Would you like A, B (or C)?
We’re not going to mention C aloud, but if you want it, it’s available.
The choices were (A) regular bread or (B) Greek garlic bread. Well, in Greece, we should of course have the Greek garlic bread.The garlic bread was OK. It seemed almost like hamburger buns with a little cheese and garlic in the toaster over. There were also 7 of them and only 5 of us. Gluten-free dude wasn’t going to have either A or B. It turns out, we should have chosen Option C, but it didn’t seem like there was an Option C.
But hey, some locally-made garlic bread is nice, right? He seemed so proud of it, too. Sure, why not.
The bill came and it was all in Greek. We are in Greece, after all. But there were two items at the top that I didn’t recognize mostly based on the prices. I had somewhat of an idea of the prices of the main courses we had. Aha, and there’s tzatziki, that I recognize–and love. But the one above it? For 15 Euros, it was worth asking.
I suppose he didn’t technically lie, but you could also call it not telling all of the truth.
Turns out, that was the cost of Option B. 15 Euros (around 17 dollars) from some sliced toast with cheese and garlic–only 3 of which we ate. Had we asked for it? Technically, no, but we also didn’t decline it. Technically, they didn’t do anything wrong.
Even after I questioned the bill and made it clear I wasn’t happy with the bread I didn’t really want (“But you didn’t say no,” he replied.), they brought out something else we didn’t want: cake. “A specialty of the region,” he said.
We were hot, full, and annoyed at the Find the Invisible Bread Game and the dessert didn’t look terribly appealing anyway. I don’t think this was some ploy to regain our trust, but rather a regular offering for all guests. If I were really feeling snarky, I might have asked if the dessert was on the bill somewhere too, but it was time to go. Lesson learned.
Although apparently not completely.
My wife bought a shirt-type-garment (it probably has a name in fashion … ) later in the evening at a shop in the hotel. The man in the shop asked if my wife would like the one in the package because it didn’t have a stain on it like the one on the rack. It was wrinkled, but “he’d be happy to iron it for her and it would be in her room the next day.” Oh, wow, great, thank you. What service!
Well, it was ironed and delivered to the room the next day. So was the bill for the ironing.
Lose Lose Situation
So now we’re on guard. Do we ask the price of everything offered us? If you do, it probably looks like you’re a cheapskate and don’t want to pay for anything. If you don’t, you might be in for a surprise.
I was going to write that “it’s not just the 15 Euros,” but it also is the 15 Euros. That’s a lot of money for some over-hyped rolls that we didn’t terribly want.
So what’s the answer? Play their game.
They’re so friendly and chipper, smiling and back-slapping. Just play the game. Smile and touch his shoulder as you joke about where the item is on the menu. Let him point to it and then you can point to the price. Then he needs to nod or offer it up as a gift. At least then you know. You can then accept or decline, but you’ll at least be informed. Of course, do it with a genuine smile as if it’s all a game. Which, of course, it is.