The Waiter / Claudia Cadelo

Art Work: Luis Trápaga

My friend came from Europe and we went out to eat together. While waiting for her husband we asked for a drink and after a while the waiter asked her:
– Is the drink good?

Though I, too, had finished my drink he wasn’t interested in my opinion. My friend was insulted. I laughed.

Her husband came and we ordered. Once more the waiter approached the table and asked her:
– Do you like the food?

I lost my composure. I started laughing out loud and the guy looked surprised. I remembered the joke about the man who goes to a psychiatrist and tells the doctor that people ignore him, the doctor looks at the door and shouts, “Next!”

We asked for the check and, for the third time, he returned to the theme:
– Did you like the place?

This time I answered:
– I liked everything except the fact that you only asked her.
– It’s because I don’t speak English. Could you ask her in English if she liked the food?
– I’m not talking about her, I’m saying you should have asked me too.
– It’s because I don’t speak English.

My friends ended up laughing too, the waiter was happy with his work and I discovered what it means to speak the same language and not understand. I left asking myself, with some uneasiness, what we Cubans have come to.

7 March 2011