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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1058230-Over-Breakfast
Rated: 18+ · Book · Music · #2231553
Fictitious and delicious!
#1058230 added October 28, 2023 at 11:24pm
Restrictions: None
Over Breakfast?
Breakfast in the Olympic Village was the closest anyone saw to a typical mealtime. This resulted in everything from long lines at the buffet to every introvert's nightmare: sitting in mandatory groups. There were a few banks of counter seating by the windows, but even there personal space left something to be desired. For Dana, though, this was no longer a bad thing. Even as the Olympics wound down there were still major crowds in the cafeteria during this time, something that became a form of insurance. More people meant someone could get to her injection kit more quickly if she happened to have another crisis. Being almost forced to eat with other people helped on this front. If Dana ended up checking out of a conversation, at the very least the people on either side of her would take note.

By this point, she knew enough people on Team Norge that having mealtime companions was never an issue. Even in the beginning, she had been surprised that her dorm neighbors had volunteered to accompany her to the cafeteria. Perhaps the Olympic esprit de crops prompted them to at least lower their guards enough to let some other people in for the duration of the games. Thus, Dana had gotten to know a few of the rowing team members and a judo officiant. Said officiant had come in the clutch when she ended up in the hospital and had brought some of her electronics over for Gus to deliver. Since her return to the Village, she's had to deal with her messages blowing up with people offering to join her for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even midnight snacks. She suspected about a quarter of the messages being from people just wanting to be near an overnight sensation and at least another quarter being from people wanting to hit on her in person. The latter figure might be higher if the scuttlebutt she's heard from the Norwegian track coaches has any merit. None of them were available for breakfast, though, so she ended up hanging out with Inge and Karl. Even though their rowing events were done, they had spent their time going to other events and partaking in some of the Village bacchanalia.

"So," Dana began, "have I missed anything major around here?"

Karl chuckled. "Where do I start?"

"I'd say anything that doesn't involve me, but that narrows it down to about 10,000 other stories."

"That sounds right."

"Without going into too much detail, let's just say I'm glad the diving events are done," Inge chimed in. "They're even more flexible than the gymnasts."

Dana just managed not to choke on her sip of cranberry juice. "I'm not surprised. I've seen what they can do in midair."

Karl and Inge failed to hold back their snickering.

"Wow," Dana sighed. "I swear I didn't intend to make that sound dirty, but here we are."

"Are you sure you're not British?" Inge asked.

"At this point I'll say I'm 80 percent sure."

"Good call."

"As far as less personal antics go, I got to see Isaquia Queiroz in the 1000m flatwater event," Karl said. "It was cool to see him win that back to back gold."

"Nice!" Dana cheered. "Closest I've gotten to seeing flatwater in person is finding a view of the practice area at the Rio venue. It was a bit of a walk from the Jardim Botanico, and my husband and I didn't see much when we got there. We did see one guy in a kayak, though."


"Yeah, it was on one of the days we decided to not go to events. I mean, I could have gone to events the whole time, but it was good to wander around and see what else Rio had to offer us."

"Did you go up to Christ the Redeemer at all?" Inge asked.

Dana shook her head. "We figured it would be too crowded. Besides, you can see the statue from just about anywhere in the city. Closest we got was the Jardim. That's worth a visit even in the winter season."

"I can hear the air quotes around winter there," Karl remarked.

"Ha! So true."

"I mean, you know what a real winter is like, living in Minnesota."

"No kidding, although this past winter was not all that bad, really."

"Damn climate change."

"True story."

Inge set her fork down on an empty plate. "So what are your plans for today?"

"I'm meeting up with the French whitewater canoers and a few other people," Karl said. "We're taking a city tour, hopefully bypassing the Eiffel Tower."

Dana snorted while trying not to choke on a bite of raisin bread. "Godspeed to you."

"How about you, Dana?" Inge asked. "Any plans?"

"I have a meeting a little later this morning to discuss my DNF status in the photography competition. Normally, you'd just be judged on whatever you photograph and submit even if you miss an event on your schedule. Given how much of my schedule I ended up missing, my scores would plummet. It was decided that DNF would be the most fair because I won't have enough time to review the remainder of my photos."

"That makes sense."

"Even so, after that they still want me to finish my review. I guess they want to see what score I would have gotten. I'm not really sure what they're thinking here."

"Do we ever know what they're thinking?" Karl pondered.

Dana shrugged. "Hell if I know."

Inge and Karl laughed.

"I hope that whenever I do get out of the meetings and review for lunch that there will be some of the lamb and mint reduction available," Dana continued. "Somehow, being in the hospital resulted in me developing a taste for lamb. I bet my dad will be stunned."

Karl arched an eyebrow. "Why? Does he not like lamb?"

"He's okay with it. My mom was the one who wasn't all that fond of it. Thus, I never really had it growing up. Plus lamb can be really hard to get in some parts of the US."

"And you grew up in Florida, right?"

"I did, much to my dismay. It wasn't all bad, but it can be as weird as it comes across in the news sometimes."

"Oh, wow."

"My thoughts exactly."

Inge finished her glass of water. "Sounds you both will be busy. I'm probably going to just hang out in the Village, at least for the first part of the day. I may go see rhythmic gymnastics later."

"You really do like the bendy ones," Karl remarked.

"Oh, for the love of everything," Dana mumbled as she facepalmed.

Inge giggled as she tried to hide a smile. "No comment."

"Well, whatever you all do, just make sure you don't twist your ankle on the pavers or something like that. You still have more competitions on tap before the season's over."

"True, true."

With that, Dana focused on finishing her breakfast while letting the chatter of the cafeteria fade into the background.

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