta dishes on one side, and starters & desserts on the other. I was so hungry I wanted to order one of each. In the end I settled on Avocado & Salmon starter and Gnocchi Salmon & Spinach. Call me a hipster, but there can never be too much avocado and salmon. 🤷♂️
By the time I knew what I wanted half of the queue was gone, and so was my anxiety. The waiter showed up with another smile and took my order.
Have you decided? Oh, that's a very good choice. We'll get the food ready.
I started thinking about the fun times I've had with queues and how horrible they were compared to this. The worst experience was definitely the one where I was waiting 8 hours just to get...
The table and the food is ready. You can come in.
Ah, music to my ears. 🎵
No wonder people were waiting outside—the place was tiny. I squeezed past two bar tables and got to my seat. I could barely spread my arms on the table, but it didn't matter because the food was getting closer. 🥑🐟
Another waiter came to me and asked me about ordering drinks. I wanted sparkling water. Apparently it isn’t a thing in Rome. This would mark the third time I got still water instead. Perhaps I should’ve paid more attention in Italian class at school.
It didn’t matter though. Who cares about sparkling water when you’ve got a plate full of mediterranean cuisine and a bottomless stomach to fill.
As the salmon hit my table I noticed they gave me plastic cutlery. In fact everybody had plastic cutlery.
I felt like I was back at my 6th birthday party. My parents didn’t want to deal with the dishwashing aftermath of twenty hungry kids. They gave us disposable plates and forks instead. Just chuck them in the trash when you’re done. 😏
I wasn’t elated about the environmental impact either. Mmmm salmon. I hope not everyone forgets about the carbon footprint when they’re starving, or else we’re screwed. 😬
The food was yummy. I left the place ready to take on whatever Rome was planning to throw at me. Also Massive Attack. 😍
On my way back to Croatia, I started thinking what made this experience special.
Why do I abhor waiting in lines? I think it's the uncertainty for the most part. I hate it when restaurants let me wait. Even more when they ignore me or don't tell me when I'll be able to get in.
How can I look forward to the food if I don't know whether I'll be alive when you sit me down?! This happened so many times that I lost count—that's why the experience at Borghiciana Pastificio Artigianale felt like a breath of fresh air.
You know what else sucks? Feeling bored in the queue. If the restaurant doesn't give me anything to do, I'll start thinking. Probably too much. How long has it been already? How much was that scuba diving class? What if I just eat at home?
Giving me the menu was the best thing they could've done. They didn't give me a chance to think. They kept me occupied for a good chunk of time and got my order before I even sat down. Talk about great service. 👏
I often wonder how much my waiting costs. If I go to an amusement park, it might take me anywhere from ten minutes up to an hour to get on a ride that lasts five minutes. The price of the ride isn't $5 anymore, it's $15-$65.
Now, I'll always ask myself Is the ride worth its full price? A genuine smile and excellent service during the wait made it worth for me in Rome.
I was treated like a human instead of a cash cow, and it felt good. I'm looking at you, Apple Store.