The night I decided to stop smoking •PDF• •Print• •E-mail•
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•Written by Riccardo Carlesso•   

or "How I learned to stop smoking and love Fischbach"

Sun, 2007 Dec. 2

 In one of my frequent flies, I was waiting for a LONG coincidence in Frankfurt. After two hour wait, still i have nothing to do, nowhere to connect my notebook. i have a brilliant idea: i decide to smoke a cigarette! The area is interdicted to smokers, obviously, but there is a narrow cubicle where you can practice this nice sport. 2 square meters, 5 people. A door sign reads: please keep door close, or this last chance to smoke in a airport will be revoked. the craziest thing is, people passing by stopped for a while to watch this spectacle. When you get so narrow to smoke a cigarette, in an unbreathable area that YOU are contributing to pollute, ... you just long to finish it asap! its shameful! and I think that was a design choice for that cubicle. Wink
Well, i get to the hotel, little swimming and then my favorite Fischbach Pub: the Banhof! I have only one packet of Philip Morris with me, will it be sufficient? Tongue outAs I get in, I discover that Sirchia law had arrived  in Germany too!!! Not only in France (where I'm sure that the rebel character of french people will keep the existing smoking standards in public places), as I discovered in Lille, even in Germany now! my cigarettes will have to wait, and my beer becomes harder and harder to finish. Smile

 In this grey evening in this grey suburb, where fate has taken a decision in my place not to smoke, I see a beautiful creature (I'll discover later this lovely person has a name, too). I take a spinachspratzle soup with salmon, but after swimming this ain't enough, so I'll add some "duck with the orange" later on. Last time I tried was when my grand-mother used to do it on Christmas, so... I'm quite excited and I think it's a sign too. Unfortunately, German way of doing it is some kind of orange jam (!!!) sot it's quite different with what I remembered.

The place is half desert, and I can share this cute waitress' company; she suggests me some dishes, and she's very gentle with me. Nothing new, I know, but I'm more keen on symbolism and observation than usual (the reader shall remember I'm still an engineer, built bit by bit from feet to head). Theres a wireless free connection, and I spend half the time answering emails, half beholding carefully this waitress, watching every little movement, catching every smile, every why. I look at the way she greets a whole family she already knew, then I finally I ask for the bill (no American Express, nonetheless, I hate Guido!) and I go towards the hotel. I have a whole lot of feelings, some are nice, other are dark. I have to come back to this place.
I NEED a cigarette, really, but as in Lady Hawk or in Epicure vision of death, whereas I can smoke I don't have a beer anymore. As my friends know, I have a strange quirk (lets call it a ritual) that prevents me from smoking without drinking alcohol OR coffee in the meanwhile. So, Sirchia/Menga law means to me: smoking in your house, or smoking outside with your glass.. and its not so good when it's cold outside. Whatever.

When I exit, I go to the seaside (should i say lakeside? To linguists the hard choice) to smoke this damn cigarette; I'm so frustrated I decide not to apply Carlesso law and i smoke it *alone*!!! This happens less than once a year, when I have strong feelings (so I did after breaking with my 5-year-girlfriend years ago, for instance).

As expected from my organism, the cigarette is rejected as 'awful', I throw it in the lake after smoking half (you know, Italians really like drama!). That's why I decided to "half quit smoking".
Why half? Because if I fail I know someday I shall stop again, fully this time; in other words, it's a way to prevent utter failure upon a single weakness. But, I even know that it will be hard a second time so... help me make it my last time!

The day after

The day after, smoking was not a big issue, as I stayed all the time in non smoking locals with non smoking people. Day with the colleagues, evening with the colleagues either. We eat at the Traube Am See restaurant: very good meal, pachydermic-slow service. Yet, different waitress ;)

The day after the day after

 Another sign. Lucullum restaurant, which Nortel (our guest colleagues in Immenstaad) chose as this evening dining place, is full. So, they decide to bring us... guess where? At Fischbach Banhof! Evidently, fate wants me to see this girl once again! At 19:30 (yes, deutsch people dine very early wrt us) we're there. After a quick look, its clear she's not there. I'm sad.

At the end of the soirée I hear there's some cultural happening going on downstairs and I decide to go down. Talking to the bartendress (is it correct? I like binding English tongue to my needs as I see fit), guess whom I see? Surprised I'm so glad too see her I forget for a moment my shyness, and after some random chat I ask her name: Aleksandra. My brave-heart moment finishes there. What a shame for my homonym Cry
I get back to my colleagues. Gianosvaldo' nephew proposes to get back with me for a Montenegro but - as I already told - my courage moment had gone. By the backdoor :)
I go home relieved: there must be something for everyone of us. Am I getting Hinduist? or is it just lack from nicotine? I dunno.

Wednesday

Did you ever listened to Seven Days? If we forget it's a cold december (more Counting Crows than Queen, I suppose Wink), this song seems perfect.
Armin tells me that this evening I must absolutely go to the Banhof because there's a 80/90 party. Very stupidly, I send an email to the pub asking more info on the party (with the excuse the website is in German!) and about the email of a waitress working for them... stupid move, I know... so what! Undecided

When I get back to the hotel I swim a lot (much dolphin-style, too, to impress some natives enjoying the warm temperature with a beer!) then I go to the Banhof. This is the last evening, the last stage, I have a full evening to find the courage to ask her for the email (to ask her out is too much for this life).. can I accomplish that?!? Moreover, will she be there? From the window, I get my affirmative answer.
I enter, she greets me as if I was any other customer and for all the dinner I'm served by another guy. He, and his boss, look at me and talk in the ear and sometimes smile. I'm depressed. They know I'm the email man, I'm damn sure. She hates me and its all my fault.

I consume my tasteful yet insufficient pinch-perch meal, then my spinachspratzle soup with calm (#440 in the menu, I suggest it to you): these dishes were too much! At the end this angel comes to me and greets me. I tell her I'm sorry for the email. She smiles and tells me she doesn't know what I'm talking about. She seems amused, but her mood is good, non-snob. My skin is definitely red. Everywhere. While I try to quaff all my beer, she comes to me with a little dessert (piece of nut ice cream, with Chantilly cream and some caramel). She tells me that Dec 6 is a festivity in Germany, a Santa Klaus something... (I think it's just Saint Nicholas, as in Italy). This gesture reminds me Kimagure Orange Road, when Madoka makes a sweet chocolate for Kiosuke on Valentine's Day.

ImageI'm sorry this site has kept among years a humour style that prevents me from telling you exactly what I felt that moment. That 'move' was nice and genuine, and I liked it. Two bartenders looked at me, smiling. I saw a complicity in their gaze: maybe just an illusion (as 10 minutes before I was sure they were micking me!). My color had changed from red to purple, yet I felt good. After a while, our heroine disappears behind the external door: shes talking to a friend or shes smoking a cigarette? I'm jealous, and curious. I take my jacket and borrow some courage to go out.
She's there, on her own, smoking in a corner. This definitely isn't Italy Tongue out
My karma is yelling at me: it's your last chance to have her number/email, or you won't see her anymore. My name is Earl taught me enough about Karma, I'm an expert. It seems that Coelho's Soul of the World is blowing to my ear, too. I don't know. And definitely, no I'm not under Marijuana! Tongue out

I sit near her and get to know her a little bit. She quit studying , and she's frequently changing her work; but perhaps she'll start over again after some work experiences she didn't like. She doesn't know what to do with her life, just like me. The cigarette is dangerously near to the end, 30%, then 20%, and we are at it's been nice meeting you finale. 'Hope you enjoyed the food" - she says - "Sure I enjoyed you more" - I just think. Somehow, I ask for her email, she writes it on my mobile, and she gets back to work. Embarassed A choir of Allelujah coming from the sky tells me this is the evening climax.

I would go to the hotel, but I just stopped smoking and I have some emotion to digest. So I go into the 80/90 party: nothing against German people but it looked like a Circolo Anziani della Briscola... with the difference that here women engage men! Really amazing. I stay there, you know, it's 10 meters from the pub, so... perhaps someone could pass by... who knows. I like dreaming. And - we say in Italy - destiny has got to be helped a little bit. Tongue out

I'm getting annoyed, so I'm on my way to the hotel, a little rain tries unsuccessfully to reach me. I have too much to think about: what will I write in my email?  Will it be a typical cold -yet-elegant way to tell her I liked her? Or will I find the courage to tell her how I'm crazy, too? I opt for the second choice: in front of a monitor I'm much braver. Tongue out

I write a 45' email (record since the last 4 years) then I crumble into my bed.

It's been a good Wednesday, after all. 

 
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