Now that summer temperatures have arrived, we’ve been happily spending more time in the sea. When it’s a calm day, you’ll find us at lagoona, our favorite swimming spot. But when Dahab’s wind is blowing, we head to the bay, where we always find a comfy spot at Sababa.
As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, a fresh lemon juice is my refreshment of choice when I’m ordering from a cafeteria on the shore. Juice is always served with a plastic straw here in Dahab (sometimes two). I do not mind at all drinking my juice from the glass and, since I’ve started my less-plastic journey, I always ask waiters to not give me a straw. But even when asked in Arabic so there would be no misunderstanding, my juice often came served with a straw. Last year, I purchased some stainless steel straws. Not because I won’t drink without a straw but because I thought these reusable ones would make good props for when I am requesting my straw-less drinks. Having these reusable straws definitely helped and less plastic straws were wasted, but it was still no guarantee that the waiter would remember by the time he made it to the kitchen.
When it comes to getting my no-straw request filled, being a regular customer is the main thing that helps. So does walking yourself back to the kitchen with the stainless steel straws and giving them directly to a member of staff. 😉 That’s what Nadim did at Sababa after he realized he had forgotten the “no straw” request with our order of lemon juices. It only took a couple more “no straw” requests and now, when we order our juice, Mohamed checks with us that we have our reusable straws! He remembers before we can even ask. 🙂 Mohamed has even washed and returned my straw to me when I forgot to remove it from the empty glass. (Shokran, Mohamed!)
My advice to skip the plastic straw is easier said than done. But most of us have our favorite places that we return to often. So start there. Don’t get discouraged if your request is not fulfilled on the first, or second, or even third time. Make friends with one of the waiters and continue to politely make your request.
If you are an owner or manager of a restaurant, please consider not putting a straw into every drink. Wait until a customer specifically requests one and then bring them a straw. Or bring them a glass with their soda instead of a straw. Many customers will not miss sipping through this plastic!
Do you know of any cafeterias here in Dahab that don’t provide straws? Have you attempted a “no straw” request at a local restaurant? We’d love to hear about your experiences!
Refuse ~ Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle