Here's a tip for dining at an all-you-can-eat buffet: When you find yourself using a plate as a serving utensil to shovel food onto another plate, it's time to step away from the food, folks.
Another tip? When you need to use your elbows to fend off other diners, just so you can mound up not just two, but three more plates filled to the brim with shrimp, it is time to take a breather.
And if you need to literally reach over the head of other diners to get your food, stop and ask yourself: Am I really this hungry? Is there any other food in the general region that I might be able to procure for my dining pleasure? Or must I eat all of this food, immediately?
Apparently, the frenzied Chinese tourists who recently dined at a buffet in Chang Mai, Thailand did not get the memo. The internet is going nuts over a video of the frantic tourists loading up on plates of food as if shrimp and other delectables had just been declared extinct.
Further inciting the online community are additional photos that have been posted showing plates still laden with food, left over by the same tourists who must have realized there was no way on God's green earth that they could actually consume the amount of food they thought they so desperately wanted.
Someone in Thailand posted the video and photos to Facebook, which is blocked in mainland China. Still, the video racked up hundreds of thousands of views quickly. The video and photos were then re-posted to Peopleyuqing.com—and that's when the Chinese commenters jumped in, many saying they thought the tourists' behavior brought disgrace unto the people of China.
China, of course, is not alone in its love for the all-you-can-eat buffet. In fact, researchers at Cornell University found it to be such an interesting topic that they have been studying the dining habits of people at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets in the US. They found that people with higher BMIs quickly fill their plates, sit close to the buffet, and choose larger plates of food than do their slimmer counterparts. The scientists also found, in a more recent study, that the cheaper the cost of buffet, the more regret diners have about overeating.
So let's hope that buffet in Thailand was pretty cheap, and that the tourists involved in the food frenzy are now repenting their over-the-top and wasteful behavior.