Friday, December 9, 2011

Just Another Caribbean Experience

The condo complex where we live has a fancy Italian restaurant right on the property. We can walk to dinner. Unfortunately it has been closed for about eight months. Tonight was the grand re-opening under new management. Unfortunately, we were there.

Rick and I had discussed going for dinner, when a friend of ours invited to take us out to dinner. I'm thinking what a wonderful treat. Dinner out and someone else is paying. Our friend is a doctor who is a part of a traveling docs program. He has been down here in the VI for a few months and will only be staying until the end of January. Dave, wanted to go to the gym after work so we made the reservation for eight. When we got there, they had our table ready but the place was total chaos. Sadly, Dave was starving.

There are a few things you need to understand about the Virgin Islands.

1. We drive on the left, in right drive cars.
2. A 5 star resort in the states is not the same as a 5 star resort here.
3. We live at a slower pace than most other places, especially the States.
4. Even at the best restaurant, the service is deplorable by standards set in
   the States.
5. Rum is made here. It is cheap. It is king.

I'm used to it, I don't let it bother me. When I go out to eat, I also go to have a good time. I try to never go when I'm starving. 

Tonight our waiter was obviously new. He was so nervous. He messed up bad. The service was worse than deplorable. I was talking (are you surprised?) and visiting (shocked?) and generally having a good time (Oh my!). Dave was going nuts. Rick was pretty calm. He's used to it here also.

The waiter came back after about forty-five minutes to confirm what we had ordered (not a good sign). Rick and I had ordered salads to go along with our entrees. The salads came after about an hour. We ate. Dave got up a few times to check with the waiter, hostess and anybody else who would listen about our food. After almost two hours Dave's entree and mine were served. Rick's did not come out at the same time. He told us to go on and start. He sat there patiently waiting. When the waiter came to see if everything was OK. Rick kind of lost it about his entree. When the waiter said,"sir, you had the Cesar Salad, right?" he went berserk. He told the waiter to take his entree off the check and bring it right away.

The poor waiter never offered any compensation. He did ask if they (Rick or Dave) wanted to talk to the manager, but when they declined he just gave Dave the check. Rick and Dave decided to stiff him(leave no tip). 

I put myself through college working restaurants. I worked them in the Ski Areas. I know what goes on. I told Rick I would support his decision to stiff the waiter, but then I would never come back to this particular restaurant. I told him to decide, if he thought he wanted to come back sometime, he should leave a tip. He did.

Paradise has a downside. Be prepared to take it easy, real easy here. I have learned the hard way when we have guests to warn them and encourage them not to go out to eat when they are starving. I hate the negative vibes at the table if everyone is grumpy and complaining. Don't you?

Not very clever or entertaining tonight. Just a slice of my life.

Here enjoy this song.

Best tokeep your 'thinking optional' tonight.

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