Before complaining about your frothy latte

One of the things that I always get embarrassed by in Shanghai is the snotty, whingey, annoying expats who act like pretentious tossers because “things aren’t that way back home”. Just the other week I was in a restaurant where a chino-clad, high-panted, middle-aged guy was yelling so much at the staff that his face was beetroot red.

The problem, of course, was that there wasn’t enough parmesan cheese on his salad. Instead of simply asking for some he proceeded to throw a tantrum and said something racist about all Chinese not knowing how to make food. The whole episode went something like this:

Tosser Expat: “What is this? There is no parmesan on my blah blah salad!”
Waitress: “Oh what salad did you have?”
Tosser Expat: “The blah blah salad! It says it comes with parmesan cheese. Where is the parmesan cheese?”
Waitress: “Let me get you a new one”
Tosser Expat: “I don’t want a new one I just want the parmesan. Do you have parmesan?”
Waitress: “Okay I’ll take it and put parmesan on it”
Tosser Expat (now yelling): “DO YOU HAVE PARMESAN? JUST BRING OUT THE PARMESAN!”
Waitress: “But I need to take it to the kitchen…”
Tosser Expat (red-faced, yelling more): “NO. I WANT TO SEE THE PARMESAN BEFORE YOU PUT IT ON THE SALAD. BRING IT OUT HERE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? CAN I SPEAK TO YOUR BOSS?”

At about this point the waitress was obviously pissed off and went to get the boss. More yelling happened and eventually the guy got his parmesan. But seriously, all over a bit of extra cheese?

I sometimes question the usefulness of such expats who fail to see that they live a relatively privileged life compared to so many uncomplaining, hard-working people – who in comparison – should have much more to complain about.

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