Monday, September 14, 2009

Travel Etiquette

Let me tell you a little story.

One night in Paris, my good friend Carrie and I enjoyed a fantabulous meal in a little eatery where the waiter was kind and helpful considering our French was minimal at best. The service was amazing. We enjoyed every minute of it and when we were finished we nursed our wine and waited for our bill. And waited. And waited. This should not be taken to mean the service dropped off. Our waiter checked on us several times asking if we needed anything, but Carrie and I were too embarrassed to ask for the bill so we were waiting for him to just bring it to us. Something like 45 minutes later (I wish I were joking and we were not really this dense) Carrie finally got the nerve to ask for the bill. Once that happened, we immediately paid and left the establishment.

As soon as we returned to the room I looked through one of the travel guides and noted that in France, because meal times are so very important, it is expected that the customers must ASK for the ticket. They will literally let you sit there for hours before preempting the request.

So take my lesson with heart and find a site that will help you with the etiquette of the country you wish to travel to. It may save you lots of time and embarrassment. I have enjoyed the website but if you have any others feel free to use. If we had used this before our trip we would have noted the following :)

When dining out, if you need to request the bill, you should never snap your fingers at the waiter or waitress. This is extremely bad etiquette and can translate as rude and arrogant. The best way to ask for the bill is to catch the attention of the waiter or waitress’s by making a writing motion, as well as saying “L’addition s’il vous plait”.

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