Das Kornhaus, one of the Bauhaus buildings, turns out to be a restaurant, so I naturally thought it would be a great idea to eat there as long as I was visiting the building.
The structure itself is a good example of the kind of glass enclosure I was talking about in my last post. In the picture to the left, the curved side of the restaurant leads off into a hall in the back.
The eating experience was quite an adventure. First, all of the tables outside (you can see the umbrellas on the patio overlooking the river to the left) were apparently reserved. Since it was not even 6 PM, I asked whether I might have time to have a bite to eat there before the people came, but the waitress assured me that all of the tables were reserved for 6 PM.
Inside, I ordered some fish, and as I waited I took a closer look at the place. As you can see from the second picture, two of the tables were completely filled with dirty glasses and dishes -- as though the cleaning part of the kitchen had been put out in the dining room. I asked my waitress whether the dish-washing machine was broken, and she just looked at me and said, "No, why?" I told her that I had never before seen a restaurant that put all of its dirty glasses and dishes out in the area where people sat. She smiled as though to say, "I am only an apprentice here," and did not comment further.
I then noticed that there were some dead flies on the windowsill next to my table.
I survived the fish, and as I went outside at around 7 PM, I could not help but notice that most of the reserved tables on the terrace were still waiting on their patrons.
People used to make fun of the service sector in the GDR. One joke had it that restaurant staff, who got paid the same regardless of how many customers they serve, would put up "reserved" signs on most of the tables and send people away so they wouldn't have to work so much. I suppose a little of that survives even today.