Sadly, I have a couple of additions to The Unshopping List.
The Wild Card
“When in Praha…” (another motto from my recent trip) I came to terms with the sad fact that the city centre of Prague is rather expensive, and most places include service in their bills. We didn’t realise this at first, and while we were still getting used to the currency, we tipped generously on top of that. When we thought about it, we didn’t like this system. I had read about the tendency of vendors in the city to try and swindle, and bully money out of you, and that you just have to stand your ground. When we felt we’d had particularly bad service one day, we put this to the test. We considered doing a runner before the food even came, after the waiter simply said “What d’you want?” in an aggressive tone, huffed and puffed our menus away and left us in the dimly-lit side room of a rather more grand building they had lead us through. The food arrived luke-warm, even cold, and was pretty bland. We ate in silence except for whispered pleas for freedom to each other. When we saw that we were expected to tip, we were not chuffed. But unfortunately this didn’t hold any ground. “Tips are optional, aren’t they? This is how much it cost, and then we tip how much we want to?” my friend asked in pure innocence and with well-meaning, masking what I could not about our feelings regarding the same waiter’s general attitude. Apparently not. We were asked to come and see the chef, or rather “Come with me”, with a point to the dark back realms of the building. I don’t think so. This man was big, bald, walked like a gangster strongman, and had been angry since we entered. Eventually, the less confrontational of our number put the tip down, and we made a hasty exit and shrugged off the bad vibes. So, “when in Praha,” don’t go here:
The guy outside with the menu may be friendly enough, but the ones inside are most decidedly not, and the food is nothing special, so certainly not worth the unpleasant atmosphere. Don’t bring them business.
The Tragic Hypocrite
I have always been a fan of the Nought-e food company in York. Sadly, the other day, it was ruined for me. I popped in for lunch from work (it’s close, tasty, reasonable and they have lots of options so I hadn’t gotten sick of it yet) and was awaiting my sandwich order, when something pretty heartbreaking happened. One of the servers (who I was told today is actually the manager) was chatting to another customer, presumably one she knew, because she referred to someone as “that Chinky boy.” That is an immediate one-strike offense in my book, and thus struck the cafe off from my list of acceptable places to give money to. What is most upsetting about this is probably the kind of hypocrisy it takes for a company whose founding premise is producing stuff that is ‘good for you’, to hire someone who is publicly racist. And just for context, no it was not a joke, and no the man wasn’t Asian himself. So she had no hint of an ‘excuse’ within visible reach. If someone knows this girl (dark hair, glasses, apparently the manager, Northern accent and very chatty) and knows that she isn’t racist and would like to correct what must have been a misunderstanding on my part, I would be more than happy to revoke this belief. As it stands, I have removed myself as a regular customer because I simply can’t stand and listen to that kind of talk. And a fifteen-minute lunch break is not the time to actively fight racism. So I will peacibly avoid it, and urge others not to encourage them either. If you hear any racist cashier comments, please boycott the shop, make it known and let them hear why. I feel this strongly about the way people think. I have heard so many racist comments and perspectives since I have lived in York that I am becoming embedded with my own racist bias against the city itself. I’d have been less appalled if she’d used the words ‘cunty fucksticks’, although I don’t think I’d recommend buying food from vendors who used this term either; unless such language was a running theme in some kind of evidently quirky style, as in the offensive birthday cards at … Give the dog a bone. And before you start, being racist is a little more than being ‘naught e’ – the name doesn’t get them off.
- The Unshopping List (darcyeleanorfox.wordpress.com)