Monthly Archives: May 2014
The subject of today’s diatribe is the individual (if I had any reason to believe he is one, I would use the term, “gentleman”) wearing black shorts, black t-shirt, black baseball cap, black man purse around his waist, and a blue tooth earphone sticking out of his ear. I have no illusions about the dude’s self awareness so that I should write “you know who you are” or something because I suspect that he is blindly walking through life, being who and what he is, utterly oblivious to his abject offensiveness.
Apologies to my readers who are accustomed to the general positive tone of the Daily Diatribe, but this experience simply must be shared, if only on the off chance that one person on this planet will see themselves in the story and become more aware of how they shape the environment for those around them.
Shopping with my wife in the produce section of the “Makro” (something like Sam’s Club or Costco) on Ram Indra Road (Bangkok) near Minburi, I came across the guy described above.
He walked up to a bin full of “Rambutan” ( a local fruit) like he was interested in buying some.
I have always thought of them as “hairy eyeballs” because, well, that’s what they look like. Inside this hairy eyeball is a fruit something like a Lychee, with a white pit, about the same shape but slightly larger than an almond.
Anyway, this guy grabs one, shucks the red “hairy” skin, and plops the fruit in his mouth. This got my attention because it’s not really the custom anywhere I’ve lived to just help oneself to a free piece of fruit from the produce department. I mean there wasn’t a sign saying “Free Samples” or anything like that.
Nonetheless, my thoughts went from, “Hey! You can’t do that!” to, “Well, maybe he’s just testing them before he buys a sackful and this is local custom I’ve never seen in 20 years coming and going to Thailand” (ten of them living here) to “OK, let’s see what he does now.”
My 200 pound self is standing literally three feet from this guy watching what he’s doing and I’m definitely the only gringo in sight so he knows I’m there and I’m sending the strongest “I DO NOT APPROVE” vibes I can.
What did he do?
He nonchalantly tossed the skin back in the pile, spit (YES, SPIT!) the seed back in with the rest of the unsuspecting Hairy Eyeballs, and walked away like he owned the place. (Since I later saw him standing in line at the checkout counter, I’m guessing he didn’t actually own the place).
I described to Helen in clear Thai, and loud enough for him to hear, what the guy had done and that I considered it offensive in the extreme (“naa-kliat” or “hate-able” in Thai) and the guy didn’t blink or even turn his head to see who had just insulted him. He just kept walking.
Helen just laughed (she was offended too but doesn’t feel there’s much she can do about a culture that is too shy to say something in a situation like this).
So again, my apologies to readers who were expecting a more positive story today but instead were met with a Carl-O-Gram addressed to some anonymous Thai dude in Bangkok.
Anonymous Thai Dude, listen carefully! I’m only going to say this once:
You, Sir, are a pig.