Russian brotherhood? / Ruske bratrstvi?Russian brotherhood? | Czechmatediary
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Russian brotherhood? / Ruske bratrstvi?

Recently my hubby and I went to a Russian restaurant to celebrate our friend’s birthday. I was looking forward to it because I knew that some of the menu items will be similar to Czech food that I love so much. The restaurant was very nice, the food was also very yummy (although quite pricey), but the service was AWFUL! It was so bad that I have relieve to myself and write a post about it.

Actually, I take it back, the Russian bus-girls were very nice but the waiters were just out of this world rude. Let me tell you what actually happened and how it happened to spoil my idea of our Slavic ‘brotherhood’.

There was about 10 of us at the table and when we were deciding on what to order, one girl in the group asked the waiter what was good on the menu. A pretty common question right? I mean I was a waitress for some time and I got that same question quite often. That just means that the customers are too overwhelmed with the choices (or too lazy to study every single item on the menu) so they are asking for some kind of an input. OK, so the waiter goes: “EVERYSING ON THE MENU IZ GOOD OTHERWISE IT WOULD NOT BEE THERE.” His face expressions went along with what he was saying, he did not even try to cover up his feelings of disgust and annoyance.

Fortunately, since Czech and Russian cuisine are quite similar, I ended up helping that girl out, pointing her to some user-friendly beef stew for ‘only’ $19.99.

The second waiter came by just minutes later to take our drink orders. My husband loves good beer so he asked the waiter what the beer selection was. Among others, the waiter listed also a remote Czech beer (sorry, don’t remember the name) and at that particular point I decided to share my exciting secret and tell the waiter that I am Czech. Czech like the Czech beer they are selling, Czech like the Slavic language that we share with the Russians (and therefore we can somehow understand each other), Czech like the communist Czechoslovakia which shared the same oppressive regime with the former USSR….. All these shared similarities were coming to me while I was sharing that secret of mine, however, I got completely – I mean COMPLETELY!!- shut down. In fact, I got SO shut down by the waiter that I wasn’t even offended. His reaction was so over the top rude that my husband and I both busted out laughing.

So I merrily say to him: “I am Czech!” and he proceeds to shrug his shoulders, one side of his upper lip goes up, like in an utter disgust and says: “SO?? VLADISLAV OVER TZERE IS CZECH TOO!” What???? Why the heck would you say something so cold and unfriendly? Did he think I was bragging or something? His response carried one and only message: “I don’t give a crap about who you are and where you come from”.

It was funny but of course sad at the same time. There were no group hugs with my Slavic ‘buddies’, the gratuity was included in the check so one could not even express his disappointment in service that way. I should have put all of my brotherhood energy into those nice Russian girls. Oh well, next time. But wait, there won’t be next time!

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29 comments… add one

  • Jana September 14, 2011, 9:58 pm

    Don’t even get me started!I worked with Russian serves ( girls) in the restaurant in Aspen and I have really bad experiences (90% of the time). Includes pushing me,stepping on my foot,not telling me someones ( my table) drink order,not sitting customers at my table.Please – all I can say – selfish and rude. Although Russian boys weren’t that bad.
    Maji nosy nahoru!!! Trapaci!
    Uf..jsme se hezky nastvala s tebou ;)

  • Eurobubba September 15, 2011, 12:01 am

    They just want the experience to be authentic.

  • Vlastimil September 15, 2011, 4:21 am

    If you want to get a Russian food, you have to take it ALL :)) Italian servers are even more rude, believe me.
    I have had only good experience with Russian waitresses, but I guess it is because I speak fluent Russian and I can play the game. If needed, I am rude back and it is lot of fun :)) And don’t even dare to return food you don’t like …. If you do, you will become food too.. I always have good relations with the owner of the restaurant and I really don’t want to complain …I don’t want the waitress have executed. $19.99 for stew is not pricey… My piece of meet is never less than $30 and when I did not pay the tip, the waitress told me: “I will remember you”. And I answered back: “I liked you too”…Each culture has its own nice sides :))
    BTW, one week ago, I visited Koliba, which is a Slovak restaurant, I told the waitress that the waitresses in Koliba are more beautiful than those in restaurant Zlata Praha and she was ready to do anything for me :) I mean anything related to the food, I had my wife with me.. And it was not cheap either, 2 persons lunch went for $80 (including a tip for the waitress’s beauty).. Koliba is a nice place to be, Russian restaurants are like being in New York… If you want to get a good food, you have to be really rough ;)

  • Vlastimil September 15, 2011, 4:24 am

    Jana, you maybe think the Russian guys were not so bad… Even Russian women think that…they are saying: “He beats me, it means he loves me” :))) (On menja bjet, znachit, ljubit :)

  • Martin September 15, 2011, 5:57 am

    Eurobubba – touche! :))))

  • Marika September 15, 2011, 7:00 am

    Now I really know what survival of the fittest really means:)))

  • Vlastimil September 15, 2011, 7:59 am

    @Marika, :D

  • Tanja September 15, 2011, 9:07 am

    The experience may have been authentic but we will never come back. So if you were the owner of the restaurant, which business path would you pick?

    Also, I forgot to mention that that restaurant was CASH ONLY. Does that sound like a Russian mafia a bit?? Vlastimile, you are the expert on Russian stuff, what is you input on that?

  • Romana Osborne September 15, 2011, 9:39 am

    WOW! That is funny. Now you know why the gratuity is included in the bill…

  • Eva September 15, 2011, 9:53 am

    I think it is the upper class mentality and some ethnic places. I like a Rumanian place and the owner treats other Rumanians nicely and then us badly for years but the food is good and very reasonable.
    We just wait and are happy to be served the great goulashes, paprikas, and breaded pork or chicken.

  • Vlastimil September 15, 2011, 10:58 am

    Tanja, I believe your story and I don’t think the waiter meant to be rude. He simply really gave a crap where you came from whether you are a Czech or Tadjik..:) People in “Mother Russia” had to deal with more than 150 nationalities (ethnicities), so Czechs are just another tribe to them … Anyway, you cannot be even sure that he was Russian. He might be member of one of these 150 ethnic groups “thriving” in Russia… BTW, these non-Russian people are referred to as “russko-jazychnyj” (russian-tongued?) , it implies, he is coming from Russian Imperium, but he is not an ethnic Russian…
    Very often I am being asked: “Are you Russian?”…I am responding: “Do you think all white people with accent are Russian?”… Simply we small nations always inherit the guilt of our bigger brothers :)

  • Tanja September 15, 2011, 3:17 pm

    OK, now I kind of get it. Thanks Vlastimil!
    It’s just strange, I have bumped into many Russians in my life and although I keep wanting to express this Slavic brotherhood I have not been successful yet. I met couple of Russians at school but they were so stuck up (I think they were those Russians with a lot of money) that one could not even talk to them. Then a couple of our friends married Russian girls (yes, I think they went on Russianbridesdotcom) and BOTH totally burned the guys!!! One was cheating on him and the other one stayed married to him until she got her degree in Dermatology (I mean that is a lot of years of studying and supporting that girl!!!!) and then left him. And believe me, those guys are not stupid, they went to Russia to visit them then they paid the girls to come here….they were dating for some time.

    At least we know your wife is nice, Vlastimil :))

  • Vlastimil September 15, 2011, 5:08 pm

    @Tanja, you cannot know whether my wife is nice :)) Ok, she is…
    Most women on Russianbridesdotcom (not all of them, though) are well trained prostitutes. They are not looking for love, they are looking for money and lot of it. Guys going to Russianbridesdotcom deserve to be cheated on. They are plain stupid …. It would be cheaper to got to Bangkock …
    Those Russians that are “stuck up” are usually Russian Jews .. They are diferent from Czech Jews and from any other European Jews. My son dated one such girl, and she did not appreciate when my son was a gentleman….he called him a “gentile”, laughing when she was saying that….As I am saying, Russia has more that 150 tribes :)) Afghanistan is nothing compared to it ;)

  • Tanja September 16, 2011, 10:03 am

    Tak Vlastimile, kde by mohli najit hodne ruske zeny na vdavani?

  • Tanja September 16, 2011, 10:05 am

    Eva, it’s good to know there is more places like that ;)

  • Vlastimil September 16, 2011, 11:08 am

    Hodne hodnych zen na vdavani zije kolem Chernobylu …Vsechny zari radosti :) Nevim jestli radosti, ale zari :)

  • Tanja September 16, 2011, 11:11 am

    Haha! To ty jses teda pomoc! A kde jsi se seznamil s tvoji manzelkou, take v Cernobylu?

  • Vlastimil September 16, 2011, 12:07 pm

    Na tanecni zabave :)

  • Posh September 17, 2011, 3:34 am

    I inadvertently suffered this in a bar in Bahrain where girls dance around on stage, lip-synching to Kylie, Madonna, etc. It’s not a strip club, but the girls are provocatively dressed and a waitress whispers in your ear asking if you’d like one sent up to your room once the show is over.

    Anyway, it turned out that this dancing troupe were from Belorus and a young, enthusiastic guy acts as DJ and MC. He started going round the audience asking where we all came from so when he came to me, just for fun, I said I was Czech and they all GROANED out loud! One girl who had been smiling at me completely ignored me and the rest of them made it pretty clear what they thought of my ‘nationality’.

    The only reason I can think of is that the Czech govt has some issue with the Belorus govt, no doubt down to the Klaun in Praha and his equally demented opposite number in Minsk vole.

  • Tanja September 17, 2011, 2:40 pm

    Ha ha! That’s funny! I wonder why they groaned. Is there like a Russian generalization of Czechs that I am not aware of?

  • Jana September 18, 2011, 6:04 pm

    Vlastimil.
    They really were nicer to me than Russian girls ( no beating!!) ;)
    But maybe it’s just because I am a girl and I was married ;DDD

  • Greg September 18, 2011, 8:34 pm

    We went to Russian Tea Time in Chicago and the servers there too were not overly friendly. My wife who grew up in Ukraine can’t stand most Russians. Rudeness is just one reason why. I tend to think it is common society as I went to Ukraine to visit my wife’s family and found the same type of mannerism. I am thinking the communist block has produced this type of personality in a lot of it’s people.

  • Vlastimil September 19, 2011, 5:09 am

    @Greg, you are so right! Communism destroyed many of the features of civilized people. Don’t forget, people in Russia and other parts of USSR were the first victims of Communist experiment invented by Marx, financed by Engels (his lover) and perfected by Lenin and Stalin (not Russian at all)… People in Russia had communism more than 80 years.
    Czechs, on the other side, were more lucky, but still , when I come to visit Prague, I am very quickly fed up by rudeness of Czech people… Maybe it has changed, I have not visited Europe last 10 years.

    Of course, now in former USSR and even Czech Republic , people in government are former communists and KGB (StB) members, so rudeness is still thriving and is still a norm in those societies.

  • Eva Z. September 19, 2011, 7:14 am

    Well, I think that we were all taught how Russians are our “brothers” but they probably either never heard of us or saw us as some kind of silly appendix to their great Soviet Union. We are a small nation and have always been very keen on being friends with everybody…the others could not care less, don’t you think?
    As far as restaurants, I went to a very expensive Russian restaurant in Atlanta at the top of Hilton and the service was pretty good and food too. Can’t complain. Also went to one in around DC area and although the service was slow it was good, food great and I believe I did say I was Czech and the owner said that actually someone in his family was originally Czech too (grandmother or someone). So that went all right :)

  • Tanja September 19, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Vlastimil, since your wife is Russian and you are Czech, what nation would you say is more rude, the Czechs or the Russians?? ;)

  • Vlastimil September 19, 2011, 1:43 pm

    It was quite a rude question :D

  • Tanja September 19, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Yes but the wink kind of cancels the rudeness :)

  • Albert September 27, 2011, 9:00 pm

    I am cesko-american (muj dedicek byl cech – verim bohemsky) . I have worked and travelled in Rossia, Ceska, Slovenska over the past 15 years, and many other countries (Ukraina, Polsko, Makedonska, Bosnia, Hrvatska, Romania, and “the Stans”). My slavic language capability is such that I have been told that I speak good cecky, slovensky, ukrainsky, rossiskiy – some parts all in the same sentence !

    It is my experience that in the “best” restaurants you get the worst service from waiters – they all treat you like crap. In the truly great restaurants they treat you well, but you really pay for it.

    In the “ordinary peoples” restaurants they are generally glad you are giving them business and although do not roll out a red carpet, they treat you nicely because they want and need your business. It is my general experience that when you ask good questions and give them compliments that they are happy to take time to explain things. I can say that some of the best meals and services I have gotten are from Hospody and Krchmy and Salasy. I think that it changed greatly v Praze a Warsawe from the time of 1989 to 2006, with service in most establishments becoming unfriendly. I feel that generally the best service I have gotten has been in Slovakia and then the Stans, with Romania coming close on their heels. You can tell when people are interested in having your business.

  • Barry Willig October 1, 2011, 8:12 pm

    Not much has changed since the thirties and early forties. The comments explain the actions of the grandfathers. No wonder the SS found so many willing collaborators.

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