Going to a restaurant in the United States is a very common thing for people - and it also happens to be a very different experience from dining in other parts of the world. I'm spending a month in Germany and I have found it unbelievably difficult to find a "decent" restaurant in the entire area.
Eating out in Amherst is easy. There are TONS of places to choose from, especially if you take a drive along Route 101A. Not to mention that they are popping up all over the place (just like the weekly new traffic light). Most places I've been to are fantastic. Great service, generous sizes, and cozy locations.
In Germany everything is a bit...different. It starts with being nickel-and-dimed for every single thing. 200ml of Coke? 2 Euros. Refill? Another 2 Euros, please. Sorry, but that's not a good dining experience. "Well then just get the water", you might say. Unfortunately, the water often ends up being more expensive than soft drinks, as it is served from a tiny, elegant glass bottle. No free tap water. Yikes.
The service also leaves a lot to be desired in 90% of restaurants I've been to in Germany. That's probably because they are being paid a "normal" wage and don't collect a lot of tips. In the states, waiters need to be friendly if they want their tips. That's my theory, at least.
So enough complaining for now. If you're wondering what the photo is from, it's from a restaurant called Redo XXL which specializes in extra-extra-large dining experiences. The plate consisted of 4 pounds of spare ribs, along with an impossible amount of fries. The beverage you're seeing is a 1 LITER mug of Fanta. By all means it wasn't perfect, or even great, but much better than anything else around here.