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

wh  10-11-01 10:45


汉诺威火车站咖啡厅里的大杯茶水实在是又便宜又过瘾
The big cup of tea served in a Café in Hannover's railway station is not only cheap but can also satisfy my urge!

  在中国,平常无论在哪里吃饭、打尖,你若向店家要碗白开水,他总是会痛快答应的,没有谁会为给你倒杯白开水而跟你要钱。如果有哪个“不开眼”的店家为碗白开水向你收费的话,他立刻会令所有人侧目。
      可确实有这样的店家,而且他要钱还要得理直气壮。不过,那是在美国。
      有一次出差美国,我们回国时到旧金山转机,在机场吃的午饭。套餐里每人一杯加冰的可乐。同行的老师年纪稍大,喝不惯冰凉的东西。想到国内吃麦当劳,套餐中的饮料是可以冷热调换的,于是去要白开水。店家说要付钱,我们说用套餐里的可乐换,他们说可乐喝完了再加都可以,但是不能换白开水,要开水就得交钱,喝不惯可乐那边有冰水。
      可乐、冰水可以白喝,白开水却要收钱,太过分了!不过,后来不知他们怎么想通了,还是给端来了一杯白开水没要钱。
      吃饭时向饭馆要白开水得收钱,那么到咖啡馆喝茶,再添一道白开水总是天经地义的吧?却也不然!
      那是在德国,在海德堡火车站的咖啡馆。要了杯茶,杯子很小,三两口便见了底。外国的红茶浓得很,于是向服务员要求加白开水,对方说店里没这规矩。抱着说服他的想法,我们告诉他喝茶就应该给客人续开水,如果在中国,你不给客人的茶续开水,那是很不礼貌的事。服务员点头走了,不一会儿给续了水。可结帐时发现有一块多欧元不知什么项目,一问才知道是续的开水钱。
      可是,不要因此就得出结论来说,“老外”很抠门,给点白开水都要钱。其实在他们的快餐店、咖啡馆里,冰块、冰水都是免费的。在餐厅吃饭,客人一落座,服务员就像咱们的餐馆里上免费茶一样地给每人端来一大杯带着冰块的水,这水是免费的而且管够。
      细一打听才知道,原来“老外”们从小就习惯了喝冰的,牛奶要冷的,茶、咖啡有加冰的,可乐加冰,据说酒也要冰镇或加冰喝才口感好……。这样,他们的服务场所全都是为加冰做准备的,所以才有冰块“免费管够”;开水属于特殊服务,收点“服务费”也是理所应当的了。在国内的麦当劳吃套餐,冷饮换热饮也只是他们为了适应中国国情而做的改变,并不是全世界的麦当劳都这样。
      曾经看到一位留学中国的学生用中文写的篇文章,讲述自己第一次到学校的经历,其中一段写他刚到学生宿舍,看到一个保温瓶,喜出望外以为里面是冰块,打开才发现里面是冒着热气的开水。又想起自己有一次在德国的饭店里看见保温瓶,欢天喜地以为是开水,结果却是冰水的经历。忽然发现,原来两种文化的差异竟然是那么鲜明地体现在这具体而微的日常饮用水的温度。

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.

  本文转载自Koala的个人空间,要阅读更多作者文章,请移步作者个人空间 http://i.myechinese.com/index.php?s=/space/191

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Edit on10-11-05 00:44