A corrugated tin roof extended beyond the concrete walls of the restaurant and shielded a section of the sidewalk. Two tables were set under its cover. “The breeze here feels perfect,” said Curt and sat at the table farthest from the entrance. “Could we be served out here?” He called out to the attendant through the open window. The restaurant was otherwise empty.
In the leisurely pace of the tropics, the attendant approached for their order. John described a peanut sauce fish meal as a local delicacy; and an order Curt begrudged making when he noticed the attendant run up the alley they had traveled and return with two fish heads peering out a rolled newspaper bundle.
From a metal kettle held at eye level, the server poured a dark coffee into a green plastic cup, which he rhythmically raised up to the spout and back to waist height. An aromatic steam rose from the coffee cascade. “Oh, that smells so good,” Curt said as he was handed the green cup. The ritual was repeated for John, but poured into an orange cup.
“Sip it slowly,” John said, “it may be awhile before they bring us the meal.”