© iStock / J.P. Gomez
A young expat who often complains that Luxembourg City is boring has been forced to spend a morning at an upscale bakery cafe in the countryside to experience the horrors of actual boredom, sources have revealed.
Vincente Gripes, who moved to Luxembourg two years ago, was asked by some Luxembourgish friends to take a day off from work on Tuesday for a "surprise tour of the country – or something."
At 8:30 a.m., they all drove to the sleepy village of Nullange, stopping at Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Schekeckt-Muller where local wealthy retirees religiously gather every morning.
The friends confiscated Gripes's wallet and mobile phone, bought him a coffee and Streusel fourré with cream because that is what affluent seniors apparently like, and put him at a table with three grandmothers who were in the middle of a discussion about their bladders.
"May you never complain about d'Stad again," the friends said before departing.
Gripes admits that the three hours he spent in the bakery were excruciating and that time came to a virtual standstill.
"Each time a new elderly person entered, all their elderly friends perked up and half-cheered, although my impression was that they meet there every day," he said.
Gripes, who remarkably has taken several Luxembourgish courses, says he actually understood much of what the other customers were talking about.
"Complaints about their kids and grandkids, dog poop on the main street, and the village's new hairdresser who – it is rumored – has a tattoo of a starfish on her shoulder," he said.
While Gripes does have new appreciation for Luxembourg City, his friends' plan to teach him a lesson has partially backfired. The 28-year-old says he wants to relocate to the village.
"Who needs overpriced bars and nightclubs packed with sweaty strangers when you have village gossip?" he said. "Elders are slow, and watching them chew is intolerable, but they know everything about everybody, and if you're patient, you can get it all out."
"Also, I've suddenly developed a fondness for beige clothing," he added. “We make fun of old rich people for wearing it, but it's a surprisingly versatile, discreet color that goes with a lot of other colors, particularly pastels, which incidentally I also now enjoy."
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