I had an hour to spare until my next appointment and decided to spend it in the cafe of a museum nearby, a place which is usually very little frequented, at least during those afternoon hours when it’s either too late or too early to do anything. I had enough coffee before I arrived there and didn’t want anything to nibble on. I was hoping to sit on one of the couches at the back and just read, without ordering anything.
To be polite and, perhaps, to play the honesty card, I asked the waiter — who looked like a nice guy — if I could sit there for a while, without ordering anything. He looked at me, with his smiling and soft face turning serious and, after a short moment of silence, he said:
“We value our customers and whenever they step in here they look forward for our service, to my service, to be more correct, to having a coffee and, perhaps, a piece of cake. Now, if you come here and tell me that all you want is to sit on a couch and not order anything, not bring us any revenue of any kind in a time when everything is based on a system of buying and selling, when capitalism is the only economic structure we know at the very foundation of our way of life, what else can I do except to say — and I am not saying this lightly — Of course, go ahead! Would you like a glass of water? It’s on the house.”