Breakfast At Tiffany's




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Le Ugly American

Part of: Food , LA

[Breakfast: croissant with jam and coffee]

I am particular about where I can write. I need to be away from my apartment. Currently I’m tired of coffee houses. One café I like is Le Marmiton in Santa Monica. There are always Europeans there, the customers are friendly, and I love sitting outside on the patio. They also have perfect lighting at night—it’s tres romantic.

At Le Marmiton, I almost always order The Le Marmiton Salad. If I’m with another person, I definitely get the Belgian chocolate soufflé as well. The coffee is fantastic. My favorite waiters are the two Mexicans. I hate the white guy, because he acts a bit snooty, and when I say I want regular water he always says loudly, “You want the TAP WATER??” Last time, I matched his tone and said, “Yes, I love TAP WATER!!” I wanted to end with, Asshole! But refrained.

The other day I frequented the café, and both of the Mexicans were working. The service was the best it’s ever been. They even gave me two small cookies gratis. (The café has a bakery next door.) An adorable 11 month year old named Jack flirted with me. (I forgot that I really like the name Jack) He had big blue eyes and blond hair—a miniature Jude Law. Jack’s parents were English and delightful as well.

Then the Ugly American arrived. He had to come and sit behind us, even though there was no room. Ugly American moved the baby’s things and did so without asking the parents. That was totally disrespectful. Normally I called people like him Stupid Americans, but this guy was a doctor or something and had taught at the University. He currently works as an expert witness. Smart Ugly American was worse than a Stupid Ugly American. He started chatting with the couple right away. I was seriously getting embarrassed being in his proximity, once the conversation took an ugly turn.

One of the Mexicans said, “Do you need anything more?”

Ugly American said, “What?”

“Do you need anything more?”


The Mexican was saying everything very clearly. He repeated for the third time with no annoyance, “Do you need anything more?”

“Do you mean, do I need anything else?”

“Yes,” said the Mexican.

I was ready to turn around and punch Ugly American. I didn’t think it could get much worse, but it did. He turned his attention back to the English couple.

“Do you miss England?”

The woman paused for a moment. “I miss Europe.”

“What do you mean?” asked Ugly American.

I really hoped he wasn’t a psychotherapist.

The woman was getting irritated. “Europe.”

“Oh, you mean continental Europe.”

Duh, Stupid Ugly American!

“Sometimes I want to go somewhere other than Palm Springs or San Francisco,” the woman further elaborated.

Now he was offended. “They [Europeans] have all the history so that’s why they have culture. If we had the history, then we would be better than Europe.”

“How do you like Santa Monica?” Ugly American questioned, like they were visiting.

“It’s not our first time here. I told you we’ve been here off and on for the last six years.”

At that point, the woman excused herself with the baby. Her husband was still tolerating the Ugly American. It was a good thing I ate the cookies to cleanse my palate. I had seriously contemplated turning around and telling Ugly American he was an asshole, because he was.

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