A lot of people have ways to get out of paying a restaurant bill.  Some put hair or other foreign matter into their dishes, while others just run out of the place after eating.  However, this might have been the first time that people have claimed diplomatic dinning immunity to save a few bucks. And it worked.

The incident occurred at a beef noodle restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan.  The restaurant wishes to remain anonymous but is believed to be a relatively popular place.  A few days ago a married South Korean couple on a trip walked into the restaurant.

In addition to the beef noodles, they requested five cold side dishes, including pickled foods, totaling 320 Taiwanese Dollars (US$10).  However, when the bill arrived they refused to pay for the 5 side dishes, claiming: “In South Korea cold side dishes are free, so we don’t have to pay for this.”

According to the manager: “They were pretty angry, saying things like ‘What the hell, I won’t pay for this!’”  As the manager tried to explain how society works to the couple, they simply repeated “Why!? Why!?” in English over and over again. Feeling totally unable to get through to the two, the manager gave up and the couple left without paying for the 5 side dishes.

This altercation came to light after other customers who witnessed it wrote about it on the internet.  This is one of the ballsier ways to duck a bill I’ve heard of, and I’m choosing to believe they’re scamming because the other possibilities would lower my faith in humanity.

Although pickled foods like kimchi are often complimentary in South Korea, it’s a little hard to join this pair along their line of logic that everywhere these dishes should also be free.  Sure there can be unexpected disappointments when we go to other countries but usually we just chalk it up to “live and learn,” pay the bill and go on our way.

The other possibility would be that the couple were paranoid from hearing stories about tourists getting overcharged by restaurants and taxis in foreign countries and mistakenly felt they were being victimized at the time.

Whatever it was that actually happened on that fateful day, the restaurant manager has decided to add a message in Korean reading “charges are applied for cold side dishes.”

I’m contemplating saying that in my home country I don’t pay for steaks the next time I go to a foreign restaurant.  Then when they try to speak I’ll just yell “Why!? Why!?” in the staff’s face.  Seems like a solid plan.

Source: ET Today (Chinese)

▼ Taiwanese news’ dramatic reenactment using characters from The Sims

 ▼ Among the cold dishes the couple requested, some contained meat

[ Read in Japanese ]