So, I get up from my table to top up on coffee. When I came back, someone has left keys & a plate of food at my table.
I stand there for a moment looking inquisitive; a woman at the buffet catches my eye and says ‘of course of course’, gesturing me to sit down.
She thinks that she’s let me join her table.
Then she sits down with another plate of food. After a minute the weirdness of the situation is obviously running through her mind – the restaurant is half-empty, why would I need to sit at her table. She glances around at the free tables. She keeps her head down.
I sit there willing her to notice the bowl on my side of the table, the bowl that proves I was there first, the bowl that proves she sat at my table. Make the connection…
And of course, she doesn't.