Thursday, June 10, 2010

My run of ill luck continues

Yes, I find myself still oppressed by the most astonishing restaurant bad karma.

Yesterday lunchtime, I decided to try out a promising-looking Western-style coffee bar next to the gate of the university where I was to be working in the afternoon.

The place only appeared to have one main room and a couple of side rooms, but.... the waitresses kept managing to find somewhere to disappear to. There were several of them (far more than a place of this size seemed to require), but it could be damned hard to find one. The main room where I sat myself was worryingly deserted for long periods. A mystery.

I managed to get hold of a menu and place an order fairly quickly (I only had about 40 minutes before I had to be at work, so was in a bit of a rush), but then.... well, they forgot to bring my Coke for about five minutes or so. A worrying start, a disturbing intimation of what was to follow.

After another five minutes or so, they brought some cutlery and a small complimentary bowl of (utterly foul) beef broth.

Then the waitresses all disappeared again. Another ten minutes passed with no sign of my food order, so I tracked down a waitress to try to find out what was happening. Without even checking with the kitchen, she assured me that my food was on its way, that it would only be one more minute. I was not convinced. (Well, at least she remembered what my order had been; I took some encouragement from that.)

Another five or six minutes passed.... I had been there nearly half an hour, and there was still absolutely no sign of my food (which should have been ready in no more than ten minutes).

It was only with some difficulty that I eventually managed to find a member of staff to whom I could explain that I was leaving now (and would not be paying).

It beggars belief that anywhere could be this incompetent, but in China, alas, it is a fairly routine phenomenon.

No comments: