Malaysia: The Fight For Food

Malaysia: The Fight For Food


On a layover in Dubai the airline booked us into a hotel so that we could rest. Nice of them. We had 10 hours until our next flight. The problem was that it took us 3 hours to get out of the airport due to big lines, no direction, and a shuttle that was delayed. 

On the bus, I looked forward to the meal we would be having once we arrived at the hotel. Upon checking in, the lady at reception told me that dinner would be closing in 5 minutes. She pointed me to the restaurant.

As I left the counter, a large group of people came in behind me all wanting dinner as well. The lady at reception starting getting angry when they brought out their coupons.

I got my dinner, sat down, and watched the big group burst into the dining room looking for plates. What I didn't realize was that the people who were managing the restaurant started to clear stuff away before this group had a chance to dish any food up. It was a competition between the guests who really were hungry (and rightfully held a coupon for a meal) and the workers at the restaurant who just wanted to go home.

The guests were famished, dehydrated and tired, but the restaurant personnel were waiting for that clock to strike midnight. No spell was going to break if they stayed just a bit longer and helped this group get a meal, it wasn't Cinderella. What should have been a simple meal for the guests, became a fight to try get some food.

The mob was now embittered toward the hotel, the hotel employees were angry because they were selfish, and I watched the whole thing and will never stay at that hotel again. I could have been behind the large group of hungry travelers, who were picked up late because the hotel shuttle was delayed.

It's something to think about: going above and beyond (especially if it's only 10 minutes) will turn a "fight for food" into a "demonstration of consideration."

(Photo: Eric Molina)