Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hot Juice and Other Cross-Cultural Clashes

Today we went for lunch with our British friends. The kids all ordered apple juice, which arrived in the customary tall glasses. I picked up a glass to give it to the one of the girls—and it was HOT. The glass was so hot, in fact, that it was hard to hold it.

I looked up incredulously at the waitress and told her this—and she simply shrugged. Forget that you don't give children—including small children—beverages that could harm them if they dropped them. This was more of a, "Are you kidding? We ordered apple juice and you're serving it hot without any discussion on the matter?" We had not asked for hot juice; how could one possibly assume that's how we'd want it?

The waitress was so stubborn! She refused to take back the juice, only finally conceding to bring ice—but there was barely any room at the top of the glasses for any cubes. She actually argued with me about our wanting the kids to have cold juice. I ended up getting a little prickly, explaining that lukewarm juice wasn't even what we wanted. We wanted it COLD.

She wouldn't give in... She clearly thought we were irresponsible parents and wouldn't let our children's health be endangered by our carelessness... (People here think that cold drinks can hurt you in a variety of ways). When she brought the ice, she wouldn't let the kids put it in their glasses by themselves. She wouldn't even let me do it. And she gave each kid ONE cube.

We added more after she had left...

My friend's younger daughter, however, picked up the warm glass, took a sip, and declared it yummy. As she sucked it down, her mom muttered, "Traitor." Hah!


Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

Hey there!
I miss you.

Hope the visit with gran was wonderful, and full of possibilities!

It's Florida for us this summer, as always! Hope you have some fun plans.

Tina in CT said...

What a rude idiot! They sure don't follow the rule that the customer is always right over there. I hope you didn't leave her a tip. I would have demanded to speak to the restaurant manager.

MoscowMom said...

You seriously think talking to the manager would accomplish a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g, Mom? Have you learned nothing in reading my blog all these years :-)? Eh... No biggy...

Tina in CT said...

I would have demanded we not be charged for it. You know me!

The Expatresse said...

You want your kids to DIE of the BLOODY FLUX, lady? Well, do you?

Here is my version of the warm juice theme:

Garnet said...

I suppose that with some cinnamon and cloves it might have tasted a bit better. But warm juice? Ugh!

I always rejoice at my first full cup of ice when I return to the U.S. I think my in-laws have just given me up as a lost cause determined to ruin their grandchildren's health with cold drinks. My mother-in-law puts her ice cream in the microwave to warm it because otherwise it is too cold.

We flew Tarom one time to Bucharest and the shock and horror on the flight attendant's face when my husband asked for ice for his soft drink (he has somewhat been Americanized when it comes to cold drinks) and yes, she returned with just one cube. On the way back we got put in first class due to a computer error that wouldn't let them check us into economy and the one difference I saw was that the flight attendant there didn't blink an eye when we asked for ice. Guess he was used to American businessmen.

It's hard to get ice here as restaurants don't generally have it (and I'm not sure if I would trust to drink it if they did) but at least there is no idea that it will kill you to drink something cold.

Banker Chick said...

SIL and I just had a kerfuffle about hot drinks vs cold drinks as my grandson has a cold right now. We had fixed him a smoothie and SIL had was all, hot drinks are what you give them to get better on and matter fresh fruit, juice etc. I guess it is an eastern european thing. Glad you are back posting.