Flanders, I love you. I really do. And what especially helped me falling in love with you is your beer and your food. But with enjoying your lovely drinks and foods often comes something that absolutely bugs me: Paying. Well of course, who likes giving away their money but that’s not what I mean. It’s the following situation: When I go out to eat I usually don’t go alone. I take at least one person with me but often it can be a lot more. So, when I am in a restaurant with five more people and we all want to pay the waiter comes and gives you the bill. Then he walks away leaving us with the bill and we have to figure out how we split it. You might think now: What’s your problem? Just calculate a little… .

Well, the problem does not come with us having to get our calculators out. The problem is that usually somebody has no cash with them (and in some place you can’t use your card) and others don’t have the exact amount they have to pay in cash. This causes headaches and discussions for at least ten minutes and the lunch or dinner ends on a rather stressed note. Of course, often we asked if the waiter could split the bill for us. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But for me as a German girl this is very confusing. In Germany the waiter automatically asks if only one person pays or if we split it and he does the calculation for us. I consider this part of the service.

My personal highlight happened in an Irish pub in Antwerp. I was at the bar and ordered a drink. While the barista was preparing my beer, my friend appeared from the bathroom and ordered a beer too.  My drink was ready, I wanted to pay. Nope. The barista prepared the other beer and put them both on one bill. Why? Just why? She could see us both standing there at different ends of the bar both holding our money. Please, Baristas of Antwerp, please just ask before you can put drinks that are ordered by different people on one bill.


Carole Tolksdorf