Sunday, June 03, 2012

Marcheing Orders

For lunch we went to Marche, a Swiss market restaurant on top of a shopping mall. In Singapore. I don't think this was culturally appropriate.

I'm not sure in what circumstances a Swiss market restaurant would be culturally appropriate. I've been to Switzerland, and I never saw any there. I spent all my time at the airport, or in an office, or at a pizza restaurant. I never saw an air conditioned shed full of people in national fancy dress arguing with people who don't like queuing for things.

I've seen markets in other countries, but not a strange sterile concoction of plastic Tyrolean souvenirs and fake crates containing fruit, with a complicated entry system.

Well, perhaps I spend too much time in pizza restaurants.

But when I go to restaurants, I like to sit down and have a person bring me food in return for money. At Marche, you're given a swipe card when you enter, and then you have to fetch and carry food from the serving stations to your table. This is the wrong way round; I'm not staying the world revolves around me, but it would be nice to be stationary and have the food come to me.

This way the costs are shifted onto the customers is offensive; instead of anyone writing down a bill for you, it's all put onto the swipe card and then you have to take the swipe card to the till to pay at the end. Including service.

Or if you lose the swipe card in the restaurant, you have to pay $100. Which, when I think about it, is the most offensive part:

Marche think their customers can't do arithmetic. Or that their food isn't very good. Because otherwise wouldn't it be rational to walk around the restaurant, loading up on as much booze and food as you could eat, then 'lose' the swipe card somewhere and only pay $100?

Now, you might think that it would be hard to get away with this: how could you manage to gobble so much food and still walk? Well, $100 of food is quite a lot, but if you brought five friends and they ate it all, and then swiped for a cup of coffee, you'd be quids in.

So Marche are saying that I can't add up, the food is inedible and I don't have any friends. If it weren't for them implying we're too honest to take part in a get-stuffed-cheap scheme, I'd be personally insulted.

And I couldn't find any fondue.


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