Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle toasting with beer in Hungary, dining alone, regifting host gifts, and much more.
Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle toasting with beer in Hungary, dining alone, regifting host gifts, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
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Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema
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Nick: Do cheers with beer in Hungary? Do you regift wine to the person who gave it to you? Do you confuse airplanes with dinner parties? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out!
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Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And it's Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.
Leah: [singing] Amuse-bouche.
Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to take you to Hungary. So you speak a little Hungarian. Remind our listeners why this is.
Leah: I did a study abroad there.
Nick: And how long were you there?
Leah: I was there for six months. And then I went back again to visit my friends.
Nick: And Hungarian? Not an easy language.
Leah: Not an easy language. There's some sounds that we don't have.
Leah: And all of the vowels, there are multiple versions of vowels.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. Yeah. It's definitely, I think, considered one of the most difficult languages to learn.
Leah: Also, they change their words differently than we do. It's not like Latin.
Nick: Oh, like the conjugation?
Nick: Interesting! So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about a rule in Hungary, which is about beer. In Hungary, you do not "Cheers" with beer. You "Cheers" with Pálinka, the fruit brandy. You cheers with Unicum, which is like an herbal liqueur. You cheers with everything else, but not beer. Have you heard about this? Do you know about this?
Leah: I remember we don't "Cheers" with beer.
Leah: And I do not remember why. And I do remember when I did "Cheers with other items"—by the way, Unicum, the posters for it, is a dead man floating in the water. That's ...
Nick: [laughs] Okay.
Leah: It's intense. I remember you look at the person, you say "Egészségedre."
Nick: Yes. I actually was practicing that based on YouTube videos today. Could not nail it. So thank you for saying it correctly.
Leah: Whoo! I remember something!
Nick: So the "No cheers" thing with beer, it is a thing. So first, a little history. And Hungarian history is complicated. The border shifted, the people in charge changed. So let's just kind of cut to the 1800s when it was ruled by Ferdinand, who was the emperor of Austria. And in 1848, which is not coincidentally when there was all these revolutions happening throughout Europe, Ferdinand signed a bunch of laws with Hungary that gave Hungary more control over itself: like its National Guard, its budget, its foreign policy. And Hungary actually already had its own constitution and had its own parliament. And so there was already a bit of independence there, and these laws were aimed at making Hungary more of a nation state. And so Ferdinand signed it and that was great.
Nick: But Ferdinand had epilepsy, and he apparently had very bad seizures that made it very difficult for him to actually effectively rule. And so later that year—also in 1848—he abdicated to his nephew, Franz Josef. So now Franz Josef is in charge, and he is not into the constitutionalism that was going on in Europe. And he went to Hungary and he was like, "Remember those laws my uncle signed? Actually, never mind. We're gonna just revoke those." And Hungary was like, "What? What are you talking about?" And Franz Josef was like, "You heard me." And so Franz Josef sent in troops, and basically was like, "Oh, we're gonna shut it down."
Nick: So let me introduce you to Heinrich Hentzi. And he was a Hungarian general in the army of the Austrian empire, and he stayed loyal to Franz Josef. And he's famous for basically terrorizing the civilian population in Budapest and destroying tons of beautiful buildings. And he even wanted to blow up the Chain Bridge, which is a very famous bridge in Budapest, and it crosses the Danube. And at that time it was brand new. Actually, I don't think it had even officially opened yet. So the Hungarians regarded this guy as super treasonous, but Franz Josef loved him. He was like, "You're the best."
Nick: So Franz Josef created this big monument in Budapest to Hentzi, which was like, "You're so great. I really love your work here. Well done." And interestingly, he also had a painting of this guy, and it was in his bedroom in Vienna. So Franz Josef was, like, all into it.
Leah: A fan!
Nick: And—and so—and so there's this monument that is being erected, and to celebrate this, there was a big party. And all the Austrians were there, and they were celebrating with a lot of beer. And because of this, apparently the Hungarians vowed that, oh, we will not cheers with beer for 150 years. And so that is apparently where this comes from. It is a protest against this oppression by the Austrians, against the Hungarians. And it started at this 1848 revolution, and this sort of Hentzi monument. And this is where this comes from. Now we are past 150 years, but apparently this tradition does live on. Old habits die hard. And so that is one explanation for where this comes from.
Nick: And this monument was super controversial. People kept protesting at it. Apparently somebody tried to blow it up. Eventually, they did move it and then they actually just dismantled it. And because it was like, "Oh, we just don't need the drama that this is causing." But yeah, that's apparently where this rule, you don't cheers with beer comes from.
Leah: A) Nothing makes me happier than Nick Leighton history.
Leah: And B) Incredible! And C) I love the Hungarian people, and I love that—you know, I really appreciate anything that's done out of, "Oh, yeah. We waited 150? We're gonna keep it going because we still don't like you and we don't forget." And I love that.
Nick: Yeah. No, I love a good grudge. Absolutely.
Leah: And a well-deserved grudge.
Nick: And so apparently, like, not everyone honors this anymore, but it is still a thing. So I think if you are visiting Hungary, it would be nice to observe this tradition. If a Hungarian person comes at you with their beer and wants to cheers you, then obviously go for it. Like, don't resist. But I think it's just a good thing to know about.
Leah: I love it! And now I feel I have fuller knowledge.
Leah: Thank you so much.
Nick: How do you say "Thank you" in Hungarian?
Leah: "Köszönöm szépen."
Nick: And how do I say "You're welcome?"
Nick: Szívesen to you.
Leah: "Köszönöm" is just like, "Thank you." "Köszönöm szépen" is more formal.
Nick: Mm-hmm. Well, let's be formal, Leah.
Leah: Köszönöm szépen.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to go deep.
Leah: Deep and solo.
Nick: Yeah! So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about dining alone.
Leah: Which is honestly one of my favorite activities.
Nick: Absolutely. I love it. I do it when I travel. I do it in New York all the time. Anybody who's like, "Oh, I'm embarrassed," or "It makes me feel self-conscious?" Uh-uh. No, it is the best. If you have not done it, highly recommend it. It is great.
Leah: I really used to do it in New York all the time because it was like that moment of reprieve for—you know, you're out of the subway, you know, you're not home yet. You're not at work. It's just for you.
Nick: Yeah. No, I'm all about it. So there is some etiquette, though. And this was actually prompted by a listener question, which is, quote, "The other night, in a much-needed break from my partner and child, I took myself out to dinner alone. It was delightful, but it brought up some etiquette questions since this was my first time dining out by myself. I went to a casual seat-yourself place and chose a two-seater table. I really don't prefer to sit at a bar. I read a book, ordered a drink, appetizer and dinner, and I tipped at the end and left. No lingering, but no rush. My questions are: was it rude to read during the dinner hour? I feel at a pub or coffee shop this is acceptable, but at dinner? What if a two-seater table wasn't available? Could I sit at a four-seater? Is there a drink or food minimum I should meet? I don't want to order more than I can eat, but I also don't want the server to lose out when I'm seated at a table for two, ordering for one. Is there any other etiquette about dining alone I should know about?"
Leah: Well, first off, I want to say welcome to the dining alone.
Nick: It's a great club. So in no particular order, for the question about should you ask for a table? Yeah, that's fine. I mean, a lot of restaurants will try to steer you to the bar, but if you don't want to be at the bar, you can decline that. And it's up to the restaurant whether or not they have a table for you. So I think that's the way to handle that.
Leah: A lot of places aren't busy.
Leah: And so you're not—they're not losing out on money. I mean, if it was like a crazy busy restaurant, and you sat there and read for six hours, I think that would be one thing. That's not what this is.
Nick: Yeah. I think a lot of times people are self-conscious about dining alone because they're like, "Oh, I'm taking up the space for two people." And that's not actually usually the case, I found. That table would just be empty if you weren't sitting there. So you're actually giving the restaurant one person's business versus zero people's business. And so that's great.
Leah: And then if it is, like, kind of moving and they only have a four top, you could say, "Hey, I'm just by myself. I can sit here, but then if you want to move me when other people come in, that's fine."
Nick: Yeah, you could say that if it's a sort of seat yourself kind of place. I think if you have the choice between a four-top and a two-top, I think let's take the two-top and not take the four-top.
Leah: Definitely take the two-top. She had just asked if there was only a four-top available.
Nick: And I think totally no problem to be on your book. I think it's actually totally fine to be on your phone if you'd like, as long as you're not being distracting with it. So let's not be on the phone, or let's not be watching a movie without headphones kind of thing. But I think it's totally fine to bring a book or bring something to do.
Leah: I love to read a thriller in a restaurant. I used to—after a comedy show, there'd be like this late-night time, and I would go and I would sit in a fairly empty restaurant that was still open, and I would just read and get apps. Oh, and it was the best time of my life.
Nick: I don't love the idea of bringing a laptop, though. So I feel like I kind of don't want to have a laptop on the table while this is happening, depending on the restaurant.
Leah: Well, what if it's like a casual diner? And ...
Nick: Yeah. I guess context is key. I guess is there linen on the table? Like, what is happening? Is there a butter program? So I guess know kind of where you're at.
Leah: If there's a butter program, don't bring your desktop and set it up.
Nick: Is there a water menu? If there's a water menu, then leave the Gateway 2000 at home.
Leah: If there is cucumber in your water ...
Nick: Uh-huh. That's a sign.
Leah: Keep the Dell on the desk.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. Yeah, I think that's good advice. I think if you see a diner dining alone, I think one thing to note is that is not your invitation to necessarily make conversation with that person. I think a lot of times people are tempted to make conversation with people dining alone, and that's not like something I'm interested in when I'm dining alone.
Leah: No, I think people are dining alone specifically because they want to be alone. Unless they're traveling and they're looking to meet new people, and then maybe you could suss that out together. But otherwise, I think people are like, "This is my time to read the next book in my series and have, like, a lovely little snacksies."
Nick: Yeah, I think definitely read the room on that.
Leah: And then I always try to leave, like, a solid, juicy tip when I've been dining alone.
Nick: Yeah. I think in the United States there is definitely that sort of impulse to tip well when you're dining alone, because the server is probably making less off of your table. And so I think most people when they're dining alone do tend to be more generous with their tip. And as for should you order more than you want? No, order what you want. Don't order more just because you feel like you should. Like, order what you want to order.
Nick: And I do know that some people will take issue with the idea of having a phone at a restaurant, even if you're solo dining. I really actually feel totally comfortable with that. I do acknowledge a world in which people might disagree with me. I can handle that. But I feel like as long as you are sort of mindful of other people's space and their eyeballs and their ears and aren't doing something on your phone that's, like, distracting and taking away from other people's dining experiences, I feel like that's okay.
Leah: I think so too. Maybe you wanted to grab a lunch by yourself and you're catching up on emails.
Nick: Yeah. I was in a restaurant, a very fancy-schmancy in Venice recently, and the person at the table behind me was on a FaceTime with his brother in California talking about a bathroom renovation. How do I know all this? Because he wasn't using headphones, and it was as if his brother was dining with him. And the iPad was set up at the other, like, chair as if they were, like, dining. And it was like, do we have to do this? Is this what we have to do? This is what we're doing. And it definitely detracted from my dining experience. And so I was like, oh, we're in, you know, beautiful Venice in the Palazzo, and I'm trying to escape the world. And here you are bringing me back to picking tile at Home Depot. And it's like, what is happening?
Leah: What is happening? Just throw in earphones!
Nick: I guess that would—I would take earphones. I mean, it is still a little distracting to have a person's face on an iPad screen in the corner of your eye.
Leah: Oh, yeah. The full iPad setup is a little odd. It's a little odd.
Nick: It was, like, propped up. It was sort of like as if he was dining. I mean, which I guess it's sort of sweet on some levels, like, "Oh, I'm dining alone, so can you please join me, brother?" But I didn't want to join them and I felt like I was.
Nick: So dining alone? I recommend it. And if you've never done it, you should try it.
Leah: And enjoy it!
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to take some questions from you all in the wilderness.
Nick: So our first question is quote, "A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were invited by a new friend and business associate to their home for dinner. I stopped and picked up a very lovely bottle of rosé to take to their home. We had a lovely meal, and we made plans for them to come over to our house a few weeks later. I was very surprised when they showed up and handed me the same bottle of wine I had just gifted to them. They jokingly said that they had brought a lovely bottle of rosé with them, and so they obviously did this on purpose. It was a really lovely and expensive bottle, and I was shocked. Am I wrong to think this was rude? I've never experienced this before. Thoughts?"
Leah: Wasn't that your feeling on that? Like, who do—who does this?
Nick: Yeah. I mean, the best case scenario is that this wasn't the same bottle of wine. They loved the wine so much that they went out and bought a new bottle of the same wine to bring to your house. That is the best case scenario here.
Leah: That's what I was thinking, that maybe they loved it so much that they were like, "Hey, you obviously love it. We loved it. We're gonna bring the same one." But ...
Nick: You know what didn't happen? That.
Leah: ... I feel like that's what didn't happen because—yes.
Leah: Because they said specifically, "They jokingly said they had brought a lovely bottle of rosé with them."
Nick: Yeah. It's one of those things that I really don't like. When somebody knows they're being rude or doing something wrong and they say it, they call it out. They're like, "Oh, I know I'm being the worst right now." But instead of not being the worst, they just think by calling it out, acknowledging that they're the worst, that somehow that insulates them from the bad behavior they're doing. And it's like, no, that's not how that works. You obviously acknowledge that you're doing something wrong so, like, just don't do it. Calling it out doesn't make it better. So, like, calling it out and being like, "Oh yeah, we're regifting it to you," and trying to be all cute about it, that doesn't make this less rude.
Leah: I just can't even—do you know what I mean?
Nick: [laughs] Yeah.
Leah: It's just rude.
Nick: Yeah. What is there to say? And why is it rude, though? I mean, we acknowledge at its core this is not right, but what is it about it that actually feels wrong? Is it the regifting?
Leah: I think our letter-writer went out of the way to, like, go pick something out they thought they would like, brought it to their house.
Leah: And then this person is just bringing it right back. So it's—it's sort of like negating the thought of our letter-writer putting in the work to find something lovely for them.
Leah: And then they're like, "I'm not gonna put in any work. I don't want to find anything. And also the thing you got me? I don't want it."
Nick: Yeah, it has all of those qualities.
Leah: So it's both of those things.
Nick: Yeah, it was just like a bottle by the front door and they just grabbed it and it was like, "Oh, we'll just give it back to them. That'll be fine."
Leah: I mean, I just—like, what are people—what are people doing?
Nick: Yeah, what are people doing? So I guess the question is: what do we do about it?
Leah: I think the next time you bring the rosé back to them.
Nick: I was thinking we would actually bring something super perishable that they could not then return later. So it'd be like, "Oh, here's mayonnaise."
Nick: [laughs] "Here's some fresh mayonnaise. So enjoy!" And then it's like, you can't return that to me next time you see me. That's what I was thinking. We have a mayonnaise-based relationship now.
Leah: How funny would it be if you brought the mayonnaise and you were like, "I purposely brought something perishable."
Leah: "That way you can't give it back to us."
Nick: "Enjoy!" Yeah. I mean, I feel like this is a mayonnaise relationship now. And now you know that. And that's good. This is important information about this relationship.
Leah: And I do feel like with a person who joked about this with you, you could joke about it back and say, "Oh, I brought you something that's only gonna last three to four days. That way you don't feel the need to give it back. Ha ha!"
Nick: I kind of think that that could be etiquette approved. Yeah.
Leah: Right? It feels etiquette approved with this behavior.
Nick: Yeah. Because they opened up the door to sort of the lightheartedness about the regifting. So I think you could definitely just keep that going.
Leah: Also just enjoy that bottle because you love it.
Nick: Yeah. And they clearly don't appreciate it, so no need to give it back to them.
Leah: How—how odd. Just honestly, how odd.
Nick: Yeah, it's not great.
Leah: I feel like it's one of those things where somebody gives it to you and you want to go, "Wow! Really?" That's—that's what I feel like you would want to—"Really? What happened here?"
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I can imagine while you were standing in her doorway and they are handing you this bottle and then saying like, "Oh, we knew you'd love it," who is prepared for this moment? But I think if you're prepared with mayonnaise next time, that's all you need to do.
Nick: That's it.
Leah: And it's gotta be like a homemade mayonnaise, not one that they can just, like ...
Nick: Oh, yeah, yeah. No, no, this is ...
Leah: This is not a Hellman's.
Nick: Cannot have preservatives in it. That's—the whole point is that it cannot last more than 72 hours.
Nick: And actually leave it out a little bit so it just starts to turn maybe?
Nick: So it only has maybe eight hours left. Yeah, that's—that's the strategy here.
Leah: We could flip this whole show into, like, going from, like, etiquette-approved ways to respond to things to just, like, how to get people back. [laughs]
Nick: I mean, two sides of the same coin. So our next question is quote, "I'm a vegetarian and an avid solo traveler. During the meal service on an airplane, flight attendants usually bring out all of the special request meals to their designated seats before they make the usual rounds asking people to choose meal options, which more often these days also contains a standard vegetarian option. This means that sometimes I get my meal long before my seat neighbors. It feels awkward to start eating while everyone else is waiting for food, but it's even more awkward to pretend the neighbors are my dining companions and wait until everyone is served. But then I'm left with extra time and empty dishes and wrappers on my tray table before the attendants come to collect the garbage. Should I stop requesting the vegetarian meal and trust that the airlines will have something I can eat?"
Nick: [laughs] No. Definitely not. No. Can you imagine if we lived in a world in which being on an airplane was the same as being at a dinner party? I mean, could you imagine?
Leah: So straight up, I'm not often flying on planes with meals anymore, but I remember having meals on airplanes. And you are—this is your solo dining experience.
Leah: Order the food you need, eat it when you get it, and then just sit there with it until they come back to collect.
Nick: That's it. Yeah, I mean, I think air travel—and etiquette in general—often involves us buying into a certain fiction. And as a society, we all kind of agree on this fiction, and that's how we can survive certain situations. And so on an airplane, the fiction is that we are not in a small little tube all crammed together. We are all in our little bubbles, and we're gonna pretend that we don't see anything outside of our little bubble. And our bubble is just armrest to armrest. And so anything that happens outside of the bubble we pretend is not happening. And so that's why you are allowed to just eat when you are served, and do not have to wait for your "dining companions," quote-unquote, to also be served. Because it is not a dinner party. No one is giving a toast. And so that's why it's also not rude to fall asleep during the middle of the dinner party or watch a movie because it's not a dinner party.
Leah: I love and I appreciate that our letter-writer is thinking about others to the extent of which they are. But I think set yourself free. Order the vegetarian. Eat it when you get it.
Nick: Yes, I love the instinct that you are so conscientious of other people. And I think that's a really good quality to have, and I don't want you to lose that. But there's a time and place for that. And so this is just not one of those places.
Leah: Yeah, do your vegetarian meal.
Nick: So do you have questions for us? Let us know! You can let us know through our website, WereYouRaisedByWolves.com, or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message: (267) CALL-RBW.
Nick: And we're back. And now it's time to play a game we like to call, Vent or Repent.
Leah: [whispers] Vent or repent!
Nick: Which is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette experience we've had recently. Or we can repent for some etiquette faux pas we've committed. So Leah, would you like to vent or repent?
Leah: Oh, I'm gonna vent.
Nick: [laughs] Okay. Not even gonna hesitate.
Leah: No, and there's a few listeners who follow me on Instagram who called it. They were like, "I think this is probably gonna be your vent." And I was like, "I think you are right."
Nick: I follow you on Instagram. Did I miss this? Or ...
Leah: No, we've talked about it. I think you just ...
Nick: Oh, we have. Okay. [laughs]
Leah: You're just so used to me constantly venting that you're like, "Which one was it?" [laughs]
Nick: That's true. It's just—okay. So which one is it today?
Leah: So I want to divide this vent into the people that—it has to do with an airplane trip.
Leah: I want to take the airplane company out of it because I'm in a long saga with them.
Nick: I want to discuss the people that started this tornado. We'll call it that. So I'm on a plane.
Leah: Where I'm flying from JFK to Los Angeles.
Leah: We have departed. The door is closed. We're taxiing. Two younger men decide they don't want to go to California anymore.
Nick: I mean, California's a great state. Why would you not want to?
Leah: Well, they didn't want to go because they found out at that moment, they received an email that the conference that they were going to was now canceled so they didn't want to waste the trip.
Nick: Fair enough. I can appreciate how annoying that would be.
Leah: Is that fair enough?
Nick: Well, I mean, oh, unfortunately ...
Leah: We are taxiing.
Nick: Well, yeah. Unfortunately, the reason for our trip, you know, we're gonna get to Los Angeles then we have to turn around and come back.
Leah: We're gonna turn around and come back. Obviously, we're already set up. We have a—we probably have hotels there. It's—it's happening.
Nick: Well also, I'm on the airplane. We're taxiing.
Leah: We're on the airplane. It's leaving. But they decided "We're not going. You can't make us go. We're getting off this plane."
Leah: So it's announced to us by—the staff of the plane are so irritated with these two young men that they announce, "Oh, we have to go back because these two guys don't want to go to their conference anymore, and they told us we're not allowed to hold them hostage." So even the people on the plane working there are upset. We go back. We've now taxied. There's no longer a landing crew.
Nick: So the plane turns around.
Leah: We turn around. We go back. We have to wait for a landing crew to come back because they've gone. We're scheduled. We then clearly have to wait for them to get their bags. One guy forgot his laptop and came back on. I was like, "Are we not?"
Nick: Of course he did. Of course he did.
Leah: Then there's no landing crew to push us back out. Then we lost our place in line on the tarmac. I cannot imagine being a person who thinks that it's okay to delay an entire plane of people because I don't want to anymore. Because it's not gonna be great for me.
Leah: We have left the station.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, that's kind of like holding the subway doors open to, like, the extreme.
Leah: To the extreme. To the extreme of where anybody who had to make a connecting?
Nick: Oh, forget that.
Leah: Which they paid hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dollars for aren't going to make it.
Leah: How many people are on this plane? I'm gonna say 200?
Leah: They're all gonna wait for two hours just sitting here.
Nick: That's pretty ...
Leah: Because I don't want to anymore. I was like, how is this legal?
Leah: People can just change their minds? I understand you have a family emergency. You have a health emergency.
Nick: Oh, sure.
Leah: You're having a panic attack. Any of these things. This was straight up openly to all of us, "I don't want to."
Nick: "Yeah, I just changed my mind."
Leah: Your stuff got canceled. That's too—that sucks.
Nick: That would be inconvenient, yeah.
Leah: That's very inconvenient. But you have just—now all of us are stuck because of you.
Nick: Yeah, that's wild. That's wild.
Leah: I couldn't even handle it. I got so mad!
Nick: As you should. Yeah, I think you are definitely well within your rights to be mad about this. Yeah.
Leah: It's like some of the most selfish behavior I've ever—"I don't want to. You can't make me. Turn the plane—turn the plane around!"
Nick: Yeah, I think that is a special person that feels like they could say those words. I would never be able to demand an airplane to turn around because it was gonna be inconvenient for my schedule.
Leah: I—I'm still—I even say it out loud in my—like, my brain right now is popping. I don't know if you can hear it over the microphone, but I just—and of course, I understand any kind of emergency. Of course.
Nick: Oh, yeah. This is not that.
Leah: This is not that. And I was sitting right there, so I know this wasn't that.
Nick: I wish I were that person sometimes, who could be that bold and that insensitive. Like, imagine how freeing this would be if you could be this person who goes through life expecting airplanes to turn around for me if I want. Like, wouldn't that be amazing to be that person on some level?
Leah: I can't even imagine. Well I mean, imagine all the great things you miss out on by not being aware of other human beings. But I can imagine that it's freeing. How much of my time is spent thinking about other people?
Nick: Yeah, exhausting. It's exhausting. Well, I'm sorry this happened. I would like to think this won't happen again, but I guess no guarantees there.
Leah: I mean, now that we've opened the door to it.
Leah: Opened the door. Waited for landing crew. Re-waited for landing crew, waited for somebody to push us out. Had to wait for our place in line. Started raining. Oh, I can't even!
Nick: Yeah. Well for me, I would also like to vent.
Nick: So I was just in Amsterdam. And I was having French fries, which is like a thing you do. And they don't call them French fries there, but it's the same idea. And I was at this cute little place, teeny tiny, and it's by a canal, and it's a beautiful day. And I order my French fries, and it's so small that you actually have to wait for your fries outside on the street. And there's a couple other people waiting for their fries. And that's what we're doing. We're just waiting for our French fries. And so I'm standing there, and I hear a splash, like this big, like, rush of water. And then I feel water over my shoe and it, like, hits my pant cuff. And I was like, "Oh, what was that?" And what happened was that next to the French fry place is this cheese store. And they decided to, like, toss a bucket of something out their front door onto the sidewalk.
Nick: And they had no regard for any of the people standing on the sidewalk. And the person doing it knew that they had hit people. And she just kind of looked at everybody and was like, "Oh, well." And she just, like, went back into the shop. And it was done in this way that felt like we were peasants trying to storm the castle, and they were wanting to, like, pour hot oil from the tower over the peasants. Like it had that flavor to it. And this woman next to me, she was wearing open-toed sandals.
Nick: And she was horrified because it was not clear whether or not is this mop water is this whey? Is this—like, what—what was this? What just got splashed on us? Like, no conversation about what that is. And I'm thinking like, oh, is there bleach in it? Like, is my pant gonna, like, bleach? Like, what is happening? And so that's happening. And I just was really bothered by this because, like, my first instinct was, oh, I'm in another culture, this is another country. People do things differently in other places. Like, don't use my American notion of etiquette elsewhere. But then I was like, oh no, this is rude everywhere.
Leah: It is rude everywhere.
Nick: This is universal. This is rude. And this is just a bad thing that you did. And so that happened. That happened. I'm really annoyed by it. Turns out it was not bleach, it was whey because my pants smelled kind of like cheese for the rest of the day. So no permanent damage done, but it definitely dampened my French fry experience, and that was kind of bummed by that.
Leah: And also, I love cheese, but nobody really wants their leg to smell like cheese.
Nick: Very few people want that. Yeah, it's true. Very few.
Leah: I really got the visual of the bucket on the serfs.
Nick: Yeah, that's just what it felt like.
Leah: Throwing it down the alley on you.
Nick: Rude! So rude.
Leah: So rude!
Nick: Definitely next time I get patates in Amsterdam, I will be much more mindful of where I'm standing in case I'm near any Gouda stores.
Leah: Mmm, smoked Gouda. I don't think that other smoked Gouda proprietors would do that. It was just this one person.
Nick: You know, someone's having a bad cheese day and takes it out on everybody.
Leah: Quelle fromage.
Nick: [laughs] Exactly. So Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: Well, I learned the reason and the history behind the "No cheers-ing" with beer.
Nick: Yes. And I learned that you still know all your Hungarian.
Leah: I mean, some. Some specific words.
Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.
Leah: Szívesen, Nick.
Nick: And that to you as well.
Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. If I had your address I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery.
Leah: He would if he could!
Nick: So for your homework this week, we want to make sure you're following us in whatever app you use to listen to our show.
Leah: Apple, Spotify, et cetera, et cetera. Just hit the "subscribe" button. Maybe it's a plus sign, maybe it's a bell, maybe it says "Follow." And we would so appreciate it.
Nick: We really would. And we'll see you next time!
Nick: All right, Leah. It's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds to do it. Ready, set, go!
Leah: So I was just recently in New York, and it was so great to be back. It feels like back in my city. And I just wanted to do a huge cordials of kindness to Gotham who had me up all weekend, to my friend Charles who made sure I got everywhere I needed to go, and my friend Katie who hosted me. It was just the most wonderful weekend.
Nick: Oh, that's very nice! And for me, I just want to give a special shout out to everybody that celebrated Enlad this year. It is both hilarious and really touching that my made-up holiday is actually on so many of your calendars. It's October 1st, everybody, by the way, so make it a recurring event. And it really made my day to hear from so many of you. I got DMS, I got emails, I even got cards in the mail. And so while Enlad might only be once a year, I really do appreciate all of you 365. So thank you, it really made my day.
Leah: I have an alarm on mine.
Nick: Yeah, me too. It's on my calendar. So thank you. I really, really do appreciate it.
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