Sunday, July 03, 2011

Henrici and the Cupcake Crisis

My temporary obsession with cupcakes started on a Monday. I went out with some friends to Rimini. By day, it's an outdoor swimming pool for gay men. By night, it's one of the hip places in Zurich. That night they had a special event - a market running around the edges of the bar. One of the stands was selling cupcakes.

There I met Cupcake Angel, a woman of indescribable perfection who, for one tiny fraction of a second, I thought was an actual angel. Like, from the Bible. That's how glorious she looked in her heavenly white dress. I flirted with her a bit. She laughed at my jokes. I don't think I'll ever stop loving her.

Imagine this suddenly appearing in front of you and laughing at all your jokes

On Saturday, Cecile asked me if I wanted to go out. I didn't. But then I thought I could go to the new cupcake shop in town - Cupcake Affair - and see if Cupcake Angel worked there. She didn't, and the cupcakes were expensive, but I bit into mine and it was delicious. Cecile waited before trying hers, because she wanted to take it to Henrici and eat it with a pot of Chinese tea.

Henrici is a nice coffee place in a good location in Zurich's main tourist spot. The owners are friends of friends, so I heard about it when it opened and it needed customers. Since then, I've been millions of times and told all my friends about it. On my Tourist Simulator Day, I brought 25 people there. In total, I've probably taken more than 60 people to Henrici. Indirectly, who knows how many? One of the guys I introduced it to is my hot Swiss friend. He takes all his dates there, and that's a lot of dates.

Over time, it has become busier and busier and I've gone less and less. It became impossible to go there after Friday night football because of the slow service and the frequency of being overcharged.

I still liked it, because the staff are attractive and the ambience is nice. And let's face it, you shouldn't bring cupcakes into places. But Cecile is French and thinks the rules of society don't apply to her. Still, I wouldn't have predicted what happened next.

We stood for a second to choose the best table, then headed to the corner. We sat, and a member of staff came over. But he came a little too fast, especially given the normal speed of movement in Henrici. What was up? He placed his hands on the table and leaned at us. He then gave us a dressing down in angry German.

"YOU CANNOT EAT THAT HERE, OKAY? THIS IS A RESTAURANT; WE SELL FOOD. HADN'T YOU NOTICED? YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT. IF YOU COME HERE, YOU HAVE TO BUY THE FOOD WE SELL HERE."

I stared at the guy like he was a mildly interesting exhibit in a mostly dull museum. My lack of reaction seemed to annoy him as much as the cupcakes, so he turned to bully Cecile. He repeated everything he'd said, then jabbed his chin at her and fumed, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M SAYING?"

I nearly laughed at him, which wouldn't have helped things. We stood up and walked out of Henrici forever.

Now, it's obvious you shouldn't take food into places that serve food. Obvious to anyone who isn't French, anyway. And if they'd come over and said 'hey, come on, play fair,' or any of the billions of possible ways to handle the situation in a positive way, we'd have gone outside, eaten the cupcake, and gone straight back in to give them twenty francs for two containers of hot water and some tea leaves.

But Henrici has grown beyond the need for my custom.

Good for them.



Click here for Cecile's version of these events.
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2 comments:

  1. How could you do this to me? Andrew.It's the most unfair thing happened to me. Lucky you fled,my Chinese tea friend has been ready to drown you, both of you!---a most delicate cupcake ever behind the counter of Henrici.

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  2. Your Cupcake Angel from the Rimini is called Michelle :)

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