So this weekend I was fortunate enough to witness an international incident as some are calling it. It all started when Diane, Meredith, Danielle and I decided to go have dinner at a pizza place not far from Danielle and mine’s apartment. We’ve eaten there several times already and the owner/waiter recognizes us when we come in and has always been very friendly with us. However, things are forever changed now and this is why. Things started off as normal, the owner/waiter was very excited to see us and talk to us. We ate our meals and enjoyed them very much. However, Diane had lots of left over spaghetti. Not wanting to waste it she asks for a box to take it home. The waiter then informs her that this is just not done in France and that yes he allowed Danielle to do it once but he can’t let this happen every time because it’s just not done in France. Diane and Danielle insist on wanting to take it home and finally he brings it out wrapped up in foil. At this point he is no longer talking to us and barely looks at us. We have to get up to ask for the check and when he comes over to give it to us he barely speaks to us. He then decides to tell Danielle in French that we just can’t keep asking to take stuff home in France to which Danielle responds with “it’s my right to take it home as I paid for it.” At this the waiter says that is disputable and Danielle responds with saying “well next time we will go to another restaurant.” He says fine and that is the end of all communication with him. So now because of a piece of foil, some left over spaghetti, and stubbornness, Danielle and I can no longer go to our pizza restaurant with the excellent 4 cheese pizza.
Yes I know we should have been more “culturally sensitive” and respected the fact that in France you don’t ask to take your left overs home. But it still seems absolutely ridiculous to us that they 1) would rather throw it out then let us take home what we paid for (especially in a country so big on not wasting food) 2) lose repeating customers over something as small as that 3) be that stubborn about such a small aspect of their culture. If you ask me I think this is just a perfect example of how terrified the French are that Americans are influencing their culture as well as how darn stubborn they can be, not to mention contradictory. For a country that thrives off of tourism I say it’s time to face the facts that you are going to have to flex some and stop being so scared that American culture is going to take over your country. We don’t want to take over, we just want you to learn to be more logical ;)