when service is no longer pear shaped

I've been tagged by Hannah on a photographic meme which is doing the rounds. The idea is that you must post the fourth picture in your fourth picture folder. No matter what it is. Without editing.

Ok... here's where I admit to a little bit of cheating. While Hannah is one of my culinary heroes, and I really, really wanted her to win Masterchef 2007, she had never heard of me. So I asked to be tagged.
And, the second bit of cheating... I first checked what my fourth picture in my fourth folder was to make sure I was happy about posting it.



It's a picture of Aurora in the Western Cape where Greg and I didn't go for our anniversary lunch.

We'd heard about this "really lovely little restaurant". There it is, in that brownish building across the field filled with spring wild flowers. We got there at 12am but it didn't open until 12.30, so we spent the time admiring the views and chatting to some sheep. (I introduced them to Greg and explained that he, unlike me, did not think that a garden the size of ours should have at least one sheep. It's an ongoing discussion in our home, and I'm beginning to think he might not ever change his mind. They didn't seem to care.)

When the restaurant opened, we went inside and admired both the decor (Western, rustic) and the menu (country fusion) and luckily asked about payment methods before we ordered. They don't take anything other than cash and the nearest ATM is 60km away.

We decided that if we had to drive 120km to draw some cash, we may as well eat there too so we had a really good seafood meal at Laaiplek, in a restaurant no more than 5m from the sea.

What really interested me was the idea that someone could open a restaurant in a remote and beautiful town, and not accept debit or credit cards. I'd estimate the population can't be more than 500, so for a restaurant to be successful they must surely need diners from outside the town who quite probably won't carry cash.

Maybe it's got something to do with the town. Aurora is famous for the work of French astronomer Abbe de la Caille who erected a beacon there in 1751 as part of his quest to measure the southern arc of the meridian to determine the curviture of the earth. Due to what seems to be an uncharacteristic mistake, his results conclusively proved that the world was pear shaped.

To get back to the Aurora restaurant and its lack of foresight. I could go on about the general decline of customer service, but just lately I've been finding it difficult to climb on this particular soapbox. Maybe it's a function of the economic downturn, but service seems to be improving. Yes, I know, it's not hard to improve, particularly in Cape Town, but I'm talking about the kind of awesome customer service that has me looking under the desk to check if the boss is hiding there.

On Saturday I needed information about a course of study and Greg needed to check the value of his car for his insurance update. He also needed to check the price of a Harley (What can I say? He's officially middle aged).

My usual response to trying to get service is to go to the bathroom to check in the mirror in case I have suddenly become invisible. Not on Saturday. At all three places we were met with helpful, smiling people who gave us all the information we needed. It was amazing. Maybe this is the silver lining on the recession?

So, to get back to the photographic meme.

These are the rules:

1. Take your fourth picture folder
2. Fourth picture--no exceptions!
3. Post it, and tell about it.
4. Tag four more people.

So, I'm tagging Julie at Moments of Perfect Clarity
Clint at Words and Images
Leonie at Art for the Heart
and Meri at Meri's Musings

Comments

izak de vries said…
Great story. Happy anniversary!
Lynne said…
thanks Izak... it was a couple of months ago in the spring.
Anonymous said…
Amazing that people can remember about service when it effects their pockets. Well greed is the reason for a recession and depression.
Hope that the world will start remembering about a good deal that the seller and the buyer both win
Anonymous said…
Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

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