In the midst of Thanksgiving grocery shopping, I took a break at a favorite Mediterranean restaurant for lunch. The fragrant aroma of chicken marinated with cinnamon and other exotic spices hangs in the air. The place is casual, with self seating. After the staff brings your plate, you're left to yourself and the condiment bar. It's moderately crowded with a mix of ethnicities, but mostly white people munch their lunch. I sit at a small table on the periphery and settle in.
There is a middle-aged white couple to my left halfway through their whole chicken special. The table to my right is empty. A few seats down, sit two dark-skinned young men with black hair and big, deep brown eyes. They speak loudly in their native language, which sounds like Malay or a Southeast Asian dialect to me. They wave their hands around as they speak and laugh, enjoying lunch. Both rip into their chickens with their hands and teeth. They wear flip-flops and soon each has kicked them off. They sit with one bare foot resting on the other knee, exposing soles dark with dirt towards me. The couple on my left notices them, also:
Female: Ugh. Look at those two. They eat like pigs.
Male: Yeah. I wouldn't even sit like that at the table.
Female: You bet you wouldn't! Look at those dirty feet. Ugh. Do their wives just put up with it?
Male: Their wives got nothin' to say about it. They probably have to eat the leftovers alone in the kitchen!
Female: Bullshit! I'd never...just look at how they eat. They're so filthy.
Male: Dirty Arabs. I hope we blast 'em all.
The boys, lost in their conversation, suddenly erupt with laughter. One of them burps and they laugh harder. Other diners now stare at them, but they hardly notice.