Ethics vs Manners: Should you clean up after yourself in a food court?

You’ve seen it; and you’ve probably done it, too: I’m talking about leaving a tray of wrappers and leftover food at a mall’s food court.

Now that COVID-19 restrictions are loosening and indoor dining is open again; I ventured out with friends to wander aimlessly at one of the malls, just like we did in the pre-Corona days. After smelling all the candles and window shopping at every store, we ended up at the food court and ordered a feast from the fast food joints there.

When we finished, I collected my trash and neatly placed it on my tray; my friend got up and threw away his, and my other friend left everything there looking like a tornado went through it.

Being me, I had to call him out on it (in what can only be described as banter in colorful vocabulary); he argued that the person cleaning has a job indoors, in air-conditioning, and is able to support themselves and their families by clearing tables; and if everybody cleaned up after themselves, they’d lose their bread and butter….

Interesting… I never thought of it from that perspective before; I’m a firm believer of assimilation and not expecting my culture or my way of life to be accommodated when I travel or move. As hard as it was not to clean up after myself, I always understood that that’s how it’s done here.

My other friend disagreed, using language and calling us names that I cannot directly quote here; he argued that it’s about manners and cleanliness.

The drive home was interesting as the debate continued; all the points were valid and I didn’t believe any of us was in the wrong here, but I definitely did not expect the day to end with a debate on malls’ food court ethics and manners.

By Bahrain Food Reviews
BFR is a food blogger and meme connoisseur
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