Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Amsterdam Arrival: More Bone than Chicken?

Frick explained euros to me and we took a train to the main part of the city. He told me that the bikes were out of control. I understood what he meant when we walked to our hostel. Bikes were everywhere, probably outnumbering cars. At red lights the bikes just piled up until it looked like a group ride.

Our hostel was dormitory-styled and the small common area was often littered with stoners and heavy with tobacco and pot smoke. After settling in, Frick and I went for a walk around the city. We had Indian food for dinner and overheard a disturbing, hilarious exchange.

A british man had ordered chicken curry, but wasn’t satisfied with his meal. He called the waiter (owner?) over and began berating him. The brit pounded his knife into his meal to demonstrate that it was mostly bone and questioned the owner loudly in a whining, snobby voice, "don’t you agree that chicken curry shall contain more chicken than bone?" The owner dodged the question and explained that there was supposed to be bone in the meat, because it wasn’t a fillet (they both pronounced it fil-let, instead of fil-ay). This conversation repeated several times as the brit’s voice became louder and more petulant – it filled the entire restaurant and was uncomfortable. At one point the brit became incensed when the Indian server tried explaining the difference between a chicken fillet and bone-in chicken, "Are you trying to correct my English?" he questioned in an incredulous, insulted manner. Finally the customer announced that he would pay for the beer, but not the meal.

Frick and I were both trying to contain giggles and I was also refraining from either upbraiding or slapping the brit. Not once did he treat the server with respect or suggest a resolution. Instead he immediately resorted to arguing and insulting behavior. Plus his disrespect for the other patrons of the restaurant was quite rude. He was an adult throwing the tantrum of a spoiled child. My and Frick’s meals were fine, so I doubt that the meal was purposefully as bad as the brit implied. Plus, he had his meal for a while before he announced that there was more bone than meat. He just seemed like a prick to me.


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