Inviting guests and serving them with food is common in every country. Back home in Indonesia, when we invite guests we serve them with all kinds of food, but without the sequence of appetizer, main course and dessert. You can have anything anytime, and normally we don't serve coffee. I found out that it is different here in the Netherlands, as the story below will show.
‘During the summer holidays I was invited by distant relatives, an Oma and Opa, to spend several Sundays with them, having lunch and dinner at their place and going to museums. Every Sunday at exactly 11:00 am, Opa picked me up and we headed to his small allotment in Ede to harvest some vegetables, while at home Oma was busy preparing the lunch. When we arrive at their home, Oma would usually offer me a cup of coffee served with a cookie, to accompany our conversation until lunch time. After lunch we headed to a museum and walked around until we stopped at the café to have a cup of tea (of course with a cookie) and review the items in the museum. Towards five o'clock we arrived home and Oma offered me a drink, usually asking, 'Would you like coffee, tea or juice?' I needed a few seconds to think whether I wanted anything after a whole day of drinks. Oma said 'dinner is served' and we started with the appetizer of tomato soup, and then continued with the main course of asparagus with a huge bowl of stamppot. I am a big eater but this time I gave up. It was too much but I couldn't say that to them because Oma had spent time preparing it. Then here came the dessert of ice cream and chocolate sauce. I like ice cream so much but this time I could only finish half of the bowl. For a moment I thought that the feast was over until 15 minutes after dinner Oma asked me 'Shindi, would you like a cup of coffee?' Sri Shindi Indira, MSc Landscape Architecture and Planning