By Beini Wu
We all seem to be doing quite a bit of waiting around every day. From waiting for a train, waiting for a friend, to waiting at a restaurant, this is something that seems to happen more often than ever.
The wait begins before you even step foot inside the restaurant. Restaurants that have no line can’t possibly be good, so we all run to join the queue outside the new ‘It’ restaurant in town. With the prevalence of social media and just general word-of-mouth nowadays, it’s near-impossible to keep a good restaurant secret. In fact, marketing may start months before the restaurant is even opened, hyping the whole thing up even more. The waiting time is seen as a testament to a good restaurant, and diners are willing to either eat at crazy hours of the day to avoid the wait altogether, or just suck it up and wait for two hours, hoping with all their heart that the food is as good as people say. The wait can be excruciating sometimes, and you’re constantly asking yourself, Why am I here? How long have I been here? Why are these people eating so slowly? What will happen if I faint because of the lack of food before we get a table? Will they still hold a spot for us?
Until, finally, your name is called, and you are seated. The next series of waiting begins: waiting to get a menu, waiting to order, waiting for water, waiting for the food to come out. I don’t know how this happens, but every time I’m still browsing the menu, the waiter comes every two minutes, and when I am ready to order, they are nowhere in sight. (There’s probably some sort of social psychology theory that explains this, someone enlighten me please.) Anyway, back to the waiting, every time the kitchen serves out food that somewhat resembles what you’ve ordered, your eyes light up, your heart start racing a thousand miles a second, you can sense what’s about to come, until the waiter walks past your table, and you come to the realisation that no, it wasn’t for you. u When the food arrives at last, you scoff it down, and regardless of whether it actually tasted good or not, every bite is amazing in that moment.
The truth is, I don’t mind the waiting all that much. To me, dining out is an experience that you share with others; whether that be a significant other, a family member, or a friend. Of course, if you’re waiting by yourself, then it seems to last a lifetime, but when you’re with those other people that you haven’t seen in a day or a year, time doesn’t seem to work the same way, and I consider myself very lucky to have people that make time fly by in moments like this. You’re excited for both the food ,and the conversation that will happen at the dinner table, and chances are, those conversations will begin the moment you join the line, and will not end until the plates are empty. At the end of the day, it was all worth the wait.
PS: Some other things that I’ve found to ease the waiting experience include but are not limited to: reading, observing (e.g. conjuring up life stories of strangers) and listening to some quality podcasts, including the one that De Minimis just released this week!