Royale With Cheese

If you’re a fan of Quentin Tarantino movies then you are well aware of the famous opening scene from Pulp Fiction where two of the main characters discuss the differences between life in Amsterdam and the US. The scene has come to mind on more than a few occasions during the past week while working on this project and as Tarantino’s characters from Pulp Fiction articulate, you notice the big glaring difference but you feel those which are subtle…

Here’s how Tarantino’s characters explore the subject in Pulp Fiction:

Vincent:…but you know the funniest thing about Europe is?
Jules: What?
It’s the little differences. I mean, they got the same sh*t over there
that they got here, but it’s just, it’s just their’s a little different

Jules: Example.
Vincent: Alright, well you can
walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam, and buy a beer. And I don’t
mean just like no paper cup, I’m talking about a glass of beer. And in
Paris, you can buy a beer in McDonald’s. And you know what they call
uh…a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris? Jules: They don’t call it
a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: nah man they got the metric system, they wouldn’t know what the f*ck a quarter pounder is
Jules: Then what do they call it?
Vincent: They call it, uh, Royale with Cheese
Royale with Cheese?
Vincent: That’s right…

Throughout the work week here, the little differences here have
included changes in nomenclature and how they write numerals. For
example, they don’t write contracts, they write joiners. Instead of
using a plain vertical line for the numeral 1 they use a long line at
the top extending downward and to the left which looks a great deal
like how Americans write the numeral 7. Here, the numeral 7 is
written with a wavy horizontal stroke and a crossbar through the middle
of the vertical stroke.

These sorts of differences require you to pay attention and
therefore have a greater impact on reinforcing that you are in a
different country. Conversely, I don’t have to consciously notice the
fact that outside it is over 100 degrees with high humidity. 🙂

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

2 thoughts on “Royale With Cheese”

  1. You are definitely in a former French colony because of the way they write their numbers and I am going to take a wild plunge here and guess Lebanon – possibly Beirut.

    You’re getting warmer… ~ Drew McManus

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