Thursday, January 26, 2012

Worthy of a general - Bangkok, Thailand

Fortunately in Bangkok one doesn't have to witness only ghastly shows like this. If one keeps his radar tuned and has patience he'll be able to enjoy a number of amusing and instructive little scenes.

A Korean tourist has just bought a Phat Thai, one of those cooked at the edge of the road, on a large tilted fry pan set over a gas stove and served on styrofoam trays. When he still has a third of the portion left one of those old men who collect empty bottles of beer to make a few bucks draws near him. The Korean moves aside to let him pass and then starts to wolf down what is left of his Phat Thai. Using the chopsticks with perfect skill he shoves elephant-like quantities of food into his mouth, holding his breath, letting out flooded engine-like sounds, dropping fragments and leaning forward to prevent his shirt from getting soiled. A disgusting scene. But why is he doing that? Don't tell me that he's going! He can't do it!
He almost pukes when he sticks the last forkful of noodles down his throat and then, purple and choking...he does it! He throws the dirty styrofoam tray into the old man's container, on his cans and bottles, all neatly stacked, by layers, rows and columns. It's all clear by now: he mistook the case for a trash bin and the old guy for a garbage man. He turns around while he's wiping his mouth and can't see the scene that I am not going to miss. The old man is astonished: while he's looking at the Korean with an outraged expression he grabs the tray and throws it on the ground. Then he leaves, stiff and dignified.
The Korean made a blunder, deceived by the usual, misleading, sneaky appearances. The old man is a poor devil, his job might be humble, but his bearing and pride are worthy of a general.

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