Thursday, June 3, 2010

Caught by surprise - Bangkok, Thailand

I'm slowly zig-zagging through the mini-market aisles, among special offers and half-empty shelves: it's night, it's late, fresh products are finishing. Behind me somebody screams, I turn, a man is running. The sliding doors open, something falls from his hands, he doesn't care, slips, get out and flees. The shop employees run after him and yell. Halfway through the complex yard they have to give up: the thief shook them off and went down the sidewalk, which in the early night turns into a crowded market. Between a puff and a pant they keep on shouting, hoping in vane that somebody stops him. 
In Thailand, and in Asia in general, this scene is atypical. Maybe it's Buddhism, Confucianism or shyness, the idea of collectivity that prevails on the individual: Asians are not particularly prone to crime. 
That's also why the shoplifter surprised everybody, making use of two seconds that saved his neck. If they had managed to catch him they would have beaten him up. They didn't make it though, I wonder what he stole.

Image from "Lupin III"

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