Tuesday, 6 January 2009

I love a good Vietnamese Waltz.....

got one....
no seriously, I do


"Vaiter"

"Excuse me vaiter"

That'll be me then. It took me a moment or two to realise that I was the vaiter being harked at from across the dining room floor.

Vaiter? Like Darth Vaiter?

"I am your waiter", I chuckled at this thought. Funny thing though is that I wasn't. He was in another waiters section so this was my first chance to marvel at his marvelousness at close quarters

"Excuse me vaiter, I need your help"

I was being called by a rake thin chap with a teeny tiny head and wearing a hat, not just any old hat but a really rather special hat. Sorry did I say special? I meant ridiculous. It was Alpine-esque, the sort of hat Heidi's father would have worn as he ambled around the Alps in search or goats or wandering Nazis. It was pointy and had a rather tarty leather strap round it with, wait for it, a purple feather playfully protruding from it at a rather jaunty angle.

Now don't get me wrong I am a huge fat fan of hats and people who wear hats, except that gyrating monkey man from Jamiroquai, obviously. I have many hats of my own. I love hats so much that I have a regular holiday romance with hats. As 30 Rock's Tracy Jordan would say, I love hats so much I want to take them behind a middle school and get them pregnant. That's how much I love hats.

For two weeks a year I wander anonymously around strange European cities festooned with a Fedora or a Fez or something quirky and interesting on my bonce. I always convince myself that I will continue to wear it when I get home but my balls drop as soon as we touch down back in Belfast and I can never quite bring myself to do it. I am so easily intimidated it's not true. There they sit, gathering dust atop my wardrobe beside the empty boxes and broken clothes hangers.

Sigh...one day though, one day.

But yer man's looked, well, it looked daft. And that's being kind. The hat and it's jaunty feather exuded more confidence than there really was. Maybe if he had completed the look with authentic Lederhosen and what have you he could have gotten away with it. But he didn't. Instead he had chosen a pair of fantastically yellow pants, Rupert the Bear yellow, and the most shocking sweatshirt I've seen on an adult, that wasn't being spoon fed by a carer, ever. It was baby blue and had tiger cubs screen printed on it. Tiger cubs, for fuck sake! Shocking stuff.

"Vaiter...", he continued in a hard to define Euro Bland accent.

"Yes?"

"Do you knows v'air the Vaterfront Hall would be", his tiny eyes stared up at me from just under the brim of his hat. His hat was big and his head was tiny, really tiny, tiny like a bad photoshopped picture. It was like his head and body were two separate entities from two separate beings.

"Oh you going to the Waterfront tonight?", I asked in the hope of engaging him in conversation. I just had to, January is just too dull not to take opportunities like this. I mean how often to you get to talk to a genuine moon beam, unless you work in health service that is?

"Ah yes...", says he "I am off to see your orchestra. They are doing a Viennese special this evenings", he seemed rather please with himself. Which was odd to say the least.

"Vietnamese? Eh really?"

"No sir, you are mistakens. I says Viennese. I am from Austria! You know the valtz's and the polkas and many marches? Oh my and you thought I was a Vietnamese man. Oh my that is a funny ones." He then proceeded to do that highly dodgy and probably racist eye stretchy thing.

Crikey.

I put an end to that carry on. "So the Waterfront Hall then. It's a bit of a trek from here sir. Maybe you should get a taxi?"

"A long trek? I am used to trekking, it is acceptable to me." Star Trekking I thought. Beam me aboard your mothership crazy man!

So I gave him directions and off he went twirling an umbrella and trying to keep the hat out of his eyes. Now it's been a while since I last went to the opera or to see an orchestra but I still don't remember ever seeing anyone dressed quite like chummy there. People tend to be a bit more reserved at such events. Ha, someone's up for a fun night sat beside him. I have a feeling those tiger cubs glow in the dark.

Nice.

But I was even more intrigued to see what a man wearing yellow trousers, a baby blue sweatshirt with screen printed tiger cubs topped off with a bonkers hat with an even more bonkers feather in it had for dinner. The outfit suggested that this chap doesn't play by any known rules. The hat alone would have you believing that this guy does things his own way, unconcerned by the normality's of good taste or fashion.

And I was right.....

Roast turkey with fries, no gravy and breaded mushrooms on the side with a pint of Guinness and a glass of rose to help things along.

Awesome.

Maybe one day I'll live my life like him or maybe I'll just keep my hats on top of the wardrobe. It's hard to say really.....

31 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

I'm not a fan of hats for myself.
They make me feel like I'm a walking candy apple with a huge head just as Elaine Benice once moaned.
But I'm sure you could pull off a jaunty fedora, Manuel.

So was the dude's head Beetlejuice-small or just Cristina Aguilera small?

Manuel said...

medbh: bwahahahaha.......definitely beetlejuice small.....

problemchildbride said...

Happy 2009, Manuel! Bit late with me old happies on the blogs, but still an' all, have a great 2009!

Manuel said...

sam: it's just so good to see you again! your story from the book was passed from person to person on xmas morning.......much laughter.....ta ta for that

Darragh said...

Ony you Manuel could meet the stereotypical Austrian customer, Ja?

jaysis.

You didn't sing Edelweiss to him? Disappointing :-P

Manuel said...

darragh: more like stereotypical euro-weirdo...

savannah said...

i adore hats, sugar! i have so much fun trying them on, buying and then wearing them! my hats are gorgeous! xoxox

B said...

stereotypical austrian is now hitler crossed with fritzl?

...unless I dont know what stereotypical means


...which is pretty likely.

The Mutant said...

Maybe you should a take a feaf out of this guys book and start rocking the krazy head-gear to full effect. Don't leave those hats atop your wardrobe one second longer Manuel. The streets of Belfast are crying out to have a champion like yourself resplendent in a fabulous fez, or some such similar adornment.

Maybe you could leave the yellow trousers at home though, huh?

TROLL said...

You're ghey.

Old Knudsen said...

He didn't mention my name or Nazi gold did he? nothing wrong with the slitty eyes finger pull, Prince Philip did it and the Royals are cool.
I was once in a crazed 'mentalist as you would say' taxi and a bloke walked past wearing a fuzzy top hat and the taxi driver said, "Look, Jamiroquai"

The mentalist is a TV detective show here with an Aussie playing a Yank. I don't think there are any real yanks on telly these days.

Old Knudsen said...

The Troll's comment was probably for me, he has a man crush on me.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

I wear a hat about 5 months of the year in this frozen wilderness I live called Canada. It is a tuque.

Evil Twin said...

Guinness and a glass of Rose, is it just me that that combo scares?

Manuel said...

savannah: as are you!

b:

the mutant: yeah yellow pants ain't gonna go down well in the hood......I'm not sure jauntily placed feathers will either....

troll: ok then....

old k: so are you and the troll the same person or wah?

steve: nice......

Manuel said...

evil twin: it's as dirty and as wrong as it gets.....

b: whoops.....fritzl? who mentioned fritzl?

daisyfae said...

i, too, purchase hats while traveling - and relegate them to the "lost hats" shelf in my closet, never to look at them again... at least i've learned to buy the cheap ones...

Manuel said...

daisyfae: oh god yes.......markets and street vendors only....

MJ said...

I bet your arse could fill out a pair of Lederhosen.

Manuel said...

mj: we will never know........never

Daily Spud said...

Maybe he'd seen Bertie wear canary yellow trousers at the G8 a few years back and thought that they were de rigeur on this island?
(As for the jaunty little hat and the teddy-beared sweatshirt, now, I never saw Bertie wearing either of those but, y'know, I wouldn't swear it never happened...)

Manuel said...

spuddie: hey Bertram would wear anything if he thought there was a buck or ten in it......yellow keks eh? not good.....

Conan Drumm said...

This anschluss between guinness and rose is wery vorrying.

Manuel said...

conan: Yeah I'm told that he drank half the guinness before his mains arrived then he downed the rose then finished off with the rest of the guinness....nice eh

Conan Drumm said...

Maybe it's the Austrian colimocho(sp)

Manuel said...

conan: hahahaha never thought of that.......nasty

B said...

ignoring me?!

Manuel said...

b: eh? "b: whoops.....fritzl? who mentioned fritzl?"

Robert Synnott said...

Clearly totally mad.

I mean, rose, really. Urgh.

Gwynneth said...

Manny - how is the Vaterfront Hall a 'bit of a trek' from your gaffe? Can ye not walk the length of yerself?

fgeegf said...

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