Paying the Bill
May 4, 2012
Tip: In a face-to-face competition, you will always lose. No matter where you are from, no matter how poor your host is, you will have the bill paid by the Slovak you are visiting with. A Slovak is like a well-trained cowboy from the Wild West – he’s always the first to the draw.
Before you even realize that the waiter has brought the bill, the Slovak will have already paid for the bill. You’ll still be trying to figure out where your wallet is, and the waiter will already be walking away, money in hand. Without fail, the Slovak will always beat you to the bill. If there were an Olympic discipline in who can pull out his wallet most quickly, Slovaks would win the gold, silver, and bronze each time.
Once the bill has arrived at the table, you are too late. That’s all there is too it. I know. It’s not fair, but that’s how it works. Go out with a Slovak host and you’re gonna have a hard time paying for things. At least that’s been my experience. Here’s a technique on how to beat a Slovak to the bill.
- Step #1. Get up from the table and say that you are going to go to the washroom, which you should do, so as not to lie.
- Step #2. Stop at the cash register and say “zaplatim vsetko.” “I am paying for everything.” I have no idea whether or not this phrase is grammatically correct. I only know that it works when I say it.
- Step #3. Pay and leave a good tip – 10% or more. If you are paying, it’s not nice to stiff the waiter or waitress, who your host may know. Therefore, it’s good to err on the side of generosity.
- Step #4. Go back to the table and inform your host that it’s time to leave or if you’re more of the passive aggressive type, just sit there and keep enjoying yourself, letting him ask for the bill only to find out from the waiter that the bill was already paid. Either way, you will have a slightly angry Slovak on your hands, but you will have successfully beaten him to the bill.
Do you have any experience with these techniques? Do you have any advice to offer me in paying that bill before a Slovak host?
Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time travelling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.