The First Pretzel

“What’s a soft pretzel?”

“When will they be ready?”

“Who are you?”

Others stood back, watching for their train to be announced, staring at us in the way that only British people can stare: quietly, properly, imperceptibly.

Then we rolled our first pretzels, put them in the oven. The smell caught the attention of some passersby. They stopped, asked a few questions, went to their train.

The first pretzels came out of the oven. And before we knew what happened, someone approached the counter.

“I’ll take one,” she said. Then someone else came up. Then another customer. I was rolling pretzels, and people were buying them. Ben was selling them. We kept looking at each other, wide-eyed, disbelieving.

I ducked down under the counter and made a very long distance call to my parents. It was early in the morning there. I didn’t care.

“Mom, Dad,” I said, my voice shaking with emotion. “We’re selling pretzels. People are actually buying pretzels. Can you believe it?”

The picture is of me, almost ten years ago, looking very nervous, very happy and very young. And I think I was probably up to no good.

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(to read the first installment about our move to England, click HERE)

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