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View Full Version : Ice isn't just a French or Italian thing.


hookedonears
06-17-2011, 04:07 PM
The Ice talk really brought back fond memories of a trip I made to France in college. I was there for 10 days, and experienced the exact same thing. After getting one or no ice cubes with my drinks for 9 days, I semi blew up at the bar tender at our hotel when I ordered a coke with ice before we were leaving for the day, one morning. He asked me one lump or two. I SAID NO, I WANT ICE. I found later that in many of the countries in Europe tax electricity, natural gas and gasoline incredibly. They were paying $4.50 per gallon for gasoline 30 years ago when we were paying $.75, and $3.50 of that were taxes. Electricity is taxed the exact same way. To save money, most restaurants have very limited freezer and refrigeration space for necessities like Ice. Conversely, that's one of the reasons why most of the food there is so good. It's mostly bought fresh every day.

Anjiebaby
06-17-2011, 04:11 PM
My dad comes from a small town in Austria. Every couple of years we would visit, my relatives would warn the bars that we were coming to town a couple weeks before so they could start stocking up on ice. They had to make it with the one ice cube tray they had. In the small towns they still believe in the old wives tale that drinking cold drinks while it is hot out will give you a cold.

DisneyKevin
06-17-2011, 04:12 PM
I paid 11 euros ($14.08 American at the time) for a Coke Light in the hotel bar in Rome.

I dont care what they are paying for electricity or how much storage they have.

I want freakin ice.

hookedonears
06-17-2011, 04:47 PM
I paid 11 euros ($14.08 American at the time) for a Coke Light in the hotel bar in Rome.

I dont care what they are paying for electricity or how much storage they have.

I want freakin ice.

I guess that's one of the reasons why we're the ugly americans.

lpereira
06-17-2011, 04:54 PM
I remember the ice desert that was Holland the 8 ish months i lived there. You get used to it after a while. Now i deal with it and my husband who believes that icing drinks causes lung problems. All American friends bring their own ice to my house. Its sad really.

novafan
06-17-2011, 04:55 PM
It's definitely not just a France or Italy thing. We live in Germany (US military) and we've travelled all over Europe and we never get ice. I've gotten used to it. I've asked German friends about ice and the general consensus is that they just don't like it. I've actually gotten used to it.

My dad comes from a small town in Austria. Every couple of years we would visit, my relatives would warn the bars that we were coming to town a couple weeks before so they could start stocking up on ice. They had to make it with the one ice cube tray they had. In the small towns they still believe in the old wives tale that drinking cold drinks while it is hot out will give you a cold.

I've heard that one too. I asked my landlady about how they don't use ice and she said something similar - that they think it's not healthy to drink your drinks that cold.

DisneyKevin
06-17-2011, 05:01 PM
I guess that's one of the reasons why we're the ugly americans.

Because we're willing to pay $14.00 for a Diet Coke?

Or because I asked for extra ice?

disneym2m
06-17-2011, 05:01 PM
Okay, so if European restaurants don't use ice in their drinks, is the liquid at least cold???

A warm Diet Coke does not appeal to me at all....:lmao:.

hookedonears
06-17-2011, 05:18 PM
Okay, so if European restaurants don't use ice in their drinks, is the liquid at least cold???

A warm Diet Coke does not appeal to me at all....:lmao:.

As I can remember, it was just a little cooler than room temperature.

novafan
06-17-2011, 05:22 PM
Okay, so if European restaurants don't use ice in their drinks, is the liquid at least cold???

A warm Diet Coke does not appeal to me at all....:lmao:.

In my experience, the drinks are slightly cool. Not cold.

hookedonears
06-17-2011, 07:13 PM
Because we're willing to pay $14.00 for a Diet Coke?

Or because I asked for extra ice?

Because we ask for extra ice.

LilyWDW
06-17-2011, 08:10 PM
I remember when I went overseas with a friend that the first thing she warned me about was the no ice thing.

Her family lived in Germany since her dad was US military (she grew up over there and went to college here) and they invited me to join them over Christmas. I almost did not go because I didn't want to leave my mom during Christmas... but then my mom threatened me and told me she would NOT be the reason I would pass up such an opportunity. So I went.

We went to Aachen, Berlin, Rome, Paris, London, and Amsterdam during the near month that we were there. It was awesome!

PinkBudgie
06-18-2011, 10:20 AM
This makes me think the opposite happens here. Too many times you order a soda in a restaurant and it is almost all ice because they don't want to give you as much soda. :sad2: Sometime, I ask for no ice, just for that reason. If they give you free refills, then it doesn't matter.

BriarRosie
06-18-2011, 11:39 AM
I always ask for no ice in restaurants, too. ;) I think I will get along fine in Europe.

LuluLovesDisney
06-18-2011, 11:43 AM
I always ask for no ice in restaurants, too. ;) I think I will get along fine in Europe.

me, too. I actually prefer a cool drink to a cold one and I am an American.

DisneyKevin
06-18-2011, 11:44 AM
In my very limited European experience.....refills were not an option.

Some of our funniest memories revolve around asking for ice.

With ABD, we visited the oldest restaurant in Rome. It included a sort of ancient Roman dinner theater with gladiators and dancers.

I asked for ice for my Coke Light and our waiter looked perplexed. All of a sudden, you could see that he understood what I was requesting and held up his index finger, as if to say one minute.

A few minutes later, he and another waiter came out with the LARGEST silver bowl (think laundry basket) of crushed ice. It took two of them to carry it.

They set it on the table (I think the table sagged) and walked away.

Everyone in the restaurant came to our table (not just the other ABD folks) to get ice for their drinks. Several came back a second time during dinner.

In another restaurant, I asked for ice and the waiter brought one of those hollow tube ice cubes on a small plate directly out of the scalding hot dishwasher. I received a sliver of ice and warm water.

Ice and bathrooms were the things that vexed us....but we laughed about it all through Italy.

It seemed that no matter where we went....the bathroom had one important piece missing.

In one place it was paper. In another it was a toilet seat. In a third...it was a door. In another it was a sink.

In one of our hotels, I could not figure out to flush the toilet.

I poked, I felt underneath. I pushed. I pulled. I kept thinking..c'mon Kev....you can figure out how to flush a toilet.

I finally had to call John. After several minutes of frustration, John found a small, flat, silver plate on the wall...several feet from the commode. It was about 5 inches by 8 inches and looked to be made of aluminum.

If you put your hand on it and gently rocked it up and down.....the toilet flushed.

If John hadnt found it...I could still be there, manhandling that toilet.

DisneyKevin
06-18-2011, 11:51 AM
I always ask for no ice in restaurants, too. ;) I think I will get along fine in Europe.

But isnt that because the drinks are usually cold?

PinkBudgie
06-18-2011, 12:43 PM
In my very limited European experience.....refills were not an option.

Some of our funniest memories revolve around asking for ice.

With ABD, we visited the oldest restaurant in Rome. It included a sort of ancient Roman dinner theater with gladiators and dancers.

I asked for ice for my Coke Light and our waiter looked perplexed. All of a sudden, you could see that he understood what I was requesting and held up his index finger, as if to say one minute.

A few minutes later, he and another waiter came out with the LARGEST silver bowl (think laundry basket) of crushed ice. It took two of them to carry it.

They set it on the table (I think the table sagged) and walked away.

Everyone in the restaurant came to our table (not just the other ABD folks) to get ice for their drinks. Several came back a second time during dinner.

In another restaurant, I asked for ice and the waiter brought one of those hollow tube ice cubes on a small plate directly out of the scalding hot dishwasher. I received a sliver of ice and warm water.

Ice and bathrooms were the things that vexed us....but we laughed about it all through Italy.

It seemed that no matter where we went....the bathroom had one important piece missing.

In one place it was paper. In another it was a toilet seat. In a third...it was a door. In another it was a sink.

In one of our hotels, I could not figure out to flush the toilet.

I poked, I felt underneath. I pushed. I pulled. I kept thinking..c'mon Kev....you can figure out how to flush a toilet.

I finally had to call John. After several minutes of frustration, John found a small, flat, silver plate on the wall...several feet from the commode. It was about 5 inches by 8 inches and looked to be made of aluminum.

If you put your hand on it and gently rocked it up and down.....the toilet flushed.

If John hadnt found it...I could still be there, manhandling that toilet.

That is so funny! :rotfl2: I hope you got a picture of your laundry basket of ice! I would have died on the floor of laughing so hard! It would be funny to put next to a picture of your warm sliver of ice. :)

HollyMac71
06-18-2011, 02:05 PM
:rotfl2:

sayhello
06-18-2011, 02:23 PM
OMG, the toilet thing in Italy drove me loonie! I have to admit, it's one reason I did the ABD, because I knew they'd find the best possible bathrooms wherever we were, and would even pay to get us in! I don't know if I'd ever get used to the lack of toilet seat, though. Although I heard there are places where there's not even a toilet, just a hole in the ground. I'm *such* a spoiled American, I totally admit it!!!!

Sayhello

Halloweenqueen
06-18-2011, 04:38 PM
I've had several trips where a seated commode is quite the luxury! My first experience was in a Russian airport. Nothing but pit toilets and a little old lady standing there selling paper scraps. I don't even know how much money I handed her...after a long flight I wasn't about to negotiate! Oh, and no stalls or doors in these bathrooms either! I wouldn't even tell you about China!

Now Ice....I NEVER ask for ice in a foreign country. Many people get sick from the way it is made or handled.

BriarRosie
06-18-2011, 04:39 PM
But isnt that because the drinks are usually cold?

Yes, that's true. But I have no problem drinking from an unrefrigerated can. I have a carton of Diet Dr. Pepper from Costco, and I bring a couple cans to work, sitting in a bag in my cubicle. While I like cool soft drinks, I still drink them at room temperature.

Bathrooms are another story. I would not want to manhandle a toilet, but I survived the worst bathroom experience during a shore excursion at a "rest stop" outside of Caracas, Venezuela. I think the toilet situations where we are going will be posh by comparison!

Gigi22
06-18-2011, 06:24 PM
Reminds me of a story my late FIL had, about trying to get a cold beer in England during WWII. He was in a pub and ordered a beer, which he received--but as far as he was concerned, the beer was warm. So he asked for a cold beer. Barman chipped a hunk of ice off a block of ice, and dumped it into FIL's beer. FIL quickly learned to drink beer at cellar temperature afterwards.

steve76
06-19-2011, 04:10 AM
In Europe, if you ask for a drink, you tend to get an actual drink (i.e. not 80% ice). If you want more, you buy another one (just as you would do a meal...).

In the US, if you ask for a drink, you get 80% ice, but then you often get free refills to compensate.

Horses for courses. Personally I always feel a bit short-changed when I ask for a drink and get mostly ice. It's just a cultural thing.

disneyholic family
06-19-2011, 05:34 AM
Doesn't matter how many years i've lived on this side of the ocean, i find the ice thing annoying (although it's not the only thing)..

it's been a few years now, since Israel finally discovered ice.....not sure how it happened, but it's now available in abundance (bags of ice sold in every little store and gas station).....
and when you order a drink, it usually comes with at least some ice and you can specify that you want a lot and they'll bring it....

But it's a pretty newfangled thing here....

before that, if you got ice, it might be one cube if you were lucky - or worse - those stupid plastic fluid filled things that you put in the freezer and supposedly would cool down your drink (they don't and who knows where those things have been)..

anyway, ice did make it here, so i suppose there's hope for Europe...

on the other hand, most places in europe still don't think they need air conditioning....
which reminds me, if you plan on going to europe in the summer on your own (not with ABD), be sure to check that your hotel has a/c....many many don't despite it getting very hot there in the summer.....

GAN
06-19-2011, 07:28 AM
I love these types of stories, they are quite funny -the cultural differences are what make travel so interesting(maybe frustrating?). My wife prefers ice, personally I don't care -I do as the locals do, whether suffering is involved or not. Something like this usually worked for us(in Italy obviously)...

Per favore, ghiaccio supplementare nella mia bevanda

I'm not sure how Kevin was asking when he received the payload of ice -but I'd be surprised if he was asking in Italian based on the result. In general, Italians are more likely to help you(and respect you) if you attempt to speak their language -no matter how poorly it is done. Rome is tough because many restaurants(especially in tourist areas) will approach you and speak English, so naturally we respond in English. If you ask, "most" will speak Italian and help when you don't understand. Buona Fortuna.

k5jmh
06-19-2011, 09:37 AM
As long as there is not 3 sea shells or a water cannon blasting my keister, I should be OK. I am sure I can find a vintage Sears catalog to take with me. :rotfl2:

http://www.poopreport.com/Images/Consumer/Content/Bidet/Images/colon_bidet.jpg

http://www.poopreport.com/Images/3shells.jpg

luke
06-19-2011, 11:23 AM
We seem to get decent amounts of ice here in the uk, can't remember it being a problem when I lived in Spain either.
I'll always ask for no, or very little, ice if I'm getting a soda from a 'fountain' as it's generally cold anyway and I feel you get less soda if you get ice. If it's a bottle or can I'm getting tho I don't mind the 'full hit' of ice.

Oh and refills, they're a rare treat here. Pizza Hut offer unlimited refills as a 'perk' but very few restaurants would. And don't even start me on charging for bread here! Must be very annoying for Americans who come over.
Service here really does pale in comparison to what I've been used to on vacations to the USA - I think our wait staff not relying on tips as much has a lot to do with it...


:goodvibes

jpeka65844
06-19-2011, 01:29 PM
Oh my. These are funny.

I traveled through Europe in college and one thing I never understood was pay toilets. That seemed to be something you should be able to do for free. So we'd take turns paying and holding the door open for the next person in our group.

We also found that if you ever bought bottled water, itwas usually carbonated. We couldn't read the labels so there was always that anticipation and eventual disappointment at the "pppsssssssshhhhhh". I love plain carbonated water so I always gotto drink what other people didn't want.

wishspirit
06-20-2011, 12:41 PM
You'll be ok with ice in the UK just specify how much you want, but free refills are pretty rare (usually only in American style places).

As far as I know our bathrooms are ok, but we don't have toilet seat covers, it's something I always miss when I get back home.

kbelle8995
06-20-2011, 03:35 PM
I was in London and we went to the bar. I asked for a beer and figured that it would be warm. But the waitress brought it with ice. Very Sweet of her made my day much better.

luke
06-20-2011, 04:07 PM
Beer with ice? Can't say I've ever seen that!!!

:goodvibes

wishspirit
06-21-2011, 05:01 PM
Beer with ice? Can't say I've ever seen that!!!

:goodvibes

Me either! Cider with ice maybe...

MamaJessie
06-21-2011, 09:51 PM
In my very limited European experience.....refills were not an option.

Some of our funniest memories revolve around asking for ice.

With ABD, we visited the oldest restaurant in Rome. It included a sort of ancient Roman dinner theater with gladiators and dancers.

I asked for ice for my Coke Light and our waiter looked perplexed. All of a sudden, you could see that he understood what I was requesting and held up his index finger, as if to say one minute.

A few minutes later, he and another waiter came out with the LARGEST silver bowl (think laundry basket) of crushed ice. It took two of them to carry it.

They set it on the table (I think the table sagged) and walked away.

Everyone in the restaurant came to our table (not just the other ABD folks) to get ice for their drinks. Several came back a second time during dinner.

In another restaurant, I asked for ice and the waiter brought one of those hollow tube ice cubes on a small plate directly out of the scalding hot dishwasher. I received a sliver of ice and warm water.

Ice and bathrooms were the things that vexed us....but we laughed about it all through Italy.

It seemed that no matter where we went....the bathroom had one important piece missing.

In one place it was paper. In another it was a toilet seat. In a third...it was a door. In another it was a sink.

In one of our hotels, I could not figure out to flush the toilet.

I poked, I felt underneath. I pushed. I pulled. I kept thinking..c'mon Kev....you can figure out how to flush a toilet.

I finally had to call John. After several minutes of frustration, John found a small, flat, silver plate on the wall...several feet from the commode. It was about 5 inches by 8 inches and looked to be made of aluminum.

If you put your hand on it and gently rocked it up and down.....the toilet flushed.

If John hadnt found it...I could still be there, manhandling that toilet.

http://www.justmommies.com/forums/images/smilies/3d1ba884.gif

The whole post had me laughing but I am stuck on the image of the laundry basket full of ice :lmao: