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Old 05.09.2019, 12:24
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Cultural incident in Martel

For those who don't know, Martel is a well-know chocolate (and cake) maker in Geneva. They have a branch above Manor on the Left Bank with a salad and quiche restaurant and a lovely terrace overlooking the lake.


Yesterday, 2 English speaking ladies with 3 children were enjoying their lunch. So was an elderly Swiss-German couple. So was I.


After a while, kids get bored and start running around the tables, playing tag, as kids do. The Swiss-German couple starts to mumble their discontent, more to themselves at this stage. I can see tension is mounting so I ask the kids nicely (with a Scottish accent, it is always nice!) to run further along as there is a nice long path away from the tables and with plenty of space to run around, and that's what they do. So far, no probs.


Then arrive another bunch of kids and they go a little wild around the tables. To be frank, it is starting to annoy me too but I can put up with it for a while longer. Suddenly, the Swiss German woman gets up and goes to the two English women giving them a right bollocking regarding their parenting skills...etc. Except it's not their kids creating the trouble!


At this stage I am at the till waiting to pay for my bill. The two ladies arrive with their kids, obviously shaken by the encounter. I try to explain that while the elderly couple had a point regarding kids running around tables, they targeted the wrong people and it was a whole misunderstanding. The English speaking ladies argued that the whole tone and content was shockingly aggressive and unjustified.


Et voilà! Another interesting intercultural exchange in Geneva!
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Old 05.09.2019, 12:30
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

It's like a short film. In a lunchbreak.

I so saw it in my head.

Once in a large middle eastern aquarium - I instinctively grabbed a random UK 3yr old who walked away from her mom, climbed up and bent over a tank with piraňas. I got an earful "do not maneuvre kids that are not yours". That kid was seconds away from serious danger. I was really surprised.
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Old 05.09.2019, 12:37
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

**Eagerly awaits the two English speaking ladies to start a blistering thread on here**
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Old 05.09.2019, 12:54
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

"Cultural incident in Martel": I kind of expected a yodelling event...
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Old 05.09.2019, 13:08
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

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"Cultural incident in Martel": I kind of expected a yodelling event...


Then the title would have obviously been "Life-changing, magically mind-blowing cultural and musical feast in Martel"
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Old 05.09.2019, 13:42
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

Sorry. I didn't get past chocolate. mmm.... chocolate....
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Old 05.09.2019, 15:48
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

Speaking of culture, Martel serves what I believe may be the best chocolate in the world... it's called Pavé de Genève, black chocolate cubes covered in black chocolate powder they're incredibly yummy
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Old 05.09.2019, 16:38
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

Some parents dont understand the difference between an upmarket tea room and an IKEA restaurant. I dont think this is a cultural difference, you find the same all over the world.
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Old 05.09.2019, 16:47
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

I was alarmed by the thread's title and read the thread....nothing as juicy as the title might have suggested. Disappointed!
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Old 05.09.2019, 16:54
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

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Disappointed!
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Old 05.09.2019, 17:02
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

And I raid their stock regularly! One of the few chocolates that keep in the fridge and feel "cool" in the Summer. I know a chocolatier who does even better ones than Martel.
The legend says that the Geneva mermaid (whose statue on Plage de la Nymphe is the replica of Copenhagen' s little mermaid) who had fallen in love with a dashing Genevan (he must have been Scottish, really!) blew him a kiss and so that he would never forget that kiss, had it trapped in a chocolate called "Pavé glacé" (iced cobble or cube).


I told you this thread was cultural!
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Old 05.09.2019, 17:05
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

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After a while, kids get bored and start running around the tables, playing tag, as kids do.
Actually they don’t, most parents are considerate of others when dining out and take steps to keep their kids in check, they usually bring coloring books etc to keep the kids amused.
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Old 05.09.2019, 17:24
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

I meant playing tag, the rest I agree with you.
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Old 05.09.2019, 17:56
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

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Some parents dont understand the difference between an upmarket tea room and an IKEA restaurant. I dont think this is a cultural difference, you find the same all over the world.
Some parents? Some people, in general, I'd say.
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Old 07.09.2019, 09:20
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Re: Cultural incident in Martel

I feel very old when I start criticising people's parenting skills (I have a vivid memory of how bloody difficult it sometimes was!) but I despair at the sight of these "Capuccino mums and dads" eyes riveted on their smartphones while the little ones, craving for their attention, start getting into all kind of mischief.


And yes, when our kids were wee ones, if we went out, we always took colouring books, small toys...we had a bag full of Kinder Egg surprise toys, they both could play hours with them and we enjoy a nice meal without worry.
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