Thursday, September 13, 2012

Culture Clash: How to Behave in a Restaurant

There follow some observations I made earlier about eating out in America...   

  The place where American bonhomie can get a little troublesome is in restaurants, where the server, as they call them here, invariably appears at my elbow, asking, “How are you guys doing?” and again, five minutes later, “Everything OK for you folks?” and after another five minutes, “How’s it going here,” and so on throughout the meal – and always manages to hit the moment when my mouth is at its fullest. (Nor am I a guy.)  After one particularly creative girl came back an umpteenth time and having nearly exhausted her reprtoire of queries, asked if my salad dressing was all right, I very nearly shouted, “Yes my salad dressing is fine, my breadroll is fine too, so is the napkin, so, for that matter, is my knife and fork - and my plate – and the table. If you really want to know, the only thing that isn’t OK is YOU!” but felt that wouldn’t be very Christian, especially with my mouth full. Nor would putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the table. But wait a minute – I'm surprised no one's thought of that! 

  Alas I now note this habit is starting to paddle across the Atlantic.

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