I was outside Euston station waiting to head home one night and took a phone call at one of the big, almost picnic-like tables outside your average Pret, Ed’s Diner, Nero, etc.
At the table in front of me there was a man hurrying through a hamburger, juice and some chips he’d bought. He barely took a few bites until his train was due and rushed for it, so left everything stuffed in a bag for the cleaners to pick up. This was pretty much within the space of three minutes as he wolfed down some food.
While still on the phone, another woman approaches the table and sits down in front of the paper bag with leftovers. I wasn’t quite aware what she was doing, just that in-between phase when you’re conscious someone is around and doing something but can’t pay attention to what it is. I finished my call and by that time she’d left, but also cleared out the hamburger box and fizzy drink the man couldn’t finish.
I got on the train and thought about what I’d just seen, until I realised this had probably been my first encounter with a freegan. It does sound like first world amazement, but I’d seen nothing like it before. It was only when it occured to me she’d eaten everything he left behind that it became rather odd in my view (depends how you feel about sipping from a stranger’s straw), yet maybe a win-win situation for both. Did wonder whether it was just haphazard or she’d been eyeing it for a while.