Simba Lumbe wrote at January 31, 2012 - 09:04 PM:
On the afternoon of Sunday 29 January, 2012, I decided to head out to the Table View beachfront where I had intended to visit the famed Pakalolo Restaurant for a drink and watch the sun go down, as the establishment is strategically located for a spectacular sunset view. Upon enetering the smaller smoking area bar, I headed to the counter, manned by a young caucasian lady and an equally young caucasion male, whose name I may recall as Greg. The young man was mixing a cocktail for some other patrons when I arrived, while the lady had just finished serving the people directly in front of me. I waited patiently and when my turn came up, a look of disdain swept across her face and she immediately turned away and exited the bar to the general seating area, where she began to clear empty glasses and bottles from tables. I was slightly taken aback, but gave some credence in the hope that upon her prompt return, she would take my order and serve me. I was to be shocked beyond measure! More than six times she strutted in and out of the bar, walking right past me, and dumping the glasses and empty bottles she was clearing into bins that were again, immediately in my vicinity. What had me more concerned is the fact that I was the ONLY customer there in need of service at that time and she summarily ignored me. My jaw was to drop when upon her upteenth return to the bar with one or two more empty bottles, a caucasian male approached her - he was about 2 other patrons' seats distance from me at the bar - and he placed an order for 2 drinks, handing her money in payment. Unashamedly, she came to the till which was slap bang under my nose and rang up the order, taking change out and turning to the fridge to fetch this gentleman's refreshments. While she did this, I had my gaze on her in absolute horror and incredulity. Instead, she stole glances at me, avoiding eye contact, and maintaining the same cold, disdainful look on her face, as though I was vermin polluting the air around her. Once she pranced off, the young man [who I still maintain must have been called Greg], rocks up to me and in a hurried manner asks if I have been served yet. I told him I hadn't and that I had stood there for than 10 minutes while his colleague paced up and down in front of me dismissively. He retorted with his hands in the air that, "We are very busy and there are a lot of customers here, so what I can I get you?" to which I stated that I would give him my order once he had clarified if his colleague's behaviour is the customary manner in which patrons are treated. He belligerently threw his hands in the air and declared that he wouldn't serve me if I didn't state what I wanted, and promptly walked off. He must have had a second thought, and came back only seconds later to rephrase his question as to what to get me to drink. Still in shock, my mood deflated and quite frankly humiliated, I asked for a Black Label draft, to which end he poured and barked that the price was R33. I paid for my drink and walked away disheveled. It was just that one drink and I decided to leave and probably NEVER return. I am not a South African citizen, I am a visitor in this country who has hopes of possibly settling here, but in all truthfulness, I think I understand what people mean when they say that Apartheid is far from over. I am also never ever quick to play the race card - I am well travelled and know better than that - but I can smell a racist innuendo, attitude, tone, whatever you want to call it, from a MILE away. I have been a victim of it enough to understand even it's subtleties. But I am very disappointed in what transpired, especially when I had all along considered Pakalolo to be a place of sophistication and tolerance in the very least. I am happy to say, though, that the competition just down the road was friendly and professional enough to raise the bar and transform my nightmare into the sundowner experience I had initially sought after! What an experience I would never wish on ANY decent service seeking patron.