Thursday, January 17, 2013

Table Manners

Hey yo everybody! I have been quite busy as of late and subsequently have had no time to comment, reply, and write posts.  Thankfully though, the storm is beginning to calm towards the end of the year and my busy schedule in the past couple of months has left me an abundance of opportunities to conduct mental experiments on the smallest parts of our everyday lives.

Table Servicing

Thanks to my extra shifts for work, Pui has had the luxury of playing "let's pretend I'm a rich person" and has begun visiting more fine dining restaurants. Just in case some of you are unfamiliar with the term 'fine dining', I have comprised an inaccurate (but equally least for this post) and mostly true definition.

Fine Dining - Pui's Dictionary of me
A process in which an individual (classified mainly by 3 categories*) decides to dress up nicely (with a collared shirt/dress sometimes even with a tie!) and dines (but of course ) at a fancy looking restaurant (complete with dim lighting, candles and maybe even a rose) with waiters and waitresses who actually respond to your needs and requests (who will also assist you in the multiple sets of cutlery whilst playing classical music, or of the likes, so long as it's not your usual radio pop). By the end of the meal, the individual will feel a shitload poorer.

*some of these people will believe they're moving up in the social world, some may think it's just a phase they're going through, while others, yet, believe this is an overcompensation or a desperate cry for help.

Any how, indulging into these modern society food traps, Pui began to notice an absurd pattern emerging. when you're just an average person, sucked into believing you're something a little more than that, you end up being forced to order things that you probably never intended. It's subtle, it's sly, but I've caught on! This is usually what goes down from the moment you step inside the restaurant:

Step 1
You walk into the store, dressed up in all your fancy clothes.

Immediately, the mechanized waiters/waitresses scan you up and down with their well equipped laser vision.

Then, they smile.

They smile because they now know how to squeeze every. last. drop. of penny out of you.

Step 2
You will be lured to your table, and a golden embroidered menu would be placed before you. All the while,  s m i l i n g . Always, always smiling.

Just fucking with you, why would it be gold embroidered? It would be crafted from 24 carot gold.

The prices wouldn't even be written in arabic numbers, not even roman numerals. They'll be in bars of gold, diamonds, jewelery and in some other restaurants, they have a special pricing list demonstrating pictures of body parts and/or organs.

Step 3
Amazed by the luxurious sounding names on the menu, and dumbfounded by perplexing pricing options, you will inevitably end up  ordering a 3-course meal tha tyou havent even heard of.

Then, your waiter/waitress will lean in close, with the eerie inhuman smile, and ask:


Taken by surprise you open the drinks menu up and try to quickily look for the cheapest drink possible, or you might even decline.

Well of course they would know. Just to not appear like an ignorant person, you take what they suggest.

Step 4
After successfully pressuring you into buying coffee/tea more drinks and desserts. The waiter/waitress finally decides to give you the bill.

You pay it...or you labour for the restaurant. But, before that, the waiter/waitress attacks again.

SUDDENLY you remember all the overly attentive table service you received from them.
Like how they lurk nearby until you've taken a few bites of your meal. Then they swarm you.

 What do you mean "How has my meal been?" or "How has everythign been?". Is it even socially acceptable to say no? Perhaps you decide to be challenging that day and look right in their eyes with a defiant "No". It's a trap.

You cower and succumb to it. There is no way you can say no. Quietly and shamefully, you smile and mutter a barely audible 'Yes, everything's been great!"

And so, you end up tipping them more than you normally would've. For those who don't normally tip. That's like infinitely times more.

These days, I constantly fantasize about heroically telling the waiters that everything is NOT OK. Flipping the table and demanding a free meal. Sadly, my fine dining explorations may be perfectly described by this exact line my friend said (as he swirls his overpriced wine in the glass): I don't know what good wine tastes like...but I feel classy doing this!



  1. Happy belated new year Pui! Miss reading your posts! Fine dining is a hit and miss for me. Atmosphere is great, foodis overpriced. And sometimes the portions are so small, its ridiculous =.= HAHAHA the mechanized waiters/waitresses remind me of Jigsaw from Saw. That's so freaky hahaha. They have a vengence, can you blame them with all the labourous training they must go through? The menu must be ripped off a plaque or something, it is like a brick of gold ._. I like your currency system, some places don't even put the price of the dishes so who knows if carpaccio beef just cost you $60. HAHAHA I love this post so much, I think everyone can relate to this... my wallet lacks its beautiful pregnant body after an expensive degustation. I don't like wine, its just not for me. Give me a Boost Juice anyday, served with a mechanical creepy smile.

  2. HAHAHAHA omg that creepy as smile!!! zoom, zoooomg... ZOOOOOM 'HOW WAS YOUR MEAL??' hahahaha. Yeah I never/rarely ever go fine dining :P

  3. Hahaha again, funny story c:
    Its good to hear and read
    something new!

    I have no problem with asking
    how much a dish is so :P and
    I have no problem with drinks
    I'll just put my smile and
    say 'water please :D' haha..


  4. I always have trouble finding blogs of people who leave comment using the google + account. Glad I made my way here.

    Oh this is just too hilarious. I don't have bad experience at fine dining restaurants. The hubby and I love to check out new fine dining or semi fine dining places during birthdays and anniversaries and we would always be contented with the food and service. We also love dressing up once in a while to eat coz it is not every day that we get to dress up except to attend wedding dinners. We are usually clad in our casual berms and shorts on most occasions.

    You are back soon this time! I took a few hours to finish the printing and drawing and the whole night to write the little notes in. Haha... I didn’t know you are a clean freak.

    Yay for you coming to Singapore! When you say family, do you mean immediate family or relatives? Ooh... I’m so curious to know how are our lives different? What kinda food/ cuisine do you mean exactly? All the local delicacies? Coz Singapore is such a melting pot of food that I wouldn't know how to begin recommending unless you give me a direction. =)

  5. haha true that! really enjoyed this post! but not that scary server haha ^ ^


Thanks for taking the time out to dropping me a comment, average people in their bubble of serene needs comments too!