I’m eating store bought sushi and drink a premade smoothie when the woman comes up and starts gesturing. I look around. I haven’t said a word to anybody, because the few tables at the front of the grocery store are completely empty.
“Sprinchst du Englisch?” I ask.
She keeps gesturing, and I realize she doesn’t want me sitting there. I think because I was supposed to have bought something from the bakery by the entrance.
“I thought this was a part of the grocery store.” I try to explain.
She gets aggressive, her voice carrying across the store.
“Ok, I’ll go buy something,” I say.
I try to finish the piece of sushi I’m eating, but she keeps repeating the same thing over and over, with more rancor. I get up and walk to the counter and buy a piece of cheese bread.
“Danke schoen,” she says, as if nothing happened five seconds ago.
“Bitte schoen,” I say, staring, unable to think of what to do next.
Back at the table, I pack the bread into my bag and type out a message in Google Translate that I plan to show to her.
I now understand that I have to buy something from the bakery to sit here. We are both people and we can communicate in a friendly way and accomplish the same thing.
But she’s gone. Presumably in the back baking more bread. I wait, but by the time I’ve finished my sushi she still hasn’t come out, and I walk out wondering if I would have shown it to her or not.