My birthday is 4 days before Sim’s, so Mum and Dad decided to take us out for a birthday dinner while they were here. We booked a table on the Hermès, a boat restaurant that cruises the Rhône and the Saône while you eat.
It was a busy night, with a big, loud American group dominating. They even had a magician! The waiters and waitresses were very efficient – except for one. We first noticed him when he dropped a tray of drinks, the second time was when we heard more of a commotion than usual from the Americans – and there he was, knocking back their unfinished glasses of wine! Think the drunk waiter from ‘The Party’ with Peter Sellers!
After a few more antics, including locking a couple out on the deck, picking up a waitress and carrying her around and generally making a nuisance of himself, the boss appeared and spirited him away. Sim asked the waitress, a tiny little woman of Asian origin, if she was okay and she explained that it was the waiter’s first (and last!) night working on the boat and she was very embarrassed and cross, because she was in charge of him.
Dinner was delicious, aside from some unwashed lettuce in the salads. The waiter popped up again, bleary eyed, and was much more helpful and subdued. Mum and I ordered a vanilla, raspberry and meringue dessert, vacherin, which he served to us. To me, he said ‘Here’s your macherin,’ but to mum he said, ‘Here’s your vagine,’ which I’m sure you can translate! Sim was SO unimpressed, but us anglophones didn’t really understand what he said and even when Sim explained, we thought it was hilarious!
At the end of the night, all was revealed – he was an actor hired for the entertainment of the magician’s group. He and the waitress apologised to Sim (and the couple that he’d locked outside) and offered him a free drink, but he was having none of it! When the little survey came around at the end of the night, he angrily crossed zero for service!
So if you’re in Lyon, I’d recommend taking a cruise on the Hermès (Sim wouldn’t). Check it out at http://www.naviginter.fr/ .
Just watch out for drunk waiters!