Monday, November 9, 2009

Fork Nazis

This weekend was busy.

Friday we went to Jumboland in Aalborg for a birthday party. (Happy 6th Birthday Paige!) Saturday we went to a friends house in Horsens for dinner. (Thanks for a great meal Kerstin and mother!) Sunday we had three couples over for lunch (Thanks for driving over here my blogging friends.) and then I went out to a birthday dinner for a friend... (Happy 22nd Birthday Lindsey, I'm glad we are both 22 now) My aren't we social little butterflies. :)

My hilarious story of the weekend... so funny. We went to Mackies for dinner Sunday night. Mackies is an American style restaurant in Aarhus right near the big church. It's decorated like a wanna-be Applebees with stuff all over the place and they serve pizza like a wanna-be California Pizza Kitchen. Anyways, they have a "rule" that you can't eat your pizzas or hamburgers with a fork an knife like Danish people do. American restaurant, American customs... "Oh, isn't that funny we ate our overpriced pizza with our hands. ha ha ha ha", says the Danish person.

This is the story:Four of us ordered pizza, including me, and one of us ordered salad. My lack of functioning front teeth means I cannot bite a pizza, I knew I would have to cut it into a piece to get it into my mouth. We had mentioned this to the waitress when we ordered and she said, "No, cutting the pizza is not allowed." We explained my teeth situation... "big scary pogo-stick, concrete floor, ghetto wire holding teeth in place". The waitress was pretty adamant, "No, cutting the pizza is not allowed." We didn't think much of it, she left, we waited for our food.

The food arrived and my salad friend was the only one with a fork and knife. So, like a good mommy, she started to cut my pizza for me so I could eat. WHOA! Waitress is now freaking out.. "NO CUTTING PIZZA!!" "I told you you can't cut the pizza!!!" "STOP CUTTING THE PIZZA!" Short of jumping up and down she was having a full on temper-tantrum ...Salad friend keeps cutting the pizza. Angry waitress is now near tears, "That fork and knife is not for the pizza!" "You have to stop right now!!" ...Salad friend is now cutting faster while explaining it's our pizza... We inform the waitress again that I am physically incapable of biting the pizza. I tell her I will eat it with my hands but I have to get it into small pieces first. Salad friend is still cutting...

The friendly atmosphere quickly disappears... :) The waitress now officially hates us and every other American in the world. We are telling her it's our pizza, it's no big deal, that I have broken teeth... She is saying I should have ordered something that came with a fork then. This is seriously the most hilarious thing EVER. I'm laughing so hard and I can't believe that our waitress is SO UPSET! We told her to send the manager out thinking he would be a reasonable person. Nope, he's crazy too. ...but by now Salad Friend is finished cutting my pizza and I am showing him my willingness to eat it with my fingers.. He rambles on for a good minute in Danish. (A full minute of angry Danish is a lot..) He stops and then we tell him we don't speak Danish. He mutters some English and eventually leaves us and we finish eating. :) ...and we got a different waitress.

TOO FUNNY. I still can't believe this happened. We are plannning another dinner to Mackies with every American we can find, we will bring our own forks and on the count of three we will cut our pizza into tiny pieces. We will put a piece of pizza on the fork, hold it high in the air and yell SKOAL. ...then we'll probably turn and run from the restaurant before that crazy manager comes out.

:)

22 comments:

DreaminginDanish said...

OMG - I laughed so hard reading this. This goes in my "Only in Denmark" box along with the story about me and some girlfriends going to a comedy night in Aarhus and getting kicked out for laughing too hard. Yes. True. Swear it.

'Babs' said...

Customer service in Denmark is a JOKE.

We had another awful Danskified waitress give us some of the same on Sunday...she'd messed up the order and brought the wrong dish out. She was rude and surly when we were like "Uh, that wasn't ordered" went away to have a long conversation with the other waitress waving the plate about.

She then came back and asked if we wouldn't just eat the wrong dish anyway, when the answer was no she stalked off.

I'd like to give the name of the place but happen to know the lady who runs it is not that bad, just her choice of waitress (all Dane) was probably a mistake.

Mackies pizza is pretty crap too, and they taste like glue when they are anything less than piping hot. Yet another establishment on our 'Not To Bother' for list.

The only thing worth it when eating out in Denmark tends to be the international company one takes along to get over the crap service here.

Having said that Copenhagen is much better because there are more internationals there serving internationals and employing internationals...so the service is better and more intelligent and less homogenized.

Like I said: I am packing. Jutland is the pits.

'Babs' said...

O.My. Goodness. I cannot believe I am actually at the stage where I can say that an all Dane staff is a mistake.

That is the worst thing about DK. You start to end up stooping to levels you would never believe you were capable of. For the record, someone is Danish if they adhere to the Danish system. Color of skin and place of birth does not make a Dane, but integration and adherance to the current Danish way of doing things is.

So that would make an idiot waitress going mad about the rules: very danish indeed. And a rude waitress trying to make out the customer is wrong for not taking the wrong dish: very danish indeed.

Squeak said...

This is my new favorite story ever. I cannot wait to go there.

Fuzzy said...

Hilarious! Further proof that they just have no sense of irony or humor, do they?

Babs, I hate to say it, but service shits in Copenhagen as well.

'Babs' said...

I've only ever gone over the threshold at Mackies, there was always someone or another serving who put me off.

Anonymous said...

Mackies pizza is owned by an American. I guess forcing American traditions onto danes backfired on a poor innocent detally challeged American in this situation ;-)

Mads and Kelli said...

That sign about the no forks is priceless! I am going to make a copy and hang it in my kitchen when I serve quesadillas next time!!!

Pete said...

@anonymous

Actually the owner of Macike's Pizza is not American but an Englishman named Mickey Lee (his full name is Michael John Lee).
The Mackie's Pizza website even describes him as "mærkelig" = strange.
He is lead singer in his own hobby band too and they play on a stage outside Mackie's every year at Århus Festuge.
http://www.mackiespizza.dk/Mickey.html

But this reminds me of "The Soup Nazi" in Seinfeld. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soup_Nazi

Pete said...

Anotbher funny Mackie's sign at their website:

"50 Million Flies Can't Be Wrong".

Khawaga said...

Oh dear Tara. That is so funny. ???? We go to Mackie's - the children love it and it's our treat destination as one of the two places we go to in Arhus (plus Casa Mia)(because it's fun and we can afford it occasionally being POOR PPOOR POOR nowadays shut up Lucy). Oh dear oh dear. How totally weird that they were so unable to cope. ?? Why have they gone so wrong?

Oh well. At least you laugh!

Fuzzy said...

The other really ironic/funny thing about this whole thing is such an attitude totally flies in the face of American restaurant service. I imagine you could get your pizza liquified in a blender and poured into a cup at an actual American restaurant if you asked.

Lost in translation!

PiNG aka Patti said...

GREAT story - and so wish I could've been there. Ahh the irony!

Khawaga said...

Fuzzy, Yes that's it. Real American service is somewhat different! You could say ...

Cor bloody 'ell. Coo!

Jennie said...

I would sooo file a complaint. Seriously, that is discrimination, albeit of a woman with some sore teeth, but one who wanted her pizza anyways! There must be a law or directive in this country against that kind of behavior towards a customer. Send a mail to them, and cc it to ombudsmanden or something, just to freak them out.

Ingrid said...

Oh, I can't believe this actually happened!!! I have never ever heard anything that is so stupid! And I really admire you for being able so see the funny thing in the situation, because it is just.... ok, say no more, have no more words! Hugs to you, when you stand all those strange things you have to deal with over here!

Ingrid said...

Great new design at your blog!!! I wish I knew how to do that by myself, but I don't think I could do it in my "system".

C and H Romenesko said...

Too freakin' funny! You had me in tears I was laughing so hard. Can I join you for the next fork-raising event? :-)

Karin said...

Hahaha, I am CRYING now! And today I really need one of those laughs that bring tears. Thank you for sharing! It reminds me of a time in Hannover where the rude waitress told my (fat) colleauge "Well, you have eaten enough anyway" when he politely asked if the food would be coming any time soon (after having waited for an hour or so). Now I know where to go when visiting Ingrid next time :-)

Garkbit said...

Mackies was the first non-McDonalds restaurant we took our kids to, and we've usually been pretty happy with it. I'm glad you're taking your bizarre treatment with good humour, but I think you should send it to the local newspaper (Jylland Posten or Århus Stiftstidende) or TV2 Østjylland. They'd love it.

TBS said...

Aii, Tara, I can't believe it! I've been to Mackies too and know about the fork thing but never imagined they would actually enforce the rule. Now, Mickey Lee is sorta funny (not as much as he wants to be, but who is), but that is just plain rude and I would actually consider filing a complaint. But then, of course, he might ban you from the premises, and where would you then go on a fork-a-thon with American visitors :-) Anyhoo, Mackie's isn't as great as it used to be, but at least now I know that such a thing as too much filling on a pizza actually does exist... Keep us posted on how the next visit turns out.

Anonymous said...

The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.

Thanks

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails