I recently returned from a wonderful vacation to the Dominican Republic. Their Brugal rum is intoxicating yet not deadly. The first drink makes you believe you may actually start breathing fire, and by the third you’re wondering what you’ll name the warm fuzzy dragon lounging in your ribcage.
While I was there, I came across some people that I couldn’t communicate with very well, so I gestured and had to use various hand movements to get my point across. Made me think… in THIS instance, using hand gestures to ask for what you want is completely acceptable. In a foreign country, either on the street or in a restaurant, using your hands to communicate is not a bad thing. Being American even, and trying to serve or help someone from a foreign country can be taxing. If they are using their hands to communicate with you, you can’t fault them because they have no other means of getting their point across.
THEREFORE…. being American, in America, speaking to an American bartender, in English should NOT require extreme hand gestures and/or random pointing to menu items while trying to order or communicate. I’m pretty sure I know the menu better than you do and I DID graduate the fifth grade SO… sounding out your order and tracing the lines of the menu whilst speaking is not necessary.