Monday, April 20, 2009
Last night in Amsterdam we observed a table of six German ladies of a certain age get their restaurant bill. They rather imperiously called the waiter back and asked - or more like demanded - to pay separately. At first the girl addressed them in English, explaining that she could split the bill six ways. The good Frauen weren't having any of that (and weren't having any of the English either). So eventually the girl had to sit at the table with them and ask each one of them what they had and then figure up their bills separately. And they each insisted on breaking big bills to pay for their portion. After all, that's what they would do in Germany! We thought the whole scene was hilarious. And reflected that in Belgium, paying separately would get the standard, "Oh no, that is impossible" response.