Sally, who was severely disabled by cerebral palsy, was taken by
her friends to a restaurant for a meal. They had a most enjoyable
time trying to choose from the menu. The manager of the restaurant
was very helpful, making great efforts to understand what Sally
said as her speech was not very clear. A couple entered the restaurant
and sat at a nearby table.
They ordered their meal, but as they waited the others started
eating. Sally, of course, needed help. After a while Sally and her
friends noticed that the couple were staring at them.
When the couple saw they had been noticed, they deliberately turned
their backs on them. Eventually they got up and left without eating
their meal. The manager came over to Sally's
table and apologised, "Sad, isn't it?", he said.
Mrs Smith asked her Indian friends, Mr and Mrs Patel, to a meal
at her home. The evening came and to her surprise and shock, they
arrived with Mrs Patel's sister-in-law who was staying with them.
Mrs Smith made the best of it. She laid an extra place and the food
just had to be made to go round. It was rather awkward. She could
not understand why such nice people should be so rude and inconsiderate!
Some time later the Smiths had an invitation to the Patels. Mrs
Smith realised that they would have guests staying with them at
that time, so she rang to ask if they could bring them along. A
rather surprised Mrs Patel immediately said that of course they
could and that Mrs Smith need not have rung. The earlier occasion
having slipped her mind, Mrs Smith replied, "But I'd never
dream of bringing a guest without asking first."
Luckily their friendship was such that Mrs Patel could ask when
they next met, "Did I make a cultural mistake by bringing my
sister-in-law to your place without asking?" and they had a
chance to sort out the misunderstanding.