Monday, November 9, 2009

A pitiful scene at the insects stall - Bangkok, Thailand

This street is packed with foreign tourists. A bunch of people are surrounding a stall and I walk that way to see what's going on. It's the usual group of newly arrived foreigners staring in awe at some oily fried insects. On a set of trays, entangled by the legs, there are grasshoppers and crickets, larvas and scorpions. Some young Chinese are trying a bug, holding it by a leg as if it was scorching, eating it slowly, bit by bit.

At the other end there's a bunch of westerners. A workout fanatic is eating a scorpion, while a couple of girls are taking photos of him. You can tell by his face that he dislikes his snack, but he bites it as if it was a turkey leg. He rips a claw and chews it fast, then he manages to swallow it while he pumps up his chest. At first the Thai guy is smiling at them, but the merry atmosphere is about to end.

The western guys are totally drunk. A blond man grabs some crickets from the tray and pushes them into the big guy's mouth. He eats one up and then shuts his lips, but the blond guy crushes them against his chin. He opens his hand and makes a face while he's looking at the mush of legs, wings and shells. Then he absentmindedly puts them back into the tray. By now the Thai guy is extremely upset but he still doesn't dare saying anything to them. He gives them a couple of embarrassed looks, then he tries a smile, but it's not the amused type.

The Chinese are amazed and they take two steps back, the Thais are holding the cart with both hands while the big guy's having a stomach ache. He's coughing and throwing up bits of scorpion, until finally his friends take him somewhere else.

People are disgusted, the Thais are embarrassed, I'm upset because I know that this kind of things are damaging the reputation of the foreigners in town. Sometimes a gang of bullies is hanging around here: I've seen them harassing some innocent tourists. Even if I know that this is wrong, I can't stop wishing that they were here, kicking these stupid foreigners' butts.

The big guy is leaning on a wall nearby and some sympathetic people are patting his back. A group of new customers is coming along and I've already regretted my mean and base thoughts. I turn my back on that pitiful scene, then walk up the stairs to a nearby pub where a band is playing some live rock tunes.

A half beer and a bass-guitar solo later, I can finally think about something else.

(Photo by Takoradee, from


Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

Fabio said...

Thanks a lot!