Must Be One Of Those IPAs Or Something

, , , , , | Right | June 20, 2017

Customer: “What sort of alcohol would you recommend for a single lady in her mid 30s who lives by herself?”

Me: “Cats.”

That’s Their Excuse And They’re Chop-Sticking To It

, , , , , | Working | June 20, 2017

(I am 15. A few of my friends and I, along with my and one of my friend’s fathers, have decided to go out for dinner. This is the type of place where you don’t order individual dishes, but a set of 14 dishes are gradually added to the table. We are the only table there, as we decided to go out before rush hour started. We are seated at our table and begin to talk as we wait for plates and utensils to be handed out. Note that my father and I are the only white people at the table, but have lived in Wuzhen for eight years. My father is fluent in Mandarin, and I am semi-fluent, as my school is taught in English.)

Waitress: *in English* “Good evening, all. We hope you enjoy your food.” *in Mandarin* “[Waiter #1], this table needs plates, bowls, and chopsticks, now!”

(Waiter #1 comes over with a stack of plates and chopsticks and sets them down in front of each of us. As he turns to leave a second waiter comes by and peers over our table before doing a double take and marching over to Waiter #1 and whispering something inaudible. Waiter #2 then walks over to the cutlery tray and picks up two forks before coming back over to our table, shooing the first waiter away. I can hear him say something along the lines of “Get it right.”)

Waiter #2: *picking up my chopsticks and replacing it with the fork, doing the same with my father, and speaking in English* “Sorry for the mix-up, sir. [Waiter #1] is still in training.”

(My father stops him, taking the chopsticks back.)

Dad: “No thank you, sir. I am happy using chopsticks; so is my daughter.” *he gestures to me* “May we have them back?”

Waiter #2: “Are you sure, sir? It’s okay not to use chopsticks.”

Dad: *nods* “I know how to use chopsticks, sir. May I have them back?”

(The waiter then frowns before scurrying off, with our forks and chopsticks, coming back after a minute with the waitress.)

Waitress: *to my father* “What is the problem, sir?”

Dad: “I would just like to have my and my daughter’s chopsticks back. That waiter left when I said I didn’t want a fork.”

Waitress: *pauses and then to [Waiter #2] in Mandarin* “What’s wrong? Give him the chopsticks.”

Waiter #2: *snarkily in Mandarin* “Are you stupid? No! He’ll try to use them, dirty them, and ask for a fork. It happens every time. Just give him a fork to start with.”

Waitress: “What makes you so sure he can’t use them?”

Waiter #2: “Look at him! Of course he can’t. All the Westerners that come here leave their chopsticks, but dirty them trying! If he changes his mind and asks for a fork, you can wash the chopsticks, not me.”

Dad: *in fluent Mandarin* “Excuse me, sir. What makes you think my daughter and I can’t use them?”

(Cue the waitress and waiter looking in surprise at my father. The waiter glares at him incredulously before slowly placing the chopsticks back down on his plate, marching angrily around to my table and shoving them down onto mine as well, and storming off. The waitress is still standing there in shock, embarrassed.)

Waitress: *in Mandarin* “Apologies, sir.”

Dad: “It’s no problem.”

(She rushes off back towards the kitchen and my friends and I begin to eat the food that has been set out for us. We can still spot Waiter #2 glaring at us from the corner of the room, waiting for one of us to give in and ask for a fork. It’s beginning to get slightly unnerving, so I choose to ignore him. My friend is struggling with her chopsticks, as she has just transferred from America but appears Korean as her father is. Her father eventually calls the waiter over to ask for a fork.)

Waiter #2: *sneering proudly like he’s just won a bet* “Gladly, sir.”

(He grabs a fork and walks around the table to where I am sitting, thrusting the fork in front of me and snatching the chopsticks from my bowl.)

Waiter #2: “Here you go, madam.”

Me: *in Mandarin* “Oh, those aren’t for me. Those are for [Friend].” *I gesture to my friend who is shyly raising her hand on the other side of the table* “I don’t need them but—”

(The waiter walks away before I can finish my sentence. He takes the fork back and gives it to my friend, frowning.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

Waiter #2: *exasperated* “Yes, madam?”

Me: “May I have another pair of chopsticks? You’re holding mine from the top.”

(The waiter looks down and sure enough is still holding my used chopsticks in his hand. He glares at me a moment before exclaiming in Mandarin “You’re a tourist. Just use a fork like everyone else!” and then marching off towards the kitchen. He never returned with my chopsticks, so I ended up using my friend’s instead. I don’t know how long he had been working there, as I hadn’t been there before, but surely he must have seen a white person use chopsticks before. Needless to say, we haven’t been back since.)

Please Don’t Be Here For Too Long

, , , | Right | June 19, 2017

(I work at a coffee shop in a rather posh mall. I am quite new at this job and have no experience at working before.)

Customer: “I’d like a [Coffee Beverage] to have here.”

Me: “Of course. May I have your name, ma’am?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Umm, sorry, ma’am. May I have your name?”

Customer: *glares at me* “I’m having it here.”

Me: “I know that, ma’am, but may I please have your name?”


Me: *startled* “Sorry, but we need it so that we can call out your name at the pick-up counter and give you the correct beverage.”

Customer: “I. Am. Having. It. HERE!”

Me: “I am aware of that but we still need your name, ma’am.”

Customer: *mumbles incoherently while continuing to glare at me*

Me: *writes down any name that came to mind* “Thank you, ma’am, and have a nice day!”

Customer: *rolls her eyes and walked away looking annoyed*

(I was flabbergasted and genuinely confused for the rest of the day as the customer was a regular and had had no problem cooperating on past visits.)

Feeding You Gingerly

, , , , , | Hopeless | June 18, 2017

(I am 18 and a frequent traveler, mostly by flight. Since a very young age, I avoid eating on flights, as I get nausea in the air and the food just increases it. There have been incidents of me vomiting, so normally I eat before I board the flight. I am on a five-hour flight and I skipped having my lunch due to late boarding. The time comes when they distribute food.)

Flight Attendant: “Hello there, how’s it going? Would you like our vegetarian or non-vegetarian option?”

Me: “No, thank you; I don’t eat on flights.”

Flight Attendant: “Oh… well, why is that? Is there something else you would like to eat or anything that I can help you out with?”

Me: “No, it’s not that; I feel nauseous with flight food and I’d probably puke if I ate food on flight. I didn’t even eat before coming to the flight, and my nauseousness is just increasing.”

Flight Attendant: “Oh, well, I’m sorry to hear that but I can’t leave you without you eating something. It’s a five-hour flight! Oh wait… I have a solution!”

Me: “What is it?”

Flight Attendant: “Since you mentioned you feel nauseous, here’s some ginger ale; sip on it and it will help you feel better. Here’s a snack mix. Have this whilst sipping on the ale. I’ll get you something small once you’re done with that.”

(She then kept checking on me EVERY 30 minutes and kept giving me small snack mixes and two more ginger ales and I couldn’t have thanked her more. These air hostesses work for long hours yet they manage to keep their chirpiness alive!)

Hot Portion Of Warmth

, , , , | Hopeless | June 17, 2017

(My friends and I, along with my one-year-old daughter, meet for lunch at the same time every week in this particular restaurant. We always sit near the doors since the tables there are the easiest to fit the three adults, a highchair, and a buggy around without disrupting staff or other customers too much. This time, a staff member cleans down the table and highchair for us as soon as she spots us arranging ourselves.)

Cashier: *cleaning other tables and comes by to take some rubbish away, notices my food sitting as I feed the baby and checks the temperature of the packaging* “Oh, these chips are cold. I’ll get you some fresh ones.”

Me: *surprised* “Oh, there’s no need. I appreciate it but I don’t mind them cold.”

Cashier: “It’s no problem; I’ll just grab them now.”

(She comes back with a fresh-from-the-fryer portion of chips. My friend then tells me that she’d been given a discount on her order from this cashier as well, seemingly for no reason other than being polite. I know we do our best to be good customers but this was a shock for me — the staff are generally friendly but never quite this level. Then as we are leaving…)

Cashier: *runs out after us, indicates baby* “I just realised we never gave her anything. These are probably a bit old for her but she’ll grow into them soon!”

(She gave me a board book and magnet set that they usually give out with kid’s meals. I’m still shocked by how kind she was since I never order food for the baby, but it’s one reason why we go there every week without fail.)

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