Please Just Talk Freely

, , , , , | Right | February 14, 2019

(My girlfriend and I are at a Pho restaurant, where they usually give us tea when we sit down. This time, they give us ice water. The waitress has an obvious accent, and it is clear English is not her first language.)

Girlfriend: “Actually, could we have some tea? Oh, is it complementary?”

Waitress: *deer in headlights look* “Um… pardon?”

Girlfriend: “Is it complementary?”

Waitress: *same uncomfortable expression* “Pardon?”

Girlfriend: “Is it complementary?”

Waitress: “Uh…”

Me: “Is it free?”

Waitress: “Oh! Yes! I just thought since it’s summer, you’d like a cold drink!”

Girlfriend: “Oh, yes, thank you. We just really like having your tea.”

(While you should never assume someone doesn’t understand the language, if they’re clearly having trouble with a certain word, repeating it over and over isn’t going to help. Best to rephrase and try again.)

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