WE are frequent visitors to Newcastle, and on our visits we like to get out and about and also enjoy a coffee and a snack at some of the local cafes and eateries around town. However, we are always astounded and quite frustrated at how many places get our orders wrong or mixed up, and our most recent visit was no exception.
Firstly, on two consecutive days, both the places we visited, got our coffee orders wrong, but it was the shambolic service at the place we visited on the third day which has prompted me to write this letter. This place proved to be one debacle after another. It started with them not being able to offer us a simple item off the menu as they were out of one of the key ingredients, something I would have thought a quick trip to a nearby supermarket would have sorted.
Then, after a long wait, came our coffees and they were both wrong so we politely sent them back. When we were finally served with correct coffees, we found it quite a juggling act to keep them upright on a table under which the surface was so uneven it had a serious wobble. We only discovered this when I leaned on one side and my partner ended up wearing half of her coffee in her lap. Flies were buzzing everywhere and one particularly ugly green specimen took a nosedive into what was left of my partner's coffee.
After waiting nearly 20 mins, we were forced to go up to the counter to find out where our meal was. It was clear they'd forgotten it, and when they did finally serve it quite a while later it was only half of the serve we'd ordered and paid for. After we complained to the management, we gladly accepted a refund for the food that we didn't receive but have vowed to never enter that place ever again. This slap-happy service does reflect well on Newcastle at all, and I'm hoping that this letter sends a clear message to all areas of hospitality to clean up their act. No more shoddy service.
Name and suburb withheld
RACE TO THE BOTTOM
JOHN Howard has a lot to answer for when he won an election off the Tampa. Dehumanising refugees, many of whom have been Muslim, has been the back-up plan for most Liberal and National politicians, not just One Nation.
Anti-Muslim sentiment is the dog whistle of choice for many of them, including our present Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Too late, mate. You have all provided the breeding ground for the Australian man accused of killing and injuring 100 men, women and children in Christchurch. He allegedly shot them in the back while they were kneeling in prayer in a place of worship, a mass-murdering coward who has been listening to the drumbeat of Islamophobia for far too many years in this country.
Wendy Atkins, Cooks Hill
HOW DID IT COME TO THIS
IN my opinion the defence forces, security forces or whatever government departments are in charge of protecting people in New Zealand and Australia should hang their heads in shame that the massacre in Christchurch happened. I always believed we had the best security, along with New Zealand, in the world. Without offending anyone also, especially the families involved, I believe police should've dealt with him on the spot. So sad.
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
ARDERN A TRUE LEADER
WITH the exception of their all-conquering All Blacks rugby union team, we have always been able to at least match our allies across the Tasman in all spheres of endeavour. Until now. For more than six decades, I have impartially, though analytically, lent ear to the oratorial efforts of our country's leaders. I must admit that there have been moments of great pride and admiration, with an occasional rendition prompting the thought nobody could better that! Until now.
The horrific events in Christchurch on Friday March 15 suddenly cast a young Prime Minister into the glaring spotlight of the world stage; surely a daunting, extremely emotive challenge for even the most senior experienced leaders. But Jacinda Ardern received universal acclaim (and justly so) for the manner in which she so calmly and capably managed the atrocious occurrence - the devastating terror attack, the senseless, bloody massacre of her country's innocent citizens. Jacinda Ardern's ministerial address to her people was both sublime and heart-wrenching - her obvious personal grief, her sincere and deep compassion for the victims, their families, their friends and her solemn assurance to all Muslims in her country: "You are us".
Her words will long be remembered. They were delivered with class and grace, not malice and hate.
Noel Pickett, Branxton
WE'RE NOT TO BLAME
ARMED with information from scientists and historians, I unequivocally accept the scientific fact of climate change, which has been doing its own thing for untold centuries, but I am still quixotically known as a climate-change denier.
Although it took place without help or hindrance from mankind, there are those who believe we can now exercise some control over it and it is they, the fantasists, who are the real deniers. I think it takes only logic and common sense to presume it will continue to do so, not any "special kind of conceited arrogance" (Short Takes 19/3).
Ron Elphick, Buff Point
TAKING THE WRONG PATH
OUR Sunday was a normal Sunday for most, but this Sunday we had respite when a husband and wife could be just that. We have a wonderful child, a happy and gorgeous girl that just happens to have a condition that makes her one of the many special children in this world. Her condition makes our lives a little more difficult than most, but we don't mind and go on.
This day, however, was marred by us walking to a charity event on a footpath and being accosted and verbally abused by a child-like skateboarding ninny that demanded why we didn't get out of his way as we walked hand in hand to our destination.
I did ask a question to my husband: what if we were deaf? The ninny, then with his entourage of three and not even skateboarding at this point, continued his yelling and in a final tirade inflicted his worst. All I can say is it was an insult to English grammar.
I am hoping that the ninny may learn the meaning of footpath and perhaps pay attention in English in the future.