My primary goal with this blog is to provide advice as it pertains to points, hotels, and airlines, but occasionally I need some advice as well. Let me start by saying that this is ridiculously insignificant, but I’ve been thinking about this an inexplicable amount of time for the past several days.

As I mentioned yesterday, we spent the past four days in Santorini, and had a lovely time. The food was a highlight of our visit, because who doesn’t love Greek food? We went out to dinner just about every night, and without exception every meal was great. However, one meal left us confused, and I’m curious if anyone can make sense of it.

An unusual meal…

I’m sharing this part of the story for context, and not to poke fun at a language barrier. We went to a quiet restaurant for dinner, which had only one other table taken. We were dining early (by Greek standards) and the restaurant wasn’t in a touristy area, so I guess that’s not too surprising.

When we arrived at the restaurant, the lady who seated us was really nice, and she checked on us twice during the meal to see how everything was (which isn’t that unusual, and matched our experiences at some other restaurants).

But our conversations with her were also a bit odd.

“Let me know if you need any recommendations,” she said. I always like hearing what people who work at a restaurant like most, so we asked her what her favorite dishes are. She said “I’m not really sure, let me call your server, she can give you some recommendations.” Okay, typically when someone proactively offers to provide recommendations, I assume that’s what they’ll do.

When she came back later during the meal she asked us a few basic questions (where are you from? how long are you here for?) and they were all questions that were totally typical. We asked her some questions as well. She explained her English wasn’t very good today because “I have a cold, and you know, am drunk.” Hmmm…

She then told us about how she’s actually a teacher, and she just does this job on Santorini in the summer (there are lots of people only working there seasonally, which is normal). “That’s great, what grade do you teach?”

“First grade.”

“That must be fun. How many years have you been teaching for?”

“Oh I don’t teach… but I would like to.”

Maybe you had to be there, but it was just a very odd conversation.

Then comes the end of the meal

After we wrap up a great meal (with appetizers, mains, and a couple of drinks), we ask for a check. A few minutes later the same lady comes over and says “it’s on the house.”

I figured something was lost in translation, given the previous confusing conversations we had. I wasn’t sure how to react, so rather than thanking her profusely right away, we were just confused. We figured maybe we were misunderstanding her, maybe she thought we were someone else, or something. So we asked some follow-up questions.

“Sorry… what?”

“It’s on the house.”

“Thank you… but… why?”

“It is our pleasure.”

“Okay… thank you that’s really nice. Are you sure?”

If someone offers me something and I understand why, then I’d of course quickly be grateful for the gesture. But in this case I was just confused. I was worried we were misunderstanding her, or she thought we were someone else, or something.

I’m still trying to figure out why we were offered a free meal. It’s one thing if this was the hotel restaurant and they decided to comp a meal (either because you had service issues, or you were spending a lot of money, or whatever). But it wasn’t. The only other thing I can think of (and I’m really grasping at straws here, because I don’t get it) is that somehow she figured out I’m a travel blogger and thought I’d write about it, though that seems highly unlikely, since the reservation was in Ford’s name (and unless she’s going to serve me the meal on a plane, I’m not going to write about it). 😉

So can anyone please solve this great mystery for me, so I can stop thinking about it?

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