For any American visiting Europe, visitors soon discover waiters have nothing in common with the eager, overtly cheerful, tip-earning waiters in America. I can add to that well founded experience of rude European waiters with my current encounter with a dour, stoic, and robotic waiter at an outdoor café at L’illa on Diagonal.
After eating lunch at tasty Andele, we see an empty table for two at Central Café on a sun-drenched Thursday afternoon, and decide to have coffee there. Mistake.
We sit down at the table.
Waiter approaches with electronic order pad, stands in front of us and stares at my husband.
Husband: Un tallat si us plau.
The humanoid waiter looks so real wearing glasses and a goatee, I could swear he could pass for being human. He scribbles on his electronic pad and turns his mechanical head 30 degrees to look at me and stares. I get a little bit scared and wonder if he might blast me away with laser rays as he turns to look at me.
Me: Un tallat.
He scribbles on the pad, turns 180 degrees and walks to another table and repeats his mute actions. I watch the morose humanoid robot waiter and feel compelled to tell the manager that his robot waiter needs to be reset to speak mode.
The robot brings us two tepid coffees and walks away. We gulp down our cold coffee and pay the busy waitress wiping down the counter at the bar, "Adeu Senyor Humanoide!"
So foreign friends, tales of rude European waiters is the fault of those cheap humanoid robots and not actual people working to earn a living! Trust me, I have had pleasant experiences with waiters in Barcelona and the rest of Spain, except they were human.