I don’t usually pay attention to the people who are sitting around me at a restaurant. Or anywhere else, to tell the truth. But yesterday my mate pointed to me a couple sitting at the table next to ours. “Look what their baby’s eating for dinner” – he said.
And I looked. The German (or possibly Austrian) couple Mr. Fat Belly and his wife Even Fatter had filled their daughter’s bowl with French fries – and filled it to the point that said fries were falling on the table, on the floor and onto the baby’s lap. The baby, she couldn’t be more than eighteen months old or so, was having nothing else.
We are staying at one of those super-beach resorts where people help themselves to food and drink as much as they like. The food display was impressive, from fast food (pizza, burritos, spaghetti bolognese, fish and chips, roasted chicken, ham, hamburgers) to vegan (bananas, pineapple, watermelon, mangoes, melon, cauliflower, peas, carrots). And yogurts, jellies, smoked salmon, cheeses, chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, meat balls, coleslaw, tempura, fried or boiled eggs…. any food anyone could think of. Yet Mr. Fat Belly and Mrs. Even Fatter just chose to fill their daughter’s plate with fried slices of potatoes.
Oh well, not our business.
Today we were coming back from a late show when we almost collided with something small in the darkness. It was the baby, wandering about the garden on her own. The beach resort is huge, with each hut surrounded with palm trees and bouganvillae shrubs, and pools scattered here and there – so as to give the impression that you’re spending your holidays in a wild place. The only way to find your way to your hut is to check the zone (A;B;C;D;E…) and the numbers (100,101, 217,324…). The child was all alone, there was no other adult around. My mate and I were utterly surprised. It was after midnight. What the hell was doing that baby, still wearing her beach clothes, wandering in the dark?
My mate went to try to locate either Mr. Fat Belly or Mrs. Even Fatter. We didn’t want to leave the little girl alone, but I was well aware that I would frighten her if I picked her up. Being German, or possibly Austrian, she wouldn’t understand a word I said. So I just kept following her and making sure she didn’t go near any of the pools. Given the size of the resort we agreed on a 40 minutes wait before I called the police.
35 minutes later my mate appeared followed by Mrs. Even Fatter, who was holding a beer that kept spilling as she walked, or rather waddled. She picked up her baby (but she held to her beer with the same care) and I was so angry that I shouted “do you know that there are paedophiles out there, or don’t you even care?” but she just shouted at us something that sounded like blutigen ainmischung auslander.
I wish the little girl all the luck in the world. With such a mother, she’s going to need it.