I’ve removed some people from the images, rather than put the black tab across the eyes they way they do in some of the cheap news magazines. This 1977 trip is not meant to show how we “looked” when we were young, but rather what we “saw” back then.
The morning after sleeping in the “closed for the season” campsite at Leibnitz (our first Austrian stop after Yugoslavia), we wandered through town looking for a place to have breakfast.
After driving and camping for days as we traveled from southern Greece towards our eventual destination of London, we welcomed something more civilized. A restaurant that was probably part of a small hotel looked promising. It felt so strange to sit at a table with fine cutlery and a white tablecloth.
A quick trip to the washroom was also a treat: clean sinks and real toilets (not the two feet around a hole in the floor that they have in countries where water is scarce), aromatic soaps, and paper towels. We were enthralled by all these modern conveniences that we had learned not to take for granted.
While we waited for our breakfast, we ogled the basket of buns in the center of the table.
“And look at this,” I whispered. “It’s real butter!”
“Help yourself,” my husband said.
With huge smiles, we tucked into the bakery fresh crusty rolls. After two months of camping, I enjoyed the buns as if they were a steak dinner in a fancy restaurant.
The ham and eggs arrived along with frankfurters and excellent strong coffee. I was in heaven.
When it came time to pay, we knew roughly what the price would be and that was no problem, but the cashier said, “And how many buns did you eat?”
“Oh, quite a few.” I was embarrassed to think she’d been watching as I made a pig of myself.
“I need to know how much to charge you.”
“OH!” Many thoughts raced through my mind. How much would each one cost? If I’d known they weren’t free I wouldn’t have eaten so many. Darn! Why did I fill my boots like that? “I think … three … each….”
She added the price of the six buns to the price of the breakfast.
I’m sure she thought that for two skinny people we had huge appetites. Probably thought we had tapeworms.