Arnon Grunberg



On my last night in Antwerp I went to a Thai restaurant, Mai Thai. According to Tripadvisor Mai Thay is ranked number 14 out of 651 restaurants in Antwerp.
I started with one of the specialties, a spicy fish salad, which consisted of a bit of fried fish, not spicy at all, and some sliced apples, spicy enough.
Then I ordered Laap ped, chopped duck with lemon and exotic herbs. The chopped duck could as well have been horsemeat, chicken or human flesh. The cook had done everything in order to make sure that the duck was unrecognizable and didn’t taste like duck at all.
But this isn’t important; it’s the service that counts.
And the service was unfriendly and not professional.
I got my rice ten minutes before I got my chopped duck.
After I had worked on the chopped duck I asked one of the Asian ladies: “Could you please clean my table?” “You want the check?” “Actually I’d like to have some tea and could you please clean my table?” “Check?” “No, some tea please.” “No check?” “Tea!” “What kind of tea?” “Jasmine tea. And after that I’d like have to check, please.”

For the first time in my life I walked out of a restaurant without leaving a tip.

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