Anybody who’s ever been to Japan knows that the Japanese are ridiculously tidy neat freaks, and everyone seemingly does their part in keeping their environment clean. An example of this is seen in their etiquette at public dining areas, in which, like many parts of the western world, people clear the food trays off of their own tables after a meal and many even go so far as to wipe down their table for the convenience of the next customer.
That is not the case in Indonesia, where most food courts and fast food restaurants have their employees clear trays and clean tables. Meaning that most Indonesians are accustomed to leaving a mess on their table after a meal.
Recently, an Indonesian Facebook user by the name of Tyas Palar recounted a story about Indonesian tourists demonstrating their local post-meal etiquette in Japan. Tyas wrote that she was at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport departure terminal waiting for her flight back to Jakarta when she noticed that a group of Indonesian tourists had left this mess at a public eating area after they had their breakfast.
Tyas theorized that maybe the Indonesian tourists thought that cleaners would clean their table just like in Indonesia, concluding that the polite ways of the Japanese clearly did not rub off on them. She noted in her post that in the 30 minutes she spent in the area, no cleaner came and the mess remained on the table.
But the tourist faux pas didn’t end there. Tyas wrote that at the same time, two Indonesian men were sitting at a table next to hers. When they got up to move to another table to sit with their friend, Tyas said they left behind pieces of litter on the table.
This time, Tyas decided to reprimand the men by pointing them to a trash can, to which one of them replied, “So what? Someone’s going to come and clean it anyway.”
But Tyas told them that there are no cleaners, otherwise someone would’ve cleaned up the food trays that were left behind by the other group of Indonesian tourists. With a grunt, one of the men picked up their trash and dumped them in the bin.
Tyas’ post, which has been shared almost 2,000 times at the time of writing, sparked many to share their anecdotes online about the conduct of Indonesian tourists abroad, most of them agreeing that many Indonesian holidaymakers are “kampungan” (a local term that literally translates to “like villagers” used to describe a lack of class) regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.
Just like Tyas pointed out at the conclusion of her post, hopefully Indonesian tourists will learn to behave better while abroad from now on, so they won’t earn a bad rep like the notoriously badly behaved tourists from mainland China.