What is the trick for signalling to wait staff that you are ready for the check? I have been told that in Europe the staff anticipate that people will linger over a meal longer than in the U.S. That's fair enough. However, how do you indicate that you're done lingering? It is often very difficult to catch the eye of the staff as they are scurrying about doing their jobs. Do you wave your arms, pound on the table, send up a signal flare? (Yes, that was sarcastic, but the question remains.)
In our recent trip to England and Wales, we had quite a nice time until we finished our mains. Then we had to wait, wait, wait until someone asked if we wanted dessert. Wait, wait, wait for the dessert menu. Wait, wait, wait to order dessert. Wait, wait, wait, for it to be served. Wait, wait, wait to be able to ask for the check. Wait, wait, wait to receive it. I left the exact amount in cash rather than have to wait for a credit card transaction.
We have started eating in pubs just because you order and pay at the bar, which means you can just leave when you're done.