A lawyer in his new job departs for lunch. A construction worker repairing the pavement, downs his tools, wipes his sweaty brow and heads off to wash his hands.
Having never worked in this area, the lawyer decides to see what the grub at the local tearoom is like. On arrival, he sees a tray of meat pies on the counter, steaming hot and evidently freshly prepared for the lunch rush. With only one tray, it seems obvious that it’s a “pie of the day” deal and they’re all the same. He puts R15.00 on the counter, takes his pie, and finds the only vacant table in the busy tearoom.
The construction worker, also unfamiliar with the tearoom, arrives and follows the same procedure, while the lawyer takes the first bites of his aggressive mutton curry pie. The construction worker looks around the room for a place to sit finding a vacant spot across from the lawyer, bites into his sweet pork and apple sauce pie, and heads across the room.
As he arrives, with a mouthful of food, he signals to sit down, the lawyer consents. The lawyer says, “yoh, it’s hot.” Referring to his pie. The construction worker contemplates the weather and notices the sweat (a result of properties of chilli and ginger) and realises this man has aircon and is only just starting to feel the heat. He finishes his mouthful and says, “yeah, brings out a sweat,” and adds, “this pie is sweet.”
The lawyer, now with a mouthful of curry, wonders what this man is talking about. As he chews, the starchy sweetness of the pie becomes evident, the flavours of cinnamon and fennel start emerging, he understands. He says yes, “it is an interesting blend of sweet and savoury, quite sharp, but just right.”
The construction worker chews on his apple and pork, and wonders what the lawyer means by “sharp” and “savoury.” His teeth then crush a large clove, that had been used in the apple sauce, and can’t believe the sharp savoury tang. Understanding the lawyer now, he finishes his mouthful and confirms the lawyers observation.
The two men sit in silence, contemplating how the other’s observation had opened up a different view on their meal. They finish and leave. The construction worker will be sent to a different area tomorrow to repair a water pipe, and they’ll never meet again.