They Can More Than Bali Understand You

, , , , | Right | March 4, 2019

(I work as a hostess for the restaurant of a hotel which is five minutes away from the Eiffel Tower. As such, our terrace has a gorgeous view, and you can see the feet of the Tower from our tables inside. This makes my job a little difficult as every visitor wants to have “the best view,” and I have to accommodate them. As I’m part Indonesian, I speak it fluently, but rarely see any Indonesian tourists. It is in the middle of winter, and we have no heating on our terrace. A family of three enters the restaurant.)

Me: “Hello! How may I help you?”

(The youngest daughter, who I suppose is the only one who can speak English, replies:)

Customer: “Hi. We would like to have dinner outside.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but our terrace is closed because of winter.”

Customer: “Well, open it for us.”

Me: “Sorry, but I have no waiters available to serve you outside, and we have no heating; I do have tables available inside, though.”

Customer: “We don’t mind the cold; just bring us the food outside and we’ll eat outside.”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m just following my manager’s orders, and we’re not going to leave you to eat in the cold! I can find you a nice table with a view inside if you want!”

(The customer turns to her parents.)

Customer: “Dia bego deh, katanya ngga boleh duduk diluar, pasti dia aja yang ngga mau kerja.” *She’s an idiot, she’s saying we’re not allowed to sit outside, but I’m sure she just doesn’t want to work.*

Me: “Ada meja didalam kak, bisa keliatan juga Eiffel Towernya.” *I do have tables inside where you can see the Eiffel Tower.*

(The mum started smiling and asked me where I was from in Indonesia, and the daughter turned white as a sheet and dragged her parents out of the restaurant. I just burst out laughing. This story always makes me laugh when I think about the years I worked in that hotel. Another question I have been asked while working there included, “Can we walk from here to the Eiffel Tower?” while literally staring at it.)

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