Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, Pepsi, Pepsi, Chips (transcript here) had its Caribbean counterpart in a small restaurant on the west coast of Martinique.
Continuing our day with Mike and Rebecca Sweeney we sat down in an open air restaurant and the waiter appeared. No greetings, no menus, he just dove straight in with our choices for lunch. Bob said "We are vegetarians" to find out what our options were.
"Veggie plate for you" the waiter said and wrote it down. End of discussion.
He turned to Mike and Rebecca.
"We had pork or chicken" he said.
"Rebecca said " I like chicken"
"Chicken is finished. Pork for you."
Mike started to say something and was cut off...
"OK, 2 veggie plates and 2 pork plates" and our waiter turned and left.
Eyebrows were raised all around the table in astonishment.
Soon placemats were brought along with napkins and silverware. All of these items were deposited as abruptly and unceremoniously on the table as our order had been taken.
"I guess we are supposed to set it ourselves" said Rebecca.
It began to rain. We were mostly under cover, the table was under cover, it was a hot day, the rain was light, and the small amount of mist that got through felt good.
The drill sergeant/waiter came over.
"It is raining, you should move over there" and pointed to an area under more complete cover.
"We are fine, we are not getting wet"
"You have to move"
So, we dutifully picked up our table settings and moved to the table we believed he had pointed to.
"No, you have to sit over there" he said, and pointed to the next table over which was smaller and closer to the kitchen/cash register. We looked at each other, picked up our table settings again and moved as directed.
"Do you think he is going to come back and tell us to drop and give him 20?" Bob asked.
Soon the food arrived. First the veggie plates for Bob and I. Half of the plate was a cabbage slaw, some starchy mashed root of some sort, some other bland root vegetable conglomeration, and some fried hush puppy like balls.
Our server pointed to the balls. "Fish" he said. "You do eat fish?"
"No" we replied.
He looked puzzled, not quite sure what to make of it.
Mike said "I will eat them", so all fish fritters were sent Mike's way and our waiter accepted the solution.
Next the pork plates arrived. Half of the plate was a well cooked stringy pork concoction, the other half of the plate was fries.
Rebecca does not eat fries.
"Excuse me, could she have a salad?"
"You want a salad?"
"We will see what we can do"
After a period of time a plate of lettuce was produced. No other vegetables, none of the slaw, just lettuce. I don't even know if there was dressing on it.
"Um, thank you?" said Rebecca.
Mike commented that his was the only meal that came close to being satisfactory, and even his fell short.
Walking away we felt overstuffed by starchy, bland food but even more overwhelmed by the abrupt and commanding tone of our drill sergeant waiter.
All we could do was laugh.