Radio Derb Is On The Air: If A Turk Wants To Pick Up The Check—Let Him! (10-plus Items)
April 29, 2016, 08:57 PM
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Radio Derb is on the air—go here to listen, here to download the MP3. Sample quote:
I spotted this news story in the Daily Mail, and it brought back happy recollections of my own youthful travels in the mysterious East.

One thing that used to get my attention was restaurant etiquette — in the matter of paying the bill, I mean. In the easygoing social style of a Western nation, when two guys have a restaurant meal together and it comes time to pay the bill, you typically get conversations like this.

"You want to split this one?" … "No, I'll get it." … "You sure?" … "Yeah, you get the next one." … "OK, deal. Hey, thanks."
Out East you have to fight for the privilege of paying. In Taiwan once I actually saw two middle-aged businessmen get into a shoving match because both insisted on picking up the tab. They knocked the table over. When the fuss had died down and I asked my own table companions about it, they shrugged. "Whaddya expect? Neither of them wanted to lose face."

OK, news story. Daily Mail, April 27th, headline: Diner shoots his friend dead at Turkish restaurant because he'd paid for his food. Story, quote:

A Turkish man shot his friend dead after the latter had paid their restaurant bill in Istanbul.

İdris Alakuş shot and killed Hasan Erdemir after an alleged argument over who was to pay for their soup in the capital's Bakirkoy district in the early hours of Sunday …

Mr Erdemir had reportedly met Mr Alakuş in the restaurant in the early hours of Sunday alongside two friends, and had been invited to join the latter at his table.

After finishing their meal, Mr Alakuş had intended to pay the bill, but became infuriated when he found out that Mr Erdemir had pre-empted his move.

There's a clue there somewhere to President Erdoğan's extreme sensitivity to criticism, I'm sure. My advice to other national leaders would be: When you're holding a state dinner for the President of Turkey, be sure to let him know that he'll be picking up the tab.

(10-plus items here).