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a funny thing happened on the way to the bistro...

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a funny thing happened on the way to the bistro...

manouche | May 10, 2011 05:47 PM

I am an American living in Paris, fluent in French, and am often invited to dine out with friends, especially if it is their first visit here. This should be nice, however a funny thing keeps happening, and I find myself becoming increasingly embarrassed and angry about it, especially when visiting any establishment I regularly frequent. We decide on the type of place (La Regalade SH, Cafe des Musees, Ma Bourgogne,Chez Georges, Dumonet...), reserve a table, then I translate the menu, answer questions, and make certain everyone is on board regarding prices, choices available- all before entering the place. We are seated, and then invariably, one or two people ( we are never more than 4 ) decide "Oh, nothing for me, thanks", or decide to split perhaps just one entree or one plat ( again, among 2-3 people ). This has happened several times, with different people, and I am at a loss to explain this unacceptable behavior. I have tried to explain the quaint French notion that going to a restaurant means that you plan to actually eat a meal, but to no avail. Has anyone else noticed this trend, or am I just running with the wrong crowd?

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