A Night at Chilli's

Last night I went out to dinner with Bridgette and the girls as a sort of farewell thing. I don't usually go into the whole girls-night-out-group-photo thing because its kind of lame kida, especially stopping someone and asking them to take our photo. Anyway, our waiter was some short Egyptian dude with curly hair whom the Maître de was openly giving a hard time, and telling him off in front of the customers. He told us that if we need anything please call Hassan, and don't tell whats-his-face who's in charge. He was the typical annoying, fake-smile, enjoy-your-time waiter and I more or less didn't like him. I mean, I didn't not-like him, he just irritated me. Anyway, for the first time in history, they actually got my order right and it arrived with everyone else's, however I think the chicken was a tad under cooked and didn't finish it (I was too full anyway). And then, the girls asked Hassan to take our picture.
I have a Canon DSLR which I think is pretty easy to use, but which surpisingly most people I know don't know how to. The concept of focusing by pressing halfway down is confusing, apparently, and people tend to just aim and shoot, giving a typical bad quality to the picture. They don't know how to look through the view lense. And, most people don't know where the shutter release button is and I have to keep pointing it out. That very evening one of the girls who tried to use it had to be shown. So naturally, when I (reluctantly) gave the camera to Hassan, I first changed the setting so that the view would be on the screen and he wouldn't have to look for it, and then pointed out the button for him to use. I was surprised that a) he immediately looked through the lens and ignored the screen, b) he gave me this strange look and said 'akeed' when I pointed out the button for him, and c) he held that camera like a pro. And then he asked me to turn on the flash, and took the best picture anyone (else) has ever taken with it.
I am ashamed and embarassed. Its not that he's a waiter; I have nothing against waiters. I just assumed from his flustered and simple-looking demeanor that he was, well- simple, let's say. And since my doctor and nurse friends almost always don't know how to use my camera, I never thought the waiter would. The waiter who was being bullied by the Maître de. Did he own a similar camera himself? That would be difficult to picture because I'm sure it costs more than what he gets paid in a month. Did he own one in the past? Maybe in some previous life time where he could easily afford one and persue a hobby/career of professional photography before falling on hard times and having to come to the Gulf and work in a crappy restaurant where the head waiter treated you like dirt?
Whatever the reason, the thing that stands out most and is poking me in the side from that evening is the waiter whom I openly insulted by pointing out the shutter release button on a DSLR camera, which, apparently, is the easiest thing in the world to find.


  1. This post is funny but is also important. Stereotyping is a natural human reflex. In many occasions, I find myself judging people based on their appearance or even their actions. The tricky part about stereotyping is that it is a two way street where I end up being the victim of stereotyping.

    Maybe this restaurant could add photographs to their menu. A Burger and a picture for 10 pounds!

  2. You mean 10 rials, but that's a thought! LOL. I know what you mean about being the victim of stereotyping, and yet we consciously or unconsciously keep doing it ourselves.

  3. this story keeps happening to me all the time.
    every time i think someone will be annoying and dull turns up to be extremely cool, and every time i think someone is cool turns up being stupid and shallow.
    actually not every time most of it though.

  4. i liked this post a lot! but you know what i think Facebook sabotaged our ability to "comment", as the very thing i was looking for was the like button LOL


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