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白开水VS冰块 Boiling Water vs Ice Water——Koala

wh  10-11-01 10:45

The big cup of tea served in a Café in Hannover's railway station is not only cheap but can also satisfy my urge!


In China, when eating in restaurants, if you ask for a glass of hot water, and it is always provided for free. If restaurant charges for it, customers are extremely annoyed at this.

However, I had been forced to pay for the hot water. It really happened in the US, though.

Once, we flew back from San Francisco, we ate lunch at the airport. We each ordered set meal that consisted a cup of coke. The elderly teacher in our team never drank cold stuff, and he remembered eating McDonald's in China, the waiters or waitresses had never refused to change cold beverage to free hot water. So again he asked for changing the coke for hot water. Surprisingly he was told to pay for that, but we said they shouldn’t charge because we just wanted to make an exchange. The manager told us that they could certainly refill the coke for free, but would have to make a charge for the hot water. Of course, the ice water was free.

Coke and ice water were served freely, the hot water, however, had a price. It’s ridiculous. But after a while, the waiter still brought a glass of hot water for free. And we had no idea what made them change their minds.

If it's weird to charge for water when eating in a restaurant, then it must be natural to get free water in coffee houses when drinking tea. If you thought that then you are wrong.

That was in Germany, we went into a café in Heidelberg railway station and ordered a tea for each of us. The cups were very small and the tea was too strong for us. So we asked for refills of water, but I was quite surprised when the waiter refused to do this. In order to convince him, we told him they should refill a customer’s tea cup several times for no extra charge. In China, it's actually very impolite no to provide refills for customers. Upon hearing this, the waiter nodded his head and walked away. Soon, he came back with the hot water without saying anything. But when paying for the tea we found there was an extra Euro on the bill. Later the waiter explained that they charged us 1 Euro for that refilled water.

But, do not come to the conclusion that westerns are very mean. Actually, most coffee houses and restaurants do not charge ice and ice water at all. One western custom is that after you have sat down your waiter or waitress will often bring you a large glass of ice water and will keep on refilling it throughout the meal. It's just like providing free hot tea for the table in Chinese restaurants.

Since then, I was told that westerns drink cold beverages since childhood, such as cold milk, iced tea, iced coffee, and iced coke. It's said that adding ice to wine will make it taste better. In this way, ice is served in all restaurants. Since hot water certainly is a kind of special service, therefore service fee is inevitable.

For McDonald's in China, changing cold drinks for hot ones is only adjusted to fit Chinese dinning habit, but not done in all places overseas. I have read an article written by a foreign student who was studying in China, which was about his first day in the school dormitory. He saw a big thermos bottle, overjoyed that there was ice. But upon opening it, he soon realized that it was filled with boiling hot water. Once again, it reminded me of my days in Germany. In the hotel I saw a similar looking bottle, thinking joyfully that it was hot water, but it turned out to be ice water. Suddenly, I discovered that the difference between the two cultures was clearly reflected in the different temperature of drinking water in the every day's life.



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Edit on10-11-05 00:44