I had an interesting dinner party the other day: I had been invited to a Moroccan restaurant by some of the other students on my course. I was told there would be some interesting entertainment... can you guess what it was? Have a look at the pictures below!
The belly-dancer was brilliant and as you can see, some of the students I was with got up and joined in! I was convinced the belly-dancer was from Morocco (given that we were in a Moroccan restaurant), but to my surprise she was British! She had certainly learned how to dance very well.
However, the evening was partly marred by a particularly awful waitress. I'd ordered some water with my meal and she gave me an expensive one litre bottle of still mineral water whilst she gave the others free pitchers of tap water! I certainly didn't need a whole litre, nor expensive water (as you know, I am now a poor student!) so I told her, in the nicest possible way, that there might have been a mistake in the order. She told me that as I hadn't specified that I wanted tap water, I was given the expensive stuff. I told her I didn't realise one had to specifically ask for tap water and that I thought it was her job to ask the customer which type of water s/he wanted. She then said to me that it was up to me to ask for it and so the argument went round and round until she finally gave up (I am quite stubborn; it runs in the family!) and took the water away from me and five minutes later turned up with a pitcher of tap water.
What do you think? Who was right? Has anyone had similar problems in restaurants? Are you offered tap water and/or mineral water?
Anyway, there were more problems to come. I'd ordered a mouth-watering-looking dish of braised lamb in an apricot and prune sauce. However, when it came, there were no apricots nor prunes in the dish, but potatoes and carrots! I looked at the menu agan but there was no mention of carrots and potatoes. So I called the waitress over (yes, the same one!) and told her I thought some ingredients were missing. She then leaned over me, saw the carrots, prodded them with her finger and asked me what they were. I could not believe what had happened! She was poking my food with her finger! She obviously thought the carrot was an apricot (they're both orange, so I suppose she was short-sighted or something!). I told her what it was and she just sighed in exasperation and said she'd speak to the chef. Then she was gone for ten minutes! Meanwhile, my food was getting cold whilst everyone else was digging into their food and having a good time.
Ten minutes later she came back with a steaming dish of pune and apricot sauce saying that the chef had forgotten to add those ingredients in. Bizarre! How does one forget to put in some ingredients and not others? Anyway, I added the sauce into my dish and it turned out to be delicious and very satisfying as I had the added bonus of potatoes and carrots!
The evening finished without any other major upsets, which was a relief! Your homework, if you'd like to do it, is to re-write the conversation/argument I had with the waitress from reported/indirect speech back into direct speech. In the next blog I'll put up the direct speech version so you can check.
'Till the next time! Have a good weekend.
marred To mar something is to damage or spoil something to a certain extent. The object becomes less perfect, attractive or useful. Rather formal use.
pitchers A pitcher is a container, usually for liquid. A synonym is jug.
stubborn To be stubborn is to be obstinate, fixed or set in purpose or opinion.
mouth-watering When something is mouth-watering, it makes your mouth water, or fill up with saliva because it looks so good to eat.
braised Braised is a way of cooking meat, fish or even vegetables by sautéeing them in fat and then simmering slowly in very little liquid.
called the waitress over To call someone over is to ask them to come to you.
prodded There is a synonym for the verb to prod a little further on in the text. Can you find it? It also begins with P.
short-sighted To be short-sighted or near-sighted means you cannot see far without glasses. It's the opposite of long-sighted wchich means you need glasses to read something up close, like a book.
sighed To sigh is to make a sound with your breath, by expelling air from your mouth. You usually do this when you are tired or annoyed.
exasperation To be exasperated is to be annoyed or fed up with someone or something.
digging into It's an informal way of saying that you started eating your food. You can also tuck into your food or even shovel it in but that wouldn't be very pretty to watch!
steaming If something is steaming, it is very hot as there is steam coming off it. Your bathroom usually gets steamy when you've had a hot bath or shower.
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