Before you just nod smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said? My wife and I are having lunch yesterday and the waiter is uttering something to which I have no clue. I say "what" and then get the same volume of mumbling. Again I politely ask him to repeat himself. Same thing. Now, I can hear the guy speaking but I am not understanding what's he's saying. I begin to think I may be loosing my hearing except that I can clearly hear the waiter who is taking an order at the table next to us. Both waiters are American. At this point I just want to smile and nod my head but I actually need to place an order. <uncomfortable silence and a stare from the waiter> I chose to ignore whatever he said, give both our orders and say thanks,...to which I get a frown. What can you do?