Wednesday, 21 October

The “Biennale of trust” campaign took place in Lviv for the first time. The conditions are quite simple: you come to a cafe or restaurant, make your order, and then you can pay as much as you wish. In general, more than 30 institutions joined the action. However, some of them refused to participate beforehand. The reason is simple: some guests perceived the action as an opportunity to… eat for free. More about (not) failed trust test – in reactions from Opinion.

Actually, most of the network users were impressed not by the idea of the action, but by the stories of dishonest visitors of these places that either paid a ridiculous part of the real check or refused to leave any money at all. Let’s figure out how everything had happened. The restaurant owner Stella Yablonska stressed that Lviv residents embraced the trust action, as… the possibility of free meals in the restaurant. There were few impressive cases when, for example, a well-dressed woman ate for 500 UAH, and left… 5 UAH. But this is not the end. The first place in the establishment of the author of the post was “captured” by a guest who ate six dishes and drank three glasses of fresh without leaving a single penny at the same time.

If we look at figures, according to the post of Yablonska, absolutely all the guests who knew about the Biennale of trust did not pay the full bill and paid about 20% of the real value. However, the restaurateur is not upset and promises guests to continue delighting them with delicious dishes from good natural products, without saving on their quality. Also, she promises to wait. To wait until the time when we will trust each other.

The historian and journalist Vakhtang Kipiani is convinced that the action has shown: a greediness and thirst for freebies of so-called “ordinary people”. According to him, this is also among challenges to the country’s development no less than corruption and stuff like this. And this is quite reasoned, because, according to the journalist, more than half of the participating institutions had stopped the experiment in advance, because “young people came, made orders for 600-700 UAH, and left only 10 UAH”. Or, “about half of the customers paid substantially less than it was indicated in their bills.” And there are a lot of such examples. Apparently, it only remains to be happy for those who at least once had the opportunity to have no limits. This is me, with a little bit of sarcasm, if anything.

However, the writer Victoria Amelina doesn’t agree that trust has been failed. After all, the first one to trust is the strongest. And let the weak to be happy that they “got it”. The author is happy that the Lviv business is strong enough to trust. Moreover, in her opinion, it would be good to repeat such an experiment the next year, because truly strong ones should teach the weak to trust, not vice versa. We don’t have another country, and without trust, we’ll lose this one. This is how it works.

Alex Cooper, the restaurateur from Odesa, also tried to find the benefits of (not) failed day of trust. According to him, all bloggers’ posts and articles in the media about “stupid owners of establishments” and huge losses will be forgotten. However, the fact that Lviv citizens are generous and kind will remain in the mass consciousness. Thus, Lviv received a free mention in all key media and strengthen its positions as a restaurant capital. Well, if you look at it from this perspective, then not so much money was paid for the promotion. Another thing is whether establishments participated in the experiment with this purpose.

Was it worth expecting some other result? The blogger Mykola Voskalo doubts this sincerely. He says if the organizers were expecting for something else, then he would advise them not to take up any actions like this. So, now I’m thinking. They’ve invented the project, everyone agreed. Is it possible that anyone dare to think that everything will happen this way?

However, the blogger and journalist Olena Yakhno, in general, decided not to restrain herself in the statements and stressed that we are allegedly a “post-genocidal nation, where the negative selection took place.” That is, the best ones were destroyed. Well, Ms. Olena, according to this logic far from the best ones are supporting your thesis. Selection, it was spread to everyone, right?

Lviv radio host Andriy Chemes in his turn characterized the experiment as a brilliant one. He described it as a film, where a person suddenly gets powers and starts being rude and treat everybody like dirt. At the same time, in the opinion of the author of the post, this experiment is needed, because now we know exactly where we are and that this city needs Biennale of trust as air. As for me, I would think whether only this city needs it. Because it’s going to be like (if, of course, it isn’t now) “the problem is in Lviv”, “in our SomeUnknownTown everything is better”, etc. It just that this one city wasn’t lucky.

And finally, I offer you a wonderful illustration of the Biennale of trust in Lviv from blogger Ivan Savytskyi. It’s like in one popular meme. Expectations and Reality. Here we have something like this.

Reactions were collected by Stepan the Goat

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