The American Right To Sugar

, , , , | Right | August 25, 2020

Years ago, I had an American friend who told me how delighted she was to be getting the opportunity to visit London, having never been outside the USA before.

She went on her trip, and when she returned, I managed to get talking to her and I asked her how it went.

Friend: “I had a great time but I wasn’t impressed with the hotel.”

Me: “What was wrong?”

Friend: “I had a ‘run-in’ with a waiter during my stay there. I told him I’d like a [Cola-Flavoured Soft Drink] with my breakfast. The waiter explained that he was very sorry, but the hotel didn’t offer [Cola-Flavoured Soft Drinks]; they could only offer me tea, coffee, or a selection of fruit juices.”

Please do bear in mind that this was a rather fancy London hotel, and it was also during the 1990s when it was COMPLETELY unheard of in the UK to drink ANYTHING other than tea, coffee, or fruit juice for breakfast.

Friend: “I got angry. I told the waiter that I was a US citizen and I had rights that needed to be respected, and that it is my right to have a [Cola-Flavoured Soft Drink] for breakfast if I wanted one, and that the waiter now had to go and find me one. The waiter apparently had to go and sweet talk a member of bar staff to go to the — closed — bar and get me what I wanted.”

She seemed pretty proud of herself, that she’d put the waiter in his place and “taught him a valuable lesson” about the need to respect the rights of US citizens throughout the world. 

Of course, looking back on it now that I’m older and wiser, I could have been a bit more tactful in my response; instead, I just told her she was an idiot and that I hoped I never had to travel anywhere with her. She didn’t like that!

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