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Dining Expectations

Al Dente

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I just got back from a wonderful vacation in Spain (6 days in Barcelona and a 4-day side trip to Basque country). A big factor in choosing this destination was the amazing food that would be available to us and we were, to say the least, not disappointed. However, our experience was somewhat sullied by the behavior of the locals. I once spent nearly a year travelling around Europe and was usually most appalled at my fellow American's lack of consideration for those around them, but this time it was the Europeans that pissed me off. Endless cell phone conversations at the table, poor treatment of waiters, and the SMOKE. I can endure the occasional waft of cigarette smoke (I'm a recent quitter), but why on earth would a 2-star restaurant (Zuberoa) sell cigars to customers? The heavy aroma virtually ruined dessert for us as some asshole lit up his cigar while talking on his cell for half an hour. Is that typical nowadays?

What dining-room cultural quirks make you insane whilst abroad?

[feel free to move this thread, btw]

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