The exam went well. How well remains to be seen, of course, and I won’t know the outcome until some time in June. For now, I’m just happy that I was able to answer all the questions and I got out of the ordeal without chewing through the table due to nerves.
I celebrated by visiting my in-laws, having a nice meal and generally enjoying having some company for the first time in quite a while. My life has been little more than revision and work for the last few weeks so it was nice to have some free time again.
Yesterday I decided I wanted a day off to relax and unwind. I have been very tightly wound for months now because the exam was looming over me like some monster, ready to strike at any moment and destroy the goal I have been working towards for five years; namely my law degree. I still have to chase up my psychiatrist to get the medical evidence letter I need for my illness to be taken into consideration when the exam is marked (I was hoping to receive the letter and have it sent off before I took the exam but it seems nothing in the NHS works at a decent pace so I’m glad I have up to a month after the exam date to get the evidence in) but aside from that, I’ve done everything I can.
So now I just have to wait.
Today my parents and my cousin came for a visit. We all went out to a restaurant that used to be very nice, for a meal. I say “used to be” because I was very disappointed tonight. Although the place was packed, which is usually an indicator of quality, I was less than impressed with both the choice of dishes and the service. The food was good, but I could have had the same thing at home for a tenth of the price so I’m not prepared to let that outweigh the problems.
Let’s start with the menu. When the restaurant was still Barocco’s I could go in and know there would be a decent selection of vegetarian options to choose from. There would be at least one option in each selection of dishes; be it pizza, pasta, rice or whatever. Tonight there were three choices of meal, and two of them were pizza. I could either have spaghetti, a basic cheese and tomato pizza or an aubergine, tomato, olive and cheese pizza. That was it.
I’m allergic to wheat.
This would not have been a problem before the restaurant changed hands and became Ciao Baby (which I think we can all agree is a front-runner for stupidest name for a restaurant but we’ll leave that to one side for the moment). As I said before, there was a wide range of options available. I usually went for risotto because they did a wonderful one with all kinds of flavours in it. Tonight, I checked the menu and the only risotto available was ‘chicken and cheese’ (which turned out to be so creamy it was practically rice pudding with chicken in it) or ‘seafood’ (which included a whole prawn – and I mean whole).
Jennifer suggested I order the chicken risotto and ask for it without chicken but I was already getting a vibe from the place telling me that would not go well. I ordered the aubergine pizza and resigned myself to the fact that for the next three days or so I was going to be in agony.
Jennifer’s starter arrived so much earlier than everyone else’s that she had finished it long before we were all served. We all had the feeling that it was one that had been cooked in error for another table’s order and they just shipped it out to Jen so as to not waste food. This came from the fact that they brought out an extra serving of garlic mushrooms when serving the starters for the rest of us.
The main meal came and tasted good. The portions were just the right size and, thankfully, they all came at about the same time.
After we finished our meals we were only waiting about 5-6 minutes before anyone asked if we wanted deserts. We decided we would. Jennifer ordered icecream while the rest of us ordered various things, like cheesecake and tiramisu.
Jennifer never got her desert, despite us asking twice. The waitress, in fact, seemed to have completely forgotten Jennifer had even ordered and, after the second time, came back to ask what sort of ice cream she had ordered. When she came back again, we told her to forget it and just bring the bill.
She didn’t come back with the bill either.
So we spoke to the maitre d ‘ and eventually got the bill. They had tried to charge us for the icecream Jennifer never received. We complained and the bill was taken away, then adjusted. Nobody came back to collect it, though; so we ended up just leaving the money on the table and walking out.
Suffice to say I will not be going back.
This just goes to show that poor service and a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude from the staff is a brilliant way to destroy a nice evening. I had been looking forward to seeing everyone and having a nice night out but, once again, other people not bothering to do their jobs properly ruins the day. At least this time I don’t have to spend the next couple of days wasting my time sorting out their problems. Thank goodness for small mercies.