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July 22, 2010

Wierd Travel Experience of the Week: Trash Talk

Sitting peacefully eating a sandwich at Copenhagen Airport this week. The food court area was busy and, like anywhere else in the world, some travellers had left their tables hurriedly, leaving scraps and unfinished meals. I squeezed onto the end of one such table, now vacant except for food and container debris.

Young man with cleaning trolley approaches table. Without resorting to remarks or generalisations, he was obviously not of Scandinavian extraction. Thinking I could assist him, I passed over some of the items cluttering the table.

"Next time you must use the garbage bin," he admonished me curtly.

A little taken aback at this unsolicited advice, I protested, "This isn't my rubbish." Thinking clearly no single person could produce a table full of trash and that this would be obvious.

"No, but I'll TELLING you, YOU must use the rubbish bin."

My eyes are wide at this time. Is there a hidden camera? Is this some prank?

"You are a guest in our country, YOU need to be more respectful!"

At this point I congratulated myself on my unusual restraint. Let's just say, I thought it was in his best interest to focus on the job description and refrain from commenting on people's table manners and eating habits. And yes, I told him so.
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