Many of the more upmarket bars do a little free-for-the-taking spread of an evening, lest one drink without something to nibble. I was hungrier than that. But it was late in the day, and the selection of sandwiches was not great. I lit on one of -- surprise -- mozarella, prosciutto and tomato, and ordered it with my drink.

"But please do not reheat it for me." I'm not trying to be difficult here. I just don't like each and every sandwich being squished and heated. I like my mozarella unmelted and chewy. And I am not mad keen on hot tomatoes or warm prosciutto.

"Just a little," counters the waitress. "Poco, poco." We argue good naturedly for a bit until, sensitive as ever, I detect that I am not going to be allowed to have a cold sandwich. "OK" I concede. "Ma poco poco."

The sandwich comes, and the top and bottom are both lightly carbonized. It is burned, in parts. The mozarella squirts everywhere and the tomato scalds my tongue. "Poco poco," she says, a teeny bit triumphant sounding to me.

I'm not about to send it back though, so I eat it, and it is good enough, even though not exactly what I wanted. And every time the waitress passes the table she tells me, she doesn't ask: "it is better reheated." I need to be told.

p.s. This was not Rome, Rome, but how am I to build up a series of amusing vignettes if I pay strict attention to irrelevant details?

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