Eating Out: The Prague Edition

A page from my journal:

Last night's pizza dinner reinforced what seems to be the trend in restaurants here. Here's how it goes...

1. You sit down.

2. "Mluvite anglicky? (Do you speak English?)" you say. "No," says the waiter. This might be short for "ano," which means "yes" in Czech...or it might be the only English word he knows.

3. Waiter immediately wants your order; what do you want? What? What? What? Hurry up!

4. The menu is poorly translated. Your phrase book keeps opening to "At the Post Office." Panicking, you make a Hail Mary and point at something, sincerely hoping that syrem means "cheese" and not "headcheese."

5. Food takes forever to come. (Actually, it's not bad in most places, but this pizza joint was abysmal. Also, don't ask why we were eating pizza, of all things, in Prague. Just don't.)

6. Optional intermission: adventures in bathroomland.

7. Food comes. It is thankfully more cheese than head. "Dobrou chut!" says the waiter. (Enjoy your meal.) "Dobrou chut!" you say back, because (curiously) that's the thing to do.

8. Nazdravi, you eat!

9. You must flag down the waiter, who is trying very hard to ignore you, otherwise the bill will never come.

10. Before your party can correctly divide the bill, your waiter is hovering over you. Pay now! Pay now! Pay! Pay! Hurry up! Get out!

That, pretty much, has been my experience.


Brett Minor said...

We moved to Puerto Rico about 10 years ago. It took a while to figure out how things are done. I was there almost a year before I realized that the chaotic mass of people in the bank lobby actually were in line; they just do their lines different than we do.

Kt said...

Isn't that such a magical moment when you cross the threshold between a clueless foreigner and someone who actually sort of maybe knows what they're doing? Love that moment.