Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bad expat!

Yesterday at the hotel bar I had the opportunity to observe the drunken antics of a British expatriate. This particular person was female, in her fifties or possibly sixties (there was a lot of sun damage...), disconcertingly well dressed, and had downed three Savanna ciders by 2PM. I later surmised that this was the tail end of her drink binge that day, as she was trying to climb the four steps to go to the toilet while clinging onto the wall in order to stay upright. At first I felt pity, but that soon went away when she started to yell at the wait staff.

First, there was a problem with her table as she said it wouldn't stop moving (No shit, Sherlock. You're drunk.). Regardless of no one else being able to ascertain the unasked for motions of the table, the waitress dutifully stuck several pieces of paper underneath every single foot of the table, and placated the lady with some more ice, and several "yes ma'am, I'm sorry ma'am".

Soon there was another problem with the lady not receiving her food before the waitress had made it to the kitchen with her order. We all (me and two other drinkers internet users) got to be the audience for the "sahvice heah is just awfally sloah" followed by inadvertently comic eye rolls many times over. Once she finally received her sandwich and fries, that she had for some reason ordered to go, she considered it one more point on her list of complaints that the waitress had not thought to give her a salt container or a knife and fork with the meal. The waitress looked just a little baffled as she was trying to explain to the lady that the restaurant doesn't really do take-aways and that they don't have any disposable cutlery.

While the poor waitress was off somewhere rounding up something for the woman to eat her sandwich and fries with (since eating a sandwich and fries with your hands is like eating soup with a pencil), the lady decided she needed to tinkle. She got a dirty and crumpled tissue out of her purse to cover her bottle and glass (WTF?), and left the room. Upon her wobbly return she stopped at the first table, that looked similar to the table she had been occupying (we are in a generic hotel bar after all), and stared at a bowl of leftover salad in disbelief. You could almost see her brain painfully trying to figure out what had happened to her alcohol, and had she really ordered salad and no alcohol (How could this happen?), until she was escorted to her actual table by another waitress, whose service was also "dradhfally sloah".

Since the original waitress still wasn't back with anything for the lady to eat with, she proceeded to make a phone call with her cellular - a very LOUD call - which established the person on the other end as a deaf cousin, her as an expatriate, and that the restaurant where she was sitting had awful service. While still on the phone, she got up, went to the table she had previously been staring at, carried the leftover salad to her table and started eating it, with her fingers. At this point the waitress reappeared. The look on her face was one that so encompasses the sentiment of 'WTF' that it should be included in the Wikipedia entry for it. I'm working on this.

This got me to thinking of several (more or less alcohol-related) things, but a definite to do right away was the following list, since there is certainly something worth learning from this situation.      

Don't ever:

  • 'tablescore' (Thanks Kelly - see previous comments)
  • only know how to say give and do in several foreign languages
  • insist that the table is moving if you're not sure your head is completely still
  • use dirty tissues to cover food
  • call deaf people if you want to stay incognito
  • refer to native waitresses in a loud phone call or in general
  • say stuff in French if you know the word in the language you are using
  • not wash your hands, since you never know when you'll be eating with your hands
  • drink at a bar where the toilet is only accessible by stairs
  • abuse the help, because they'll just spit in your coffee/ cider 
But we all knew the last one already.

On a totally different note and while I bang my head on my lap top for taking away the last feasible use for all of the dirty tissues in my purse, go see what my and VEG's thieving ways have gotten us into, at Siamese twins joined by the ocean. Thanks julochka and Tangobaby!


Cyndy said...

Fell off the couch laughing while enjoying your caricature of said British woman. Who needs TV when the world offers us so much entertainment? Also made note to get more coffee, for I'm sure I'm gonna need it as I follow the Siamese twins. My morning read of the NYTimes is beginning to feel neglected...

julochka said...

this is actually why i generally avoid ex-pats despite being one. tho' i'm not really sure i am one anymore. in denmark anyway. i guess i kinda have a renewed ex-pat status in norway. but i shall avoid all these things, which should be easy b/c of how expensive the alcohol is in norway.

tho' i was counting on using all those half-used tissues from the bottom of my purse....

Fidgeting Gidget said...

Wow. I've always wondered what I must look like on those rare occasions that I get sch-wasted drunk. I can only imagine....the worst thing I ever did was go into a bathroom, try to sit on the toilet, and I completely missed and landed bare assed on the dirty bathroom floor. Oops.

Your description of the Brit was funny, though.

Molly said...

twas the wikipedia reference which utterly slayed me.... :)

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

I think I saw the same lady today on the bus. Minus the salad. She, however, did refer to the driver of said bus as her `chauffeur` which I am 99% sure was NOT a joke.

Extranjera said...

Cyndy - Thanks, although i try to go for the pee in your pants funny, not get injured while falling off the couch kinda funny. But as long as you're okay!

julochka - now my dirty tissues feel no sense of purpose, other than holding my bag upright on the floor. The misery.

Fidgeting Gidget - Thanks, although I'm sure you wouldn't go around talking of native helpers, right? No matter how hammered you were.

Molly - Still working on that, but getting looks (that also kind of say WTF, but not quite).


Extranjera said...

VEG - I just wrote melt instead of meld. Fok. Seem to be consumed by thoughts of sandwiches. Need some wine.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Yummmmmmmm, melted cheese...oh, sorry, drifted off into a fugue there.

Extranjera said...

VEG - Totally get you. Fugue is my middle name, Cheese (and wine) are the riches of the earth, bringing on plenty of fugue(eness/uity/s?)

miss. chief said...

whaaaat the...???
that must have been painful to watch. after everything you wrote, just when i thought the outrageousness was at its maximum, she ate the salad!!

Extranjera said...

miss. chief - What i thought was truly outrageous was that there was no bouncer to escort this woman out, and the poor waitresses had to deal with someone's totally insane behavior. I mean, I know I complain quite a bit (often), but always because there is a proper reason. This woman was just stinking drunk and in the mood for some rumble in the jungle, and by that I mean the cornfields of Lusaka. It was pretty painful.

Anandi said...

I wonder how she managed to make that phone call???

Pity there were only cornfields around, had you been in a forest reserve, you could have thrown her to the wild animals.

But then again, no self respecting carnivore would come near such a sorry specimen of a human being.


My name is Erin. said...

Rumble in the jungle! This post kept me laughing all the way through to the last comment.

The salad elicited an audible *gasp* "NO!" That's seriously gross for two reasons. The first is obvious and the second... it's been a while since I've been that wasted, but a salad is the last thing one should eat in that state. Ugh! Seriously gross.

Extranjera said...

Anandi - I think she must have that cousin on speed dial, in case her audience (the other people in the bar) are not quite as incensed over the service, just so that she'll have someone who'll listen to her (it is kind of fittign that that someone is deaf, though)

Erin - At least she didn't pay for what she was for sure observing in the toilet bowl later that day.

marathoner81 said...

Well you know, she most likely covered her bottle of wine and wine glass to prevent someone slipping her a roofie. God forbid that happen, then she wouldn't be able to shout at the waitstaff.

I hate it when my table moves after I've had too much wine. I wish someone would figure out how to fix that.

Extranjera said...

Marathoner - Yup. A roofie would have really impaired her judgement.