The title of this series should really be "Lovely People Who Serve Me Yummy Delicious Amazing Food with the Sweetest Smiles and the Warmest Hearts" but alas, that would be a titular disaster. Over time, I have had the privilege of meeting many lovely people- behind counters, cafe tables, kitchen windows and umpteen other places, who have all made my day with their thoughtful conversation, radiant smiles and warm gestures. So, I decided to write about them, partly for my memory, but mainly as an ode to all the little things. So here it is!
Without further introduction, I present to you my first and favourite person who has been on my mind since the day I met her!
Ironic as it is, I unfortunately do not have a picture of the lovely lady I want to introduce to you all. It was part shyness and part respect, I think, that kept me from asking her for a picture, but I kicked myself afterward; and it won't be happening again. But then, here are her hands, packing us some goodies. Yes, the hands there, those are hers and we will have to live with that for now.
This July, Karthik, my friend Jamie and I went to Copenhagen for my birthday. We had an amazing list of insider recommendations, thanks to a new Instagram compatriot Mia Irene Kristensen and on our last day there, we squeezed in Brod to get some baked goodies for breakfast. As we parked our cycles and entered the store, clouds of vapour engulfed us, and after a few moments of getting used to, we found ourselves standing in what looked like a workshop full of some serious, serious bread and whole families of pastries. The staff were dedicatedly going about their chores. I went up to the counter and waited to talk to the elderly lady behind. She didn't see me for a few minutes, and as with the awkwardness of not speaking the same language, I felt a tad anxious that she would be put off that I didn't speak Danish. But she looked up, and her lips suddenly broke into the most heartfelt, warmest smile I've ever felt, with all the grandmotherly love shining through her eyes. It was only 10 in the morning and that already made my day. The kind of warmth that can put any perception of a barrier of language to shame.
Since I was dizzied by the ocean of bready goodness (and her charm), I asked her to pick 2 of her favourites and pack them for me. She then took me to the window and explained patiently what she thought was special about each of the pieces. And though I can't recollect her English anymore, she also said something to the effect of "...and that's a croissant, and well, it's just a croissant." Which I thought was funny and cute.
I told her I'd have whatever she gave me, so she picked out a raisin roll from this section and a cinnamon bread from the next.
As we got ready to ride back, I turned around one last time and stood there a couple of minutes regretting not getting her picture (already!) but took a picture of the store. K and Jamie seemed to have already disappeared into the winding little lane in front of me.
It would sound a bit exaggerated, but I'm really hoping to visit Copenhagen soon again and go see her (and this time, get her picture). So there you have it folks! Go there and give her a big kiss on her cheek and tell her it's from me!