Monday, November 19, 2007

Belgium - Bonkers

Had a very funny lunch before catching the train back to Blighty.

We arrived and sat at a table for four - the only table available. We placed our orders. A few minutes passed and the beers arrived. Mary was facing into the restaurant and I was looking out the window. She described an "incident" where the waitress put a plate of food in front of a man at one table. He started to eat. There was a "conversation" at the bar then she rushed over, grabbed the plate he was eating from, sauntered over to a table at the other side of the restaurant and gave the food to someone else!

We were in Fawlty Towers land...

Next we were asked to move to a table for two that had become available. That was fine, no problem. We shifted and now I was the one with the view of the restaurant action. It was brilliant. The food would arrive from the kitchen and the waitress would look at it as though she had never seen food ever before in her life. What is this? What do you want me to do with it? Eh? Eh? Oh, it's food for a punter. But who? Oh look, it tells me on the computer it is for table five.

We had moved tables. I saw trouble ahead. Sure enough our food came out from the kitchen. "Huit!" came the call. The waitress looked at table 8 - where we were no longer sitting. She looked at the food. There was a loud argument. The people who had taken our places had not yet ordered anything. (Poor folk - by the time we left they had a beer each but that was all!) I tried desperately to catch her eye and managed it in the end. We had our food. But not all of it. A plate of frites was missing. A minute or two later the call came again. "Huit" I watched as our chips were given to the waitress. She put them on the counter. Another waitress arrived for work - maybe to help the muppets they had in already. She began to eat the chips.

I told Mary what was going on. "They must have three second memories" she said.

As each member of staff passed the plate of chips they would eat a couple. Meanwhile another table finished their meal. There was a hushed altercation and two of the group left. The others stood about and looked moody.

We had a train to catch. Some minutes passed and then the two people who had left returned and the group left. We tried to pay. "We don't take cards" said the waitress. "Then why do you have all those card signs on your window?" asked the ever logical Mary. Again the waitress looked amazed. "The machine dose not work" she said. "What's wrong with it?" asked Mary.

It turned out that the paper needed changing. (!!!) We managed to pay, left and even caught the train. I realised that the pissed off looking folk had been forced to send their friends to find a cash machine (that's another story - where are the cash machines in Belgium? There are none in Brussels)

Weirdly that crazy lunch was one of the highlights of the trip...

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