Wednesday, October 10, 2007

But I Really Did Want a Coke (or Pepsi)

Saturday night after the festival, I went to dinner with Hellena (my Korean friend). We went to a very popular restaurant in Seoul called Mad For Garlic . It is an Italian restaurant that specializes in dishes featuring garlic. Hellena ordered for the both of us and we started with their signature appetizer called "Dracula Killer." It consisted of garlic cloves which were sauteed in olive oil with anchovies and herbs. It is served with slices of French bread. We also decided to share (communal eating is very common) a crab and lobster pasta which came in a creamy garlic sauce served on spaghetti noodles.

I was very thirsty from the festival and a lot of walking. I really wanted a cola (in Korea you need to ask for a coca-cola or they usually don't understand what you want). Hellena tried to order me a Coke and the waiter refused and insisted I order an orange-ade. Nothing against orange-ade which is Seven-Up (cider in Korea) with freshly squeezed orange juice, but I truly WANTED A COKE. Hellena pleaded with the waiter for some time and finally told me that he wanted me to TRY the orange-ade. If I didn't like it, he would bring me out a Coke. It put her in an awkward position so I did say, "fine."

The waiter brought the orange-ades and waited for me to comment on the drink. I said that it was very good and that was the end of it. Our food came and it was so delicious that I almost forgot about the whole incident. I never got a Coke that night but I had a wonderful time with my friend.

It's too bad that you don't tip in Korea because he would not have gotten a tip from me. I tried to explain to Hellena that in the U.S., the customer is always right and you do everything you can to make sure the customer is happy. She said that the waiter recommended the orange-ade because it was good for my health. I appreciate the thought but I still wanted to make the decision for myself.

This is the second time this has happened to me. About a month ago at our local Outback Steakhouse, the same thing happened to me. I was out for lunch with my husband and the waitress refused to get me a Coke and insisted I have one of their "ade" drinks. My husband even pointed out on the menu where it said a soft drink came with the meal. Again, the waitress was quite insistent and I told my husband that is was ok. We have been going to this Outback almost every week for the last month and this had never happened to me.

Is someone trying to tell me something? I do admit to being somewhat addicted to Pepsi (or Coke) and I really would like to be able to go a day without one. I'm also one that can't stand the taste of diet soda but I thought I heard that diet soda is much worse for you than regular soda. The picture above shows an American Pepsi alongside its Korean counterpart. Maybe, that's why I've lost 10 pounds.


Helena said...

Oh my goodness! That seems like a very odd thing for a waiter to do. How frustrating!

clayingaround said...

Love your blog. How do you pronounce maedeup? Robin

clayingaround said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

Helena: it has been really strange but I have noticed that Koreans don't drink soda when they eat out, much different than back home.

Hi Robin: Thank you so much for the compliment. Maedeup is pronounced ma-doop. I've also had some Koreans pronounce it may-doop but the maedeup instructor pronounces it the first way

CreekHiker said...

Becky, I thought you gave up sodas with the RA??? NO?

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