Scene From A Romanian Bar

Please note: the original dialogue was in Romanian and this is only a loose paraphrasing of what was said. It is not meant to be a word-for-word transcription and some elements have been compressed for dramatic necessity.

The SCENE takes place in a bar in CLUJ-NAPOCA in ROMANIA. It is evening time.

From stage left in walks THE DUDE, a Romanian guy with gel in his hair and a close-fitting leather jacket. He approaches the BARTENDER.

DUDE: Hey do you have any vin fiert?

BARTENDER: Yes we do.

DUDE: How much?

BARTENDER: 5.2 lei a glass or 18 lei a carafe.

DUDE: Okay.

DUDE exits stage left briefly then returns, followed by four young, very attractive women and one more guy, dressed similarly to DUDE.

The entire PARTY sit down at a table. After a few moments, the BARTENDER goes over to take their order and comes back. It is clear that the entire PARTY has ordered the vin fiert as the bartender makes six glasses of it and then brings it over to their table.

BARTENDER resumes his station behind the bar to service other customers. The PARTY consume their beverages. The other guy in the party has his arm around one of the girls, presumably his girlfriend.  It is unclear if any of the other women in the PARTY are the DUDE’s girlfriend.  But it is clear that at least two of the young women are quite upset. One in particular is seen to be berating the DUDE at length.

Finally the PRETTY GIRL gets up and comes up to the BARTENDER.

PRETTY GIRL: Do you have a menu?

BARTENDER: Sure. (hands her a menu)

PRETTY GIRL walks back to the table and with one other girl they examine the menu closely, entering into a heated discussion with the DUDE. This prompts the DUDE to rise from the table and approach the bar.

DUDE: Hey man, what’s up? You said the price for one glass of vin fiert was 5,2 lei but in the menu it says just 3,1 lei so you’re ripping us off.

BARTENDER: No, you came in here and asked me the price of vin fiert. I told you it was 5,2 lei because it is 5,2 lei. The glass of wine at 3 lei is just regular wine. 5,2 lei is for the vin fiert so that is the price.

DUDE: Well it’s not in here in the menu! That’s a rip-off. You’re cheating your customers.

BARTENDER: No, I told you the price to your face when you came in here and asked me. The price is the price and there’s nothing cheating about it.

DUDE stomps off angrily to his table. The PARTY rise en masse, putting on their coats and getting ready for departure.

The DUDE races back to the bar and when the PARTY is in earshot, he begins to berate the BARTENDER.

DUDE: This is all a lie! You are breaking the law. You should put the prices right there in big letters on the wall so everyone can see what it is. This is an outrage.

BARTENDER: Get out of here! It’s not my fault you can’t understand when I speak to you in simple words. I told you the price and now you’re complaining? Get out of here.

PARTY files out of the door quite rapidly, many of them casting scornful glances back at the BARTENDER. DUDE continues to yell angry words until he is out of earshot and the door is closed.

BARTENDER shakes his head sadly and counts up the money he’d collected from the PARTY and realizes they shorted him about 5 lei out of spite.


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