An article I wrote for Khmer 440...
The worst service I ever had was in London’s Chinatown. There was a cloudburst and then heavy rain so I scurried into one of the restaurants. The place was packed, and I was looking round trying to spot a table, when a furious-looking waiter pounced on me.
“What you waaaannn?”
I noticed people had stopped eating and were looking at me.
“Table for one,” I said slightly pompously.
The waiter eyed me suspiciously.
“We gorr no table for one! You go down stair!”
Then he was off in his shiny black shoes, scuttling waiters.
I stood there for a moment, confused. I didn’t like crowded restaurants at the best of times. The sniggers from nearby tables faded, and I spotted a staircase leading down. At the bottom, I was met by another waiter.
“Hi there, how are you doing?” I said.
His hate-filled eyes bored into me. It felt like a scene from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.
“Wery busy!” he spat. “What you waaan?”
He was worse than the last one. People were listening intently, pretending not to notice.
“Table for one, please.”
“You got no frenn? You go upstair, he give you table!”