At Butler’s Chocolate Cafe (in Lahore), the coffee is always hot and flavourful and served in heavy, white, ceramic cups, always with a fine chocolate. I have tried them all (over several years) and my favourite was a very dark chocolate with a soft caramel filling.
The staff are almost as good as the coffee, always polite and cheerful and they remembered me and my seating preference (in the quietest corner) and they remembered that when my cup was empty, yes, I’d like another, please.
I was with a group of happy colleagues; our winter vacation was starting the next day so there several cheerful conversations around our table. The waiter worked his way around the customers.
Me: One black coffee please. Large. And a chocolate brownie please.
Waiter: Yes Sir. And would you like me to vomit?
Now, I hate my job sometimes and if I were a waiter I’d probably hate my job enough to make me feel sick, but what?
Me: Excuse me, what did you say?
Waiter: Sir, would you like me to vomit?
I’m in a foreign country, English isn’t his first language. He has an accent. I have one too. It’s noisy at our table and my hearing is getting old. Think; what could he be saying? Do you want milk and sugar? Is there anything else you’d like? Do you have a loyalty card?
Me: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. What did you say?
Waiter [slowly]: Do you want me to vom it?
Which is exactly what I thought he said.
Me: Sorry, just a moment.
I asked a colleague, ‘Can you please tell the waiter that I’m sorry, I don’t understand…’
She to the waiter: What did you say?
Me: No, not in English, ask in Urdu.
She: He said he asked you if you want him to vomit.
She: You know, in the oven, because brownies are better if the chocolate pieces are melted.
Me: [Facepalm] Do you want me to warm it?
She: Yes, that’s what he said.
Waiter: Yes, that’s what I said.
Lesson: If a waiter ever asks if you want him to vomit, save time, accept that waiters usually know best, and just say yes (and always say please).