During my stay in Italy, I spent a couple of days in the lovely hotel Sporthotel Obereggen in the Italian province Südtirol, close to the Austrian border. If you are looking for a hotel with splendid views (everywhere you looked you could see the rising grandeur of the Dolomites!), excellent spa services and the most delicious food imaginable, you have to come here!
However, even though I was staying in such a lovely hotel, my peaceful mood was often spoiled by some God-awful morons who tried to take advantage of the hotel’s splendidness. I call them… the CAKE-NAPPERS!
Those of you who still have no knowledge of their existence, I suggest reading the following anecdote:
Sporthotel Obereggen is famous for its gastronomy: a breakfast buffet as large as the dining halls of Buckingham Palace, a delicious 5- course menu in the evening and “Kaffee und Kuchen” for all the hotel guests in the afternoon. (SN: another reason why I love this region: they speak German as well as Italian. To me, this certainly is an extra bonus since I don’t speak a word Italian, apart from Si, No, Grazie and un po’ di parmigiano, but speak fluent German. Ganz einfach! )
So imagine a large table with a variety of about six cakes and pies, all there to be enjoyed… and to be shared. Sharing, apparently, is a word some people have deleted out of their mental dictionaries. Anyone with even the slightest understanding of elementary politeness understands that you cannot eat all the cakes. Oh no. You chose one cake, take one big slice, or maybe two smaller slices of different cakes, and go back to your table and enjoy…
There. It’s easy. And everyone is happy.
Cake-nappers, on the other hand, don’t possess any knowledge of hotel etiquette and completely plunder the buffet, towering giant slices of cake on their plates, leaving nothing but a bit of crumbs for the other guests. Yes, I’m talking to you, family X, or as I like to call you: Family I-Prefer-White-Socks-In-My-Sandals. You were the cake-nappers!
As soon as the hotel staff brought the cakes to the buffet table, family X ran across the room, pushing anyone aside who might have been in their way. They were like little Usain Bolts- but annoying, far less sexy Usain Bolts- running towards the finish line.
These four innocent looking people were the first hotel guests to reach the “Kaffee und Kuchen” buffet, and before the other hotel guests could as much as blink, they had plundered their way through at least three quarters of the entire cake assortment.
Veni, Vidi, Mangi.
They came, they saw, and they ate.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think all of you who have ever stayed in a hotel with some form of buffet, can identify with this story. You must have all witnessed some form of cake-napping.
The fruitnappers, for instance. That one family who takes the entire plate of watermelon slices without realizing that- oh wait!- there might be other guests who would like a slice.
The lobster-nappers. That one family, sprinting across the dining room, nearly knocking over the Christmas tree to reach the fancy Christmas buffet and take all the lobsters. And when I say all, I do mean all the lobsters. (And before you start wondering if this could be true, believe me, it is. Unfortunately.)
The bread-nappers. That one family at the breakfast buffet, taking an entire loaf of bread (!) up to their room (!!). Seriously, what were they thinking?
Frustrations. We all have them. No matter how excellent your hotel may be or no matter how utterly delicious the food is, it can all get spoiled in a heartbeat because of these stupid stupid stupid people.
Politeness? Manners? Hotel Etiquette? Who cares about all those things? It’s free food, remember?
Ps: On a positive note, Mother X didn’t show up for dinner that evening. I heard Father X saying to the waiter she wasn’t feeling that well. “Stomach problems”. Ha! What goes around…