Subway catfight sparks debate about eating etiquette on trains

A viral
video of a spaghetti brawl on the New York City metro system has ignited debates around the world about eating etiquette in the subway.

Transit officials for New York City briefly floated the idea of banning food in the metro, after a YouTube clip surfaced late last week of two transit riders engaged in an ugly catfight over a Styrofoam tub of spaghetti.

The video starts rolling mid-conversation, as a young woman tucks into a takeout container of pasta and a middle-aged female rider chastises the girl for eating on the subway.

"What kind of animals eat on the train like that?" the woman can be heard saying to the girl across the aisle in disgust.

"What kind of fat b---s look like you," the girl fires back.

After a bit of verbal sparring, the feud escalates and requires a couple of male passengers to separate the two riders who have resorted to fisticuffs.

Days after the video was posted and went viral, board members at a transit meeting floated the idea of banning food on the subway, a proposal that drew swift and fiery reactions from the public and was quickly dismissed.

But the latest food-related incident has traveled around the world and sparked debates between subway riders in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia.

Currently, cities like Chicago, Washington DC, Singapore and a single line in Beijing have a no-eating food policy in place.

A story in Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, generated 258 comments with many divided along 'meal' and 'snack' lines.

"Eating a light snack on public transit, say a granola bar, chocolate or something similar, is fine. These are reasonably clean and do not require excessive crunching or produce much noise when eating," wrote Girl Interrupted.  "I draw the line at meals requiring cutlery..."

Karl  the Yank, wrote  in the UK's Daily Mail, "This is one of the reasons I moved out of NYC. All day long you see rude, common, aggressive and classless acts...New York is no longer what it used to be."

According to New York Magazine's Urban Etiquette Handbook, eating on the subway has a rudeness factor of 9 out of 10, "[b]ecause subways were practically invented to send your sloppy foodstuffs onto the shirts and laps of the people around you."

London-based etiquette authority Debrett's, which publishes books on modern manners, offers the following tips for subway riders:

Always offer your seat to those who need it more than you do.

Be tolerant if sudden lurches. Apologise if you're the perpetrator, and smile politely if you're the one being crushed.

Remember that proximity heightens tension and amplifies your behaviour, so be considerate if using a mobile phone, eating, drinking, listening to music or carrying outsized luggage.

Keep conversations with travelling companions quiet and discreet.

If a fellow passenger wrongs you, ignore it and avoid confrontation.

 

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Recruitment Genius: Processing Partner

    £15000 - £19200 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Processing Partner is require...

    Recruitment Genius: PPC Manager - SW London

    £34000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist travel agent ba...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower