Friday, August 12, 2011

What Time’s Dinner? It Depends.

“Please don’t come to my house at 8pm sharp or earlier,” a friend in France pleaded. “Here we don’t like it when people come early. A little late is better, 20 minutes is fine.”

“Older Dutch people come to dinner right on time. I hate it,” explains Melvin in Amsterdam. “Most of my friends come later, good friends come early to help.”

If you don’t want to be invited back, show up late at a dinner in Switzerland. “It’s us ex-pats who screw it up by arriving late,” said an American living in Geneva.

For a business dinner in Nigeria, you can come politely 15 minutes late. For a social dinner, you can come a half hour late. “But most arrive about one hour late,” a Nigerian businessman told us.

In Greece, show off how rude you can be by showing up on time. For one hostess, 15 minutes late is fine. If you want guest to arrive promptly, you have to justify it via the food or the restaurant, e.g. the fish hardens if it’s not eaten promptly.

“Don’t ever expect Latinos to arrive on time or leave on time,” points out a Venezuelan. “They are known to stay late, so late, there’s even a song played at parties that means, “it’s time to go home”.”

Our friend Jim who used to live in London loved their wonderful expression when inviting, “Seven-thirty for eight”. Drinks begin at seven-thirty and dinner at eight.

Italy is pretty much like many places including New York, 15 minutes late is fine. But coming an hour or more late is unacceptable, especially if all you were doing was nothing.

We're taking the month of August off, we'll start posting after Labor Day.  Meanwhile, we're doing some recycling. We're trendy that way.


Anonymous said...

Hi..the facelift piece was great..right to the point.the late for dinner story is good too..I am so glad that the old photo of you and Yvette stayed after the facelift..every time I see that photo I smile..and wish I knew what that cake tasted like..xo

Anonymous said...

This is such a delightful site and I really think it's time for your book.
It's a time where the entitlement generation needs a helping hand.

Anonymous said...

This is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

I just checked out the blog. Very nice revamp, or 'facelift' as the article says. Once again, another timely and amusing topic. Your latest on dinner is so relevant. Keep on writing, and I'll definitely keep passing along.

Anonymous said...

In Japan you show up on time. I lived in Japan for 5 years. The first time we were late to a party, that was held at a soba restaurant, we were late and no one had even started drinking. They waited for us. We were punctual after that!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...cutlural differences. And yet why do Americans always feel that they are the right ones?

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the Dinnertime? What time?, as it was neat to see what was socially acceptable in other countries.

Anonymous said...

Crane. I really enjoyed the Dinnertime? What time?, as it was neat to see what was socially acceptable in other countries.

Anonymous said...

Bonjour Yvette!