How to be a Good Tourist

Susan here.

I have a suggestion for tourists who visit foreign countries: If you bring your own food, at least have the decency not to bring it into a local restaurant and eat it. Or better yet, try ordering the local cuisine.

Seriously, that’s like a New Yorker bringing his own food into a Montreal restaurant. Show some courtesy.

9 thoughts on “How to be a Good Tourist

  1. “If it happened once, or even 10 times, that’s hardly an epidemic of Jews invading restaurants with home made food. And it’s hardly warranting banning all food from Israel — whether they want to eat it outside or in a restaurant.”

    It apparently IS an epidemic if Jordan is taking the drastic measure of banning tourists from bringing in food. If it was just a few people bringing outside food into restaurants, I doubt Jordan would make a big deal about it. And anti-Semitism would have nothing to do with it—prejudice disappears when there’s money to be made, and Jordan is more than happy to take Israeli tourists’ money.

    My whole point is that when you visit a foreign country, you don’t bring your own food into a restaurant. I myself have brought outside food into a McDonalds to eat it, because the restaurant employees more or less don’t care if you do it. But I would never cross the border into Canada for a day trip and bring my own food into a locally owned restaurant. I hope I’ve finally made my point here.

  2. That’s a pretty huge reaction on your part to something claimed by “Jordanian sources”. Who are these sources? How often does it happen? If it happened once, or even 10 times, that’s hardly an epidemic of Jews invading restaurants with home made food. And it’s hardly warranting banning all food from Israel — whether they want to eat it outside or in a restaurant. Seems like stereotyping of Jews which seems to be supported by the post here. Because we all know that Arab countries are very pro-Semitic.

    Let he who never smuggled his own food into a movie theater cast the first stone. There are people who do weird things everywhere.

  3. –the issue is taking that food and eating it in a restaurant

    Can’t argue with that. The manager should throw your out on your ass. If it keeps happening, start charging about half the cost of a meal plus- if tipping is the custom- 20% for the wait staff.

  4. The issue isn’t “bringing your own food”, the issue is taking that food and eating it in a restaurant. Really disrectful when visiting a foreign country. If you bring your own food, you eat it in the car or the bus, or you eat outside picnic style in the desert or some other place suitable for a picnic. Or you can arrange payment to a restaurant to be able to eat your private food there. Of course, you can disagree with me by claiming that foreign tourists have every right in the world to go into a local restaurant and eat their own food, thus taking up space that can be used by a paying customer. I’m sure that the restaurant owner would disagree with you, though.

  5. Orthodox kosher isn’t so easy to provide “upon prior arrangement”. The kosher laws are pretty strict even down to what utensils are being used to prepare the meal.

    In any case, if it’s a day trip just across the border, what’s the big deal about bringing lunch? How is that disrespectful? And it’s not like it’s a radically different “local cuisine”. And also many touristy places charge an arm and a leg for crap food — I definitely don’t eat in tourist locations when traveling. And I’m not even Jewish.

  6. The referenced story is very strange.

    The source is a large, left-leaning Israeli web-news site, and is about the fact that Israeli tourists to Petra frequently take their own food ‘to save money’. The old Jewish stereotype.

    Ultra-orthodox Jews would insist on ultra-kosher, which would not be available in Jordan.

    This is an article I would not expect to find in an Israeli publication, but that’s where it appeared.

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