Living overseas is tough. Its even tougher when you don’t speak the language (like me) and even though Mrs. RMN does it still can be difficult. That and so many Koreans just don’t get it. Case in point was our last vacation.
Decided we would go to lunch near Haeundae Beach. Many western (read US) restaurants there. Walk into a TGI Friday’s…and wait. No greeter at the door…nothing. Oh wait! Here comes a server…there goes the server (he looked at us but didn’t say a thing). Hey! There he is again…there he goes again. Another look, another look past…another minute of nothing. Just as we are turning to go the greeter comes around the corner. Oh! So sorry! Mrs. RMN makes a comment about service could be better. Profuse apologies follow. At this point, a reasonable person would be able to realize that 1) We are not totally happy and 2) You have been warned.
We are taken back to a table. Not a great one, it looks like they put all the families with kids together (the dog pen?) while keeping the better views to the smaller tables. Menus come out…but no kids menu. We wait a bit. I get up and walk all the way to the front and get a kids menu and crayons. Nobody says anything to me each way. We wait. We decide our orders. We decides drinks and orders for two adults and four kids. We wait. We wait.
At this point enough is enough. We have been seated nearly 10 minutes with no drink service much less an order taken. We get up and leave. Not quietly either (how do 2 adults and 4 kids leave quietly?). Nobody says a thing. We get all the way out of the restaurant, around the lobby, and am getting on the escalator to go down. I can look back in the restaurant and can see a very puzzled girl standing by our table looking around with that Houdini-like how-did-they-do-that look on her face.
This is a problem we find here in Korea; there is no concept of service. Maybe it has to do with a lack of tipping. I think it has to do with a lack of respect. Especially for foreigners.