Dining at a restaurant is usually meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, but things can quickly become unpleasant if there are rowdy and misbehaving children around.
However, a woman in Malaysia was unhappy when the staff of a restaurant complained that her toddler was running around and screaming, disturbing other diners.
This led her to declare that Malaysia was “not child-friendly”.
In a since-deleted Facebook post that was reuploaded by a group for Serdang residents, the mother said she recently visited a restaurant with her children for dinner.
According to screenshots of the viral post, she identified the eatery as The Hong, a Korean Chinese fusion noodles restaurant in Johor Bahru.
The restaurant’s name can also be seen in the background of the photo she shared.
As they arrived at 8pm, the restaurant wasn’t crowded, she said.
After feeding her younger daughter, who’s one year and five months old, she put her down from her baby chair so she could “walk around”.
This is because the girl didn’t want to remain in the chair, she said.
The child was happy after eating and promptly started to run around the restaurant, shouting.
Seemingly unconcerned over the racket, her mother thought she could finally enjoy her own dinner, she added.
Unexpectedly, her dinner was disturbed when the restaurant staff approached her.
They said customers were complaining that her kid was noisy.
“Please don’t let your kid run around,” they also urged her, as they might knock into staff carrying food.
This would obviously be dangerous.
While the woman said she quickly finished her meal and left, she decided to defend herself on Facebook later.
She put the child down for just five minutes, she maintained, also asking,
Only my child is noisy, other people talking are not noisy?
Besides, it wasn’t a busy period for the restaurant, she reasoned, and she didn’t see staff serving food all the time.
Also, the restaurant wasn’t one with a beautiful environment or atmosphere, she said.
“This is the first time we’ve met people so devoid of empathy,” she added, saying her daughter can get a little “out of control” at times but is obedient.
“Maybe you have no family or children so you can’t understand the feelings of parents,” she asserted.
The post was topped off with the hashtag #原来马来西亚是那么不childfriendly的地方 (turns out Malaysia is so not child-friendly).
The woman’s post quickly went viral, but not for the reasons she expected. Even the reuploading of her post has already gained over 4,300 shares and 5,300 comments.
However, she received backlash from netizens, most of whom criticised her.
One pointed out that a “restaurant is not a playground” and she shouldn’t use the concept of “child-friendliness” as a pressure tactic on staff.
Another netizen said she has children but wouldn’t let them run around to disturb others while she eats dinner. That’s because “no one has an obligation to take care of your children”, she believed.
Many commenters pointed out that it was dangerous for children to run around a restaurant, with one asking the mother if she would pursue the matter if hot soup had spilt on her child.
Due to the numerous brickbats the woman received, a netizen said they were relieved to see so many people scolding her, proving that society isn’t “sick”.
According to SAYS.com, the woman’s husband has pleaded for netizens to give her a chance and “let the matter rest”.
Turns out that restaurant diners do value their peace and quiet after all.
Perhaps that’s why a restaurant in Singapore introduced a “screaming children surcharge”.
Angie’s Oyster Bar & Grill said this was in response to complaints from customers about children running around unattended and disturbing other diners.
Do you think these restaurants should be more tolerant? Or do you think diners have a right to be undisturbed during their meals? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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