Entries in disliked americans (1)


Thanks George

It was bound to happen. I knew it would but, I wanted to keep it as far from me as possible. Last night we felt the "sting" of being outsiders. Of being Americans and of not understanding this culture.

We were visiting one of our favorite restuarants (so far), after meeting with the current renters of our house, and we had a "reality check" experience. Here's what happened:

It was about 8PM and we wanted to get something to eat. The Alteus Brauhaus was less than five minutes from the house and we decided to go for some of that great raspberry/vanilla ice cream and schnitzel. We walked in the resturant and we were greeted by the barmaid, "Abend", we replied, "Abend". It was so nice last night we wanted to sit outside. In Germany, like most European countries, people prefer outside to inside (weather permitting). We found a table and sat down. There were a lot of people sitting outside. Most of them were having drinks. Not too many were eating. My daughter worried that we were crashing a family reunion or something. I told her not to worry, it will be fine. 

The waitress came to the table and asked us what we wanted. In terrible German we said, "One Pils and two Spezis, please" I suppose that clued her into the fact that we were American (as if they couldn't tell from our dress and mannerisms already). She returned with our drinks and never said another word. We waited for 45 minutes and could never get her attention again. She served everyone else around us and we became invisble.
My American attitude wanted to tell her off, my "you're in another country" attitude wanted to humbly exit the place with myt tail tucked between my legs. We chose the latter. We had to go inside to pay our 7 Euros for the drinks. Again, she never came back to the table! The language barrier is terrible. If I would have known how to say, "Frau, Speiskarte bitte" life would have been much easier.. I think. I wonder if we were ignored because we didn't communicate well enough or that we were who we are? I think it's the latter but hope it's the previous.
It was both humilating and frustrating. If you've ever been in Europe, you know how long it takes to have dinner here. When you are hungry and tired, it gets complicated.