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Travelogues and Musings by Nandra Galang Anissa

Fondue, Wine, and Serendipity at Spitalfields

May 22, 2017 nandrawr 0 Comments

I didn’t mean for my visit to the Spitalfields Market to be such a splurge. I had already bought a beautiful skirt made of African fabric doused in vibrant colours. Electric blue, red, and yellow intertwined in one. Plus, the skirt had pockets. Of course I had to have it.

I didn’t mean to splurge for lunch, though. London was expensive and I initially thought that skirt was enough splurge for the day.

Turns out, I was wrong. Dead wrong.

We walked by this quaint little fondue cafe towards the back of the market, and the smell of bubbling cheese just lured us in. I just couldn’t wait to dip food into a small pot of melted cheesy goodness. I was excited not just for the cheese, but also to finally enjoy some quality time with Alex. It has just been too long since we saw each other last and we were determined to make this weekend in London an amazing experience.

Our order came and I went nuts with the cheese. It was so good. I went up to cheese heaven and back.

We were just talking and enjoying our time together, we didn’t know we were in for a surprise.

I can’t remember what we were talking about, but the middle-aged couple in the table next to us suddenly said, “You know what would be even better with your fondue,” the man said, “A good glass of wine.”

We chuckled and told him while we do indeed agree a glass of wine would have been marvelous, we were students (well at least one of us are) on a budget, so we’d save the wine for some other time.

He asked us where we’re from, because obviously we don’t look or sound local. I told him I came down from Indonesia, and he went on to reminisce about the time he went to Surabaya in the 80s.

“Well, rest assured Surabaya has changed a hell of a lot since you went there.” I said.

He told us of his travels in my country, and all the other places he and his partner has been to. We were envious of their adventure, and decided amongst ourselves that that’s the life we want in the future. To travel and have adventures. To discover the world, and learn about diverse cultures.

We didn’t converse for too long. They paid their bill and went off as they had somewhere to be. They told us to enjoy our meal and our time in London. It was great to have met and talked for a while.

After they left, we went back to our food, and we truly felt happy with the encounter. I’ve always enjoyed striking conversations with strangers in my travels. It’s that genuine human connection that makes this world a better place, really.

Not long after, though, the waiter came to our table and placed two glasses of white wine in front of us. Needless to say, we were confused, and I was about to say he must have mixed another table’s order up, but the waiter quickly said, “Compliments from the couple who just left.” He smiled, and left after telling us to enjoy the wine, it’s one of their best.

We stayed baffled for a while, and we just laughed at this bizarre encounter. I mean, I thought these things only happens in movies. Who in the right mind would want to buy wine for strangers who they have just met mere minutes ago? Well, apparently those people exist, and their kindness truly became a highlight for our weekend.

Around us, the Spitalfields market was bustling and lively with the Saturday crowd. But the sharp clinks of our wine glasses cut through the noisy background, and we celebrated this moment of sweet serendipity.

#fondue#food#london#market#serendipity#spitalfields#travel stories#wine

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